Miranda Devine

Devine intervention

Miranda Devine sparked controversy by pre-emptively blaming green policy for the fires in the SMH last week. There was an outcry. I even wrote about it. I started following a fake Miranda Devine on Twitter (there’s also a fake Andrew Bolt) – but I can’t link to them because Twitter is down again.

The same venerated publication has another scribe – who leans more to the left – Elizabeth Farrelly. She fired this verbiage seemingly in the direction of her colleague in her take on events.

“Cut the trees! Burn the undergrowth! Hunt the sharks! Lynch the greens! Reprise, repay, repel. But in truth, to swim fish-filled, murky waters at twilight is to tattoo a big ‘BAIT’ sign on your behind. And to inhabit the bush, especially as climate change takes hold, is to make yourself fuel.

Certainly, we should feel compassion. And certainly, there should be regulations. Quite probably there should be more assiduous back-burning. But to blame green policies – to cull already endangered shark species, to reduce tree cover – is to blame nature for human folly.”

Now all the Herald’s big guns (except Annabel Crabb and Peter Hartcher who both write exclusively about politics) have had their say on the matter.

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.

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