Australia is a country known for its hot, extreme weather and exotic animals that inhabit it. As a matter of fact, because the weather is so hot and dry, Australia has its very own fire seasons. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) forest service defines fire seasons as “Period(s) of the year during which wildland fires are likely to occur, spread, and affect resource values sufficient to warrant organized fire management activities. A legally enacted time during which burning activities are regulated by state or local authority.” So, if fires are prone to happen in Australia just because of its natural weather, what does climate change have to do with it? Well, as we witness the warming of our world due to climate change, wildfires increase both in intensity and in frequency. This could easily be observed by the wildfires that were seen in Australia in early 2020, which caused so much damage to both life and property. An estimate of more than a billion animals died because of the bushfires in Australia, a continent that is known for hosting many exotic animals that are solely found only in Australia (Dickman, University of Sydney’s Faculty of Science). This number should be an eye opener to anyone who cares at all about animal life, since this is about an ⅛th of the human population in animal deaths. Many of these animals already had a low population count and are now at the risk of extinction. The millions of acres burned and the air pollution caused by smoke will have long lasting effects too.
With these bush fires and the coronavirus, Australia’s economy is not doing well at all. From a monetary viewpoint alone, we can see how helping to mitigate and lower carbon emissions to combat climate change is necessary, and how it can affect the economy due to the natural disasters boosted by climate change. Some may incorrectly see this as an exceptional case and might feel indifferent because they don’t live in Australia or had no interactions with it.
However, make no mistake that while Australia is experiencing climate change more severely and earlier, this is just a glimpse of the effects that climate change will have on the rest of the world too. If everyone could see the amount of damage climate change causes as closely as Australia has, there would be no doubt at all about global action that should be taken to mitigate climate change.
We should always take precautions against events that cause harm to life and our economy. To not be proactive in stopping or lessening incoming disasters due to climate change is simply irresponsible. To delay any action to combat climate change is not in the best interest of any long standing country or government. Australia continues to suffer economically from its wildfires, reaching new records for hottest day and month that will continue to be broken if we don’t do enough to combat climate change globally. As economies suffer greatly around the world due to the coronavirus pandemic, Australia will suffer the most since they were already not economically prepared due to its bushfires. In fact, the coronavirus pandemic is a good example of how not to reduce carbon emissions. While it might be good for the environment to just stop or lower carbon emissions, it is bad for humanity and the economy. This just means that we can’t just cut down on carbon emissions, but we have to seek alternatives as well.
Fire Terminology, www.fs.fed.us/nwacfire/home/terminology.html.
“More than One Billion Animals Impacted in Australian Bushfires.” The University of Sydney, www.sydney.edu.au/news-opinion/news/2020/01/08/australian-bushfires-more-than-one-billion-animals-impacted.html.