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Countries from Siberia to Australia are burning: the age of fire is the bleakest warning yet

Countries from Siberia to Australia are burning: the age of fire is the bleakest warning yet

It is time not only to think the unthinkable, but to speak it: the world economy, civilisation, and maybe our survival as a species are on the line

Fire front bushfire in the valley, Blue Mountains, Australia
 Realms as diverse and distant as Siberia, Amazonia, Indonesia, Australia and California are aflame. Photograph: Andrew Merry/Getty Images

On any day, between 10,000 and 30,000 bushfires burn around the planet.

Realms as diverse and distant as Siberia, Amazonia, Indonesia, Australia and California are aflame. The advent of “the age of fire” is the bleakest warning yet that humans have breached boundaries we were never meant to cross.

It is time not only to think the unthinkable, but to speak it: that the world economy, civilisation, and maybe our very survival as a species are on the line. And it is past time to act.

It isn’t just fires. It’s the incessant knell of unnatural (human-fed) disasters: droughts, floods, vanishing rivers, lakes and glaciers and the rise in billion-dollar weather impacts.

It is the spate of extinctions, the precipitous loss of sea fish, birds and corals, of forests, mammals, frogs, bees and other insects. It is the march of deserts and the waxing of dead zones in the oceans.

It is an avalanche of human chemical emissions poisoning our air, water, food, homes, cities, farms and unborn babies, slaying nine million a year.

It is the probability there will be no Arctic before the end of this century and rising seas expelling 300 million from their homes.

It is the ominous seepage of methane from the world’s oceans, tundra, swamps and fossil fuels, threatening runaway heating of 7 to 10 degrees or more.

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