A firefighter’s brutally honest social media post has gone viral after he addressed the hot topics the world is discussing as Australia’s bushfire crisis continues to make headlines.
Firefighter Drew has spent the last decade as a WA firefighter.
In an emotional Facebook post on Tuesday, the firefighter bluntly addressed issues surrounding the fires around the country.
“I've felt a strong need to say something here because I just can't stomach some of the false science and outright lies being peddled on social media as news or facts,” he posted.
The humble hero prefaced the lengthy post by saying that being a firefighter didn’t give him complete insight into such a complex issue – but he shared his views on hazard reduction burning, climate change and who is the blame for the crisis.
More hazard reduction burning
The firefighter said he believed the Greens were not responsible for stopping hazard reduction burning and “we should absolutely do more of them”.
“Yes, the weather extremes and droughts have significantly reduced the window in which it is safe to perform these burns,” he wrote.
“Yes, the state governments need to invest more money.”
He then said the state of NSW would need to increase the budget from $100 million to half a billion to fund the hazard reduction burns.
The experienced firefighter then said that Australia’s changing landscape meant hazard reduction burning needed to be managed differently as “conditions have been so bad this season that fires have still burnt through areas where hazard reduction burns were completed earlier in the year”.
Climate change doesn’t start fires
Drew then took on the topic of climate change and stated that while “climate change is contributing to increasing temperatures and increasing drought severity, which is creating worsening fire conditions” it was not starting fires alone.
“Lightening strikes, people, negligence etc.. is starting fires,” he wrote.
He warned however that ignoring science was not the answer.
“No one knows exactly how much climate change has contributed to exacerbating the conditions for this year's catastrophic fire season, however the best science available and scientific consensus is that there is an undeniable link,” he said.
Who is to blame for the bushfires?
The career firefighter reminded people that viral videos of people shouting their anger at different governments and political parties were “not facts about what caused these fires”.
“If you're left leaning and read Fairfax newspapers, you're more likely to blame ScoMo and the government right now for their response. If you're right leaning and read News Ltd newspapers you're more likely to blame the Greens right now for 'stopping' hazard reduction burns,” the firefighter wrote.
He said that he thought everyone, including himself, was bias.
A royal commission is the solution
The firefighter said he believed the best solution to address the bushfire crisis was a royal commission.
“Let's let impartial experts tell us what went wrong and how to act in response to it. I think you'll find we're all a little bit right as well as a little bit wrong,” he wrote.
He ended his post urging people to donate what they could.
“What can you do right now? F**king donate!! The Red Cross appeal, the Salvation Army, Wires, Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, your state Rural Fire Service. Whoever. Do your research and donate wisely,” he said.
Social media reacts to firefighter’s post
The post went viral overnight and has attracted thousands of comments praising his perspective.
“Perfect description from someone we (whether left or right leaning) ALL should listen to,” one person responded.
“Mate this is so spot on. Thank you for this message,” another added.
“Oh so true we, no matter our belief, have to pull together so blaming any one person right now isn't going to help,” somebody else wrote.
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