fwiw wrote: ↑Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:22 amThis is interesting because some of these are facts that can be examined.
1. The bushfires have nothing to do with 'climate change' (of course)
2. The real culprits are environmentalists (of course) by outlawing 'controlled burns' and 'fire breaks'
3. 'Many' of the fires are started deliberately
Point n°1 involves too much ideology to be discussed easily
Point n°2 can be discussed, but rather by experts on the matter, so it's an easy claim, hard to falsify and therefore, according to epistemologist Karl Popper, it has little value on this forum, unless there are unbiased in-depth analysis publicly available, which I doubt.
Point n°3 is more interesting though.
So PJ Watson authored an article on the subject:
Nearly 200 People Arrested Across Australia For Deliberately Starting Bushfires
https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/ ... -bushfires
As is often the case with propagandists, the statement in the headline is clearly false, but the inside of the article is more nuanced (a lot more people read just the headline than read the entire article)
So let's talk about the headline first:
Were ‘Nearly 200’ People Arrested for Deliberately Starting Australia Bushfires?
https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/austr ... bushfires/
So now that the intellectual dishonesty of PJ Watson has been clearly established, we can talk about the content of the article. There is actually nothing there that supports the claim made in the headlineBut some, including Alex Jones’ conspiracy site InfoWars that spreads climate change denialism, falsely reported that “nearly 200 people” were arrested in Australia for “deliberately” starting bushfires.
That would be a distortion of the facts. Police in New South Wales released a statement disclosing that since Nov. 8, 2019, 183 people, including 40 juveniles, have been charged with 205 bushfire-related offenses. Of the 183, 24 people have been charged with deliberately setting fires. According to police, of the 183, another “53 people have had legal actions for allegedly failing to comply with a total fire ban,” and an additional “47 people have had legal actions for allegedly discarding a lighted cigarette or match on land.”
Here is the original report by the police department of NSW
https://www.police.nsw.gov.au/news/news ... w9MQ%3D%3D
It mentions the number 183:
PJ Watson also mentions the number 183, but in relation to something quite different:"legal action – which ranges from cautions through to criminal charges – has been taken against 183 people – including 40 juveniles – for 205 bushfire-related offences"
He links his source to this article from the Brisbane Times which doesn"t mention the number 183 nor NSW, Victoria, South Australia or Tasmania, and seems to be pretty bad in its writing in the first place. It says:A total of 183 people have been arrested by police in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania for lighting bushfires over the last few months, figures obtained by news agency AAP show.
No mention of the time period considered. Is it the last month? The last year? The last decade? It's anyone's guess. I can see why propagandists would like to use this article as their source, since they know few read beyond the headline of the article, and fewer still are going to click on the links and actually see where PJ Watson is coming from.Almost 100 firebugs have deliberately started blazes across Queensland that have destroyed homes and consumed thousands of hectares of bushland.
So, it appears quite clear that PJ Watson is not in any way a trustworthy source of knowledge. Rather, he is BSer who exists only because his fans fail to fact check what he says, being primarily driven by ideology and seeking validation for their pre-existing bias.
The closest thing to evidence in Watson's article is the following quote from a 7News (Rupert Murdoch - linked) tweet:
"much" of the bushfires. Which can mean anything from 10 to 99% of them. Vague, to say the least.Police are now working on the premise arson is to blame for much of the devastation caused this bushfire season.
You did a great job with No 3.
No 1 and No 2 deserve similar treatment, especially since No 1 is a matter of science, not ideology. At this point we know enough of the science to say with great confidence that climate change did indeed contribute to the severity of the fire season. Look up the Garnaut study of about 2009, for instance.
No 2 has been covered in the media by the experts we need and the answer is that the claim is total BS.
It's late here now or I would find sources for you myself.