Thursday, October 17, 2013

NSW Fires

NSW is experiencing a most dreadful fire day. It is very hot and the wind is so strong it is frightening. Wind gusts of 90kph are ripping at the trees. The wind is fanning fires that are springing up all over the place. As I write people are calling the local radio station reporting what is happening in their area. Some are stuck in their cars between road blocks caused by fires, some are inquiring about schools that are being or have been evacuated. Many fires are burning out of control. The Blue Mountains is the worst at the moment with people told not to go home and not to try to get to their kids in schools as they are safe and the roads are closed anyway. A swimmer in Bondi rang to say there are embers dropping in the water there. Bondi is 80 km from the fires but that is a measure of the wind velocity.  They say if only 100 houses are lost we'll be lucky.

Global warming has produced a whole new environment, one in which past fire fighting rules no longer apply. Searing temperatures and strong winds create conditions in which even the best prepared can't hope to save their homes. And yet our Prime Minister is planning to remove the carbon tax with no alternative plan for lowering CO2 emissions. There is a national day of action planned for 17 November to tell Prime Minister Tony Abbott that we do want action on climate change. Has people power got a hope against big business power?

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