Remember way, way back in those hazy days of the summer before last when Australia’s devastating bushfires were resetting our understanding of global warming? Remember when nothing was going to be the same again?
It was the wake-up call for Australia’s politicians and media, the alert to shift from a narrow fretting about coal exports to a broader reporting of the real-life impacts of global warming on people and communities embedded in the narrative of a world at a tipping point.
Well it’s happening again. Far away from Australia’s lockdown bickering, the 1 percentage-point rise in global warming on pre-industrial levels confirmed in 2018 seems to have tipped the world: 500 killed by the heat dome in Canada; 200 in the floods in Germany; this weekend’s video footage of the ferry rescue from the fires on the Greek island of Evia rhyming with Australia’s own New Year’s Eve images from Mallacoota just 20 months ago.