Updated: Feb 11
By Mariah Esquivel '21
We can all agree that what’s happening in Australia is a horrific tragedy, not only to the citizens living there, but to all the animals and to the rest of the world. If you’re unaware of what's currently happening in Australia I’ll catch you up. Around September of 2019, bushfires erupted in New South Wales and eventually spread to every Australian state. As of now, roughly 25.5 million acres of land has burned, which is 704.3 times the size of San Francisco. They started due to lighting in hot dry areas, drought, and some because of human action. According to CNN, Australia is experiencing the worst drought in decades and strong winds are the reasons why the fires are worse than usual. The sad part is that the fires have killed 33 people and more than a billion animals. However, over 100 U.S. firefighters traveled to Australia to help tackle the fires, that are now 46% larger than the previous Amazon fires in Brazil.
On a somewhat positive note, rain poured over New South Wales, helping to calm down the fires. All fires in that state have been contained, meaning that they have them under control in one area, but they still are blazing. At the end of January, more than 50 fires were still burning in New South Wales and Victoria. Australia’s fire season is almost over as they are a yearly occurrence from December to February, but since all signs point to this year being the worst fire season since Black Saturday in 2009; there is no telling whether or not the fires will cease or continue.
Maybe this whole ordeal could’ve been avoided if Scott Morrison, the Prime Minister of Australia, had taken action when the first fires erupted and if world leaders would do their part to cut back on carbon emissions. Australians were bewildered when their Prime Minister couldn’t be found as the fires were quickly buring, only to find out that Morrison had been on vacation in Hawai’i while his county was engulfed in flames. What leader would leave his country right when they are in the middle of a do or die situation? And because these fires were made worse due to climate change, it is imperative that those who have the control to make real changes use their power to do so. Right now our world is in a state where every decision we make will affect our future for the greater good, as the decisions we made ten years ago are affecting us now.