Feb. 10th, 2009


Feb. 10th, 2009 12:58 pm
The 2009 Victorian bushfires are the worst Australia has ever seen. The Age now estimates the fires may have claimed 300 lives, with weather conditions pushing the fires so fast, and not always in easily anticipated directions, that many people were caught in their homes before they could be warned to leave. I'm not sure how well or otherwise things were managed, but I do know these fires are not what even seasoned bushfire veterans are used to.

If you want to help, consider donating blood or money or both to the Red Cross Victorian Bushfire appeal. They'd prefer you to use the web site, though it was not coping with the load when I tried using it on Sunday. I have also heard that they have enough blood for immediate use but will need to replenish stocks in the next couple of months, so you needn't go immediately.

I've tried contacting the people I know in regional areas, but there aren't many I still keep in touch with; I hope all of you are safe. Here in suburban Melbourne, it all feels oddly distant. I spent Saturday safely hiding from the heatwave inside my house playing Fallout 3 - later, some of the scenes from Bendigo and Kinglake seemed indistinguishable from the post-apocalyptic Capital Wasteland setting of the game.

Meanwhile the UK is getting unusual amounts of snow, and temperatures here have dropped by nearly 30 degrees in a few days. Regardless of the cause, surely no-one can deny that our planet's climate is seriously  fucked.

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