The last post for 2019 led with the climate emergency. Perhaps when you read it then, it seemed somewhat abstract, catastrophising even.
But as the old year made way for the new, catastrophe seemed more apt than emergency.
For a time life in Port continued in uneasy comfort insulated from the bushfire crisis. That changed as bushfire smoke came to Melbourne in the early hours of 13th January and continued through to the evening of 15 January plunging Melbourne’s air quality to some of the worst in the world.
Breathing this hazardous air brought closer the experience of those, human and non human, in the bushfire affected regions who have suffered such profound loss.
The streets of Port have been quiet as many people heeded the advice to stay indoors. But the dog needs a walk, the shopping must be done, the children get restless. Clouds and smoke merged into a murky brown grey over the Bay.
The pall that enveloped Melbourne has brought home that every facet of life will be affected by climate change as has been predicted by many climate scientists for decades. Major sporting events, the price of food, tourism – every facet of life.
So many words have already been written, so many opinions expressed. I’m not going to add to them except to say take care of yourself and others at this troubling time as we enter a changed reality. Follow climate solutions focused people and organisations as this is just the end of the beginning. It is not over. The future is deeply uncertain as climate impacts compound.
This evening the rain came. Houses breathed out their hot air. Respite. Relief. At least for now.
Kept indoors by hazardous air quality, here are some of the writers I’ve turned to over this period.
Joelle Gergis We are seeing the very worst of our scientific predictions come to pass in these bushfires The Guardian Friday 13 January 2020