George W Bush’s failure to immediately recognise a catastrophe during Hurricane Katrina tells us what problems are created by Scott Morrison’s perplexing failures of political and policy judgement
Nobody cares about the Prime Minister’s problems when their house is under threat, or they feel their lives are in danger. They want to know what is being done to help them.
This is highlighted when comparing the current disaster to recent events from around the world.
To give some scale to what has happened here so far, international media outlets have been reporting the 2018 California fires burnt 2 million acres; the 2019 Amazon fires 2.2 million; and the 2019 Siberian fires 6.7 million.
Tingle explains that the biggest problem that Morrison has is that his policy cupboard is bare.
When you look, it turns out that the policy cupboard is pretty bare. The Government’s quarterly figures on what has driven emissions lists figures without any real obvious help from government policy.
The real challenge according to Tingle is when the current crisis is over and we are forced to reimagine life in Australia as we know it.
The real test, however, may not be on what the Government does on cutting emissions, but on how it leads us to confront the sorts of brutal adaptations current events show us we now face: not just the immediate effects of disasters, but the questions they raise like building standards, towns that governments will not able to afford to rebuild, and communities that have run out of water.
This piece follows up from an earlier piece in which Tingle questions the way in which Morrison has responded.