The death toll from the Victorian fire storm is now at about 170. With the words of shocked survivors and images of whole villages obliterated, blown apart as if by bombs, cars and their occupants burnt as they drove to escape – we share vicariously in their nightmare experience.
Like everyone else, I am preoccupied with what has happened, is still happening in other areas — and the threat will continue. Victoria is burning. Nowhere is safe until rain falls.
Having been through two major fires here, and chosen to stay, I can only begin to imagine what those people went through. I know what intense radiant heat feels like, but even the experienced and well-prepared down there found this time it was beyond human endurance and had to abandon at the last minute.
The speed and ferocity of that fire was unprecedented. But not unexpected: the predicted effects of global warming had been of increased heat, extreme weather patterns, a drier south-east — hence more severe and frequent fires.
Welcome to the nightmare of climate change, which I prefer to call climate chaos. Look at Ingham.
In my heart, alongside sorrow for and empathy with the people in Victoria, sits a great anger. I see Mr Rudd patting shoulders and stifling sobs in I what I am sure is sincere depth of feeling.
Yet the sight makes my blood boil – he does not acknowledge his responsibility in condemning us all to a future far worse than this present hell, already set in place by our past CO2 damage.
Our emissions are still rising and he dares to suggest 5% reduction is of any use!
When will he accept that this is a climate emergency !?– a most unnatural, ongoing disaster that only drastic carbon reductions will stop from tipping the climate past the point where my grandchildren’s world may be uninhabitable.
We could easily change the way we think and live enough to secure massive reductions, and it wouldn’t hurt, it would just be different – energy efficiency, reduced consumption, renewables, sustainability instead of ‘progress’ – we just need our leadership to stop putting politics and profit before people and the planet.
‘Business as usual’ is as suicidal as ‘fire plans as usual’ proved to be in Kinglake.
He should stop trying to please the coal and coal power industries first, as his carbon reduction scheme shows he still is. He must stop these token gestures and act to save us all.
Try at least aiming for 100%, Mr Rudd!