Red skies will now never be as beautiful as I once thought they were.

I am sure that all of us have been transfixed and horrified by what has been happening in Australia and pictures this last couple of weeks of blood-red skies gave us an all-too-real look into what hell must be.

You can’t imagine the fear for both humans and the millions of animals affected by the fires that seem to have set the whole country alight.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I thought the firework display in Sydney to mark the arrival of 2020 was insensitive at the least and appalling at best. Using fire to usher in the New Year while fire was destroying everything around the city and beyond just seemed wrong on so many levels.

I cannot think of anything more terrifying than being caught up in fires of this magnitude.

At time of writing, there have been 23 reported deaths – and you don’t even want to imagine that horror.

Just by the way, I live in a town of retained firefighters – ordinary people with ordinary jobs who turn out when needed to protect life and property for others. I pray they will never face anything like what is happening in Australia at the moment where firefighters continue through exhaustion, extreme heat and unimaginable danger to fight a battle they cannot win.

Scott Morrison, the Australian prime minister, who has under-performed throughout, was right this week when he said the only thing that could help now was a soaking rain.

And ironically, not so far away in Indonesia, rain is the last thing that is needed. At least 25 people have died from floods in Jakarta,

There was an item on TV the other morning about a business in Yorkshire looking at re-opening after being flooded since early November.

For us in Cumbria, this summer was very wet and very hot.

Back in the 1980s I stopped using hair spray because aerosol cans were adding to a hold that was appearing in the Ozone layer. Now even my asthma inhaler boasts of being CFC-free but it appears we did too little, too late.

My daughter has lived in Tanzania and Rwanda, among other places. These are African countries that I am sure we feel superior to. Yet both these countries have banned single-use plastic – leading the world in one aspect of the fight against climate change (or the “climate emergency” as it is now deemed).

I am not great at always remembering to recycle because my attempts are so insignificant. How are our feeble attempts going to help change the world when huge countries including China, the USA and Australia are turning their backs on the problems?

Maybe we can’t do much but that shouldn’t stop us from doing something. Let’s at least aim, in 2020, to make sure that, even if we can’t solve the problem, we have done nothing to exacerbate it!