Australia: the Black Summer was just a glimpse

Black Summer, one of the hottest and driest summer season that Australia has ever witnessed was only a brief trailer of the picture that Australia is heading towards. The new reports published by the Royal Commission into National Disaster Arrangements; commissioned by the Australian government is the worst nightmare for Australia as well as for the entire world after a gloomy evening.

But what exactly does the report dictates? And will the world take it as a final sign to set the environment-repair work at a high pace; or will it still shut it’s eye to the most evident apocalypse?

Black Summer: Australia

In the summer of 2019, the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services raised an admonition of an early bushfire season; paying regard to atypical dry season moisture less soil and bushfire in Queensland.

With fire peeking in December-January, until March 2020 an estimate to 18.6 million hectors of areas was burnt; setting on fire about 6000 building and killing at the minimum of 34 people because of the fire. Smoke produces by the fire cost about 400 people and estimated 4,500 people needing urgent hospitalisation.

Analysis by NASA in January 2020 divulge that the Australian bushfire has poured out about 306 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The Air Quality Index (AQI) in the western part of Sydney hit 2,552 which is 12 times more than the perilous quality index of 200. In January the AQI in the Canberra area reached 4,650 and peaked to 7,700.

The smoke from the bushfire didn’t just affect Australia but the effects were seen around almost all the neighbouring territories; For example on the New Years Eve, New Zealand’ sky was covered with a quilt of dense smoke. Glaciers in the nearby areas were also affected as wind dissipated the smoke above the South Pacific Ocean.

The Bushfire has estimate either displaced or killed 3 billion animals, bird and invertebrates in the area. A number of already endangered species were driven to extinction while some stand ot the brink of extinction.

The Royal Commission’s bushfire report

The Australian government requested the Royal Commission in February to research and form a final report of the Bushfire; causes and aftermaths that burned so much area of the country.

The commission was lead by Mark Binskin, retired air chief and in the report’s foreword he said; “Every state and territory suffered a fire to some extent. The fires did not respect state borders or local government boundaries. On some days, extreme conditions drove a fire behaviour that was impossible to control.”

The report calls for a coordinated approach; new legislations and the prime minister to announce a national state of environmental emergency. The commissions demand the Australian government to

  • Form a new disaster management and recovery agency which ensures proper management of such calamities.
  • Revisit the Commonwealth’s Fair Work Act, so the employes do not discern a difference between volunteer firefighters.
  • An urgent improvement in the way data of the nation’s flora and fauna is collected for better battling with the bushfires in future.
  • To develop a nationally congruous fire danger management system.
  • Ensure the recovery and welfare of the survivors.
  • Collaboration with traditional Owners for a better understanding of fire management techniques.
  • Creation of a single charity fundraise for fighting with these catastrophes.

The report says that the climatic catastrophes will get “more complex, more unpredictable, and more difficult to manage”. The report further warns that Australia is heading towards a condition where it will have to deal with “compounded disasters” like flood, fire and storms simultaneously. Other than the natural disasters, the calamities will also affect “nation’s economy, critical infrastructure and essential services, such as our electricity, telecommunications and water supply, and our roads, railways and airports” says the report.

What does the report tell Australia?

Bushfires in Australia are pretty common, every year in the summer bushfire is a normal occurrence; it has helped in shaping the nature of the continent; then what was so exceptional about the 2019-20 bushfire that it has become such a huge concern?

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been criticised for his ruthless behaviour towards climate change and the way the government reacted to the crisis. According to a study in March 2020, human-actions of causing climate change have increased the risk of fires by 30%. But the Prime minister says; “To suggest that with just 1.3% of global emissions, that Australia doing something differently, more or less, would have changed the fire outcome this season. I don’t think that stands up to any credible scientific evidence at all”.

Being a member of the Paris Climate Agreement, Australia has promised to cut its carbon emission by minimum 26%, by the end of 2030; but the Morrison government is accused to be “cheating” about its promise to the Paris Agreement.

But the new report lays the reality into figures, people hope that it opens the blindfold of the government and they may acknowledge climate change as well as take the required actions.