Australia is bracing for what is expected to be the worst weekend yet in an already devastating climate-fueled wildfire season that has ravaged the southeastern part of the country, killed at least 18 people and nearly half a billion animals, and destroyed 14.5 million acres of land. Temperatures are expected to soar above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, with high winds expected. New South Wales transport minister Andrew Constance described the coming conditions as “a blast furnace.” On Thursday, the state of New South Wales, which includes Sydney, declared a state of emergency, and Victoria declared a state of disaster. As the catastrophe in Australia deepens, conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison is facing widespread condemnation for his administration’s climate inaction. On Thursday, angry fire victims chased Morrison out of the town of Carbago.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison: “How are you?”
Fire victim 1: “I’m only shaking your hand if you give more funding to RFS. So many people here have lost their homes. We need more help.”
Fire victim 2: “This is not fair! We are totally forgotten about down here. We get nothing. If we were Sydney, if we were North Coast, we would be flooded with donations, with emergency relief.”
We’ll have more on the wildfires in Australia later in the broadcast.