Pouring Coal on the Fires, Aussie PM Rejects Climate Solutions as Country Burns

As Australia endures ongoing wildfires that have choked out cities with smoke and are incinerating wildlife habitats, Prime Minister Scott Morrison made clear that he would not entertain any curtailment of coal production—a signal to observers that the country’s leader isn’t willing to take seriously the threat of the climate crisis. 

Morrison on Monday rejected calls to slow Australian coal production, saying such a move would be to “engage in reckless and job-destroying and economy-crunching targets which are being sought.”

Greenpeace Australia Pacific head David Ritter found the statement flabbergasting.

“Staggering egotism atop monumental negligence,” tweeted Ritter.

As Common Dreams reported Saturday, Australia’s fires have ringed the continental country and claimed the lives of at least two firefighters. The infernos have destroyed much of the koala habitat on the country’s east coast. 

The prime minister’s love of his country’s coal industry, paired with his denial of the climate crisis, drew the ire of  journalist Christian Schwägerl.

“Statements from Scott Morrison and his support for new coal mines give the impression that it’s way too cold in Australia and not enough forest has burnt down,” said Schwägerl.

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