“We’re facing a man-made disaster of global scale, our greatest threat in thousands of years – climate change. If we don’t take action, the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.” – David Attenborough’s opening speech to the People’s Seat Address at COP24 in Poland.
By now, you may be aware of the bushfires in Australia. For us, New Year’s Eve was not just about celebrations and fireworks. As the decade came to an end, the fires worsened and continued to burn throughout the country – a direct link to the country’s carbon emissions, which are among the highest per capita in the world.
The 2019-2020 bushfire season started much earlier than usual. The fires are currently burning all the way from Queensland down to Victoria, across the Great Dividing Range. An area of around 6 million hectares has burned, close to the size of Svalbard or roughly 60% of Iceland’s land mass. These fires have destroyed lives, properties and livelihoods. They affect millions of Australians and experts have estimated that they’ve resulted in the deaths of up to 480 million animals. Fire fighters have also been injured, lost their own homes and even their lives.
For many Australians, the new year so far has provided little joy. For the majority, it may seem as though there is very little that can be done except to sit and wait as thousands of volunteer firefighters battle the flames.
You can help by donating to disaster relief and recovery.