From Siberia to Australia: the age of fire is the bleakest warning yet

a worldwide counter-revolution is under way, intended to paralyse action on climate, environmental loss, extinction, toxic air water and food. It is financed by “dark money” from a terrified fossil fuels sector through shady institutions. It pours hundreds of millions of dollars into global propaganda to discredit climate and environmental science, seduce government and deceive the public. More sinister still is the growing control of the fossil fuels lobby over governments and the world media – not only in floundering western democracies, but also Russia, China, Brazil, India and Saudi Arabia... It is the ominous seepage of methane from the world’s oceans, tundra, swamps and fossil fuels, threatening runaway heating of 7 to 10 degrees or more. It is the drift of billions of tonnes of soil from lands that feed us into the blind depths of the ocean, placing food security on a knife-edge as farming systems fail amid a turbulent climate and degraded landscapes. It is the rising toll of non-communicable disease killing three people in every four. It is the $1.8tn spent weaponising nations for the true “war to end all wars”. 

On any day, between 10,000 and 30,000 bushfires burn around the planet. Realms as diverse and distant as Siberia, Amazonia, Indonesia, Australia and California are aflame. The advent of “the age of fire” is the bleakest warning yet that humans have breached boundaries we were never meant to cross. It is time not only to think the unthinkable, but to speak it: that the world economy, civilisation, and maybe our very survival as a species are on the line. And it is past time to act.

It isn’t just fires. It’s the incessant knell of unnatural (human-fed) disasters: droughts, floods, vanishing rivers, lakes and glaciers and the rise in billion-dollar weather impacts. It is the spate of extinctions, the precipitous loss of sea fish, birds and corals, of forests, mammals, frogs, bees and other insects. It is the march of deserts and the waxing of dead zones in the oceans. It is an avalanche of human chemical emissions poisoning our air, water, food, homes, cities, farms and unborn babies, slaying nine million a year. It is the probability there will be no Arctic before the end of this century and rising seas expelling 300 million from their homes....

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