Wildfires have been raging in Australia for months. Fires have worsened to the likes of which the country has never seen before: Entire regions are being reduced to ash and billions of animals have fallen victim to the flames. The situation is dire. Here’s what you can do to help.
The images from Australia are unsettling: The charred remains of kangaroos, blackened wastelands that used to be forests and panicked citizens displaced from their homes. Reports like these paint a sobering picture of the previously untold extent of the destruction. More than 5 million hectors of land have been laid to waste by the growing fires – a patch of land equal in size to the entirety of the Hawaiian islands. Hardest hit by the wildfires is the State of New South Wales. 25 people have fallen victim to the wildfires up until now. Another 1,25 billions of mammals, birds and reptiles have also perished in the flames.
Australian emergency workers are tirelessly attempting to bring the fires under control. Although Australia is indeed far away from us, everyone can do something to help.
1. Support the Firemen on the Frontlines in Australia
Firefighting vehicles such as trucks and specialized planes, emergency housing and medical treatment for people and animals all cost money. Numerous agencies and organizations have begun collecting donations – here’s where you can donate:
- NSW Rural Fire Service: This voluntary fire brigade from South Wales is looking for donations for wildfire victims as well as the brigade itself. The brigade intends to distribute the proceeds themselves. (Donate using your credit card)
- Victory Country Fire Authority: Local Fire Bridage in the State of Victoria. Donations will be used to help the surrounding communities affected by the disaster.
2. Donate to NGOs and Animal Conservation Organizations
Alongside local fire brigades and state emergency personnel, NGOs are also taking action. These organizations are dependent on donations:
- WWF Australia: The organization puts donations to use by helping animals affected by the fire. As soon as the flames have been extinguished, the WWF will go to work to restore the forest and natural habitats of injured and wounded animals back to their natural state.
- Port Macquarie Koala Hospital: This animal hospital treats koalas. Donations will be used to sponsor projects such as setting up drinking water stations for wild animals.
- St Vincent de Paul Society: This NGO uses proceeds from donations to assist in providing families who’ve lost everything to the brushfires with food, clothes and furniture.
- Australian Red Cross: People who have lost their homes to the fires receive help from the Australian Red Cross. Donate here today to help those displaced by the flames.
- WIRES (New South Wales‘ Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service): Among other things, this organizations provides first-aid for animals wounded by the wildfires.
- Salvation Army Australia: This NGO supports evacuations, tends to those affected and provides countless essential resources for families in times of crisis.
3. Australia is burning: Spread the Word
Images from the Australian wildfires have been circulating around the entire world. This is in part thanks to notable personalities such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Jason Momoa who’ve shared photos on Instragram or Facebook. But the job is far from done. Posts and social media contributions need to stress the connection between climate change and the wildfires raging in Australia in order to enact change. 2019 was the driest year in Australia on record. On average, it was 2.7 degrees warmer than usual.
These above-average temperatures mean conditions were ripe for the start and spread of bushfires. This is coupled with a premature start to the dry season, two factors which provided the tinder continue to feed the flames. Although climate change may not be directly responsible for the fire, it has nonetheless played a role we cannot ignore. Inform yourself, talk to your friends and family, share informative articles on this connection between climate change and the dire consequences of this “natural” disaster. This way we can hope to spark interest, initiative and get more people organized to take action against climate change.
4. Take Action Against Climate Change
Informing ourselves on climate change and related topics is a start, but action must follow. It is imperative that we do not allow the average worldwide temperature (compared to preindustrial temperatures) to climb by more than 3.6°F (2° C). An even better goal would be to cap the overall rise in temperature at 2.7° F (1,5° C). This massive undertaking entails a massive reduction in greenhouse emissions. Politicians must play their role in combatting climate change, however we as individuals can also play our part:
- Take Action: 15 Everyday Ways to Combat Climate Change
- How to be More Sustainable: 4 Steps for Beginners
- Going vegan: 5 Simple Steps Towards a Vegan Diet
- Recommended Thermostat Temperature Settings for Winter: How to Save on Heating
5. Sign a Petition
Stop Adani’s Polluting Coal Mine: Currently, Adani is planning on digging one of the biggest coal mines in the world in Queensland’s Galilee Basin. This poses a serious threat to sources of clean groundwater in the region, the climate and indigenous rights. Join the movement and sign the petition today from Greenpeace today. Send a message to the Australian government here: The world wants to #StopAdani. Together we can make a difference!
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This article was translated from German to English by Evan Binford. You can view the original here: Australien brennt: 5 Dinge, die du jetzt tun kannst.** Links to retailers marked with ** or underlined orange are partially partner links: If you buy here, you actively support Utopia.org, because we will receive a small part of the sales proceeds. More info.
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