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Common Dreams

'Like Wildfire': Images of Climate Catastrophe in Australia Go Global

Photographs of bushfires offer a glimpse of our future on a hotter, drier planet

Lauren McCauley, staff writer

As fires continue to rage across Australia with soaring temperatures fueling the flames, images of the catastrophe spreading around the web capture the heartbreak, harrow and heat.

An image of a family huddled beneath a dock, the sky ablaze behind them; a charred sheep standing alone in a field of ashes; the smoking remains of a home: these images communicate better than words the story of our future on a hotter, drier planet.

In response to the photographs taken of the Holmes family of Tasmania, who clung to a wooden jetty for three hours to avoid the treacherous blaze, the Guardian's Jonathan Jones writes:

It is an image of survival...In an age of catastrophe, these people have found a way to live through the worst. They will be fine. They will outlive their home and start again. It is such a flame-seared image, we might be seeing the end of civilization – and a family tough enough to outlive it.

With hundreds of thousands of hectares of land destroyed and thousands of livestock killed in the bushfires, the country braces itself for more hot, dry winds on Friday as temperatures are expected to break 120ºF in the inland regions.



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