Politics

Steve Price Got Shut Down On ‘The Project’ For Arguing Fires Can’t Be Blamed On Climate Change

Price tried to shift the problem onto "fuel reduction." It didn't work.

Steve Price of 'The Project' on fires and climate change

Every time an opportunity comes up to properly talk about the effects of climate change, those on the right will try to pivot the conversation to literally anywhere else.

Case in point, Steve Price last night on The Project, and his attempt to redirect a conversation about the role of global warming in the NSW fires into a conversation about fuel reduction.

It’s inarguable: climate change has caused heavy drought, and heavy drought has made the fires start earlier and burn for longer.

But try telling that to Price, who used an interview with former commissioner of NSW Fire and Rescue Greg Mullins to trot out old myths about fires.

Chiefly, Price tried to pin the devastation of the blazes on a lack of fuel reduction. Fuel reduction is the process by which areas of woodland are burnt by artificial and controlled fires, to eliminate leaf litter and stop uncontrolled fires from spreading. It’s a practice that has come under closer scrutiny recently, as some have claimed that policies by environmental-friendly politicians has reduced the amount of fuel reduction that goes on.

That was the line that Price took.

“It’s this 5 to ten years worth of growth,” Price asked Mullins. “We haven’t had any fuel reduction, largely due to Green policies. Wouldn’t we be better having a strong, positive debate about that rather than going on about climate change?”

But Mullins wasn’t having any of that.

“That’s a fallacy, and it’s always trotted out at times like this,” he replied.

“It’s drier, and hotter. Round here, we’ve been trying to do hazard reductions all year. It’s either too wet or too hot and dry.”

“That’s not me saying that,” Price shot back. “There are firemen who’ve been posting that today. They’ve been saying it is so hot they can’t get to the fire because of the amount of fuel.”

“Again, I actually know the statewide picture of fuels,” Mullins replied. “Yes, there are some heavy fuels. These fires have covered half a million hectares, so of course they’re going to go into areas where there’s heavy fuels. You’ve got rainforests burning that have never burned before. That’s got to tell you something.

“Every time there’s major fires, the furphy about greenies and fuel reduction comes out. Yes, we need to do more fuel reduction. If only we had the windows to do it like we used to.”

Watch the whole exchange below: