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.