Updated: Feb 6
By Emily Kline
As many people recall in July of 2019, an unusual amount of bushfires began in Australia and continued to rage on until May of 2020. Australia experienced many devastating effects on their land, wildlife, and homes as a result of these fires. According to Jessie Yeung of CNN, the bushfires were a result of droughts and heat: “Australia has been experiencing one of its worst droughts in decades, last spring was the driest on record. Meanwhile, a heatwave in December [of 2019] broke the record for the highest nationwide average temperature, with some places sweltering under temperatures well above 40 degrees Celsius (about 113-120 degrees Fahrenheit).”
Similarly, on August 18th, 2020, California governor, Gavin Newsome, declared a state of emergency for the entire state of Californa as the result of the wildfires that raged across the state. A few weeks later on, September 6th, California passed the record for the worst year in history for the amount of land damaged by wildfires. According to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, over 3,154,107 acres of land has been damaged by these fires. As fires rage on in California causing devastating effects, many people globally are looking into the significant connection between the bushfires in Australia, the disastrous wildfires in California, and climate change.
According to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, “Research shows that changes in climate [are] creat[ing] warmer, drier conditions, increas[ing] drought, and [are causing] a longer fire season [which boosts the] increases in wildfire risk”. Most of the time wildfires are caused by people, but climate change has helped to increase the risk, and ensure that once a wildfire has started its damaging effects will be bigger than ever before. Experts predict that this is only the beginning of the disastrous wildfires we are experiencing globally.
So what can we do to help stop the start of wildfires? The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions suggests “incorporating fire-resistant design features into materials and buildings, removing fuels such as dead trees from forests, and developing recovery plans before a fire starts”. These are just a few of the many different things we can do to help stop wildfires, and help save our planet from further destruction. Ultimately, if we truly want to make a change there has to be more pressure put on the government by common civilians. Individually we cannot make much of a difference, but together through the help of our national governments, and global efforts we can stop climate change and its disastrous effects.
Emily Kline is an editorial intern who is passionate and knowledgeable about fashion, beauty, and women empowerment.