FIRE­FIGHT­ERS BRAVER THAN I

THEY’RE BAT­TLING HU­MANS WHO ARE AT THE HEART OF WIDE­SPREAD FIRESTORMS WHETHER YOU BE­LIEVE IN CLI­MATE CHANGE OR NOT

Life & Style Weekend - - MAGAZINE | TUGBOAT TALES - WORDS: ASH­LEY ROBIN­SON

The fires last week have reignited cli­mate de­bate, judg­ing by the amount of let­ters to the ed­i­tor in the past 10 days.

Some claim the fires are a re­sult of cli­mate change and oth­ers ar­gue against it.

The one thing we can be all agree on is that it looks like hu­mans were the cause.

Be­fore I go any fur­ther, the fires high­lighted a few things to me. Firstly, what a won­der­ful job fire­fight­ers do, both pro­fes­sional and volunteers. It was an awe­some ef­fort.

I al­ways thought I would make a good fire­fighter.

I would be good at wash­ing the truck, sleep­ing, ring­ing the siren and ev­ery­thing else un­til I ac­tu­ally got to the fire — then I wouldn’t be much good at all.

They cer­tainly do a great job and it re­minds me of grow­ing up in Eudlo.

When there was a bush­fire some­where, the phone would ring with, “There is a fire at old mate’s place. See you there”.

Dad would grab some knap­sacks, hes­sian bags and off we would go.

That’s right — the kids would give a hand as well.

All the wives would make tea and sand­wiches and cakes to sup­port the volunteers, which of course was my favourite part.

As a kid, I prob­a­bly thought I wanted to be a fire­man but as I got older, I re­alised I wasn’t brave enough.

I am sure that our whole com­mu­nity is grate­ful we had the right peo­ple pro­tect­ing us the past few weeks.

The paid ones de­serve more money and the volunteers de­serve more sup­port from the govern­ment, as do all emer­gency ser­vice troops.

As I said, cli­mate change has been a pop­u­lar topic in the af­ter­math of the fires and while I am not a de­nier, I also do have some re­call over the past 60 years liv­ing on the Coast, en­dur­ing all types of weather events.

So I am not 100 per cent con­vinced but in say­ing that, I am to­tally on board that the fires were and are caused by hu­mans and there is some­thing we should be out­raged about — just as much as we are with coal. But rarely do we hear any­thing about it.

I have noth­ing against smok­ers, as long as they don’t blow their smoke on me or lit­ter with it.

Their health is their de­ci­sion, not mine. In say­ing that, I am ap­palled at what I see on a daily ba­sis with driv­ers throw­ing cig­a­rette butts out their win­dows.

I ride a scooter to work at least two days a week and ev­ery day I see some­one throw a butt out the win­dow … some­times straight into my lap.

Now that is bad enough, but if I am the only one to suf­fer with a butt or match in the eye, so be it.

But I can­not be­lieve they con­tinue to do it with the con­di­tions like they are at the mo­ment.

It is bloody crim­i­nal.

We bang on about cli­mate change, cows fart­ing and ev­ery­thing else. Bob Brown heads a con­voy of ve­hi­cles up the eastern seaboard to protest Adani — which is an oxy­moron for a start un­less they were all elec­tric ve­hi­cles. And I won­der how many butts went out the win­dow on tour.

Why aren’t we out­raged about butts out the win­dow of ve­hi­cles? I just don’t get it.

I am sure the fire­fight­ers would agree it’s bloody crim­i­nal.

I AM AP­PALLED AT WHAT I SEE ON A DAILY BA­SIS WITH DRIV­ERS THROW­ING CIG­A­RETTE BUTTS OUT THEIR WIN­DOWS.

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