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23 Dec, 2019 17:06

‘Not here to impress people overseas’: Australian PM smacks down Greta Thunberg’s bushfire criticism

‘Not here to impress people overseas’: Australian PM smacks down Greta Thunberg’s bushfire criticism

Australian PM Scott Morrison dismissed Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg’s condemnation of his handling of the bushfire “catastrophe,” saying he was prioritizing Australia’s interests over foreigner-friendly PR.

Thunberg has become a liberal icon and a mainstream media darling over her ‘crusade’ to tackle climate change issues. In a tweet on Sunday, she slammed politicians for failing to “make the connection between the climate crisis and increased extreme weather events and nature disasters like the #Australiafires.”

Weighing in on Monday, Morrison said in a press conference that he is not “here to impress people overseas.” Claiming he’s “here to do the right job for Australians and put them first,” the PM vowed not to “embrace reckless targets and abandon our traditional industries that would risk Australian jobs while having no meaningful impact on the global climate.”

We’ll do in Australia what we think is right for Australia.

Some 20,000 people are reportedly in the path of the largest of the fires, which has already destroyed an area the size of Massachusetts in the state of New South Wales alone since the abnormally early start to fire season this year. Morrison insists the cause is something other than climate change. 

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Record-high temperatures in some parts of the country have reached 47.9 degrees Celsius (118 Fahrenheit) as drought conditions plague the northern part of the country, and the fire danger rating is at its highest on record, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. 

That said, some Australians on social media rolled their eyes at the thought of Morrison doing what was best for them.

But not everyone was a fan of Thunberg’s catastrophizing, either.

While she continues to drum up support for her cause, Thunberg recently acknowledged that, despite more than a year of school strikes and climate marches, “from a certain point of view we have achieved nothing.”

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