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Australia Scott Morrison should listen when top fire chiefs call him out on climate change

02:00  15 november  2019
02:00  15 november  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

PM, NSW premier visit fire zones

  PM, NSW premier visit fire zones Prime Minister Scott Morrison and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian have been briefed on the bushfires during a visit to northern NSW.Prime Minister Scott Morrison and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian have learnt first hand the difficulties firefighters are facing trying to tackle the raging fires in the north of the state.

Scott Morrison has been labelled “ out of touch” for angrily condemning a national student strike to He said the government was acting on climate change through initiatives such as the emissions I'm striking from school to protest inaction on climate change – Australian students should too | Greta

The former fire chiefs had two requests for the government: more resources for firefighters ; take on “the fundamental problem” of climate change . Mullins said he was told the energy minister, Angus Taylor, would speak to him and the water minister, David Littleproud, has set a meeting.

When five former fire chiefs held a news conference on Thursday to urge the Federal Government to take more action on climate change, it was a challenging moment for Scott Morrison.© ABC News Images When five former fire chiefs held a news conference on Thursday to urge the Federal Government to take more action on climate change, it was a challenging moment for Scott Morrison. When five former fire chiefs held a news conference on Thursday to urge the Federal Government to take more action on climate change, it was a challenging moment for Scott Morrison.

Those who fronted the cameras represented a group of 21 men and two women, who make up the Emergency Leaders for Climate Action. These people have led fire and emergency services all around the nation.

They're powerful voices, because they are advocates with compelling experience and expertise.

'Climate change is real, can't you see!' Scott Morrison is heckled by an environmental activist during a briefing about the bushfires

  'Climate change is real, can't you see!' Scott Morrison is heckled by an environmental activist during a briefing about the bushfires Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been heckled by a climate change activist during a briefing about the difficulties firefighters are facing trying to tackle fires across NSW.Prime Minister Scott Morrison and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian have learnt first hand the difficulties firefighters are facing trying to tackle the raging fires in the north of the state.

Climate change policy is a first-order issue for many companies. While no coal- fired power When Morrison says “What about?” and lectures CEOs it’s vital that we call him out and With above example, the Greens member can join climate protests, write climate change articles, and more.

Scott Morrison has resisted conservatives’ calls to withdraw Australia from the Paris climate agreement but ruled out providing more money to Last week the One Nation leader, Pauline Hanson, wrote to Morrison complaining that Australians were not aware when the government signed up to

The group's messages are that we're in "a new age of unprecedented bushfire danger", climate change is the key reason things are getting worse, and the Government needs to respond with more resources and a better policy to reduce emissions and move to clean energy.

The problem is, as group founder Greg Mullins, former Fire and Rescue NSW commissioner, put it succinctly, "this Government fundamentally doesn't like talking about climate change".

The devastating fires are a dramatic additional element intensifying the pressure on a Government already increasingly on the back foot over climate change, as it responds poorly to a complex set of policy problems.

It's not that Morrison denies climate change. It's that he refuses to acknowledge it as a central issue, either because he doesn't see it as such or because he fears provoking his right-wingers.

Climate change talk inappropriate: premier

  Climate change talk inappropriate: premier NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says questions about the links between climate change and the state's unprecedented bushfires are 'inappropriate'.With firefighters continuing the battle to save lives and homes, now is not the time to be talking about the impact of climate change, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian insists.

scott morrison , religious freedom, climate change , australia kyoto, australia paris accord, scott That hasn’t been successful," he said, in a reference to the government’s internal row on climate policy and Mr Morrison has singled out the CFMMEU’s Victorian construction secretary, John Setka, as

Scott Morrison rejected two meetings with former fire boss, it was reported. Liberal MP Jason Falinski defended the PM and called him a 'very busy man'. A former top firefighter claims he and 22 emergency services chiefs were 'fobbed off' by Prime Minister Scott Morrison when they penned

When five former fire chiefs held a news conference on Thursday to urge the Federal Government to take more action on climate change, it was a challenging moment for Scott Morrison.© ABC News Images When five former fire chiefs held a news conference on Thursday to urge the Federal Government to take more action on climate change, it was a challenging moment for Scott Morrison.

Scott Morrison must consider these three factors

Consider three factors now weighing on Morrison:

1. Activism In Australia (as internationally) activism is rising. This should be broadly defined.

Put aside the Extinction Rebellion, which may alienate more people than it persuades. Rather, include in the definition the many companies now factoring climate change into their planning, investment and public statements.

Morrison might rail against activists hitting resource companies via secondary boycotts, and commentators might denounce so-called "woke" behaviour by business. But the long view indicates a tide is running here and its direction is clear.

2. Poor policy

Second, there is a general recognition the Government's climate policy is badly wanting. Emissions are rising. Its modest centrepiece — a fund paying for projects to reduce or capture emissions — isn't doing the job. The fund's limitations were tacitly acknowledged when recently the Government set up a panel that sought submissions on how it could be enhanced.

More broadly, the Government's lack of a coherent energy policy means continued uncertainty for investors.

3. Is Angus Taylor right for the job? Third, Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor has frustrated those in the energy sector and the states.

He's too confrontational and short on people skills (in contrast to predecessor Josh Frydenberg).

His cheap shot accusing the Sydney City Council of ludicrous travel costs blew into a major embarrassment.

Next Friday, Taylor will again be under scrutiny when he meets the states at the COAG energy council. The last meeting, nearly a year ago, turned into a nasty stoush between Taylor and the NSW minister.

If Taylor's performance doesn't improve in the next few months, Morrison — who will be the one eventually carrying the can for policy failure — surely should move him.

