With global temperatures rising, droughts getting worse, and nobody doing shit about it, let’s take a depressing look at how many places around the world are on fire this month.
It seems that with every year comes a new heat record, a new horrific wave of environmental disasters, and a new day baptised by the prefix ‘Black.’ In the case of the Australian wildfires last year, the entire season was christened the ‘Black Summer.’ The world watched in horror as our country scorched, and vowed that this nightmarish event would never be repeated anywhere.
Yet, in the year we prayed would be kinder than its predecessor, the Northern Hemisphere is currently plagued by wildfires. A cruel call-back from the writers of 2020. As of August 2021, fires are blazing across Europe and the Americas leaving paths of destruction in their wake.
The most infamous hotspot being Greece, who has been battling wildfires for over a fortnight now, with the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis describing the fires as “the greatest ecological catastrophe of the last few decades.”
With hundreds of fires causing destruction across the country, Greece has sought aid from overseas in battling the blazes. These fires come after Greece was struck by its worst heat wave since 1987, with Prime Minister Mitsotakis stating he believes climate change to be a key player in the cause of the fires.
Turkey also faces searing temperatures and wildfires across the country, which has resulted in the deaths of 8 people so far. Citizens across Turkey are being forced to evacuate and abandon their homes, with this wave of wildfires also being dubbed “the worst in history” by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Though Turkey is not unfamiliar with wildfires this time of year, estimates say that 175,000 hectares have been destroyed by the recent fires – 8 times more than the yearly average.
Italy is amongst the countries most devastated by wildfires, again as the result of record-breaking heat, with Sicily’s measurement of 48.8°C on August 12th believed to be the highest temperature in European history. Harrowing footage shows firefighters battling flames for over 12-hours, with the fires having lasted for several weeks and causing 5 deaths.
Meanwhile in Southern America, the Amazon Rainforest continues to run ablaze, which last year reported 375,000 hectares engulfed by flames. However, this year the fires are less ruinous, August through to September typically is fire-season for the rainforest, with experts asserting that due to droughts and extended heatwaves, the duration of fire season is increasing. Simultaneously in Northern America, the state of California is currently facing the largest individual fire the state has ever seen, with less and less resources to fight the fire due to increasing droughts.
To evoke Bill Nye; the planet’s on fucking fire, and it’s no secret why. As we observe the cataclysmic fiery catastrophes happening all around the world now, and with the emotional scar of Australia’s Black Summer still tender, the Greek Prime Minister’s words ring in our ears:
The “reality of climate change” is upon us.