Australia is burning. You’ve probably heard about the terrible bushfires ravaging the country. Encompassing around 7.3-million hectares of land, these fires have caused immeasurable damage to the country and show no signs of stopping.
But how did this happen, and what can we do about the Australia fires? Keep reading to find out.
How Did the Australia Fires Start?
There are a few causes for the bushfires in Australia. Some of the fires are man-made, caused by arsonists.
It was being falsely reported that around 200 arsonists were charged with arson in connection to the fires. In reality, not all these arsonists had anything to do with these specific fires. Some of these charges were unrelated arson offenses.
Some of the fires were also caused by lightning. But, like the California fires, all the fires have continued thanks to climate change.
2019 was the hottest year on record for Australia, and the lowest for rainfall. This made the country extremely dry, making it perfect for fires. Top that off with the high winds they’ve been facing which help the fires spread and you have a recipe for disaster.
Bushfires happen in Australia all the time. But thanks to the dry heat and wind, the fires have been able to spread a lot easier and stay lit this time around.
Is Climate Change to Blame?
Climate change is partly to blame for the spread of fires. Climate change is the reason that Australia is experiencing its highest temperatures on record, as well as a drought. Seeing as this is the main reason the fires are spreading, climate change is a definite factor.
The factors that began the fires, like lightning strikes, can’t be blamed on climate change. Neither can arsonists. It’s the ease of the spread that is climate-change driven.
Australia’s climate has increased by 1° C since 1910. This is significant enough to make extreme heat events and fires more frequent and harder to fight.
There has been a lot of debate surrounding the role of climate change in the Australia fires. The Australian government, including Prime Minister Scott Morrison, have denied climate change’s role. They say that fires are normal in Australia, choosing to ignore the added severity of the current blazes.
Scientists all seem to agree, though, that climate change at least plays a part in the spreading of these fires.
Denying it is a political move meant to work in favor of the conservative government’s overall goals. Australia is the largest exporter of coal on earth, a huge factor in climate change. and anything that threatens that industry will be fought against.
In a case like this, it’s best to listen to science rather than politicians.
How Much Damage Has Been Done?
The damage to Australia has been severe. Over 3,000 homes have been burned to the ground, and at least 28 people have died. Around 18-million acres of land have burnt up, and an estimated 480-million animals have perished.
These are extremely troubling numbers.
Australia has a very unique and expansive set of wildlife. The country houses between hundreds of thousands of species’, many native to the country.
Many Australian animals are already on the endangered species list. Some of these include the quokka, the Tasmanian devil, and the woylie. They face much further risk of extinction thanks to the fires.
What’s Being Done to Stop the Australia Fires?
Hundreds of thousands of Australian volunteer firefighters are fighting the blazes. They are trying to stop the spread the best they can.
Australia declared a state of emergency, and many were evacuated from their homes. The army has been deployed to help get these people to safety, and to help but out the fires.
Countries like Canada and the U.S. have stepped in to help. They’ve sent firefighters of their own, as well as donations and resources that might be helpful.
The internet has also been a huge factor in helping. Influencers, celebrities, and companies across the landscape are raising money to help.
Speaking long-term, there is a call to fortify homes in bushfire zones to make them more resilient to fires. There has also been a push for a legitimate fire service in the country rather than relying on volunteers.
What Can We Do to Help the Situation?
Watching from the sidelines can be painful. It makes many people want to do something, even though they may be halfway across the world. Thankfully, there are some things people can do to help Australia, and stop something like this from happening again.
Many charities are accepting donations to help fight the fires. World Wildlife Foundation, The Salvation Army, GlobalGiving, and Direct Relief are among a few.
Fundraisers are being held all across the world and internet. One fundraiser, launched by comedian Celeste Barber, has earned $ 50 million. All that money will go towards fighting the blazes, and all of it comes from people just like you.
Some companies have released promotional items to raise money for the fire. Apparel company Teddy Fresh raised over $50,000 for Australia through a limited-run shirt. Sometimes, it’s easier to justify a donation if you’re getting something in return.
$50,721 – that’s how much we raised for Australia with our ORANGE SKY shirt, and its completely sold out after one day. Thank you to everyone who bought this, and thank you to all the brave Australians on the front of this fire. Our hearts go out to your beautiful country ❤️ pic.twitter.com/qICUti5sEB— Teddy Fresh (@teddyfresh) January 16, 2020
Donating is one of the best ways you can fight the fires. If you don’t have money to give, spreading the word and sharing different ways to donate also helps. Word of mouth is extremely important in convincing people of the issue at hand and why they should help.
Spread the word about climate change. The more people involved in fighting climate change, the less likely that something like this will happen in the future.
Australia Needs Your Help
Now more than ever, Australians need all the help they can get. We risk losing a lot more amazing wildlife, homes, and human lives the longer these fires rage on. The more we band together to help end the Australia fires, the sooner we can put this tragedy behind us and work on never letting it get this bad again.
For more on the environment, check out our articles covering a variety of green topics. Contact us with any comments, questions, or concerns.