Huge swaths of Australia’s eastern seaboard are on fire. My dad has evacuated his house. Sydney has been given a catastropic fire warning. The scale and intensity of the conditions are unprecedented. Yet Australia’s slobbering ruling class responded the same way Americans do after a shooting it’s not an appropriate time to discuss it. When is then?

New South Wales state deputy premier John Barilaro was quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald, without a trace of irony:

“It is an absolute disgrace to be talking about climate change while we have lost lives and assets, and I make no apology for that”

And Australia’s deputy prime minister Michael McCormack, as quoted in SBS News, where irony wasn’t so much absent but beaten into submission with clichés:

“We’ve had fires in Australia since time began, and what people need now is sympathy, understanding, help and shelter … They don’t need the ravings of some pure, enlightened and woke capital city greenies at this time.”

I’ll have you know, us people concerned for the well-being of rural folk under a changing climate are latte sipping pinkie-up smashed avo-eating champaign socialists as well. It’s why we can’t afford million dollar houses.

Commentators and journalists are ascribing malicious intent or wilful ignorance, but it’s just as likely they’re entirely out of their depth. Either way, we’re beyond merely wishing for introspection or intelligent debate now; these politicians have demonstrated they’re dangerously unqualified.