Australia is on fire and that collective shared moment of New Years Day optimism, that sense of hope that comes along with thinking about a fresh new start, seems to have vanished. How can we be sure this year will be happy? How do we know it won’t be even worse?
Australia is on fire. Catastrophic fire danger ratings have been issued in New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria. More than 60 percent of Australia set record highs for fire danger this season, and the summer has only just begun. Already 14.6 million acres are on fire across the country and 3.67 million acres are burning in New South Wales alone. These fires are the deadliest ever recorded. It’s impossible not to notice.
Scientists’ worst-case predictions are playing out with no end in sight. Devastation is now the new normal. How many more environmental disasters will it take? When will we start responding to this climate emergency? How much longer will we have to wait before we take bold action, stop burning fossil fuels and move toward a clean energy economy?