6 February 2019

Richard Flanagan writes about Australia’s climate disaster, with a mix of righteous fury and despair: “What has become clear over these last four weeks across this vast, beautiful land of Australia is that a way of life is on the edge of vanishing. Australian summers, once a time of innocent pleasure, now are to be feared, to be anticipated not with joy but with dread, a time of discomfort, distress and, for some, fear that lasts not a day or a night but weeks and months. Power grids collapse, dying rivers vomit huge fish kills, while in the north, in Townsville, there are unprecedented floods, and in the south heat so extreme it pushes at the very edge of liveability has become everyday. And the future in which the people of Tasmania now find themselves, in the evacuation centres, camped in friends’ and family homes, fighting fires day after week after month, isn’t just frightening. It’s terrifying.”