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Why Australia Is Burning

Why Australia Is Burning

Update: 2020-01-1354
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Wildfires are devastating Australia, incinerating an area roughly the size of West Virginia and killing 24 people and as many as half a billion animals. Today, we look at the human and environmental costs of the disaster, its connection to climate change and why so many Australians are frustrated by Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s response. 

Guest: Livia Albeck-Ripka, a reporter for The Times in Melbourne a reporter for The Times in Melbourne who spoke with Susan Pulis, a woman who fled the fires with kangaroos and koalas in her car. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily

Background reading: 

  • After Australia’s hottest and driest year on record, Mr. Morrison has minimized the connection between the wildfire crisis and climate change and declined to make moves to curb the country’s carbon emissions.
  • Many Australians entered the new year under apocalyptic blood-red skies as smoke from the fires choked the country’s southeastern coast. “I look outside and it’s like the end of the world. Armageddon is here,” one woman in Canberra said.
  • The fires have burned through dozens of towns, destroying at least 3,000 homes. Now, unbridled by continuous fire fighting, the blazes have returned to some scorched areas to level what is left. 
  • Rupert Murdoch controls the largest news company in Australia, and his newspapers have contributed to a wave of misinformation about the cause of the fires. 
Comments (3)

Aaron Stone

What about the hundreds of people arrested for starting fires? 100 separate fires in Queensland alone. What are the statistical odds of that just happening from lighting? what about the gov't policies of fining people who cleared brush around their homes & now only their homes are left standing? this isn't investigative journalism. This is confirmation journalism.

Jan 16th
Reply

Kamil Zagorski

Ugh. Simply terrible. One sided bash on Australian PM Scott Morrison by his opponent. I recommend more balanced view presented by @sciencebrief published through Forbes for example. What is also grotesque in this podcast that somehow listeners are led to believe that Australia needs to take an immediate action on the climate crises implying we caused this calamity, while others China, US, Russia and so on are here to cheer us. Australia is much further ahead of majority of Paris Protocol countries incl US. https://climateactiontracker.org/countries/ so it is near comical to be lectured by US source on climate issues.

Jan 15th
Reply

Jonathan Petherbridge

Another of a half sorry...

Jan 14th
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Why Australia Is Burning

Why Australia Is Burning