Analysis: As Fires Rage, Australia Sees Its Leader As Missing In Action

"The country is venting frustration with Prime Minister Scott Morrison over what many view as a nonchalant response to the disastrous blazes and his unwavering dismissal of climate change."

"HASTINGS, Australia — The posters have popped up on streets around Australia, showing the prime minister looking very tropical: floral wreath on his head, ocean-blue shirt open at the collar.

“MISSING,” they blared. “Your country is on fire.”

The immediate reference was clear. The prime minister, Scott Morrison, has been widely castigated for taking a vacation to Hawaii last month, and trying to keep it quiet, while Australia was in the early clutches of one of its most devastating fire seasons ever.

But the message went well beyond one island getaway. Angry and frightened, Australians have been venting their frustration with Mr. Morrison over what they see as his nonchalant and ineffectual response to the disastrous blazes and his unwavering dismissal of the force that has made them so intense: climate change."

Livia Albeck-Ripka, Jamie Tarabay, and Isabella Kwai report for the New York Times January 4, 2020.


"At Least 23 People Dead in Australia Bushfires As Blazes Continue Raging" (AP)

"Rain Brings Brief Respite In Australian Bushfire Crisis" (Reuters)

"Australia Begins Damage Assessment Amid Temporary Respite From Bushfires" (Reuters)

"Australian Prime Minister Morrison Defends Bushfire Crisis Response" (Reuters)

"Millions of Australians Are Choking on Smoke From Wildfires" (New York Times)

"Bushfires Rage Out Of Control Across Southeast Australia" (Reuters)

"How Have Australia’s Wildfires Affected You?" (New York Times)

"The Australia Wildfires in Pictures" (New York Times)

"Australia Bushfires Are Creating Their Own Weather Systems" (Reuters)

"'Silent Death': Australia's Bushfires Push Countless Species To Extinction" (Guardian)

Source: NY Times, 01/06/2020