Fair Use from NASA: nasa.gov
As more people and animals in Australia lose their lives and homes to devastating bushfires, tensions are rising, and people are looking for someone to blame. There has been global support for the fire crews in Australia, but even so, 10 million hectares of land have already been damaged severely across the nation. Much of the blame has fallen on the Australian Prime Minister. Locals from areas like New South Wales and Victoria, for example, have made it clear that they are upset with the lack of support for the fire services in the regions.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison agrees that the response from the Australian government to the fires was not perfect but also makes sure to note that he has been making sure to account for the impact of climate change on the fires. With longer, hotter, and drier summers, the damage from the fires has been amplified, as it is much more difficult to control them. The fires themselves have also been adding to the climate change argument as the black carbon from the fires has traveled more than 7,000 miles. The Australian prime minister wants to reduce carbon emissions along the lines of the Paris Climate Agreement and therefore has not provided what many Australians believe to be the necessary resources to control and recover from the fires.
Australia’s indigenous people have said that the brush needs to burn, and before colonization in Australia, the indigenous people would intentionally burn the brush and control it to about a knee-high blaze so that when a natural brushfire happens, it is not nearly as devastating. Many people have pushed the Australian government to start doing this again to help prevent the same devastation that has occurred recently.
Members of the community are also disheartened by the fires.
Senior Alex Herrmann said, “I hope that they can get everything figured out quickly. It is really sad to see all of those people losing their lives and homes.”
Junior Ellie Rosso said, “I really don’t like hearing about the crazy number of koalas dying, but I like to see celebrities trying to help out.”
The worldwide response has been extremely supportive, as more than $60 million have been collected through fundraisers from people across the globe. These donations have been accepted with gratitude, but the Australian government is setting up a $1.4 billion fund for those affected by the fires, showing how much more still needs to be done to help.