Black mark on green movement

While the green movement are trying not to jump up and down screaming “I told you so” when it comes to climate change and the fires/floods covering parts of Australia at the moment, and the loony “Christian” fringe is out blaming abortion laws, the right wing of the Australian media is lining up its ducks and preemptively declaring it open season on the green argument.

Arch conservative Herald columnist Miranda Devine – the paper’s attempt at providing “balanced” coverage – has weighed into the debate early. Blaming the green movement for the fires. I’m unsympathetic to anyone trying to advance their ideologies on the basis of tragedy. And giving air to this just “fans that flame” so to speak. Perhaps a poor choice of words…

The Herald ran this story alongside a piece on a resident who became an environmental vandal hero – after illegally clearing trees on his property to create a firebreak.  Perhaps the Fairfax group has decided inflicting “earth hour” upon the whole world wasn’t enough to give their environmental credentials any credibility next to News Ltd’s “One degree” committment. Maybe they’ve decided to throw out the centre left contingency and pitch to the Telegraph’s established right wing core… but here’s some of what Miss Devine had to say (readers from Townsville should note that she’s the columnist who said people who live in the tropics shouldn’t get cyclone aid because of their choice to live in a cyclone zone)… She’s shaping up as the Germaine Greer of the right (funnily enough she’d consider Greer as a nemesis in the true sense of the word).

“It was the power of green ideology over government to oppose attempts to reduce fuel hazards before a megafire erupts, and which prevents landholders from clearing vegetation to protect themselves.

So many people need not have died so horribly. The warnings have been there for a decade. If politicians are intent on whipping up a lynch mob to divert attention from their own culpability, it is not arsonists who should be hanging from lamp-posts but greenies.

Governments appeasing the green beast have ignored numerous state and federal bushfire inquiries over the past decade, almost all of which have recommended increasing the practice of “prescribed burning”. Also known as “hazard reduction”, it is a methodical regime of burning off flammable ground cover in cooler months, in a controlled fashion, so it does not fuel the inevitable summer bushfires.”

Scarily, Devine actually makes a bit of sense regarding what is a stupid green policy. It’s just not the right time to be launching ideologically motivated political attacks.


Leah says:

Perhaps we could make it sound like the greenies of Victoria are being culturally insensitive to the traditional owners of the land who routinely back-burned for the good of the environment.

Leah says:

PS- “It’s just not the right time to be launching ideologically motivated political attacks.”

I don’t know. Is it really ideologically motivated? Or is motivated by the hundreds of people who needlessly died?

Nathan says:

I think Miranda’s track record on using both disasters and the green movement to generate controversy would suggest it’s ideological. I would say she’s engaged in some pretty cheap pointscoring against those she disagrees with by pinning the fires on them preemptively. There are a number of other factors in play here. Like arsonists. Wind. Heat. And possibly (although I’m unconvinced on this one) a miscalculation on the part of those issuing fire warnings and emergency instructions.