New South Wales and Queensland are in full blown bushfire emergency at the moment. The latest information we have from the east coast is that three people have lost their lives and five others are missing, upwards of 150 homes have been destroyed, and three fires out of more than 60 that are still burning are classified as emergency level. In Western Australia, they’ve just downgraded a fire that was threatening lives just north of Perth.
The bulk of the bushfires are around Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour in New South Wales, but almost everywhere between Sydney and Brisbane is affected. In fact, for the first time since the new fire ranking system was introduced in 2009, Sydney and the surrounding regions will be put on a catastrophic fire alert. This has lead to New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian calling a State of Emergency in the last hour.
The word that is being used over and over again to describe these fires is “unprecedented”, and we’re only at the very beginning of the bushfire season. Summer doesn’t officially begin for another two weeks, why are we seeing emergency level bushfires this early on?
The obvious answer if you’ve ever listened to a single scientist is that climate change is starting to have devastating impacts on our world. Only last week a group of 11 000 scientists declared a climate emergency and warned of “untold suffering” in the face of the climate crisis.
But if you’ve decided to ignore science then maybe you’ll agree with our Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack.
By the way, Michael McCormack is the man who replaced Barnaby Joyce after he was caught rooting his media advisor. No stress if you don’t know who he is, not that many people do.
Anyway, he’s come out this morning and declared that trying to link these bushfires to climate change is “woke capital-city greenies ravings” in a media conference, clearly doing great things for his non existent personal profile.
Linking these bushfires to climate change is the only sensible conclusion, not a political stance. Realising that climate change, the current drought, and emergency level fires beginning so early in the year are all related to each other isn’t something that determines where you sit on the political scale.
Listening to scientists about natural disasters feels like something that should transcend politics. Someone should probably tell Michael McCormack, but something tells me he won’t listen.