Australia is going up in flames and, over 1,000 nautical miles away, the smoke from these fires has made the afternoon as dark as sundown in my home, and smeared a vile orange light over everything. It is how one imagines the Apocalypse would start. All I can think about is the 500,000 innocent, beautiful, delightful animals that have died; the ancients forest that have been torched. I have been in Australia. I think of those sweet little wallabies that hopped up shyly and tapped me on the leg, hoping for food; of the platypus splashing in the creek; of the spiny echidna bumbling along in his own little world; of the budgies flocking around a billabong; of the 'silly' galahs sitting on the water pump blades, having to move each time they went below the horizontal; of the kangaroos bounding with such speed and grace across the flat land; of the most beautiful wrens in the world, pecking in the dirt around my feet. I remember the grace of the ghost gums, the weirdness of the baobab trees, the wonderful bunya bunya pines. How will the Australian people continue with so many of these gone? How will Australia continue?
Of course, it is terrible for the people, those who have lost their family and friends, their homes and their livelihoods. But this has happened through the folly and selfishness of the human race. There is barely a person in the consumer world who isn't complicit in this destruction. But we can try and stop it getting worse. Anyone who reads this blog must have some love for nature. Imagine, sitting here in the middle of what should be a bright and breezy day, with the sky a lurid orange from fires hundreds and hundreds of miles away and the lights on. I can tell you: it is overwhelming. Like it or not, it's time to completely change the trajectory of our society and put the planet first. As they say: it's the only one we've got. We all have to stand up and both act in our own lives and vote for the politicians who think beyond the next election. It may not be too late. But Australia tells us that we haven't much time left.