Laura Tobin interrupted Australian MP Craig Kelly during a clash after having a problem with Mr Kelly’s comment that the fires were caused by a droughts and poor forest management.
Mr Kelly said: ‘You have to look at the science, but one of the factors contributing are the fuel loads [flammable materials such as dry wood]. Every commission post bush-fire says we need to reduce them, but we always fail to do so.
‘Our lifestyle depends on fossil fuels, it can’t be done without it. Some politicians have hijacked the debate to push their ideological barrow but what causes fires? Drought and build-up of fuel loads.’
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Laura Tobin, a meteorologist, hit back, telling Mr Kelly that Australia had experienced its hottest and driest year ever on record ‘with forecasts records that go back more than 100 years’.
She said: ‘We want everyone in the world to lower the global temperature rise by 1.5C, you [Australia] can’t even commit to 2C.
‘You have the second highest carbon emission on earth and you are burying your head in the sand. You’re not a climate sceptic – you’re a climate denier.’
Tobin then corrected Kelly, who stated that Australia had the largest growth in renewable energies in the world, informing him that was in fact India.
Mr Kelly, whose constituency is in New South Wales which has experienced the devastating inferno, then back-tracked that he in fact meant ‘per capita’.
Mr Kelly featured on GMB to defend Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison who has come under angry criticism for flying to Hawaii when the fires began to take hold.
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Wimbledon champion, Pat Cash, who joined the GMB debate has previously criticised Australia’s PM and blamed the catastrophic damage on his ‘very, very, slow reaction’, and failure to appeal to global leaders for ‘much-needed’ aid.
Mr Cash said: ‘The fires are unprecedented and there’s no denying the climate change – lives are being lost. No one hasn’t been touched.
‘So much of this is because of a very, very slow reaction to the PM who didn’t listen to 20 fire chiefs warning six months ago exactly what is happening now – and sure enough, it has happened.
‘He’s [Mr Morrison] failed the firefighters. He was warned there weren’t enough gas masks, they’re in there ill-equipped and the PM hasn’t gone on the phone to Donald Trump.
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‘Where are these Hercules planes that dwarf what we have that can drop tonnes of water?’
The tennis ace also hit back at Mr Kelly, adding:
‘His head is in the sand. I’ve been watching this happen. The flooding and disasters are just the start. It could take something huge America for people to realise.’