Tom Elliott calls for an end to ‘finger-pointing’ over bushfire crisis
As bushfires rage across Australia, public debate over the root cause of the fires has reached breaking point.
Tom Elliott is calling for the return of reasonable discussion about the fires.
“It seems our capacity to be objective about the fires has gone out the window,” the 3AW Drive host said.
“The fact is this: if you say that anything other than climate change is responsible for these bushfires you are branded a heretic.”
Tom was approached by a young man recently, who lambasted him for being complicit in climate change denial.
“He said anyone he perceived as right wing was pretty much personally responsible for the bushfires,” the 3AW Drive host said.
“Now, I try to do my bit, I’ve got solar panels on the house, I don’t drive cars too much, even thought I love cars. I asked him if he does any of these things and he said ‘oh that’s different, I haven’t got the money’.
“But he said ‘you’re responsible. You make people think the wrong way about fires.”
Tom says he’s not the only one who has been unfairly targeted.
“Kelly Slater, who is probably the world’s best ever surfer, was quoted recently after a surfing victory about the bushfires in Australia,” he said.
“He said there’s a lot of factors. There’s the drought, there’s farming practices, there’s burning off and bushfire management, that sort of thing, and he was slammed by a surfing magazine called Trax. Why? Because Trax says it’s 100 per cent climate change and if you’re not prepared to say that then you’re part of the problem!”
But public discourse around fires hasn’t always been so heated.
“In the old days, when we had bushfires we pulled together,” Tom said.
“I still remember well, not quite 11 years ago the Black Saturday bushfires here in Victoria.
“Afterwards there wasn’t all this finger-pointing and looking to blame people.
“Nowadays we’re not even halfway through the fire season and all people seem to want to do is point fingers of blame at each other.”
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Image (background): Darrian Traynor / Stringer