Dale Dominey-Howes writes in The Conversation
(11.9.19) about the bushfires currently devastating parts of southeast Queensland and northern New South Wales. The author notes that climate change makes every risk factor for major bushfires worse, which means massive, intense fires will only become more likely.
‘Spring has barely arrived, and bushfires are burning across Australia’s eastern seaboard. More than 50 fires are currently burning in New South Wales, and some 15,000 hectares have burned in Queensland since late last week.
‘It’s the first time Australia has seen such strong fires this early in the bushfire season. While fire is a normal part of Australia’s yearly cycle and no two years are alike, what we are seeing now is absolutely not business as usual.
‘And although these bushfires are not directly attributable to climate change, our rapidly warming climate, driven by human activities, is exacerbating every risk factor for more frequent and intense bushfires.
‘… Inevitably, we will see large-scale disasters occurring simultaneously in multiple territories, making it impossible to share resources. Our emergency management workforce report they are already stressed and overworked, and losing the capacity to share resources will only exacerbate this.’
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- More than 130 bushfires continue to burn across Queensland and NSW with 26 homes lost »
- ‘This is an omen’: Queensland firefighters battle worst start to season on record »
- As bushfires worsen and towns dry up, fighting fires is becoming almost impossible »
- More than climate change driving Queensland fires, explain climatologists »
- Woolooga survives two floods and a bushfire, now faces drought before year’s end »
- It’s only October, so what’s with all these bushfires? New research explains it »
- World heritage Queensland rainforest burned for 10 days – and almost no one noticed »
- Australia needs a national crisis plan, and not just for bushfires »
- I am a volunteer firefighter. Yes, we ‘want to be here’, Scott Morrison – but there are limits »
- For First Nations people the bushfires bring a particular grief, burning what makes us who we are »
- There’s only one way to make bushfires less powerful: take out the stuff that burns »
- There’s no evidence ‘greenies’ block bushfire hazard reduction but here’s a controlled burn idea worth trying »
- Weather bureau says hottest, driest year on record led to extreme bushfire season »
- How First Australians’ ancient knowledge can help us survive the bushfires of the future »
- The burn legacy: why the science on hazard reduction is contested »
- Australia heading into new ‘fire age’, warns global fire historian »
- The verdict from bushfire experts: there’s no sidestepping climate »
- To reduce disasters, we must cut greenhouse emissions. So why isn’t the bushfire royal commission talking about this? »
- As Perth’s suburbs burn, the rest of Australia watches and learns »
- Australia’s Black Summer of fire was not normal – and we can prove it »
- As La Nina fades, Climate Council warns of devastating fires on the horizon »
- Yes, climate change is bringing bushfires more often. But some ecosystems in Australia are suffering the most
Mr Morrison, I lost my home to bushfire. Your thoughts and prayers are not enough
Janet Stanley writes in The Conversation (12.11.19) about the gap between our political leaders’ words and deeds when it comes to mitigating the effects that climate change is having upon our natural environment. After recent devastating and destructive bushfires, climate change has evidently arrived, and politicians should drop the meaningless rhetoric.
‘Fires of unprecedented number and ferocity are today raging in New South Wales and Queensland. Residents in some regions woke to news that the fire danger was “catastrophic”. Rural fire chief Shane Fitzsimmons was blunt when he explained what that means: “It’s where people die.”
‘I lost my home in Victoria’s 1983 Macedon bushfires. I know sympathy and financial assistance for those in the midst of the crisis is important. However, when political leaders such as Prime Minister Scott Morrison offer their “thoughts and prayers”, it’s hard to read this as anything but disingenuous.
‘Scientists and meteorologists have for years warned of more frequent and extreme bushfires as climate change worsens. Their messages have been met by policy inertia. Nationals leader Michael McCormack on Monday went so far as to dismiss those who link bushfires to global warming as “raving inner-city lunatics”.
‘If the Morrison government seriously wanted fewer Australians to experience a bushfire crisis, it would use the current situation to galvanise public sentiment, shift the political agenda, and make meaningful inroads into emissions reduction.’
- Mr Morrison, I lost my home to bushfire. Your thoughts and prayers are not enough »
- Dear Michael McCormack: the only ‘raving lunatics’ are those not worrying about climate change »
- I never thought I’d see the Australian rainforest burning. What will it take for us to wake up to the climate crisis? »
- Countries must triple climate emissions targets to limit global heating to 2C »
- Climate change will make fire storms more likely in southeastern Australia »
- Climate change ‘hitting harder and sooner’ than forecast, warn scientists ahead of UN meeting »
- Drought and climate change were the kindling, and now the east coast is ablaze »
- Fires are burning where they never used to burn »
- From disbelief to dread: the dismal new routine of life in Sydney’s smoke haze »
- Now Australian cities are choking on smoke, will we finally talk about climate change? »
- Australians aren’t asking for miracles from Scott Morrison. We’re begging for leadership »
- Australia can expect far more fire catastrophes. A proper disaster plan is worth paying for »
- Scott Morrison’s fires response has put his political judgement in question »
- In fact, there’s plenty we can do to make future fires less likely »
- How should leaders respond to disasters? Be visible, offer real comfort – and don’t force handshakes »
- Scott Morrison to take proposal for bushfire royal commission to Cabinet »
- Yes, the Australian bush is recovering from bushfires – but it may never be the same »
- Australia, you have unfinished business. It’s time to let our ‘fire people’ care for this land »
- Australian bushfire and climate plan »
- One year on, fears grow of another potential Queensland inferno »
- How we’re sowing the seeds for another bushfire disaster »
- We are professional fire watchers, and we’re astounded by the scale of fires in remote Australia right now »