We must face facts on climate change

Two pieces of wire bent into ‘L’ shapes – that was the perfect water bore drill site finder, according to my old man. He had a go at using the contraption, along with mum and the kids, each taking turns to wander about with one wire in each hand on the lookout for them to form an ‘X’ that marked the spot.

Those magic wires confirmed the lowest corner of the paddock as the best bet.

I’m pretty sure the old man had already decided that was the most sensible spot.

I reckon the wires just told him what he wanted to hear.

As director of the Australian Firefighters Climate Alliance, I seek out the latest information on climate change and bushfires.

I’ve heard from Australia’s top scientists, the Bureau of Meteorology and read up on reputable global research.

The hard work and expertise of climate scientists gives us the opportunity to understand and respond to the challenges climate change creates for Australian firefighters.

Unfortunately, Australia’s response is limited by those prepared to ignore the professionals and listen to people who tell them what they want to hear. Spend five minutes on the internet to find any opinion on climate change you want.

A lot of it based on theories that make the wire stick water finder look credible in comparison.

Some discussion goes beyond the whacky, and is part of well-organised campaigns representing particular interest groups.

Me and my fellow firefighters need sensible action on climate change. We don’t have the luxury of looking for people to tell us what we want to hear as we’re dealing with the consequences already.

It’s time to respect and value our climate professionals, and time to demand that leaders face facts.

Dean McNulty is a professional firefighter and director of the Australian Firefighters Climate Alliance.