After the Fires

We still have about three months of summer left here in Australia. In that time I expect there will be more fires, more destruction of lives, property and the environment.

The only good thing to come out of these fires will be an understanding of the consequences of our country’s inaction.

It’s only through these personal experiences and relating it back to decisions and policies made within the political system that we’re going to see any change. These fires have moved climate change from the theoretical and beyond the scare campaign to become the lived experience of the vast majority of Australians. We have all been affected by these fires, and we will all feel the consequences on our daily lives for the next decade. Whole towns and industries have been razed to the ground, and those that choose to rebuild will take that long to get back on their feet.

The Prime Minister (Scotty from Marketing) and his Deputy have ridden a wave to the top by choosing to do nothing on a range of issues. And when they have acted, they’ve done so only for the gain of those who donate to their campaigns – not the their constituents or community. They have chosen to line the pockets of their political friends and left the country out to dry.

From this summer forth we have to make our votes count.

Ask yourselves…

What did they do for the land on which we stand or the people in it?”
What did they do to make our lives better?
Did they actively contribute to this absolute devastation?

Stop voting for self interest and start voting for your community. Vote for change and healing.

I’m typing this outside in my little courtyard in Adelaide as ash from the fires on Kangaroo Island falls from the sky. A fine powder is coating every surface, including my keyboard. I’m starting to feel the sting of smoke in my eyes. That’s probably going to be the extent of impact on me from these fires – indirect, limited, escapable.

I have lived through fire and felt the immediate impact and it’s long term effects as you attempt to rebuild. Not just your home, but your relationships and connections with the world and community. The effects of these fires are much, much bigger than that. They’re not small or individual, they are communal. They affect the land itself – every tree and animal. There will be scars left across the country from this summer. What was green is now ash.

But the ash is fertile. Fire clears away the old and overgrown in forest to let new seed and shoots have a chance. Burn away the old ideas and norms. They no longer exist, they’re just charred and twisted remnants. New shoots will spring up soon, a fresh canvas awaits.

Photo I took of Sugar Pine Forest in 2016
Photo I took of Sugar Pine Forest in 2016
Sugar Pine Forest 1/1/20
Sugar Pine Forest January 1 2020. Image from the Tumut & Adelong Times

By Tim Klapdor

Passionate about good design, motivated by the power of media and enchanted by the opportunities of technology.

One reply on “After the Fires”

I’m cynical that in these times of exulted ignorance any change can be wrought. Anecdotally, right wing nutters are already blaming the left and the ‘greenies’ for these fires! They’re claiming that there are too many National Parks and that they are too big, that they’ve been hampered in efforts to back-burn by the left etc. These fires will instead be used by those in power to help entrench further policies that increase Climate Change – not recognize and respond to it.

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