Australia bushfires: Greta Thunberg blasts Australian leaders for lack of 'political action'

Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg has taken a swipe at Australian leaders in a heated Facebook post, calling out the government's lack of "political action".

The 17-year-old shared the passionate message to her 2.9 million Facebook followers on Sunday morning (NZ time), lambasting the government's inaction over climate change.

"Australia is on fire. And the summer there has only just begun. 2019 was a year of record heat and record drought. Today the temperature outside Sydney was 48.9C," she wrote.

"500 million (!!) animals are estimated dead because of the bushfires. Over 20 people have died and thousands of homes have burned to [the] ground. The fires have spewed [two-thirds] of the nations national annual CO2 emissions, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. The smoke has covered glaciers in distant New Zealand (!) making them warm and melt faster because of the albedo effect.

"And yet. All of this still has not resulted in any political action. Because we still fail to make the connection between the climate crisis and increased extreme weather events and nature disasters like the #AustraliaFires.

"That has to change. And it has to change now."

The teen, who celebrated her 17th birthday on January 3, concluded her post by offering her support to those affected by the devastating fires.

"My thoughts are with the people of Australia and those affected by these devastating fires," she wrote.

Greta Thunberg.
Greta Thunberg. Photo credit: Reuters

Within 12 hours, the post has amassed more than 57,000 likes, 10,000 shares and 3,200 comments.

Many people agreed with Thunberg, expressing their dissatisfaction at the Australian government's response to the crisis. 

"I hope our politicians listen this time... It's an environmental war here. A war zone of fire and mass destruction. I can't thank you enough for your courage. My 13-year-old son asked me when Australia is going to stop burning. I don't know, I responded," one woman commented.

"I'm absolutely heartbroken to see my homeland in such horrific conditions. I'm appalled at inaction and political inertia that has permeated across the decades. In my mind, this should be the tipping point: do the rest of you worldwide want to live in war-like conditions?" said another.

Others thanked Thunberg for using her platform to spread awareness of the devastation.

American singer-songwriter Pink, New Zealand-born celebrity choreographer Parris Goebel and Australian actress Nicole Kidman and her New Zealand-born husband Keith Urban have pledged financial support to help the fight against the fires.