9 January 2020

Ben Jenkins has written a seething commentary on the Morrison Government’s bushfire response: “It’s not just that they ignored warnings about this specific fire season, though they did; nor is it that they denied funding to the rural fire services when they begged for it, although they also did that. It’s that from the moment the country started to burn, the people who run it have done everything in their power to ignore the true scope of the catastrophe — even as the blaze spread, the air grew thick with smoke and people began to die. … But this isn’t about people, it’s about ideology, and to accept the unprecedented scale of the fires and act accordingly is to accept that the climate is changing and something needs to be done. That’s it. … And so warnings weren’t heeded, rescue efforts weren’t funded, Hawaiian jaunts weren’t called off, not through incompetence, but through sheer bloodymindedness. If you take one thing away from all of this, know that there are people in both the government and the media who would sooner see the country burn than confront the enormity of this problem.” Read the whole article for a disheartening summary of the government’s appalling behaviour so far — and remember, “There are two more months of summer left.”