Australia doesn’t always make international headlines but this month, it has been hard to miss on the news. The country has been experiencing a devastating bushfire crisis.
Even before we left for our recent trip to the United States, the smoke haze was intolerable in our area and many had been affected by the disaster across our state of New South Wales. Some days are still smoky now but fortunately our city has not been on fire. Natasha and I had been watching the news and checking the Rural Fire Service app to see what was happening, however it wasn’t until we arrived in the United States that we understood just how big the disaster has been. On the ABC (US), it was reported on morning television that the affected land was equal to the surface area of 50 New York Cities.
I was staggered at just how many Americans were aware of the ongoing disaster. We also didn’t receive any of the expected questions about kangaroos on so on; instead, upon arrival we were asked constantly if our home and relatives were alright. We had to reassure a lot of people!
Without a doubt, climate change is playing a huge role in our current bushfire crisis. Like many others, I have been super-disappointed with successive governments’ approach to energy policy and addressing climate change. Over the years, both Labor and Liberal-National governments (our major parties) have failed to satisfactorily curtail Australia’s emissions.
Given the immense international interest in Australia’s current situation, I thought that I would share a fantastic, comprehensive video by comedic news site A Rational Fear. The team there has done a brilliant job of explaining Australia’s long-term political failure in conservation and energy policy. Narrated by Australian songwriter, entertainer and all-round genius, Tim Minchin, it fairly criticises both major parties and their efforts (or lack thereof).
Whilst it does exceed 10 minutes in duration, I strongly encourage you to watch it—whether or not you’re Australian. I’m sure that many people in other Western liberal democracies will be able to relate to the feeling of political disappointment. The Federal Government’s approach to bushfire relief certainly reeks of the same hopelessness that comes with the phrase ‘thoughts and prayers’ (when discussing the American gun crisis). I can’t help but feel that the current response is all that we can expect from a seriously conservative, Christian leader like Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Scientific evidence is naturally trumped by business interests and personal belief.
You can also view the video in its original post by talented writer/comedian/filmmaker Dan Ilic.