Australia burning

I thought Colorado’s fires were bad. And then came California. I thought California’s fires were bad. And then came Australia. I don’t know how one adequately describes what’s happening there. I can’t begin to imagine what the residents are going through. And maybe worst of all, the animals. The deadly, tragic situation for the animals. An estimated one billion dead already. And many of those that survive will die in the near future because their habitat and food sources no longer exist.

I’ve tried to understand just how massive the burned areas are, but many of the maps are grossly out of proper proportion and misleading. It’s stunning enough to see a map of Australia overlayed on a map of the US — they are similar in size. But the fires… how to put them in proportion?

NBC News has published a map of Australia with the fires show in proper scale:

Note: Fire hot spots are likely fires, as determined by an analysis of satellite imagery. Sources: NASA, Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS); Australia’s Department of the Environment and Energy Graphic: Jiachuan Wu / NBC News

Still, one doesn’t quite “feel it” with that map. So they’ve provided a second, interactive map where you can slide a map of your area under a circle showing the total area of the fires:

It’s a bit faint, but that’s Colorado, with the fire area centered on Denver. It’s almost inconceivable that an area that big has burned. And is still burning. Use the map to check your location, and you’ll have a much better idea of what Aussies are up against.

I weep at what Aussies are facing and at the lives lost, both human and animal. I weep because I think this may well be what our world will look like in the not-too-distant future.

6 thoughts on “Australia burning

  1. this is unbelievably tragic for so many reasons. I have an Aussie son in law and he, and my family will return tomorrow after a month spent visiting home there.

    1. It’s heartbreaking to see those fires and the damage being done. I’m glad to know all your loved ones will be returning safely. Mother Nature has been raging down there, and I fear it may be a warning of things to come for the rest of the world.

  2. I probably shouldn’t be, but I’m a bit surprised that Australian politicians aren’t more concerned. Guess it’s a global problem, though I did read somewhere that Australia (for whatever reason) was likely to get hit the hardest and soonest. That much seems to be true. The pictures/videos of the koalas and other critters suffering are hard to watch.

    1. Maybe their politicians do care and our media just aren’t reporting it. Spectacular fires and desperate animals are so much better for readership.

      I can understand Australia being really hard hit. It’s very dry, with huge unpopulated areas just waiting to burn. And I think I’ve read somewhere that the temperature there has risen more than in most other parts of the world recently.

    1. What a world we are leaving to our children, grandchildren, and future descendants. Greta Thunberg is right to be so angry. I am encouraged that some cities and states decided to continue their conservation efforts even when federal support was withdrawn, but it’s going to take so much more than that. We need a determined federal government, a determined international effort, to get the job done. And I don’t see that ever happening.

... and that's my two cents