A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Wildfires Ravage Australia

Recently, news channels and social media have been flooding with information on the Australia wildfires. Australia is in desperate need of donations, considering that it’s currently facing the worst wildfire in its history. This fire has been burning since September of 2019 and is still burning the precious land as you read. Back in September, Australians only figured that their country was just experiencing a few natural bush fires, nothing more. However, they soon realized that the bush fires became uncontrollable, and they decided to reach out to the media for help. With all the devastation that Australia is experiencing, it is important to understand the damage this fire has caused, what the true cause of it is, and how the public can help with this disaster.

Since last September, almost 15 million acres of land have been burned, which is greater than the amount of land burned in both of the California and Amazon wildfires. At least 20 people have died, 28 have gone missing, 1 billion animals have died, many are on the brink of extinction, and over 1,500 homes have been destroyed due to the fire. Many Australians are fleeing their homes in hopes to stay safe. Furthermore, Australia’s air quality is immensely dangerous for the air is being polluted with ash and smoke. For example, New Zealand’s Franz Josef Glacier is normally snowy, however now the white mountain tops appeared to have a caramel brown color due to the smoke and ash. The devastation that Australia and its people are facing is immeasurable.

The ultimate question here is what is the true cause of what has been the worst wildfire to have ever hit Australia? Why has this fire, and other fires around the world, been so devastating recently? The answer to this question is climate change. Climate change is when global weather temperature patterns have a drastic change due to greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane absorb and emit radiant energy with the thermal infrared range. Our planet’s hottest year was recorded in 2016, leading to less snow & rain, and more dryness. How does Australia, as well as our planet, getting hotter have anything to do with the wildfire? Essentially, heat and dryness do not mix well with fires. In fact, heat and dryness are fuel to fires spreading. Hence, Australia is experiencing its worst wildfire yet, and it is getting worse by the hour due to climate change making our planet unnaturally hot. How is climate change getting worse? Well, especially now, the past wildfires in the Amazon, California, and Australia have made up two-thirds of our planet’s carbon dioxide emissions that get trapped into the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas, making our planet hotter.

Fortunately, we still have time to fix this climate crisis and prevent future extreme natural disasters. How? First, encourage your friends and family to try the following:

  • Switch to energy efficient items (solar panels)
  • Avoid using electricity as much as you can (charging phones, laptops, using washer and dryer)
  • Switch to an organic vegetarian or vegan diet
  • Lower your gasoline- fueled car time
  • Plant trees and plants to consume more carbon dioxide and produce more oxygen
  • Most importantly, talk about the issue! Spreading the word and informing others is the first step to solving this climate crisis. The more people that are educated and interested, the more they will do to help.

Climate change enthusiast, Tena Doss, states, “Australia is burning, and yes it is because of us… Climate change’s effect on our globe is easy to see, we just keep looking away. Trees burn, emit CO2 and then there are no trees left to clean the carbon dioxide out of the air. Humans are responsible for climate change.  Soon it will affect all of us personally, and maybe then we will do something to save ourselves.”  It is up to us to save our planet. President Barack Obama states, “No challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.” If you are interested in donating to Australia, its people, and animals lives who are in danger, click the link below. Our children deserve to live in a world where the air is clean and vital species of animals are not extinct. 

Donation Link: https://app.mobilecause.com/form/qP87TA?vid=46i1v