It's difficult to know what exactly deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack was trying to achieve on Monday morning when he decided to kick off the parliamentary week with an extraordinary outburst about the unfolding bushfire crisis and those linking it to climate change.
"What people need now is a little bit of sympathy, understanding and real assistance. They need help, they need shelter," he told ABC Radio.
"They don't need the ravings of some pure, enlightened and woke capital city greenies at this time when they're trying to save their homes," as he went on to say those links were disgraceful, disgusting behaviour of "raving inner-city lunatics".
In one sense McCormack is right - the first priority for all Australians at the moment needs to be dealing with the catastrophic conditions where a state of emergency has been declared.
Australians are already doing what they always do best, rushing to help. Firefighters from across the country, including the ACT, are already on the ground and more support is on its way. No one seems to be downplaying the seriousness of the fires nor suggesting the response so far has been anything other than outstanding.
But dealing with the current extreme conditions does not give the deputy Prime Minister the moral authority to shut down any discussion from those who know what they're talking about. It's also difficult to see who exactly he is speaking on behalf of.
In July Wagga Wagga council, in the heart of McCormack's own electorate, passed a motion recognising that climate change poses a serious risk to the people of the region.
In September more than 5000 farmers signed a petition calling on the federal government to develop more credible policies for dealing with the impact of climate change on agricultural areas. A mayor from northern NSW in the heart of the emergency where bushfire claimed several lives, says the entire country is at risk from dangerous climate change. Even today, the government's own former Ambassador for the Environment Patrick Suckling writes in The Canberra Times that the international community sees Australia's attitude to climate change as ambivalent.
These people are farmers, bushfire experts, diplomats, regional concilors and scientists - hardly a bunch of 'raving inner-city lunatics'.
Bushfire safety researchers have added their voices to the discussion. Adjunct Professor Jim McLennan from La Trobe University said, "the fire situation is consistent with our new world of bushfire threat associated with climate change."
Dr Richard Thornton, chief executive of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre says, "We cannot any longer be sure of what is possible with our seasonal cycles. We need to focus on mitigation from climate change. This is an area in critical need of further research into weather prediction, land planning, infrastructure development, population trends, and community awareness," he said.
These people are farmers, bushfire experts, diplomats, regional councilors and scientists - hardly a bunch of "raving inner-city lunatics".
Unlike McCormack, they believe the time to talk about these issues is now. Australians are smart enough to be able to respond to the crisis at hand while also discussing the factors contributing to it.
Rather than hurling insults at these experts and regional residents, perhaps the deputy Prime Minister could make a more constructive contribution by listening more closely to those he claims to represent.