Deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce (Image: AAP)

With global warming passing 1 degree and inarguably contributing to the recent, devastating bushfires, Australia’s politicians are falling over themselves to avoid blame for their inaction.

Crikey checks in to see how they’re all going…

We haven’t had the capacity to easily access reduction burns because of all of the paperwork that is part of [Greens] policy.

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Barnaby Joyce

Joyce was joined by Steve Price, Miranda Devine, and a single politically useful hippy in blaming the Greens’ fuel reduction policies. It’s a furphy in that a) the Greens support controlled burns; b) the party has not had the power to reduce them; and c) fire authorities have already conducted them, but were restricted by earlier than normal fires and cuts from the NSW Coalition government.

Joyce also threw the sun’s magnetic fields into the mix. Never stop muddying the waters, Barnaby!

We are making sure we meet all our international obligations.

Michael McCormack

Alongside his attacks on “raving inner city lunatics”, the deputy prime minister repeated Scott Morrison’s (false) claim that Australia will meet its Paris target (even with our credit cheat).

[The Bureau of Meteorology is rewriting records] to fit in with the global warming agenda.

Gerard Rennick

Sky News reporter Tom Connell did a terrific job of fact-checking Rennick’s claim from March, forcing the Liberal senator to admit he hadn’t bothered to read BOM’s explanation for data homogenisation, just a conspiracy theory from an IPA wonk at The Spectator.

Tony Abbott didn’t deny climate change … and there is no one in the government who doesn’t accept it.

Jason Falinski

Almost everything the moderate Liberal tried to spin on Q&A has been called out as false: that emissions and energy prices are falling; there are no denialists in the Coalition; the government isn’t trying to subsidise new coal power; and that Labor’s Renewable Energy Target had nothing to do with recent investment growth.

If Australia hadn’t repealed the Gillard government’s carbon tax would we have been spared the current fires?

Alexander Downer

The former foreign minister tried to deflect from Australia’s (and particularly the Coalition’s) inaction by deploying the tired “what difference would it make?” defence. Of course, literally no one is claiming that Australia is the sole contributor to climate change, just that the world’s largest coal exporter should maybe have a climate policy beyond “magic dirt“.

If it weren’t for the Green party’s political opportunism in 2009-10, we would now be 10 years into an emissions trading scheme… 

Kevin Rudd

Rather than take the fight to the party responsible for five years of emissions increases, Rudd, Joel Fitzgibbon and Craig Emerson have all complained about the Greens’ “hypocrisy” for rejecting the 2009 Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

Nevermind that the scheme was a) condemned by climate experts for its generosity to polluters and “pathetically low” target b) shelved by Rudd himself after being knocked back twice by the Senate c) replaced with an extremely effective, Labor-Greens carbon price in 2011 or d) happened a goddamn decade ago.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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