Last month saw a major mayhem in Australia with one of its states getting blistered in the flames of bush fire while the other state getting slapped and pelted by rain showers, strong winds and hails. The bush fire which trailed nearly hundreds of kilometres along the border of NSW is touted as the worst fire disaster in the last 40 years in Australia. While fire, smoke and burnt ashes filled the land and air in NSW right across the border it was all about clouds, rains and winds.
The fire spread across acres of lands in the Blue Mountains area and engulfed 120,000 hectares of bush and hundreds of properties in its catastrophic nature creating a situation of panic, fear and helplessness. Once blue, this mountain now appears black in hue due to the burnt carbon and ashes. The Victorians on the other hand had to jostle through the gale force accompanied by the sharp drops of rainfall and erratic hail stones which made it difficult for them to continue with their daily chores. This sudden spurt of winter amidst its mild spring season came almost unannounced and just when the residents had jettisoned their thick winter jackets and beanies for more comfortable clothing the nature turned furious. Heavy storms accompanied by strong winds and rainfall lashed the state and disrupted normal lives in various pockets apart from causing severe damage to the properties.
Many people may feel that these devastations are nothing much to worry about however what raises alarm is the untimely extreme weather conditions on the either side of the state border. Many think tanks and patrons of greener earth would attribute these dramatic climatic adversaries to the changing paradigm in the global climate owing to the high carbon content in the atmosphere, some however just choose to believe otherwise.
The actual cause for this bush fire may have been man created but what worries scientists and climate change observer is the way it has manifested itself over days. The unstable nature of the atmosphere did not aid in dousing the fire which wasn’t the case earlier (when earth had a relatively greener atmosphere). The sudden injection of winter in Victoria’s spring certainly has nothing to do with human instigation of the weather conditions. The Australian government website (www.climatechange.gov.au) clearly states that the climate change is also expected to contribute to an increase in the number of extreme bushfire days in parts of NSW. Similarly it also states that Victoria too could potentially have more deaths owing to colder weather – all thanks to the climate change phenomenon.
It’s strange how two extremely different weather conditions could leave the same impact on people – a feeling of devastation. How long are we ready to live in a state of denial and let our apathy create more havoc? Climate change is for real and if we do not fathom the gravity of this situation and the trouble looming over heads because of this change then we will have no hands to wipe our tears away.
Tony Abbott might have considered this as “crap” few years ago but his political indifference on this issue could cost dear to the Australians – very dear.
Nonetheless as the residents and citizens of this country we have to more aware about the adversities of climate change and do whatever little is within our capacities to reduce the emission of carbon into our atmosphere; lest we will see more bush fires and more cold weather rummaging our lives in this part of the hemisphere.
Bush fire might have been controlled in NSW now and the sun might be shining again in Victoria, but it’s just a matter of time before nature lashes its fury again on the most callous species living on this planet.
By: Madhumita Thakur