The New Normal: When Crisis becomes Everyday

Twenty-five years ago people could be excused for not knowing much, or doing much, about climate change. Today we have no excuse.” — Desmond Tutu

On a flight from Canberra to Brisbane the evidence was clear; a mega firefront had developed, created by the union of bushfires burning for months with new ones…. the climate has changed. Fundamentally and possibly forever. One victim of the fire put it this way;

We have a climate change denying government who thinks this is normal”

And this is confirmed in the latest headlines which scream

“PRIME MINISTER SCOTT MORRISON REJECTS CALLS FOR MORE ASSISTANCE TO FIREFIGHTERS”

We are in a climate in which firefighters, many volunteers, are in a desperate position requiring crowdfunding to buy essential tools. The statistics are stark; the out-of-season megafire has claimed 6 lives , destoyed nearly 700 properties as well ae complete habitats of unique fauna, scorched beyond recognition. It’s enough to make anyone weep.

But when I started my blog six years go, I determined to maintain a positive tone in every post. Positive, however, does not have to mean delusional optimism.

While many Australians have for years accepted the validity of Climate change and made adjustments in their thinking and habits, a growing number of conservative politicans- with control over essential resources – have resisted accepting and acting on the concept.

“I’m often asked whether I believe in global warming. I now just reply with the question: Do you believe in gravity?” — Neil deGrasse Tyson

In such a vacuum, “ordinary” Australians have become leaders of their own lives and communities.

Many are everyday heroes, demonstrated by their courage to risk their lives against the fires and also through their compassion for community members who have lost it all.

These folk are the most courageous of all, because it takes enormous courage to trust in life again when almost everything which defined you has been erased…and I should know because I lost my home to a fire when living in the Blue Mountains years ago.

But in the two days since I started this post, change is afoot. A state conservative minister for the environment has made his view clear:

Doing nothing is not a solution’: Matt Kean blames climate crisis for bushfires

NSW environment minister splits with federal Coalition to urge immediate emissions reduction, saying weather conditions are exactly what scientists warned

The Earth is a fine place and worth fighting for.” — Ernest Hemingway

And today the PM announced an increase of $11 million for aerial waterbombing. Has the wind turned? Will this national emergency be addressed or the same excuse of “Australia has always had drought and fires” result in our country becoming uninhabitable?

A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.”

— Franklin D. Roosevelt