Arguing against the science of climate change is similar to not accepting the merit of vaccinations, a senior federal Labor MP says.
Tony Burke, a former sustainability and environment minister, says the Morrison government's climate policies continue to be watered down by a handful of MPs who don't believe in climate change.
"Their arguments are not that different to the anti-vaxxers, in terms of saying: 'I don't care what the science says, I have this particular view and I'm just going to say we shouldn't adopt a policy'," Mr Burke told Sky News on Thursday.
Multiple expert reviews published by the government more than a decade ago warned of worsening bushfire conditions in southeastern Australia by 2020.
Mr Burke says he recited some of the warnings to parliament in 2008, but it was labelled as a scare campaign.
Almost 30 people have died, thousands of structures have been destroyed, millions of hectares razed and more than one billion animals feared dead in the recent fires.
The bushfires have stoked Australian political debate over climate change, with the coalition government accused of not doing enough and ignoring warnings.
A handful of coalition backbenchers including Craig Kelly and George Christensen have continued to publicly deny climate change, showing continuing divisions within the coalition over the science.
Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, who was rolled from the top job due to internal disputes in the coalition party room over climate change, has again entered the debate and stirred the pot.
Writing for US publication Time Magazine, Mr Turnbull says the "wicked self-destructive idiocy of climate denialism must stop".
"The world must drastically cut its greenhouse-gas emissions. Above all, we have to urgently stop burning coal and other fossil fuels," he says.
"Australians no longer need to sacrifice economic growth to reduce emissions. We must not waste this climate crisis. There are no excuses and not much time left."
Mr Turnbull outlined his attempts to introduce a National Energy Guarantee, which combined climate and energy policy.
"It was supported by business and unions as well as state governments on both sides of politics," he said.
"A majority of coalition legislators also backed it, but a right-wing minority, supported by their allies in the media, sabotaged the bill and then brought down my government."
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he wants to focus on climate change adaptation and resilience, but shows no signs of announcing a more ambitious emissions reduction target.
Human activities, including burning of fossil fuels, have increased greenhouse gas emissions and are contributing to global warming.
Australian Associated Press