Phil Coorey asked a good question at Morrison’s Press Conference Jan 5th 2020, taking the PM by surprise with his unexpected tack, when he asked the PM if, seeing that the PM belives that reducing Australia’s 1.3% world contribution of Greenhouse Gas emissions to zero would have no effect on Climate Change, then would Morrison pressure Trump to reduce the emissions of the USA. The answer from Morrison was of course no he wouldn’t.
If I was at the Press Conference I would have asked Morrison
- You have dismissed the advice of Greg Mullins, former NSW Fire Commissioner, as being irrelevant as he is ‘no longer in the job’ but you seek out the opinions of John Howard, a former Prime Minister, who is also ‘no longer in the job’. Isn’t that inconsistent ?
- You have stressed that management and delivery of services in the crisis is paramount and political aspects of the issue are meaningless and should not be discussed. If you then choose to seek the advice of unemployed former public servants wouldn’t the advice of Greg Mullins be more practical than the advice of John Howard ?
- Since you are in fact seeking the advice of John Howard in preference to that of Greg Mullins doesn’t this show that you are more interested in the political aspects of the crisis than in the practical aspects of the crisis ?
[By the way, notice that Morrison bit his lip when he admitted taking advice from John Howard on the fires. This was obviously a slip, an inadvertent admission from Morrison, and a fact which Morrison would prefer not to be known]
4. The Government agrees with Climate Change science and that the increased Bushfire Season length and intensity is a product of Climate Change. This being the case and considering the unprecedented nature of this year’s Bushfire Season shouldn’t the government call a moratorium on opening more domestic coal mines ? Bear in mind that Coal burned anywhere in the world affects Australia’s Bushfire Seasons.
5. Current Global Warming stands at approximately 0.9C and has produced these unprecedented fires and devastation. What can we expect from 1.5C (almost double) ? Bear in mind that effects of Global Warming increase geometrically, not linearly.
6. I understand the area burnt this season to currently stand at 6.3 million hectares. This is the close to the total area of Tasmania. Twice the size of Belgium. Larger than Croatia. 50% larger than Switzerland. What area would conceivably be burnt under 1.5C Global Warming ? Given this, could the Government consider foregoing the use of Kyoto Credits in order to do just a little more than the minimum in order to protect Australian lives, industry in property ?
7. In general, would the government consider doing more than the minimum necessary in order to protect Australian lives, industry in property ?
8. You have said that your climate policies will not be allowed to cripple traditional industries by which you mean coal. This years fires have savagely impacted upon industries such as wine (Adelaide Hills), agriculture (dairy and apples), tourism (compromised travel and inability to travel, 30% of NSW North Coast Koalas dead, destruction of resorts). Are wine, agriculture and tourism traditional industries ? Shouldn’t we protect all traditional industries or just coal ? If coal is destroying several other traditional industries shouldn’t we think twice about continuing with coal ?
9. In the planning for this year’s fires (around April 2019) you gave the Fire Services less than they asked for (no guarantee of permanent increased funding for aerial capacity just a one year top up) and now as the crisis has manifested you have given them much more than they have asked for (four planes instead of one). Isn’t this an example of policy-making veering between extremes which you always say should be avoided ? Why not just give the experts what they ask for ? Especially since the Fire Management asked for very little in Budgetary terms (just $11m per year ?)
10. Why was funding for aerial fire-fighting capacity allowed to degrade in the first place by freezing the budget for it in the several years up to 2018 ? Isn’t Fire-Fighting an essential service ?
11. You say that your government has both excellent economic management and excellent climate policies and these are in balance, delivering both outcomes. Is this excellent balance of economy and climate therefore evident in this unprecedented Bushfire crisis and if your policies and government continue should we expect more of the same ?