While the stark reality of the global climate emergency struck home in Australia with its worst bushfire season, its neighbour Indonesia faced catastrophic floods and islands disappearing below the rising sea. Green Left's Peter Boyle interviewed Friends of the Earth Indonesia climate change campaigner Yuyun Harmono about the situation.
The latest fire emergency in four states has rammed home the meaning of the words “catastrophic climate change” in the minds of most people in Australia. Most now realise that this is a climate emergency and our society should mobilise all its resources to address it.
The Australia Institute (TAI) released its latest annual Climate of the Nation 2019 report on September 10. The annual report, first produced by the Climate Institute and for the past two years by TAI, has been tracking attitudes on climate change for more than a decade.
An Imperial Disaster: The Bengal Cyclone of 1876
256 pp, $45
In the early hours of October 31, 1876, there was a terrible convergence of storm, tide and full moon in the Bay of Bengal. Its immediate effect was to send a giant wave, 12 metres high, over the low lying islands and coastal areas.
At least 215,000 people drowned.
It was followed by famine as shocked communities tried to scrounge what food they could. Then at least a further 100,000 died in a cholera epidemic.
As Hurricane Harvey continues to batter Texas and Louisiana in the United States, where nearly 30 people are reported dead, the flooding and landslides that have swept Bangladesh, India and Nepal for weeks have killed more than 1,200 people and displaced millions so far.
Western media, for the most part, has paid little attention to the catastrophic flooding that has swept these South Asian regions.
Now is exactly the time to talk about climate change and all the other systemic injustices — from racial profiling to economic austerity — that turn disasters like Harvey into human catastrophes.