The bushfires in Australia aren’t going away. The bushfire seasons was only supposed to begin now, but the fires have been raging for months now. The fires have had detrimental consequences, such as the loss of life, property and a blanket of smoke over the city. When will this disaster end?
The fire danger remains elevated across large chunks of New South Wales, and recently the Rural Fire Service confirmed that more than 724 homes have been destroyed by the bushfires this season, and six lives have already been lost. It has also been reported that 2.7 million hectares have been burnt, approximately the same size as the entirety of Haiti.
Unfortunately, it looks as if the worst could still be to come. Former Fire and Rescue Commissioner, Greg Mullins, stated that “the worst is to come because it’s going to get hotter and drier, and there’s no significant rain in the outlooks.” Communities must follow the protocols and directions set by emergency officials to ensure the safety of all involved. We also think and pray for the firefighters risking their own lives to protect others. We thank you for your service, and we pray for your wellbeing during this period.
One impact of the bushfires has been the severe levels of smoke in Sydney. At one point, it was deemed 11 times poorer than typically ‘hazardous’ levels, resulting in businesses closing their doors for the day, schools shutting down and potentially dangerous conditions for asthmatics. These pictures below demonstrate the sheer severity of the smoke.
Moreover, the sun in Sydney has taken on a different colour, one that is not yellow, but blood red.
The smoke prompted a protest by 20,000 people in Sydney, with individuals demanding stronger climate action as the bushfires continue to rage across the state. The smoke has forced thousands of workers to abandon work sits, schools to cancel excursions and firefighters to attend scores of jobs as the smoke triggered alarms in building across the city.
We require immediate action from the state and the federal government. This issue will not go away, in fact, it looks like it’s only going to get worse. A long and deadly summer is in store if we don’t act quickly. For now, we need an effective short-term solution, but when the fires go away in March next year, we must not forget about the issue, but start to discuss a long-term solution.
This initiative has been taken by New South Wales Environment Minister Matt Kean, who released information stating that New South Wales will commit to lowering greenhouse gases by 35 per cent by 2030. He broke ranks with his Liberal Party colleagues by saying that “no one can deny” climate change is to blame for the smoke haze from the bushfires and that we needed to act urgently. Mr Kean, I admire your courage, that quality is what we need from our politicians, and I thank you for your passion for taking action.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, maybe you can learn from Minister Matt Kean’s courage. Because while you continue with your meaningless statement of “deeply troubling” and “unsettling”, Mr Kean has decided that we need to stop talking and start taking action.
It’s time to take action.
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