THE recent bushfire emergency, like any emergency, revealed the best and worst in our society.
On one side we had our firefighters, the hot wind in their blackened faces as their world turned red, bravely fighting back walls of leaping angry flames.
We hear about 500 lost homes, but how many houses (and lives) weren't lost due to these brave Aussies.
So, a big thank you to all the firies, particularly our Macarthur volunteers who travelled long distances to stand in harm's way and help others. You are an example of our very best.
But (yet again), some of our highly-paid pollies were examples of our very worst.
Them, and other strutting culture war heroes and shock jocks, using the fires to bicker and score cheap political points on the sidelines.
On the left, we had certain Greens suggesting that ScoMo and his government were "arsonists" responsible for all the fires, and one critic even slamming (some) firefighters - as they fought the flames - for (um, potentially) bashing their wives sometime in the future, by twisting a study into domestic violence.
Any domestic violence is serious... but it was a theory perhaps for another day - not that day. Tone deaf.
The snarling bigmouths on the right were just as bad.
With a grand title like Deputy PM, Michael McCormack was supposed to be the adult in the room - instead we got political ravings against Greens and "inner-city lefties". Barnaby Joyce even categorised fire victims (who he had never met) by their probable voting pattern.
And apparently the fires were the result of The Greens banning burn-offs. How?
The Greens are not running the federal or state governments. That's the Liberals and Nats... who therefore are ultimately in charge of all national park burn-offs and the fire reduction activities of the NSW Rural Fire Service.
But facts aren't important, only dishing out blame.
And, as most Aussies know, only the must useless of jerks stand around dishing out blame as other people, with their sleeves rolled up, deal with a crisis at hand.
I actually agreed with the PM and Premier that a day like a catastrophic fire disaster is NOT the day to discuss climate change policy.
It is a day to direct all efforts and attentions toward the brave men and women serving on the fire front.
There is another much more appropriate day to be discussing things like climate change and its worsening impact on bushfire conditions. And that day was last week, or last month, or last year or even last decade. Or perhaps next week.
But our government refuses to genuinely do that.
Instead, it puts its fingers in its ears, closes its eyes, and stamps up and down yelling "There's no such thing as climate change". And no other days are available. (Which makes the PM's "not today" routine a bit thin.)
I read that the government won't even meet with 23 former fire captains wanting to confront these issues. That shows how stupid the culture wars are making us.
I'm not a building expert, but if I heard 23 structural engineers warning that Sydney Harbour Bridge was about to fall, I'd at least want our leaders to meet them and investigate. Alas.
Hey, here's a revolutionary idea. Why don't we:
1. Support our firefighters on the actual day that they are fighting infernos, and
2. On any another suitable day recognise that science is a thing, and hear out experts who think there's a link between climate change and worsening bushfires.
That's a sensible middle ground - something that the left versus right culture wars are making extinct.
Here's a revolutionary idea...