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If we can’t talk about climate change now, when can we?

With NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian calling a state of emergency over the bushfires currently ravaging NSW and QLD (stay safe and up to date here), both the NSW and Australian government seem hellbent on ignoring the causation behind increasing global temperatures and unprecedented weather conditions. For reasons unbeknownst to us, the Australian government take the existential threat of climate change as some sort of political attack instead of the global threat it actually is.

Photo by AAP

When the effects are being felt the hardest, the government are quicker than ever to duck and weave the climate change question.

When quizzed on the cause of the bushfires on ABC Breakfast the other morning, NSW Premier Berejiklian said:

“There’s no doubt drought has contributed to the conditions… but I don’t think it’s appropriate to get into a political argument as to what the causes are at this stage.”

Watch the whole interview below:

Deputy PM Michael McCormack even launched a scathing tirade against climate change activists on Monday, labelling them “raving inner-city lunatics” and attacking Greens Leader Richard Di Natale for trying to “score political points”. The Greens have long held their pro-climate position, but that might have less to do with holding constituencies and more to do with pockets lined with hemp, rather than fossil fuel money.

Even Prime Minister and coal aficionado Scott Morrison could offer little more than “thoughts and prayers” as he visited fire-ravaged communities on Monday.

Despite these being buzzwords of the American gun epidemic plaguing his counterpart’s administration, one only has to look at their results to see it’s nothing more than a concise, three-word cop-out.

Maybe instead he should be praying for better foresight.

After all, the Liberal and National government of NSW cut 75.2% of the Rural Fire Service budget this year, a decision panned by the Opposition and The Greens. But hey, I guess they were just “scoring political points.”

If you asked the Australian Government to fix your leaky tap, they’d give you a bucket instead of a plumber.

With hundreds of homes destroyed, three people dead and the Sydney CBD waking up to an ominous haze of smoke, is it ever going to be a good time to talk about climate change?

The government won’t address it now in the middle of its most devastating effects, but they flagrantly dismiss it when it appears to lie dormant. Morrison has consistently ignored calls to act on climate change, and dodged requests to meet with the Emergency Leaders for Climate Action since April; a group that contains twenty-three former senior fire and emergency services leaders. One must wonder how long we can keep mudslinging before the world is too dry to produce any.

It would be amiss and arguably unfair to claim that the PM doesn’t care about the fate of the average Australian; he deserves the benefit of the doubt. However, climate change may just be the sword his government falls on.

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November 12, 2019