The horror bushfires plaguing much of Australia, particularly Victoria and NSW, and most recently the absoutely ravaged South Coast should not have been a surprise.
In fact, they were quite accurately predicted by a climate change report from over ten years ago – down to the rough date and location.
The Gaurnaut Climate Change Review from 2008 predicted that wild and unprecedented dangerous bushfires would make an appearance by 2020, that they would be particularly bad in the South Coast region, and would only get worse with time rather than better.
The report predicted a fire season that would start earlier, end later, and get worse with every passing year because of drought and climate change.
This is from the Garnaut Climate change review that was published many years ago.
With the intensity of the Australian bushfires this summer, it’s fair to say his estimation is spot on.
What will our government do to reverse climate change? pic.twitter.com/Jpob07lfJ9
— tanzimmy (@tanzimmy) January 5, 2020
The economist behind the report, Ross Garnaut, said that unless we get our emissions to zero stat, the climate crisis and subsequent bushfires are only going to get worse – which at this stage is honestly hard to imagine.
A father and his daughter watch smoke from the out-of-control Currowan Fire sweep over the South Coast town of Currarong. The fire has turned pyrocumulus, resulting in ash rain. We are in the “safe” zone by the water #AustraliaOnFire #NSWfires @dailytelegraph pic.twitter.com/RffIYTITER
— Linda Silmalis (@LindaSilmalis) January 4, 2020
Is The Government Lowering Our Emissions To Decrease Bushfires Then?
The simple answer is: nope.
Australia was ranked worst on a list of 57 countries’ climate change policies – and PM Scott Morrison lied through his teeth to the UN, stating that we are on track with lowering our emissions when in fact they’ve actually risen since 2005.
That, plus the fact that despite these warnings the government had been systematically decreasing funding to the RFS and putting more and more investments into coal, it’s safe to say that climate action is really not of interest to our current Liberal government.
Via Aaron Seymour on Facebook pic.twitter.com/c82NMxGzXL
— Verity Firth (@VerityFirth) January 5, 2020
According to the Climate Action Tracker, Australia’s fossil fuel emissions are now 7% above 2005 levels, when they are supposed to be 26-28% lower than 2005 by 2030
The question now is, will the deaths and devastation caused by these bushfires make a difference in how our government approaches climate change?
The fire season is expected to last well into Autumn, with the danger season expecting to relieve in April – only to start again in September.
Image Sources: Twitter