‘In peril’: World reacts to bushfires

 

Media outlets around the world have reacted to the "unprecedented" bushfires currently burning across northern New South Wales and south east Queensland.

Three people have been confirmed dead, five are missing and 40 have been injured, with 150 homes already destroyed - and the worst is yet to come.

"We're not even in summer yet," NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said.

"I'm quite concerned that … we're going to see more fires as we close through the season."

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Mayor Carol Sparks told the Sydney Morning Herald that her community has been "devastated" and the entire country is at risk from dangerous climate change.

Sparks, a member of the Glen Innes Severn Council, has no doubt that global warming is increasing the number of fires and their intensity.

"We are so impacted by drought and the lack of rain," she said.

"It's climate change, there's no doubt about it. The whole of the country is going to be affected. We need to take a serious look at our future."

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told the Today Show that the discussion around climate policies being to blame is not one that will be had "for the next weeks."

"We need to focus on saving lives," the Premier said, and "the communities who are doing it tough."

"Often, the first couple of days when I meet someone whose lost everything, they seem resilient.

"But you know that in the next few days when the shock wears off and they face reality, that's when we really need to provide our support and I just asked everybody to put politics aside and just consider the human toll and what we can do as humans to support people in our state."

Readers of the BBC's coverage on the fires have shared Sparks' concerns.

While some shared "thoughts and prayers", many others blamed climate change and the Australian government for the situation, with one reader writing, "Climate in peril as the world burns.

"Governments are to blame," wrote Suzanne G Kelly on a BBC post.

"They have ignored climate change even though all of the experts including Risk Analysts have been talking and warning about this for over two decades.

"It's now gone beyond blame. Governments have to be held to account and have to act now. They have been warned for decades of this and have done very little.

"It's shameful and heartbreaking."

It was a sentiment echoed by other readers, with another writing, "Climate change is truly the topic now. Government should take this seriously. But some take climate change as their advantage to win elections."

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"We have a climate change denying government who thinks this is normal," one Australian reader responded.

The Guardian has provided significant coverage of the NSW and QLD fires.
The Guardian has provided significant coverage of the NSW and QLD fires.

The Guardian have also provided significant coverage on the fires - where readers have also pointed out there's no denying climate change is the catalyst for the blaze.

"Looks like a snap from a dystopian future where climate change has taken hold … Oh wait," one reader tweeted, in response to footage from Port Macquarie.

"Has summer started #downunder yet?" tweeted another. "Feel sorry for the wildlife more than many #Australians and their politicians who don't give a rat's arse about #ClimateChange #GlobalWarming."

"This is what political inaction, corruption, ignorance, denial and complacency looks like", another responded.

"Must be that global warming," a Washington Post reader commented.

CNN's coverage of Australia's bushfires.
CNN's coverage of Australia's bushfires.

UK's The Times coverage included quotes from Adam Bandt of the Australia Greens party, who accused Prime Minister Scott Morrison of inaction in the face of the global climate crisis, saying that he hadn't done enough to reduce carbon emissions.

"I'm not saying the Prime Minister is directly responsible for the fires and the loss of life but he has contributed to making it more likely that these kinds of tragedies will occur," he said.

The New York Times have covered the fires since Friday.
The New York Times have covered the fires since Friday.
Coverage on the fires from the Bangkok Post.
Coverage on the fires from the Bangkok Post.
Coverage by the South China Morning Post.
Coverage by the South China Morning Post.
The UK's Times' coverage of the fires.
The UK's Times' coverage of the fires.

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