The public relations department at ExxonMobil Australia probably wasn't looking to be ironic when it tweeted out a New Year's greeting wishing the burning nation's residents a "safe" and "fun" 2020.
Yet many are finding paradoxical what was likely intended as innocuous, with politicians and environmentalists among those piling on social media to blast the oil company for insensitivity. The tone-deaf greeting is especially striking given the fossil fuel company's contribution to climate change, which is exacerbating the .
The company's critics include current and former U.S. presidential candidates.
"Australians can't 'stay safe and have fun,' because their homes are on fire," tweeted Senator Bernie Sanders, who is promoting a Green New Deal to hold oil companies accountable for climate change.
The company's message was also mocked as "unbelievable" by Washington Governor Jay Inslee, who dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, but ran on a message of fighting climate change.
ExxonMobil did not return a request for comment.
A parody account based on ExxonMobil's tweet has popped up on Twitter.