Australia Fires

The apocalyptic wildfires now incinerating Australia continue virtually unabated with months yet to go in their “fire season.” The number of animals lost, like koala bears and kangaroos, is now estimated to be at least a billion.

In an article from Inside Climate News we read that “More than 17 million acres have burned in Australia over the last three months amid record heat that has dried vegetation and pulled moisture from the land.”

Scientists now are seeing evidence that we have already reaching critical tipping points in the progression of the climate crisis. “Some of those forests won’t recover in today’s warmer climate. They expect the same in other regions scarred by flames in recent years; in semi-arid areas like parts of the American West, the Mediterranean Basin and Australia, some post-fire forest landscapes will shift to brush or grassland…burning trees release carbon and fewer living trees are left to pull CO2 out of the air and store it.”

“The surge of large, destructive forest fires from the Arctic to the tropics just in the last few years has shocked even researchers who focus on forests and fires and who have warned of such tipping points for years.

“The projections were seen as remote, ‘something that would happen much farther in the future,’ said University of Arizona climate scientist David Breashers. ‘But it’s happening now. Nobody saw it coming this soon, even though it was like a freight train.’

“It’s likely the forests won’t be coming back as we know them.”

This is just a taste of what countries throughout the world have been and will be facing with the climate crisis. Recall that we have had unprecedented flooding in the Midwest this year, reducing critical agricultural output. A heat wave in India this summer sent temperatures to 123 degrees, temperatures reached 40 degrees above normal in the Arctic, and unheard of temperatures in Europe.

Perhaps today, on a typical winter day in Utah, with air quality that is currently better than average, all of this seems a bit of an abstraction, and maybe depressing, because you might wonder what can you do?

Well, here’s what you can do. Help us defeat the dirty energy inland port here in Utah. There are aspirations by its proponents that the port will help corporations extract more coal, oil, gas, tar sands, and oil shale from the state–exactly what we don’t need, exactly what the world doesn’t need.Mark your calendars for a “Repeal the Port” rally at the state Capitol, Monday, Feb. 3, at 4:00 pm. Learn more about the polluting inland port issues here.