the wicked witch of the east has returned to oz

Australia fire Hillville 1500

AUSTRALIA TODAY IS GROUND ZERO for the cli­mate cat­a­strophe. Its glo­rious Great Bar­rier Reef is dying, its world-heritage rain forests are burning, its giant kelp forests have largely van­ished, nu­merous towns have run out of water or are about to, and now the vast con­ti­nent is burning on a scale never be­fore seen. The im­ages of the fires are a cross be­tween Mad Max and On The Beach: thou­sands driven onto beaches in a dull or­ange haze, crowded tableaux of people and an­i­mals al­most me­dieval in their strange muteness—half-Bruegel, half-Bosch, ringed by fire, sur­vivors’ faces hidden be­hind masks and swim­ming gog­gles.” READ MORE