Guest essay by Eric Worrall
A year on from large bushfires which activists have blamed on climate change, some bushfire survivors are upset Australia hasn’t abandoned fossil fuel. But there is no firm evidence climate change is making Aussie bushfires worse.
One year since Australia’s devastating wildfires, anger grows at climate change ‘inaction’
Feb. 5, 2021, 2:17 AM AEST / Updated Feb. 5, 2021, 3:38 AM AEST
By Nick Baker
“I feel ashamed of our country as it’s allowed some sort of short-term cynical politics to prevent proper climate action,” one survivor said.
SYDNEY — Not long after Jack Egan’s home burned down during Australia’s “Black Summer” wildfires a year ago, he made a life-changing decision.
At 60, Egan quit his job so he could spend his days campaigning for stronger action on climate change, a national and global challenge he said was “akin to a war.”
“I was working quite happily in aged care … but the fires caused me to devote the rest of my life to volunteer on climate action. I took an early retirement and that’s what I do full time now,” he said.
Egan, whose property in Rosedale on the country’s south-east coast has still not been rebuilt, recalled how “the fires had a behavior that was new to Australia, or new to me at least … and the length of the fires — months — was really shocking.”
February marks one year since Australia’s catastrophic wildfire season started to ease, after leaving 34 people dead and torching at least 18 million hectares of land (nearly 44.5 million acres). It was, in the words of one state premier, “the most devastating natural disaster in living memory.”
…Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/science/environment/one-year-australia-s-devastating-wildfires-anger-grows-climate-change-n1256714
I’m sorry for Jack Egan’s loss, but frankly if you live in the Aussie bush and your don’t want your home to burn, you need to clear the area around your house. The New South Wales Fire authority recommends all trees within 10m (30ft) of your home be cleared, and other vegetation be cleared to 50m.
Going by the picture at the top of the page, and I’m assuming this is a picture of the remains of Egan’s home, it looks like Jack Egan’s home was closely surrounded by tall, highly flammable eucalyptus trees. I may be wrong, but I do not think Egan followed NSW fire authority bushfire safety guidelines.
In addition, Mr. Egan appears to have been a committed climate activist before the loss of his home. According to the ABC, “Mr Egan’s car, fitted with the climate change sign, survived the blaze while the house was destroyed.”
If Mr Egan wants to save people from future bushfires, perhaps he should consider campaigning for people to be more conscious of bushfire safety and preparedness, instead of trying to leverage his personal tragedy to convince people to support useless renewables.
Note: Professor Andy Pitman who created the slide above later claimed he misspoke, claimed he meant to say there is no “direct” link between climate change and drought.