A British meteorologist and TV presenter has hit back at a Liberal MP after he called her an “ignorant pommy weather girl” following an interview on Good Morning Britain.

Craig Kelly took to Facebook on Tuesday in an apparent bid to discredit Laura Tobin after she debated the minister during an interview with the MP, with Tobin branding Kelly as a “climate change denier”.

“I might have to send her some of the published peer-reviewed scientific papers on Australia’s weather, data from Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the IPCC report so she can educate herself and learn the facts – Australia’s rainfall is highly variable and there has been no drying trend in the last hundred years,” Kelly wrote.

Tobin later hit back at the MP in a tweet, where she listed her qualifications, using the hashtags #NotAWeatherGirl and #IKnowWhatImTalkingAbout.

“Yes I’m a meteorologist,” Tobin wrote.

“A degree in Physics and Meteorology.

“4 yrs (sic) as an aviation forecaster at the RAF.”

Tobin also noted she had sent 12 years as a broadcast meteorologist and had attended the World Meteorological Organisation’s climate course and was up to date with “all the science”.

Fire causes

Scientists have disputed claims a lack of hazard reduction burns has led to the size of the bushfires, with former fire chiefs blaming the effects of climate change.

But during the GMB interview about the bushfire crisis with hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid, Kelly remained adamant the fires could be attributed to a lack of hazard reduction burns.

Tobin interjected to debate Kelly on climate change.

Climate emergency

“Australia have just had, in 2019, their highest year temperature-wise ever recorded and their driest year ever recorded with forecasted temperatures that go back over 100 years,” Tobin said.

“At the moment we want everyone to commit in the world to be one-and-a-half degrees to lower our global temperature rise. You can’t even commit to two degrees.

“You have the second-highest carbon emission per person on earth and you are burying your head in the sand, this is a climate emergency.

“You’re not a climate sceptic, you’re a climate denier.”

As Kelly was responding to Tobin’s criticism, Morgan interjected and asked the MP about Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s trip to Hawaii amid the bushfires.

“You are facing now one of the greatest crises you have ever faced, and there is you… who still doesn’t think this has anything to do with a heating up (the) planet,” Morgan later said.

“Wake up.”

Although Kelly conceded the bushfire crisis was one of Australia’s worst natural disasters, Morgan blasted him and other senior politicians for denying there was a link between the crisis and climate change.

MP doubles down

Despite the tone of the interview, Kelly was adamant he hadn’t embarrassed the government, in an interview with ABC.

“He didn’t want to hear the truth, he didn’t want to hear the facts,” Kelly said of Morgan on Tuesday.

The MP also doubled down on his comments that high fuel loads were mainly to blame for the scale of the fires.

“You have to look at the science and what our scientists are telling us,” Kelly said.

Kelly also took to Facebook to hit back at Morgan, claiming the TV host “didn’t want to hear the facts”.

“He had no idea about Australia’s long history of bushfires,” Kelly wrote.

“He had no idea about the debate on hazard reduction burns, or the issue of fuel build up in our forests.

“He had no idea of Australia’s heavy expenditure on renewables over recent years (we’ve spent more per capita than anywhere in the world).”

Kelly also defended his decision to go on air, saying he needed to defend the government because it was under attack.

‘Let’s focus on people’

Senior government ministers are now distancing themselves from Kelly.

As recently as Sunday, the prime minister claimed his government had always made the connection between climate change and extreme weather conditions.

Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud described Kelly’s comments as a “sideshow”.

“He doesn’t represent the views of the government,” Littleproud told reporters on Tuesday.

“I couldn’t give a rats what he said, it’s irrelevant, let’s just focus on those people that are out there that need our help.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg also put Kelly at arms length from the government.

“Our view of climate change is that it’s real. We accept the science,” Frydenberg said.

‘Let’s just focus on those people … that need our help.’

While Frydenberg said fuel loads had been a factor in the bushfires, he said climate change was causing hotter, drier summers.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese said he despaired at Kelly’s comments.

“The tragedy is that he’s imposed those views along with a few others to ensure that Australia isn’t taking action,” Albanese said.

– With AAP

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