Thousands celebrating New Years Eve in Australia flee into the ocean to escape raging bushfires.

Climate change, it’s here.

Perhaps it is time that the world helps Australia in their moment of need. It is like Armageddon in many areas of the continent.

Yesterday, over 30,000 people were ordered to evacuate a huge swath of land in Victoria state, known as Gippsland, as soaring temperatures sparked lightening creating apocalyptic wildfires.

Today, thousands are trapped on a beach in the town of Mallacoota as a massive firewall of over 65 feet bears down on them.

From The Guardian:

Thousands of people fled to the lake and ocean in Mallacoota, as bushfires hit the Gippsland town on Tuesday.

The out-of-control fire reached the town in the morning and about 4,000 people fled to the coastline, with Country Fire Authority members working to protect them. The town had not been told to evacuate on Sunday when the rest of East Gippsland was, and authorities decided it was too dangerous to move them on Monday.

People reported hearing gas bottles explode as the fire front reached the town, and the sound of sirens telling people to get in the water.

By 1.30pm the fire had reached the water’s edge. A local man, Graham, told ABC Gippsland he could see fire in the centre of the town, and 20m high flames on the outskirts where he believed homes were alight.

A couple of the videos contain strong language.

Katherine Murphy writes a blistering piece on the Coalition and Scott Morrison, This is what it looks like when your government sells out the climate for votes

Given there is no law that says bushfires preclude sensible, evidence-based policy conversations, it’s reasonable to ask why this particular prohibition was asserted.

The answer to that is simple. The Coalition does not want its record raked over at a time when Australians are deeply anxious, because it’s hard to control the narrative in those conditions. The government does not want people who are not particularly engaged in politics, and who make a point of not following Canberra’s periodically rancid policy debates (and climate is the most toxic of the lot), switching on to this issue at a time where they have a personal stake in the conversation.

While Scott Morrison has acknowledged there is a link between climate change and natural disasters, and in attitudinal terms that acknowledgement is a positive development, it’s not really in the prime minister’s interests for anyone to press very assertively on that pressure point, particularly not at a time when the prolonged drought (another symptom of climate change) is already making the Coalition’s supporters restive.

Morrison doesn’t invite the climate action interrogation, because the government’s record is abysmal, and I don’t invoke that word lightly. The Liberal and National parties have done everything within their collective power to frustrate climate action in Australia for more than a decade. The Coalition repealed the carbon price. They attempted to gut the renewable energy target. They imposed fig-leaf policies costing taxpayers billions that have failed to stop emissions rising every quarter.

Sorry for the short diary, but I need to get some sleep.

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