Dr Luke with Hugo The Beagle caught up with local Doctors Luke and Michelle on Fathers Day at the Mossy Cafe in Mossy Point. It was a magic day with tables full and Dad's aplenty. We asked Luke how his day had been so far. "The day started with pancakes with a side of homemade cards and keepsakes my children created." "Presents? No socks or jocks for me. As a father the best I can wish for is certainty for my children.
"Fatherhood is really about nurturing and protecting your children. Ultimately, we all want the same thing. That our kids to be happy, healthy, and safe. "A few days ago they announced the start of the 2020-21 bushfire season. So many of our fathers and their families are still living day to day suffering the effects of last year's bushfires. "Today I remember that some families in my community will be spending the day in their makeshift homes, campers or tents. Some families are spending their Fathers Day, without their Dad's who didn't survive the bushfire. "Last summer much of the East coast of Australia were physically affected by months of smoke pollution. We suffered searing heat and sent exhausted firefighters headlong into deadly fires. My own family experienced the terror of our own regional fires. While I was on duty at the local hospital with flames 200m away the memory of knowing my family had to evacuate our home without me still makes me sick to the stomach.
"With September here again and the start of the bushfire season the fear of further bushfires stir again. This worry was shelved for a little while after the flooding rains and the cooler winter season, replaced by COVID-19, a real and contemporary threat that has changed our lives unimaginably but the campaigns now asking 'Have you got a bushfire plan?' bring back the memories. "Beyond our last preparedness what has changed? What more can we do as a community in the face of unprecedented conditions".
"Now we are in the middle of a pandemic and at the beginning of a new supercharged era of bushfires. A season fuelled by anthropological climate change. Our warming hasn't slowed - it's rapidly increasing each year, We aren't prepared, we aren't resourced and we aren't acting."
"As a doctor, when I diagnose a disease, I treat the cause. Doctors are taught that the way to treat the symptoms of a disease is to find and treat the cause of that disease. We use rigorously tested evidence-based treatments and guide our management on the best available science."
"If bushfires are one of the symptoms of climate change. then we are failing to treat the underlying cause. We have been deliberately led into a state of confusion by powerful vested interests, despite the cause being well known for many decades."
"Our children are the ones that will be most affected by the fallout of our current pandemic and worsening climate crisis. If our children were diagnosed with a debilitating disease we would demand and fight for them"
"I love the cards, the pancakes and the Father's Day lunch but if you asked me what i would really love on Father's Day it would be meaningful climate action"
Photos supplied : Photographer Kylie Verdow