Hi, y’all.

I know that linking to Democracy Now! is almost redundant around here, because almost everyone that reads FDL probably watches or listens to this great show. But the Watercooler feature is about what’s on my mind (and yours) and, along with the news that this was the hottest year on record in the USA, it also came to my attention over the last few days that Australia is on fire. 

While discussing this on Twitter with Teresa Nielsen Hayden of Making Light, Kieran Hiely (@kjhealy) sent us this terrifying story of survival in Tasmania:

We saw tornadoes of fire just coming across towards us and the next thing we knew everything was on fire, everywhere all around us …

We lost three houses and by that time I had sent Tammy … with the children to get down to the jetty because there was no other escape we couldn’t get off.

We were relying on the jetty really. And the difficulty was, there was so much smoke and ember and there was only about probably 200mm to 300mm of air above the water. So we were all just heads, water up to our chins just trying to breathe because it was just, the atmosphere was so incredibly toxic.

Teresa aptly compared it to stories from the Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894, and it’s impossible not to conflate the two and imagine these kinds of fires raging across our states even more frequently in the not too distant future.

So this is what’s on my mind, and I think it needs to be on more minds until we stop debating the reality of the problem and start debating real solutions.

This is also MyFDL’s latest open Watercooler thread, so feel free to tell us whatever you’re thinking about too.