Australian news, and some related international items

Fire fighter’s anger at Scott Morrison, over climate change

cartoon – Reproduced with permission from Mark David and Independent Australia.

The Firefighter Whose Denunciation of Australia’s Prime Minister Made Him a Folk Hero New Yorker, By Amanda Schaffer, January 18, 2020 

Until a few days ago, Paul Parker was a volunteer firefighter in Nelligen, a small village on the coast of New South Wales, in Australia—an area that has been devastated by the bushfires currently sweeping the country. A week ago, Parker was defending homes in his community against a spreading inferno. The sky was red and burnt orange, he said. Embers were everywhere. Flames shot as high as forty feet. “I’ve fought a few bushfires in my time, but nothing like that,” Parker told me. “It’s the worst I’ve ever experienced.”
……In Parker’s community, and elsewhere, the crisis has provoked intense anger toward Morrison, who was on vacation in Hawaii when two firefighters died in December. Morrison returned to Australia, but his response to the wildfires has been widely condemned as slow and ineffective.

Since September, millions of acres of land have burned, thousands of people have lost their homes and businesses, and at least twenty-eight have perished.

Morrison’s history of skepticism toward climate change and the government’s record of inaction have infuriated Australians who understand that record-breaking heat and dryness, symptomatic of a warming planet, are fuelling the crisis. On Sunday, Morrison announced an inquiry into the country’s fire response, nodding to the role of climate change but failing to support policies to decrease fossil-fuel use or promote renewable energy……

“Then the wind changed, so the flames were fully involved across the road, and we had to drive the truck through the fire front to get ourselves out. We were driving to stop the fire from going into the village, and we saw a TV-news team down on one of the access roads. It just was a boiling point for me. I said, ‘Are you from the media? Tell the Prime Minister to go and get fucked, from Nelligen. . . . We really enjoy doing this shit.’ 

“A couple of weeks earlier, the Prime Minister commented that Rural Fire Service members enjoy going out and fighting fires. He’s just got no understanding of what it’s all about. We don’t enjoy fighting bushfires and saving people’s homes. We do it because we have to. He’s got no understanding of what real people in Australia go through. And he doesn’t care anyway. Any real man would never have left the country while his country was in turmoil…….

“Climate change is also a real thing. It’s not something that can be fixed overnight, and the government’s got to make a stand at some stage. Scott Morrison doesn’t even believe in climate change. I don’t think he even considers that we are going through climate change…….

January 20, 2020 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics

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