Bush fires: A wake up call for change to a warming climate

I have acknowledged in my previous posts that environmental issues are wide and deep. We are currently experiencing rising sea levels because of melting ice in Antarctica, floods, volcanoes, earth quakes, loss of life and biodiversity, pollution and so on. Scientists are saying most of the extreme weather conditions are caused by humans and these can be reversed by cutting down on emissions.

UK met office has reported that the last decade was the warmest on record, (metoffice.gov.uk). It has also been the driest in Europe, especially the UK, Germany, France and Belgium. Australia is currently experiencing some of the effects of dry weather.

Climate change issues have been on top of the agenda even before the Australian bush-fires, with the likes of the younger generation Greta Thunberg and others voicing out their concerns about global warming. Like minded organisations have also been piling pressure on decision makers, businesses and governments

There is no denying that the Australian bush-fires have helped to bring more focus on climate issues and alarm to everyday folk.

I remember one lady commenting on the Australian bush fires, ‘why do they plant all those trees? They should chop down trees in residential areas’. 

Ordinary people are engaging in discussions about global warming and that is good.

  • Does climate change bother you?
  • Do you worry more about climate change and extreme weather conditions we are getting around the world?
  • What are governments doing about it?
  • What are we doing about it?

We worry about losing our lives, what about heritage trees and plants that have been lost in the Australian bushfires, biodiversity and fauna? The rest of the world witnessed and saw harrowing reports of dead animals such as the kangaroos, koalas and others as well as loss to human life. Its been reported that we have lost a billion creatures in the Australian bush fires.  They think some of the creatures may have been lost forever. Australian bush fires may be a wake up call to those of us who have disputed that climate change is a reality.

Mozambique has experienced extreme weather conditions such as flooding, heat waves,  cyclones and drought. Cyclone Idai hit Mozambique, neighbouring Zimbabwe and Malawi in 2019, with over 1.000 deaths reported and many people missing and unaccounted for. In developing countries the effects are crippling, its not just being swept away in a flood but the effects of disease such as cholera, lack of infrastructure, sanitation, shelter and so on is devastating often taking longer to restore.

Madagascar, one of the poorest nations in the Indian Ocean has lost most of its wilderness as trees are chopped to make way for farming. The Lima is losing its habitat and flooding is on the increase because the earth is exposed, no trees.

A lot of money and resources has been donated by individuals, companies and governments all over but let us continue in the same spirit to assist those that may face similar environmental effects in the future.

Pollution

Pollution levels have been quiet high in Melbourne because of smoke from the fires. Melbourne tennis matches was temporarily stopped. We also witnessed several people wearing masks covering nose.

A UK mother Rosamund Kissi-Debra is still campaigning to have air pollution put as the cause of death on her late daughters death certificate. Nine year old Ella Kissi-Debra died in 2013 after experiencing seizures for three years, (BBC online). Ella’s mother doesn’t want her daughter’s death to be in vain but to highlight the hidden killer, air pollution.

Air pollution matters. I recall on my last visit to Melbourne in November 2019, my family who reside in Melbourne all experiencing ‘hay fever’ allergies. It makes me wonder with what I know now: if air pollution may be to blame. I have praised Melbourne for its green landscaping in the past and I hope they continue in other regards to improve air quality.

Normally air pollution is associated with developing countries. According to worldpopulationreview.com the most polluted countries are Bangladesh, Pakistan, China, Nigeria and others in the developing world, but the 2020 list is now showing developed countries such as Iceland, Finland, Australia and others joining the list.

A warming world will affect us all  as we can see.

Accountability makes us responsible

I remember watching a television reporter making a commentary about a celebrity couple who were saying the right things about the environment,’ who are they to lecture us on climate change’,

I totally disagree with the reporter. We need to talk to each other and also listen to one another about climate issues. Of course some are doing more and living green lives in order to reduce their carbon print and others just beginning, Its okay. We all start somewhere and awareness is a start. We need to lecture to each other because climate change matters to all of us.

Climate change is linked to the business sector and the economy. Air travel, production, fisheries, mining and coal mining. China is Australia’s biggest customer and some people voted for Brexit so they could get their fishing rights back. Nation governments now have a post for environmental secretary or minister with a mandate of enforcing friendly green policies.

With regards to a warming world we should all be accountable to each other then maybe we can make much needed progress.

References

metoffice.gov.uk

BBC 2 (Simon Reeve) Indian ocean

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