To the editor: I live in Australia, the country that is now being ravaged by wildfires. As a father and grandfather, I am reaching out in the hope that the lessons of our disaster are not lost on the world.
Our horrific firestorms are the consequence of a long-running drought and the elongation of the fire season, both directly attributable to human-caused climate change. The worst is yet to come, as the costs both economically and environmentally are yet to be accounted, let alone paid.
We have towns that have run out of water and need to bring in drinking water by transport. Major cities have imposed water restrictions. Farmers have no water for crops and livestock.
Currently many of us are suffering under a haze that makes it feel as if we are smoking 80 cigarettes a day. Major sporting events have been canceled. Tourism is suffering as bookings are canceled. Mass evacuations are underway.
We are a nation in great peril and one further imperiled by a leadership enthralled by the lobbying and revenues of mining corporations. We may well become a failed state in time, a once proudly developed nation, the first nation to fall victim to climate change.
Heed our warning. The time to act on climate change is here and it is now. The call is for immediate and urgent action. Please, contact your elected officials and demand action. Make the personal adjustments and sacrifices that climate change demands. Our world is on fire. It is time to act.
Michael Voorbij, Tenambit, Australia