Littleproud fiddles while Australia burns

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Image by Dan Jensen

As bushfires ravage Queensland and NSW, David Littleproud and the entire Coalition appear deaf, dumb and blind to manmade climate change, and the devastating consequences of their coal-loving actions, writes executive editor Michelle Pini.

YOU'VE GOT to hand it to David Littleproud. It’s a rare person who can stand in front of a nation burning before his eyes under raging bushfires, and pronounce proudly (pun intended) that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade” — and that the question is “irrelevant”.

Indeed, when asked about the role of climate change in the Queensland and New South Wales fires – currently even devastating a rainforest – Minister for Water Resources, Drought, Rural Finance, Natural Disaster and Emergency Management David Littleproud stated that it was not one of his “major concerns”.


Questioned by David Speers as to whether the fires could be attributed to the effects of man-made climate change, the Minister responded:

“I’ve got no idea…


I’m not a scientist, I haven’t made an opinion one way or the other.


... I don’t have an opinion but I don’t think it really matters.”

Not that anyone is claiming that Littleproud is a scientist. Most would indeed agree he has “no idea”. And perhaps only few would suggest his opinion should matter. Unfortunately, as he and his climate change denying Government continue to ignore the ravages of our climate emergency, his ill-informed opinion does matter.

Firstly, he is being paid to be apprised of the facts — with a whopping base salary (not including expenses) of $211,250.


Secondly, informed he has been. His Government’s own Climate Change Authority is preparing a report to advise on ‘Australia’s response to climate change’.

This, then, would be regarding our responsibilities under the Paris Climate Agreement, which states:

‘In 2013 the IPCC provided more clarity about the role of human activities in climate change when it released its Fifth Assessment Report. It is categorical in its conclusion: climate change is real and human activities are the main cause.’

Currently, 97 per cent of the world’s climate scientists agree that climate change is manmade. The world has known of the anthropomorphic effects of climate change for 30 odd years.

Certainly, the world has known since 2009, as this statement from the NASA website indicates:

‘Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver.’

~ 'Statement on Climate Change from 18 Scientific Associations', 2009

This is only one of 200 international scientific organisations listed by NASA ‘that hold the position that climate change has been caused by human action'.

But we need to remember who we are dealing with.

Littleproud also said of the SA Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission Report:

“There are 750 pages, nearly, to read. It would be very pre-emptive to make any assumptions from me.”

Naturally, since some of the words might be too big for the Minister.

But Littleproud is not alone.


His idiotic comments regarding the role of manmade climate change on the current fire events were, as this Guardian report, states:

‘... supported by the Nationals Deputy Leader, Bridget McKenzie, the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Matt Canavan and the Environment Minister, Sussan Ley, all of who denied knowledge of or downplayed the link.’

Given Mr Littleproud and Co’s serious reading problem, perhaps a mandatory comprehension test should be administered as a prerequisite for parliamentary office in future?

This Coalition Government’s response to escalating natural disasters that endanger us all – such as the current bushfires burning out of control and predicted to continue for weeks across two states – is nothing short of negligent.

David Littleproud wants to give the country “tools to adapt”.

Energy and Emission Reduction Minister Angus Taylor wants to mine more fossil fuels.

And the Prime Minister wants us all to “pray for rain”.

In the tale of Roman Emperor Nero, it is alleged that he played the fiddle while Rome burned in the Great Fire of AD 64. It is also believed that Nero accused Christians of starting the fire to remove suspicion from himself and then proceeded to burn many of them alive. The fiddle – which had then not yet been invented – is just a colourful analogy for the fact that he stood by and played with ... something ... as he did bugger-all to help. Sound familiar?

With this Government in charge of our precious natural resources and our precarious position with regard to climate change, it’s a pretty sure bet we will all go out in a laydown misère.

Slow clap for David Littleproud and the Morrison Government, Australia.

This is only half the story! The other part of this editorial may be read in the IA members-only area. It takes less a minute to subscribe to IA and costs as little as $5 a month, or $50 a year — a small sum for superb journalism and lots of extras.

You can follow executive editor Michelle Pini on Twitter @vmp9. Follow Independent Australia on Twitter at @independentaus and on Facebook HERE.

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