Australia’s Deadly Inferno

I’m off to Australia in a couple of days, for the publication of Forecast there. The first stop will be Melbourne, scene of last weekend’s bushfires–the deadliest in the country’s history.

AT Global Post today I ask to what extent the disaster should be blamed on our emissions.

It begins:

After its deadliest bushfires ever, Australia is in mourning.

Television reports flicker around the world, depicting walls of flames tearing through suburban towns outside Melbourne in southeastern Australia.

The scenes of destruction are reminiscent of a war zone.

At least 135 people died in the infernos, many of them burned in their homes or overtaken in their cars as they tried to flee. The toll is expected to rise as rescue workers explore the ash-covered devastation.

“This is of a level of horror that few of us anticipated,” Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told Australian television. “There are no words to describe it other than mass murder.”

Read more.

[update: the death toll has now reached 171]

Forecast Reviewed

The first reviews of Forecast have been . . . . . very complimentary!

Fred Pearce, writing in Orion Magazine says

Well worth the carbon footprint of its publication … The most perceptive [book] so far about [climate change’s] growing place in our daily lives, our iconography, and, sometimes, our paranoias.

Read the whole thing here.

In the American Prospect, Chris Mooney, author of Storm World, does a good job of laying out what the book is about. On Mooney’s website, he also writes:

Stephan Faris’s Forecast is a journalistic take on global warming, the kind of book I might have liked to write myself with a better travel budget. It’s colorful, writerly, dispatched from the front lines. The key theme: In less stable parts of the world, global warming is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. It can tip fragile societies over the edge. And that’s already happening.