On Monday’s Amanpour & Co., PBS host Christiane Amanpour devoted a segment to an Australian alarmist on global warming, trashing Australian prime minister Scott Morrison and blaming conservative skeptics in his country for the disastrous wildfires burning the countryside.
She began,as a transition from discussing Iran: “Now we turn to the other crisis already shaping the 2020s, and that is the apocalyptic wildfires which are decimating Australian flora and fauna.”
Not included on the show was the opposite point of view, which has recently been highlighted by the right-leaning Climate Deport, which argues not only that Australia’s current wildfires and high temperatures are not unprecedented, but that environmental activists are to blame for standing in the way of managing the nation’s forests to hinder the growth of wildfires.
Early on in the 13-minute segment, Amanpour asked her guest, Tim Flannery of Climate Council Australia, why “it is so bad this time around” in Australia, leading him to claim that his country has had the hottest and driest year “on record.” He also complained that the government has ignored the advice of environmental groups like his own:
TIM FLANNERY, CLIMATE COUNCIL AUSTRALIA: Look, we have had the driest year on record, and it follows the previous year which was very dry as well. This year has been the hottest year on record by quite a considerable amount — about one degree Fahrenheit. And those conditions, they’re part of the long-term trajectory of climate change, and have conspired together with a windy season to produce these horrific fire conditions, which have just gone on and on. And I should tell you that, you know, this was predicted by climate scientists — first in the early ’80s. My own Climate Council has produced 12 reports warning the government and warning people of the escalating fire risk and danger in Australia. And, sadly, until it hits, very little is done.
Without giving any actual challenge to his claims, Amanpour followed up: “Are you absolutely sure this is climate change-caused?” leading her guest to insist that he was correct, “the science is telling us this.”
Then came their attacks on Morrison:
AMANPOUR: How is this affecting the current prime minister, Scott Morrison? Because he’s never taken the science seriously. And I don’t even know whether he’s agreeing right now that these fires are exacerbated because of climate crisis and climate change. But how long can he persist in that policy and political stance, when the people, presumably people who also elected him, are feeling so angry? And, obviously, we have seen these pictures of him trying to meet with people, trying to go to the scenes. And people have been heckling him. Many have refused to shake his hand.
FLANNERY: Sadly, Christiane, it’s not just our prime minister. We have a significant minority of Australian parliamentarians who are welded-on climate skeptics. And even if the seas were lapping at their chain, and their hair was on fire as a result of climate change, I don’t think they would change their mind…I don’t think there’s a prospect for change. These people, if we want change, we have to vote them out and vote in a government that will take action.
AMANPOUR: Well, let’s just talk about the possibility of trying to get change in a responsible government. But to augment, to amplify what you have just said, Scott Morrison, your current prime minister, back in 2017, when he was treasurer of the nation, actually held up a lump of coal. And we know that coal — Australia is the biggest coal exporter. But he held it up. And we have a little clip of that…. What hope is there, when you have this kind of demonstration of, I guess, for a better word — want of a better word, an addiction, a national addiction, a political addiction to this fossil fuel?
At the end of the show, the CNN/PBS host returned to the climate issue, noting actress Jennifer Aniston read a left-wing message from Australian actor Russell Crowe at the Golden Globes. Amanpour concluded: “So that message getting out loud and clear, and Australia serving as an important reminder that we must all find a way to put differences aside to come together globally to tackle climate change. We’ve seen amazing leadership on this issue from young people the world over. And, like the strikers and the activists here on this show, we’ll continue to keep the issue front and center.”
With no debate.