Sitting on my bed, I cried inconsolably. It was ugly crying, so violent I was gasping for breath, unable to stop my sobbing. Snot poured out of my nose and onto the pile of tissues beside me. I hadn’t cried like this in… years? At least. Decades? Maybe. Probably.
Maybe I can learn from this, I thought. Maybe, there’s another way to talk about climate change, global warming, and the rapidly accelerating climate emergency we are all facing right now. Maybe, some of the people who are in denial about it just need a different way to think about it. To think about it the way I was right then, shattered into a million pieces.
I’ve been trying to educate people for years, but there are some people whose denial about the harsh reality of climate change is so entrenched that it’s like pounding my head against a wall. I can show them very clear graphs, using data from NASA, link them up to dozens of easy to understand articles from renowned climatologists, but for most of them, it doesn’t matter.
The facts don’t matter.
Instead, they cling to conspiracy theories they’ve seen on a website or social media, or point to the handful of generic scientists who, I know – and can prove – are in the employ of fossil fuel companies. Their one “expert” – who is usually not a climatologist – is greater, in their minds, than all the thousands of them who are speaking out, pleading for people to listen, and the thousands of peer-reviewed studies.
If that is you, then this, right here, right now, is for you.
Play along with me, and let me give you a few new things to think about. What do you have to lose, anyway, except your ignorance?
First, I need you to watch this video.
It’s from November 20, 2019. I first saw it on Twitter, where it was plugged as the inspirational miracle rescue of a koala bear in Australia. A grandmother, passing by, trying to escape that day’s bush fires, stopped the car, pulled off her shirt, and grabbed a wild koala bear out of a burning tree.
Here’s what I noticed when I watched this:
- The screams of pain the koala makes.
- His burned fur.
- The blistered, raw and bleeding skin.
- The way he tries to put one foot down, but it is too painful, and he can’t.
- His paws leaving bloody hand prints on the blanket he was wrapped in.
- Tiny hands grasping, desperately trying to drink while his rescuer uses her water bottle to both put out the fire still burning on him, and to give him a drink, too.
- The trust he shows, or is it just that he is in so much pain, so much agony, and so, so confused.
What I didn’t see? An inspirational miracle. I saw an innocent animal in unbearable pain, one of thousands being burned to death that very day. It was amazing that someone jumped out and grabbed him, but the situation was one of a hellscape beyond nightmares.
Did you notice all of that? No?
Then watch it again. And again.
However many times it takes.
This koala is later named Lewis,
after one of his rescuer’s grandchildren.
He was taken to a koala hospital.
These Were Not Normal Bush Fires:
Climate Change Made Them Worse. Much Worse.
I can hear you already, telling me that bush fires happen in Australia regularly.
Yes, Australia has always had bushfires, but 2019 was the hottest year in Australian history. The 2019-2020 fire season is like nothing we’ve seen before, anywhere.
Record low rainfall and record high temperatures have contributed to a continent-scale emergency that has alarmed scientists, doctors and firefighters.
Australia broke its all-time temperature record twice in December. An average maximum of 105.6F was recorded on 17 December, broken a day later by 107.4, both beating 2013’s record of 104.5F. More info.
More info on the link to climate change:
Scientists say the NSW mega fires are linked to climate change. Here’s how.
From a Nov. 25, 2019, news article about the koalas and Eucalyptus trees:
Eucalyptus itself is some of the most fire-adapted vegetation on Earth, able to sprout and grow anew in the immediate aftermath of fires. In normal fire conditions, the flames wouldn’t typically reach the top of the trees, leaving the koalas relatively unscathed. The spike we’re seeing in koala deaths is an indicator that something is wrong, says David Bowman, director of the Fire Center Research Hub at the University of Tasmania.
The scale of the current fires—largely a result of climate change—has no precedent, according to Bowman. “They are burning at a particularly high intensity,” he says. Packed with oil, the trees are burning hot and fast, sometimes exploding and sending sparks yards in every direction.
It’s only the spring in Australia. Bowman worries that the situation will be far worse in January and February, as temperatures continue to rise and drought is exacerbated.
The koala hospital was already full of burned koalas.
But Lewis Died, Despite Round the Clock Care.
His injuries were too severe and he was in too much pain, so he was euthanized, a week after his dramatic rescue. THAT is what had shattered me so thoroughly that I couldn’t stop crying, and I have been full of grief ever since.
Experts believe around 8,000 koalas have died in the fires, although that number is weeks old, and the fires continue to rampage. In some places, they say a third or even a half of the population has been killed, and they might not ever even find the bodies – the fire was so hot it consumed them, utterly.
As I write this, Australia has become hell on Earth.
There are fires all over the country. Fires big enough and hot enough they are spawning fire tornadoes, and even creating their own weather. They are uncontrollable, the temperatures are at record highs, and it’s only going to get worse.
It’s not just koalas. It’s all sorts of animals, from kangaroos to sugar gliders to deer and all creatures great and small in between that have been burned alive. That includes livestock and pets that weren’t evacuated. The fires move so fast, sometimes there just isn’t time…
January 3, 2020:
Countless animals too badly hurt to be saved after bushfires:
“It is largely a job of euthanizing at this stage, both livestock and wildlife,” Dr Davidson said.
“They are so severely burned that there is nothing better you can do than end their suffering.” In coming days more animals will die from starvation and heat stress as they battle to find food and shelter in their decimated habitat.
December 26, 2019:
Nearly 500 million animals killed in Australian bushfires, experts fear.
“The scorched regions include nature reserves in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area and parts of the Gondwana rainforests — which have existed since the time of the dinosaurs and are the most extensive area of subtropical rainforest in the world.”
Those 500 MILLION dead animals did nothing to deserve being burned alive.
Can you even conceive of that many blackened bodies, laying where they fell, after fleeing in terror from walls of flames that they couldn’t outrun? Can you? Because I can not!
Take a good, hard, look:
Many hundreds (thousands?) of beautiful gliders have also been burned alive:
In case you have forgotten what a koala should look like:
Humans did this.
And humans are continuing to plod through life, more interested in Instagram and Twitter, TV and sports, than they are about the 500,000,000 animals that have already died because of what the human species has done to the planet. It’s just starting in Australia – January and February are usually the worse months.
Want to help the koalas?
The koala hospital is in need of funds and has a GoFundMe fundraiser:
Are you ready to learn?
Are you ready to learn something, anything, about the FACT of climate change, global warming, and the climate emergency the world is experiencing already? Start here, and wake the fuck up:
- 99% consensus: ‘No doubt left’ about scientific consensus on global warming, say experts. Extensive historical data shows recent extreme warming is unprecedented in past 2,000 years.
- If you are ready to dig in, read this article:
The Uninhabitable Earth: Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak — sooner than you think.
I can send you to articles beyond number, written by experts. I can show you graphs that make it as clear as glass. But you have to put aside your pre-conceptions, and be willing to learn. I’m not going to argue with climate change deniers again.
I’m going to end on this note, but it’s not just those in charge who need “to get this” – it’s everyone: