Australia’s climate change-denying prime minister tries to dodge blame for fires
A wallaby hops across a road to flee a fire near Mangrove Mountain, north of Sydney, Dec. 10, 2019. | Rick Rycroft / AP

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison insisted that “blame doesn’t help anybody” on Sunday among increasing uproar over Australia’s apocalyptic wildfire outbreak. “Now is the time to focus on the response,” he said.

“Overanalysis of these things is not a productive exercise.”

Morrison also denied that his government had not acknowledged the link between climate change and the growing problem of drought and wildfires in Australia, though he did not address accusations that it was failing to do anything about them.

Morrison said at the weekend that 3,000 army, navy, and air force reservists will join the firefighting effort and firefighting aircraft would be leased from other countries. But critics said such measures should have been taken before, while he also faced accusations of “milking” the announcement for political purposes.

Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said he had learned about the military assistance from the press, saying it was “disappointing and some surprise to hear about these things through public announcements.”

Meanwhile, the Australia Defence Association criticized a government video about the deployment, describing it as “party political advertising milking Australian Defence Force (ADF) support to civil agencies” and “a clear breach of the non-partisanship convention applying to both the ADF and ministers.”

The human death toll climbed to 25 over the weekend, with a man in New South Wales suffocating while trying to put out flames engulfing the home of a neighbor and a father and son team, famed bush pilot “Desert” Dick Lang and his son Clayton, died fighting fires on Kangaroo Island.

The number of mammals, birds, and reptiles to have perished is estimated at half a billion, with conservationists on Kangaroo Island, an animal refuge and center of ecotourism, saying thousands of koalas and kangaroos have died while the critically endangered Kangaroo Island dunnart, a mouse-like marsupial species unique to the island, could have been exterminated.

The eight monitoring stations that had been set up to track the diminutive mammals have all melted.

The work of a 25-year conservation project to increase numbers of the glossy black cockatoo is believed to have been negated in a single week.

Morning Star


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Morning Star

The Morning Star is the socialist daily newspaper published in Great Britain.

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