Pirate Party Australia comments on bushfires, climate, and misinformation

This was not the way to welcome the new year…

The bushfire crisis has put a spotlight on how the Coalition Government has tried to portray their diversionary heel-dragging as strategic action. It has exposed their hypocrisies in foreign and domestic policy, and shown how barren and self-serving their whole approach to governance has been and continues to be.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison previously waved around a lump of coal in Parliament, and former Coalition Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull lost the leadership when an anti-climate-change faction within the Liberal Party flexed its muscles.

Longstanding advice from the CSIRO has been ignored. [1] Ross Garnaut’s report has been ignored. [2] Recent attempts at communication by retired fire chiefs warning of the danger were also ignored. [3] Yet Prime Minister Morrison did find the time to talk to about 20 people in order to develop his religious freedom bill.

It all speaks to a Federal Government which has no credibility in engaging with the very real threats to Australia.

2019 was the hottest, driest year on record, [4] beating the previous record set in 1982. What these have in common is an adverse Indian Ocean Dipole, and while 1982 also had a more adverse El Nino Southern Dipole Oscillation, what made us break the record this year was global warming. If we were to have another year like 1982, the additional effect of global warming could produce a much worse fire season, possible worse than what we have seen in this season.

Australia puts out less than 1.5% of global emissions, but we’re also only 0.3% of the population. We must lead by example, rather than using “accounting tricks” to realise a goal which was set unduly low in the first place. We also give cover for the USA, which is responsible for 30% of emissions and has little respect for global agreements.

But rather than making a credible engagement with these issues, Prime Minister Morrison has jumped in front of the cameras to claim he is in control when convenient, and that it’s a state responsibility otherwise.

Fire fighters around Australia have helped contain the crisis, and we recognise and celebrate this contribution. We do not seek to take undue advantage of their efforts here, just recognise the efforts of senior fire fighters to draw attention to the connection with climate change.

We’ve seen many conspiracy theories and misinformation pushed by various right-wing media. Arson, [5] the Australian Greens, and insufficient hazard reduction burning are merely some of the more popular subjects – and disproven.

We all need to think carefully about what everyone is saying – and we invite the same scrutiny to our analysis as we invite to others. The Pirate Party’s nuanced perspective cuts through nonsense that dominates polarised and partisan political discussion. We invite you to check us out.

So we encourage all Australians to think about how other issues have been sidelined – through our mindless policy lockstep to the USA, through appeals to jobs or downplaying the impacts of climate change – while letting this looming crisis build up to the point it has.

[1] https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2020/01/21/bushfire-warning-30-years-ago/
[2] https://www.sbs.com.au/news/how-a-climate-change-study-from-12-years-ago-warned-of-this-horror-bushfire-season
[3] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-06/former-fire-chief-worried-about-firefighting-resources/11677760
[4] http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/annual/aus/
[5] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-11/australias-fires-reveal-arson-not-a-major-cause/11855022

2 thoughts on “Pirate Party Australia comments on bushfires, climate, and misinformation

  1. Australians like myself need to know how you are the same or different to the existing two coalition parties. Running federal government is the LNP. Opposition is the ALP-Greens.
    There are many Pirate Parties, world wide, as your website explains. How are they the same or different to the Greens?

    1. All political programmes are fundamentally a matter of priorities. Labor’s priorities come out of the union movement; the Greens’ priorities come out of the environmentalist and social justice movements. Ours come out of the civil liberties movement, especially as it intersects with the digital age, with a splash of technological utopianism too.

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