You would have had to been under a rock these last few weeks if you haven’t seen the total loss and devastation of our bush caused by fires. It’s still hard to believe and come to terms with what happened – and is still happening – in our lovely country and I’m at a loss trying to make sense of it all because of its sheer scale, size and ferocity.
When fire emergency services give up fighting because of this and the lack of water and who look to the sea as being the ‘containment’ line, then you have to wonder how did we get to this point?
When the world looks on in horror to watch apocalyptic images of crowds of people and their animals on a beach waiting to be rescued surrounded by fire and smoke, we have to ask, why did we allow it to get to this point?
When our Navy is called on to undertake Australia’s biggest mass evacuation during a peacetime event with its own people, we have to ask, how did we let this happen?
When 1.25 billion animals perished, death of 23 people, thousands of homes, businesses and properties burned down, we have to ask not what is the cost to Australia’s ecology and economy – but what is the cost to the world?
When our prime minister through these bushfires was holidaying with his family in Hawaii, a trip he kept quiet from media and only returned when public pressure was mounting; a constant denier of climate change and its impact and instead looking to lay blame with the states or his own ministry, we have to ask, why did we vote the party he stands for in for so long?
Overall, we have to ask, have we, as a nation, finally woken up to something is dreadfully, horribly wrong with our national – and global – priorities?
Why did it take a catastrophe – a national disaster – to wake up from our stupor to understand the impact of our actions over the years to climate?
Why did we continue to stick our heads in the sand?
Why didn’t we ask more challenging questions; took firmer actions against self serving interests of the coal mining industries and the misinformation served up by the Murdoch media?
Why didn’t we strike? Revolt?
Why didn’t we listen to our climate scientists? Why didn’t we provide the support to our fire and emergency services? Our volunteers?
WHY? WHY? WHY?
There’s no denying it, I’m a mixture of all emotions. I’m sad, horrified, aghast, helpless and at a loss. I’m also so so angry. It’s hard to even comprehend what I’m feeling but I think I’m dealing with grief. The feelings are the same. When I read or watch the news about it all, I fire up and shoot out tweets and just want to yell out at the top of my voice at everything and everyone – especially at our politicians who have not had the interests of the people, our nation and environment.
I know that I’m not the only one who spontaneously starts to cry at various times of the day when I think about the enormity of the impact of this disaster – even as I’m typing this through tears.
I didn’t want my first post of 2020 to start in such a negative way; nor did I want my Twitter feed to be filled with such horror but there’s a part of me that needs to express my grief and anger.
I don’t care about curating my feed – or my professional reputation for sharing tweets about politics because the way I feel about it now is that it’s not a political issue – it’s a global issue. There’s no right or left here anymore. We’re in this together now. Any bickering or argument about the pedantry of blame should be set aside for immediate action.
I’m dismayed that as a country, filled with many smart researchers and scientists we haven’t used our intellectual capabilities to build an Australia at the forefront of innovation and change with renewables instead choosing to pander to the fossil fuel industries and mining and media magnates.
It’s hard to write a cohesive blog post about what I’m feeling because I still feel in so much turmoil inside my head. When I did a video post about it, I had to stop a few times because of tears. This is pretty much my days now every time I watch the news about the bush fires.
Part of our national psyche has somehow changed in some way. Some are dealing with it all more vocally than others.
I just wanted to get it down here in this blog that this has affected me so deeply enough not to worry about perceptions anymore.
Photo: Velizar Ivanov from Unsplash