Hi, I think I want to come to you today.. or tonight, maybe? As it is I give no warnings and I really don’t serve notices. I just come to kill you, your neighbors, probably their neighbors too and if I am in a really nasty mood, I take the whole neighborhood with me. And guess what? I come at anyplace at any time. I don’t need passports, or visas, invitations or even any concrete reason really. I come in different shapes, sizes and intensities. My name? You can call me Mr. Disaster.
Are you surprised by what I say? You should not be because if you think back in most cases, you are the one who gave birth to me. It was the seed you planted so why fear the fruit now?
I live in fires, I thrive in blackouts and I grow in suitable environments like unplanned cluster constructions, poorly planned townships, maintenance neglect in older constructions, bridges, roads, buildings, use of poor material and lack of quality control. But mostly the ignorance and carelessness of the people in their workplaces, homes or even streets about me and my potential excite me so much more.
A small part of me really, is very active in Australia right now. Australia is warming faster than the global average due to climate change, and parts of the country are getting drier. There my name is Bushfire. I have burned at least 17.9 million acres, destroyed more than 3,000 homes, and killed at least 28 people since September. The choking smoke from my blazes is causing a health crisis and has literally circled the world. At the Australian Open in Melbourne recently, Slovenia’s Dalila Jakupovic forfeited her match after keeling over as my smoke permeated the tennis stadium and made it difficult for her to breathe. I won that match hand down Hee! Hee!
Australia has been battling me for months. California suffered from two horrible fire seasons in the last three years, one of which burned down an entire town. More than 135 fires are still burning currently. So far, I have scorched 12 million acres, killed 25 people, caused 240,000 Australians to evacuate their homes, burned alive an estimated half a billion animals, and caused $3.4 billion worth of damage.
“The big question isn’t necessarily how these wildfires started. In both cases, most of the fires were likely man-made, whether through downed electrical lines in California or arsonists in Australia,” says a blogger. See? Didn’t I say so?
So don’t look at me look in the mirror.