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Thoughts, prayers and budget cuts

Crikey readers discuss federal and state mishandling of the bushfire crisis in New South Wales, and remain unconvinced by the Coalition's cheap response.

Climate change Australia
November 2018 bushfires in Salt Ash, NSW. (Image: AAP/Darren Pateman)

On the bush fires

Denise Marcos writes: “Thoughts and prayers” are weasel words, but one fears that trite phrase has been elevated to official Coalition policy to address our bushfire/climate emergency. The Morrison cabinet may as well perform a rain-dance, it would be equally (in)effective.

John Gleeson writes: “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.” — Noam Chomsky. Don’t talk about gutting state fire services funding; don’t talk about the effects of climate change, don’t mention the additional difficulties caused by drought — focus instead on the bravery of the firefighters and describe anything outside the narrative as “disgusting” and the work of “raving inner-city lunatics”. And don’t forget to offer “thoughts and prayers” to those affected, whilst making the most of the photo opportunities.

Geoffrey Wright writes: This is what you get from conservative governments ’cause its all about the bottom line. They think government is a business and its more important to balance the books than to have a balanced society. Ideology and idiotic denialism sees us faced with a climate we hardly recognise and which is set to only get worse. When will these faith followers place their faith in science?

Marcus Hicks writes: Of course, whilst they claim it’s “not the right time to talk about climate change”, it is apparently always the right time to peddle the far right myth that the Greens are somehow preventing hazard reduction burns, and that this is allegedly the real reason the fires are so bad. I didn’t realise a minor party which lacks power at the state and federal level could have so great an influence on public policy… whilst being simultaneously unable to use that influence to stop coal mining!

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