Tomorrow morning Scott Morrison will be clapping his hands and praying for rain.
Which is one strategy to combat climate change, I suppose, although reducing CO2 emissions seems a far more effective way of achieving the Almighty's purpose. It might also provide a good back-up plan, just in case all the evidence is correct and there is no god; only science.
Morrison's decision - to remain holidaying by the beach in Hawaii rather than return to do everything, anything he could to help fight the fires - will continue eating away at any remaining vestiges of his authority from this moment on.
Most vitally, he's lost any personal link to that deep, crucial, reservoir of gravitas we confer, automatically, on our PM's simply because of their position.
We somehow assumed that because Morrison's political colleagues, out of sheer exhaustion, finally installed him as leader, that they too respected the man and believed in him. Instead, feet of clay were revealed and the worm has turned. From this moment on his every action will be viewed sceptically and suspiciously.
Last week represented the death of Morrison's prime-ministerial legitimacy; from this moment onward all we await is the exact manner of his going.
It's obvious he won't be able to win the next election: the only question remaining is how long it will take. Will Morrison, eventually, choose to depart himself or will his colleagues send him on his way? Or will he simply linger on, waiting to be dispatched by voters?
Either way, it's over.
The trappings remain but any remaining moral authority exited with the brief interview he proffered to radio from his beach-side hideaway in Hawaii. It will never return.
The point is not that he didn't return to, as he dismissively and derisorily put it, "hold a hose". Excuses won't wash. Tony Abbott's wielding hoses and fighting fires; Gladys Berejiklian's out doing whatever she can to understand the problem and inspire the workers. Morrison couldn't be bothered.
That's the only way to make any sense of his behaviour - he just doesn't get it.
Firstly, volunteering. Helping out. "Giving a go to have a go."
Ordinary people around the country gave their all to help out. These are local leaders; the sort of people who get involved; precisely the voters who make up his constituency.
Now, through word and action, Morrison's demonstrated he doesn't respect those who get involved to help others. He wasn't overseas because of some great issue of state; it was just a holiday, and yet he couldn't be bothered dragging himself off the sand at Waikiki.
That's not leadership.
Nobody can console anyone who's lost loved ones in accidents or flames, just as there's no comfort for a firefighter who was working elsewhere while their homes were consumed by flames; but you can try.
Simply by listening, hearing, sharing and understanding, a real leader plays a vital part in helping individuals recover from their trauma. That's what incumbency's about. Generals don't visit hospitals to patch up the wounded; they do it to inspire others to fight in the next offensive. Morrison, however, was too busy. He had to indulge himself by the beach.
The second point is equally vital, though, particularly for a politician. The reason true leaders are out and about on the frontline is they know it's only by experiencing something firsthand that we really, viscerally, understand what's happened. You can, for example, read all you want about war, but that's utterly different to the shock experienced that first moment of actually being shot at.
Similarly watching a firestorm on TV conveys none of the fury, or vehemence, or sheet power of noise and madness as it the conflagration rushes towards you. It's just not possible to see, close up, a huge fire like the one now encircling Sydney and remain unmoved.
Perhaps this explains why Morrison still doesn't get it.
He wandered away on holiday because he still refuses, obstinately, to admit that these fires could be worse than those that came before, which might have been worse than ones before that, simply because admitting this would mean accepting change climate represents an existential challenge not merely to our society, but to all civilisation.
Unfortunately what he believes doesn't matter, because the evidence is now in. There is no direct link between CO2 emissions and these particular fires, but the broader relationship is now proven beyond any doubt. Morrison, however, cannot bring himself to admit this clear nexus. He prefers, instead, to wave a lump of coal around in parliament.
Place this filter over his actions and his state-of-mind is revealed. This is the real reason he woudn't come back; the real explanation of why he couldn't even be bothered bringing forward his travel arrangements.
Morrison still doesn't understand this is the harbinger of an existential crisis. Not just for Australia, but for the planet. The flames challenge his entire world-view.
We are all, today, engaged in a battle as vital for our survival as those faced by our parents and grandparents. The enemy may be a gas we can't see, but it's clear how existential a threat it poses to our existence. This is the moment to engage; tomorrow will be too late.
Nobody needs to wear a hair shirt; just to keep your mind open and engaged. Let's not be like our PM: let's act.
Nicholas Stuart is a Canberra writer.
Nicholas Stuart is a Canberra writer.
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