I feel a lot of anguish and grief this morning. The one story, above all others, above all for those living in this part of the world – but also for all inhabitants of the planet that give a fuck – that matters - is the burning of the ancient forests of Gondwana in Tasmania.
Not only is there an absolute silence about this catastrophe in this country but there is next to no coverage in Australia as well – (kudos to the BRITISH Guardian for giving coverage to this and alerting me to this).
Not only that – but on this blog where I thought people cared there were only 75 views of the story I did (along with devastating photographs) while a minor story I threw out about armed personnel carriers in the streets in Auckland has had 1350.
Something is desperately wrong – and most especially I am talking to people Down-Under.
This is a story that stands alongside the disaster in the Amazon (which is turning into a source of carbon), the Indonesian rain forests and the temperate rainforests of Olympia National Park in Washington state.
All this (along with superstorms and rain falling more than once at the North Pole) testifies to abrupt climate change and the unleashing of a huge number of positive, irreversible positive feedbacks meaning that we are in runaway global warming that is feeding on itself.
With all due respect to Prof.David Bowman who wrote the article how could anyone who has a heart (as opposed to an ‘interest’ in the ‘environment’ - just think for a moment what a anthrocentric word THAT is) write the words “Thankfully there has been no loss of life and comparatively limited damage to property because most fires are in remote areas”
How many THOUSANDS of birds and animals will have perished in this catastrophe?
Have a listen to the recording below of the wildlife of these ancient forests
What a pathetic underplaying of what is a huge catastrophe – not a “problem” for the “environment” - a catastrophe!
Yet who is willing to take this on without turning the page to another story that is more comforting?
Very few, it seems.
Tasmania fires: First images of World Heritage Area devastation emerge, show signs of 'system collapse'
‘Devastating’ long-term prognosis for ancient Gondwana ecosystem as bushfires turn trees more than 1,000 years old to tinder
Fires in Tasmania’s ancient forests are a warning for all of us
More than 72,000 hectares of western Tasmania have been burned by a cluster of bushfires, most of them ignited by a spectacular dry lightning storm that crossed the island on January 13.
Professor, Environmental Change Biology, University of Tasmania
29 January, 2016