by Val Germann
The headline in today’s THE AUSTRALIAN says it all: “Fires put state in meltdown.” Yes, these are the same types of fires we have been reporting on for weeks here at Star Phoenix Base, the kind that have been going on “down under” for several years. What is different this time is that a major city has been shut down by the fires, which cut a main electrical transmission line to Melbourne, just at rush hour.
This disaster, combined with 100-plus degree F. heat, threw the city into chaos as hundreds of thousands of homes lost power, along with the central business district.
In addition, hundreds of traffic lights went dark, snarling traffic everywhere. To make matters worse, the whole tennis world has been watching Melbourne and the Australian Open, one of four Grand Slam events. How embarrassing for the Aussies even though the power is still on for ESPN.
Will this at last be a wake up call for someone in the Howard government, that there may in fact be something to this climate change business after all? Does the whole country have to catch fire? One wonders. Maybe Al Gore can come back to town and bring some folks up to speed on the true situation. They seem to need it.