Australian Greens leader Bob Brown, has found another national disaster to blame on the coal mining industry; this time the Perth bushfires.
The controversial politician copped criticism for his claims the coal industry was to blame for the devastating floods across Queensland and insisted it should assist financially with the clean-up effort.
“The coal industry has to face it and take responsibility,” Brown told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.
He said the bushfires were more severe because of climate change.
He said the industry is a major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions, which scientists have linked to “more severe weather events.’
“We simply can’t say, due to a new political correctness, that it must not be on the agenda,” he said.
Brown attracted a barrage of opposition from experts and miners following his comments, and was accused of playing “political games” when concerns should have been focused on victims of the tragedy.
Senior Liberal Eric Abetz said the Greens do not have factual basis for their claims.
“All the scientists are agreed that you cannot pick on one weather event and link that to climate change,” he said.
“To try and link them to climate change is political cynicism at its worst.”
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Bob Brown has defended comments on the Perth bushfires, saying they were taken out of context.
The Australian Greens leader reportedly blamed the Perth bushfires on the effects of climate change caused by coal mining.
But he says the AAP, who broke the story and who this publication sourced the information from, was wrong.
The transcript of the conversation which took place in Canberra on Wednesday:
ABC: And so the Perth fires they’re a consequence of climate change?
Bob Brown: “No I haven’t said that, you’ve said that.”
ABC: But I’m just checking your position.
Bob Brown: “My position is that the consequence of scientific analysis of earlier bushfires is that they were made worse by global warming. I’ll wait to get a scientific analysis on what’s happening in Perth.”
The AAP has since issued a retraction.
“In story keyworded Climate Wrap ex-Canberra and issued on this wire at 18:30 on February 19 … removing any reference to Senator Brown linking the recent WA bushfire to the coal industry.
“This reference should also be removed from the story keyworded Climate Greens moved earlier on February 19. A corrected repeat will be moved”.