Mainstream media outlets gave substantial coverage to the UN’s new report on the climate change crisis late last month, which said the Earth’s climate is warming faster than at any point in the past 65 million years and that human activity is the cause. Disappointingly, though not unsurprisingly, the news reports dried up after only a few days.
Blue Mountains Mayor Mark Greenhill told ABC News Breakfast on October 18: “The climatic conditions that fuelled that fire yesterday were just unprecedented ... an unprecedented disaster.” More than 100 fires broke out across New South Wales on October 17. By October 19, they had destroyed at least 193 homes in the Blue Mountains alone and caused at least one confirmed death.
Discussing the last-minute deal in the United States Congress to avoid triggering a debt default, Gail Collins, a columnist in the New York Times wrote: “Well, um, yippie. Wow. “Congress has decided it won’t trigger a global financial crisis out of pure pique. Can’t get any better than that.” Much could be written about the antics of the far right in the Republican Party on display for the world these past weeks.
These photographs were taken on October 17 from Sydney's inner-west — many kilometres away from the nearest fires (which were in the Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Newcastle) in what has been described as the worst bush fires in the state of NSW in decades.