Regional mayors criticise politicians for failing to link climate change and deadly bushfires

  Regional mayors criticise politicians for failing to link climate change and deadly bushfires Michael McCormack says those trying to link climate change and bushfires are "woke greenies" — but mayors from fire-ravaged areas of NSW say there is no doubt in their minds that the devastating blazes tearing through their communities are a result of climate change. © ABC News Images Mayors from fire-ravaged areas of New South Wales have said there is no doubt in their minds that the devastating blazes tearing through their communities a Their comments are a rebuke to senior leaders within the state and federal governments, including Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Deputy PM Michael McCormack, who

Thousands of students join climate protest – video. Thousands of schoolchildren across Australia The prime minister, Scott Morrison , had earlier this week urged students this week not to take part I'm striking from school to protest inaction on climate change – you should too | Greta Thunberg.

UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says coal- fired electricity must end by 2050 if we This IPCC report confirms that loss and damage resulting from climate change will only worsen with Claire Perry, minister for energy, has put out a brief statement. This report should act as a rallying cry

It would be interesting to see how (say) a Simon Birmingham or a Mathias Cormann would go in the portfolio. Better, you'd think.

It's no time to play politics It was no wonder Morrison wanted to contain partisan argument while the fires rage.

It's a reasonable view for a prime minister to take, with a basis in past practice, but was also politically driven.

Morrison has been assisted in this by Labor, despite the ALP recently voting in Parliament (without success) for a "climate emergency" to be declared.

Anthony Albanese believed there was no gain in seeking to score points during a disaster, and danger in doing so.

But a moratorium, although mostly adhered to by Liberal and ALP federal politicians, was never going to happen more generally.

Indeed some people, like the retired fire chiefs, judged this was precisely the moment to press their point.

It was predictable the Greens would strike hard; climate is core ground for them.

But that Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack would take the bait, leaping in to condemn "the ravings of some pure enlightened and woke capital city greenies", showed a lack of discipline, probably in part a reflection of the strain the Nationals leader is under as he tries to manage a difficult party room.

Some believed McCormack was playing to his base.

Former fire chiefs 'tried to warn Scott Morrison' to bring in more water-bombers ahead of horror bushfire season

  Former fire chiefs 'tried to warn Scott Morrison' to bring in more water-bombers ahead of horror bushfire season Twenty-three former fire and emergency leaders say they tried for months to warn PM Scott Morrison that Australia needed more water-bombers to tackle increasingly severe bushfires.Former New South Wales Fire and Rescue chief Greg Mullins — one of the founders of the Emergency Leaders for Climate Action Group — said the group sought a meeting with the Federal Government to discuss the issue in April and again in May, immediately after the federal election.

Climate change is an existential threat to the human race. In Australia, the government of Scott Morrison must deal with the reality of climate change in the form of droughts and wildfires, but is at the same time denying any responsibility for the effects of its own actions when they worsen the situation.

Scott Morrison has urged politicians to end the bickering over the link between climate change and natural disasters as bushfires burn out of control Prime Minister Scott Morrison has addressed the “vile” comments made by MPs as Australia battles one of the worst bushfires in its history.

If so, he'd only be talking to part of it, most notably those with an eye to the coal industry. Many farmers are very aware, first-hand, of the impact of the changing climate.

Labor's demographic dilemma After its election loss, there's been much talk about how Labor is caught between its dual constituencies on climate — inner-city progressives versus traditional suburban workers.

But the Liberals face their own dilemma, which could deepen as the issue amps up in the electorate.

We have seen over many years the split within the Liberal party, and the very high costs it has extracted. As Morrison assesses how to pitch to voters in the future, he might have to be careful of straining internal unity.

Over coming months, the fires' impact on public opinion will presumably be measured in the focus groups through which the Government hears its "quiet Australians".

More immediately, Morrison won't be able to escape a response when this crisis passes. His moratorium will make expectations greater.

Time for an armistice? John Connor was formerly chief executive of the now-defunct Climate Institute, which commissioned from the CSIRO a 2007 research paper — that turned out to be prescient — on the link between climate and bushfires, titled Bushfire Weather in South-East Australia: Recent Trends and Projected Climate Change Impacts.

Connor, who now heads the Carbon Market Institute (which describes itself as a peak industry body for climate action and business) suggests the current situation provides the opportunity for an "armistice" — a chance to build a platform on the middle ground for the climate debate.

One step, Connor said, would be for the Government to establish a parliamentary inquiry to examine the growing risk climate change presents for the fire scene and the resources required for the future.

"It could be a stepping stone to a more mature debate about carbon policy for the broader economy," Connor said, although he admits he is "a professional optimist".

The Government's former drought coordinator, Stephen Day, wrote in his report, finally released last week: "As a consequence of climate change drought is likely to be more regular, longer in duration, and broader in area."

What's striking about Day's observation is how matter-of-fact it is.

Climate change is stated as a reality from which other considerations flow. The same reality applies to bushfires.

It also applies to the need to move the economy to a new energy mix and net zero emissions by 2050.

Michelle Grattan is a professorial fellow at the University of Canberra and chief political correspondent at The Conversation, where this article first appeared.

No link between Australia's climate policies and bushfires: PM .
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has declared there is no direct link between Australia's climate policies and the severity of bushfires. Mr Morrison said to suggest Australia - accountable for 1.3 per cent of the world's emissions - is impacting directly on specific fire events "doesn't bear up to credible scientific evidence".Until now, Mr Morrison had been reluctant to weigh in on the climate debate arguing it wasn't the appropriate time to have those discussions.

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