I worked in Australia for two years and the climate and landscape always made me think the country should be covered with sunscreen.
Now what it needs is a coating of fire retardant or serious rain.
The scale of bushfires all across our neighbouring property is such that we can see smoke colouring the horizon from here.
We can also see the political failure to recognise the need for planning as it becomes clear that the current Australian Government has been ignoring expert scientific advice on the danger posed by climate change.
A Prime Minister, who comes from a background in the advertising industry, appears to think he knows better than scientists who have studied environmental changes for years.
When we lived in Sydney, we knew people who lived in areas where the risk of fires taking their house were very real.
They lived with the reality that a text advising them leave might come at any time requiring them to leave immediately.
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This danger provided a low hum in their daily lives linked to a well-prepared evacuation plan and storage of irreplaceable valuables in fire proof boxes.
There had been worrying signs that a fire bug was haunting the area increasing the risk beyond the combination of heat and dry bushland.
The Australian bush fire coverage is full of stories of bravery; hard-working exhausted rural firefighters tackling monstrous roaring flames that can change direction with the power to create their own internal weather systems that can turn over fire trucks.
There are the stories of those who have chosen to stay in fire risk areas and try to defend their properties and those who have left everything behind to flee for their lives.
It is hard to see from here, far from the risk of fire, smoke and potential loss of life why people would not leave when advised to evacuate.
The terror of surging fires and houses exploding in flames that we have seen in the media you would think would be more than enough incentive for most people to leave immediately before others have to risk their lives to rescue them.
Perhaps this stoicism is noble or is it another version of Prime Minister Scott Morrison's aversion to listening to and heeding expert advice?
Politicians dissing expert advice is a new trope of the right as scientific evidence creates confusion with facts where truth is an impediment to power.
This disdain for experts is being played to voters as a simple solution to complex problems.
The devastating bush fires burning up the land, houses and towns across Australia are proving a massive wake up call to both Australians and the world as the consequences of rising temperatures and wild weather events signal that climate change is already here.
• Terry Sarten (aka Tel) is a writer, musician and social worker. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org