No doubt getting a few hints from her current squeeze, former Labor Climate Change minister Greg Combet, newsreader Juanita Phillips disappointed this particular viewer tonight by stringing up RFS Chief Shane Fitzsimmons like a kipper and leading him down the murky path to politicising the Blue Mountains bush fires.
Phillips used the interview as an opportunity to ask a barrage of questions about the effect of climate change, which Fitzsimmons was completely unqualified to answer. But don’t forget, in ABC land, being qualified to speak on climate only applies to sceptics, though.
The video isn’t up yet (which better demonstrates Phillips’ leading questions), but the story was trailed on the ABC News website:
Climate change is having an impact on every level of fire management, the New South Wales rural fire chief has said on the first anniversary of the Blue Mountains bushfires.
The NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said with more days of high fire danger, there is now a shrinking window of opportunity to carry out back-burning and other hazard reduction.
“If our window of opportunity continues to shrink, in order to get those really important pre-season activities underway then, yes, there’s a broader argument that needs to be had around matters of climate change and its effect on fire management and fire seasons,” he said.
Last year, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that senior UN official Christiana Figueres was “talking through her hat” when she said there was a clear link between climate change and the sort of bushfires seen in NSW.
Despite those comments, Commissioner Fitzsimmons said he was satisfied that climate change was being taken seriously enough at every level of government when it came to its impact on bushfires.
“Oh, absolutely, right across our industry, it is very much factoring into strategy, into resourcing, into policy development,” he said.
“I’m not aware of anyone that is ignoring the fact that climate is having an effect on fire management and the natural disasters landscape as a matter of fact, whether it’s here locally in NSW or at our national agenda.”
Hang on, that’s not the correct answer! You were expected to say something about the ‘denier’ in the Lodge…
Climate is but one tiny factor compared to others such as population growth in bush areas and a long-term failure to allow proper clearing and back burning – thanks to the ‘environmentalists’ who end up doing more harm than good…