The world is burning

Written By Zoey Angelucci, Staff Writer

For those unaware, since late July, wildfires in Australia took over. These are the worst fires seen in decades. Nationwide, 24 people died and over 2,000 homes underwent damage or destruction. They are struggling beyond belief to even attempt to contain these fires.

Australia suffers through wildfires every summer because of the hot, dry weather. Experts say climate change does nothing but make the severity and impact of the fires worse. However, while climate change is a large reason for these tragic fires, it is not the sole reason. Police in New South Wales took legal action against 183 people for starting and provoking wildfires in Australia. Of those, 53 have received criminal charges and 47 have been accused for not following the fire ban.

18 million acres of charred land covers Australia. Roughly half a billion animals reap the consequences of the fires. This number includes birds, reptiles and mammals. Almost a third of koalas died with a third of their habitat destroyed.

For months, Australia’s government worked tirelessly to fight these fires. State of emergencies have been called in the affected states is evident. More than 2,000 firefighters work on the ground awaiting support from military assistance and the U.S., Canada and New Zealand. Australia is now entering their summer season so the fires are likely to go on for quite a while.

As these devasting, unnatural tragedies continue, people need to wake up and realize what is becoming of this Earth. Yes, wildfires are a natural thing but not to this extreme. Yes, some people started wildfires, which is a problem in itself. However, these human-started fires would never have become so extreme if Australia’s conditions were not so unusually severe.

Between record-breaking heatwaves and one of the worst droughts in history, Australia’s unusual weather severities have made conditions and situations worse. There is no doubt in my mind that this is because of climate change. Everything dangerous has been intensified, increasing the odds of destruction.

Innocent animals are losing their homes and being killed because of these fires. People are dying and struggling beyond belief. How long is it going to take before we realize what is happening in the world around us?

Humans are to blame for this. We need to wake up and realize that we are the cause these tragedies. We are killing these animals and destroying these homes. We only get one Earth and if we continue as we are, we will lose our home and ruin it for all of the innocent animals. How many tragedies have to happen before we open our eyes and make a change?

That being said, it is obvious Australia is doing the best they can to help this situation, but they can only do so much. Donations can be made to any organization working towards victim relief or wildlife rescue groups, such as Australian Red Cross, Salvation Army Australia, Port Macquarie Koala Hospital and Currumbin Wildlife Hospital.