Living In, and Thinking About, the World in Pandemic Times

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    Queen Elizabeth II famously labelled 1992 as an annus horribilis¡ª¨Dterrible year¡¬¡ªa year that saw a fire and a scandal that ravaged British society and the royal family. When 2020 kick-started the new decade, little did we know what lay in store. In Australia, where I live, the wildfires started earlier in the year, were more widespread, and were more devastating. As the country had been in an El Nino¨Cinduced draught phase, it had not rained for several months prior to the onset of summer. Dry undergrowth provided fuel and high wind speeds allowed the fires to spread quickly, jumping across clearings, rivers, and roads, claiming several properties and much indigenous, innocent wildlife. The fires were eventually quenched, but this time by a spate of hailstorm¡ªhail the size of golf balls crushed everything left outdoors; buildings were damaged and some beyond repair. The ongoing and unending debates on climate change¡ªwhether global warming is causing the extended xeric conditions, uncontrollable fires, and unpredictable weather¡ªhad not quite settled down when the pandemic arrived.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3pp
    JournalEcology, Economy and Society - the INSEE
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


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