Is Greece’s Wildfire Tragedy Due to Climate Change?

Over 80 people were killed, over 70 people are hospitalized and 500 or more homes were destroyed in a tragic conflagration that consumed Mati, a coastal suburb town 18 miles east of Athens, Greece on Monday. According to BBC, Greek officials suspect arson as the origin for the massive fire.

Unfortunately, Greece’s Citizen Protection Minister, Nikolaos Toskas, also took the opportunity to dance on the graves of those who have perished in order to also claim that climate conditions in the region afflicted by the fire were extreme due to climate change. Toskas claims this despite Greek Defence Minister Panos Kammenos during an interview with the BBC said that illegal construction largely contributed to the disaster.

Greece’s government is controlled by the Communist-oriented coalition group Syriza whose head, Alexander Tsipras, is not only Greece’s Prime Minister but is also an admirer of Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez. Syriza won control of Greece’s parliament in 2015 campaigning against austerity to pay back loans the EU issued to bailout the country. In typical Marxist form, the group has been accused recently of conducting efforts to destroy their political opponents.

Being that Toskas is a Syriza member and that environmentalism is part of the Marxist philosophical and intellectual tradition, his claim about that climate change contributed to Mati fires is not surprising. But is what Greece’s Citizen Protection Minister claiming accurate? Not in the least.

A study that was published in the Royal Society Biological Sciences journal three years ago invalidates Toskas’s assertion or that wildfires overall are the result of extreme weather events resulting from climate change. In their manuscript, scientists concluded that global burned areas have largely declined in the last 10 years and there have been less flare-ups globally than in past centuries.

Assertions that wildfire outbreaks are caused by climate change do not take into account the great uncertainties about how much, and how rapidly, global temperatures and weather variations occur over time. However, despite this it will make no difference to people, like Niklaos Toskas, since blaming the victim is a trait of someone who subscribes to the evil ethic of altruism (i.e. self-sacrifice) which is central to Marxist thought.