The eco-apocalypse is not so far behind as we once thought. Forest fires and bushfires, no matter how saddening they are, have become a common occurrence now. The recent Australian bushfire, on its eastern coast, has burned through an area larger than Switzerland. Described to be an “atomic bomb” in nature, the devastating fires have claimed the lives of 25 people and millions of animals. Blood-red skies and black fumes sky-high are no longer a scene from some future dystopian science fiction movie. Sadly it is the current reality of Australia.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise, for bushfires was just the last piece of the puzzle. Severe droughts, a decrease in precipitation levels, drying up of famous lakes like Lake Hume, are just some of the drastic signs that Mother Nature has been throwing at our face for decades, which we have ignored. Now, she started calling on big guns like the 100 forest fires on the state of New South Wales and the Victorian Border for us to reflect upon our mistakes. But are we reflecting? Have we learned our lessons?
We are way past second chances when it comes to nature. Now is not the time for debates or playing “who is to blame’ game. It’s time to recoup, retake and recreate everything we have lost so far. Citizens of Australia must take up the mantle on themselves when it comes to environmental issues. It does not require costly gestures from their part to create a change. Even minor steps, like planting saplings, can cause a significant shift when done on a major scale.
Having faced massive devastation both economically and physically, Australia is not in the clear yet. There is still more than a month left for the fire season to end. Ms. Nerlie Abram, Australian National University Climate Scientist, has put this dire situation in the right words “If this is what global warming of just over 1 degree Celsius looks like, do we want to see the impacts of 3 degrees or more? Because that is the trajectory, we are on.” It makes me wonder
How much worse are we willing to let this get?
If we fail to act even after such immense destruction, we will only leave behind a bleak legacy for our future generations.