I once set a fridge on fire. It was knackered and laying on its side in the Tasmanian wilderness when we found it, having assumably ceased to keep things cold at some point in its life. We had spent the afternoon tearing up 4WD trails and drinking many litres of beer but now, the light was rapidly vanishing behind the mountains in the west. It was getting colder, and as it was already cold (being Tasmania), we had no desire to get any colder. So we had managed to extract some petroleum from the fuel tank to burn. We struggled to keep a flame against the strong, icy breeze so we had the brilliant idea of using this fridge as a fire pot. Before we knew it, there was black smoke billowing out of it uncontrollably.
That night was fun. Not because we set the fridge on fire, but the 4WDing itself was great. I quite enjoy driving down seemingly impossible paths and drinking my weight in alcohol. Maybe it’s in my blood or perhaps I was more carefree back then than I am now. Either way, I’d like my kids to be able to enjoy the same things I have. It is also important to me that maintain a healthy respect for the environment in which they are doing it. I don’t think you have to be a koala-shooting redneck to enjoy these kinds of things. If done in the same place and care is taken not to throw stuff out the windows and what not, I think the impact is fairly manageable. The fridge fire was an accident ok? Don’t do that.
This week, bushlands like the one I used to enjoy has been burning uncontrollably, taking lives and homes with it. It has been a really dark time for all of us Australians. Social media has been absolutely awash with politically polarised ideas on who is to blame. I have seen videos of people just yelling at a camera about who they think is to blame for the current events.
In general, there seems to be two sides to the argument:
- “The Greenies did it! They let our dead wood build up over time with their stupid environment policies and now the whole country is on fire and they are trying to cover it up!”
- “The climate is warming. We haven’t seen any rain in a year and the temperature of the planet is generally one degree warmer than it was in 1910”
So is the world going to superheat like an oven and cook us human beings like chooks? Or are we all just the victims of environmental extremism? It is hard for most people to get access to accurate information to answer this question for themselves. There are so many reasons to distrust the powers that be and X website tells you one thing while Y tells you another. Then you have the government swearing black and blue that they didn’t do it and the fault lies at the feet of the Greens. It’s an attractive idea to a lot of people because a simple line of reasoning clearly shows who is to blame. It’s unfortunate that is actually is not accurate. Here is an excerpt from the party’s website.
“Hazard reduction, including manual, mechanical and hazard reduction burning activities should be strategically planned to protect the community and vulnerable assets while minimising the adverse impacts of these activities on the environment;”1
Over the last week, I have spent a great deal of time trying to find any evidence at all that The Greens are responsible for this, but all that is available is Barnaby Joyce’s casual conjecture that “the two people that died were people who most likely voted for The Green party”[2. As this isn’t particularly compelling, that more or less makes this a conspiracy theory and I don’t much like conspiracy theories, but the reasons for that are for another time.
We have a government at the moment that is happy to exploit their people’s fear and completely ignore the global catastrophe that is looming around the corner and to be honest, it is becoming somewhat alarming. Every day that goes by with these people in charge pointing their finger at everyone but themselves while people’s lives are being destroyed is one more day we can’t get back.
If you have kids, you know that they can be little terrorists. One thing they like to do when they’re little and haven’t received the proper amount of discipline yet is lie. They say it was Suzie who ate all the chocolate cake, all the while their hands are covered in chocolate covered debris. We (hopefully) explain to our kids that finger pointing is bad, especially when it is unfactual.
Don’t you think it’s time we tell the liberals the same thing?
1: "Bushfire Risk Management | Greens NSW - Australian Greens." https://greens.org.au/nsw/policies/bushfire-risk-management. Accessed 17 Nov. 2019.
2: "Barnaby Joyce says NSW bushfire victims 'most likely ... - ABC." 12 Nov. 2019, https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-12/barnaby-joyce-greens-council-bushfire-victims/11696654. Accessed 17 Nov. 2019.