Window On Time

In a few days it will be the 17th anniversary of the bushfires that ravaged Canberra (the national capital of Australia) and its surrounds in 2003.  With bushfires currently burning to the west of the territory, Canberrans are understandably anxious.  It’s old news but some may be interested in this disaster.  In many ways, the Canberra bushfires brought about a much broader call for research and action to better understand and respond to bushfire risk.  Here are the sanitised details of that event —

On 18 January, two fire fronts combined to create a 25 km fire front and wind gusts of up to 65 km per hour propelled the fire towards Canberra. The Chief Minister declared a state of emergency at 2.45 pm and the firestorm hit the outer streets of Duffy at approximately 3 pm, and soon reached [other] suburbs ….  Four people were killed by the fires, more than 435 people were injured and there were 5000 evacuations. Approximately 160,000 hectares were burnt which equated to almost 70 per cent of the ACT’s pasture, forests and nature parks including Namadgi National Park, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and all government pine forest west of the Murrumbidgee River Stromlo pine plantation.  There were approximately 488 houses destroyed and many more were damaged.Read more

Gone Batty

Greetings, ladies and gentlemen.  Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.

I don’t know whether the bushfire smoke is getting to me, or whether I’m just going a bit batty, or maybe both.  Either way, I sure don’t feel well.  Depending on the way the wind is blowing, my True Love and I will nip outside for a breath of fetid air.  On one of our brief walks, we saw a tiny colony of flying foxes (fruit bats) with what looked like several babies clinging to them.  Flying foxes have been having a tough time of it over the last few years.  They have been dying in their thousands from heat stress during increasingly frequent heatwaves.  I can relate.  I think I might drop off my perch too if I don’t get air-conditioning.  Seriously though, it is a real problem. Read more

The End Is Nigh My Flower

One must not be subtle or delicate about climate emergencies.

Who shall dry my tears
when the flowers are gone?
Not the morally bankrupt,
nor the weekend warriors.
Caught in your own bubble
of flattery and deceit.
Walk into my parlour.  Take
your seat. Parliament is now in session
and treachery abounds.
Watch your step, watch your back,
said the spider to the clown.
What goes around, comes around.
Earth, she will not wait. Read more