on january 1st 2020, a blanket of smoke from the australian fires covered new zealand (the blue outline on the left). the smoke tinted glaciers brown, the sky turned orange and residents reported smelling smoke.
up until recently, the volunteer firefighters were unpaid. there are not enough firefighters to control the bushfires, so many have left their jobs to try to save lives.
the morrison government announced that firefighters would be paid up to $300 per day for their service, totalling at $6000. twenty days.
there are 18 confirmed deaths and 17 known missing people. over 1500 homes have been destroyed. over 4,800,000 animals have died, including 30% of new south wales' koala population. two volunteer firefighters have died. all while prime minister scott morrison was holidaying in hawaii.
note that the data in the image is outdated - the figures have since gotten much worse.
these two photos of the mid-north coast of australia were taken one week apart
i was watching ABC news on new years eve and every single story was about the bushfires
the phrase "climate crisis" definitely applies here
scott morrison visited kangaroo island and expressed his relief that nobody had died there
people informed him that two people had in fact died
the australian bushfires have now burned over 10,800,000 hectares of land - more than the area of bulgaria.
scott morrison made a post about the bushfires with a (now removed) donation link. the link was not to donate to the fire service or state emergency services - it was to donate to the liberal party.
these two photos were taken six minutes apart.
the air quality in canberra (australia's capital) is currently the worst of any city in the world. all australia post deliveries to and from canberra have been suspended. hospital equipment such as MRI machines have had to be shut down to avoid damage. an elderly woman arriving in canberra airport from brisbane (where the fires aren't nearly as bad) died in the airport before ambulances could arrive due to respiratory issues.
this is auckland, new zealand. the sky is orange from the smoke from australia. new zealand is more than 2,000km away from australia's east coast.
a reference point for americans - from 2000 to 2018, the california fires burned an average of 300,000 hectares of land, and a total of 5,727,000 hectares.
the australian bushfires have burned nearly double that - 10,800,000 hectares - and are still going.
the australian bushfires started in august, and they've already burned nearly double the area of the past eighteen years of californian fires combined.
disinformation is unavoidable in the modern era. research conducted by the queensland university of technology found that the role of arsonists has been heavily exaggerated by social media, and there are posts claiming things from environmentalists blocking controlled burns to the fires being a coordinated effort by the islamic state.
rupert murdoch's news corp publications (which comprise the majority of australian newspaper and magazine media) have further spread some of this misinformation, particularly the claims that the greens and arsonists are to blame.
firefighters have had to step in and clear up the confusion intentionally created by the media, fighting against the misinformation that the greens are trying to ban hazard reduction burns:
"Political parties of any denomination do NOT influence [our] decisions [...] when choosing when and how to do Hazard Reduction burns. [...] The main reason Hazard Reduction burns are cancelled or delayed is [to] make it safe for firefighters, native flora and fauna and obviously you wonderful people."
a brief summary:
- the bushfires in australia have burned over 10,800,000 hectares of land, nearly double the area of the past eighteen years of californian fires combined
- the air quality in canberra (australia's capital) is the worst of any city in the world, causing a woman to die of respiratory issues in the airport before ambulances could arrive
- the morrison government is completely negligent, making infuriatingly naive comments about the cricket and asking for donations to the liberal party in a time of national crisis
- the murdoch owned media is spreading misinformation, pinning the blame on arsonists and the greens instead of acknowledging the true causes
- 28 people and millions of animals have died, either from the fires directly or from smoke inhalation
you can donate to the australian fire services here:
- new south wales: https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/volunteer/support-your-local-brigade
- victoria: https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/donate1
- south australia: https://cfsfoundation.org.au/donate
additionally, the rural fire services pages has a page outlining bogus fundraising or donation attempts: https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/about-us/fundraising
But now is not the time to talk about climate change, right Gladys?
My step father tried that line just before Christmas, fucker had to leave the room out of shame.
@lynnesbian I can’t get my head around how you would even begin to tackle that.
@jamie at this point we know we can't - efforts are no longer focused on putting out the fires, they're just trying to save as many lives as possible
@lynnesbian support the firefighters by ensuring there will be ever more fires to fight
@lynnesbian what the fuck
@lynnesbian But climate change is a hoax according to the people running things. 😒
@lynnesbian damn that's crazy. this and the Auckland photo finally put it in perspective for me.
@lynnesbian Thank you for this thread!!
@lynnesbian Ugh. I was just in Auckland on Monday. The smoke wasn’t that bad yet. Are you there now? I hope there are masks for people.
@mkb i'm in brisbane, thankfully the fires haven't really impacted here yet
@lynnesbian 🤞Here in the US we’ve got our fingers crossed for all of you.
@lynnesbian I want to throw a brick so hard it hits his dense head from 12000 miles away
@lynnesbian and yet the opposition can do nothing because any criticism will be seen as politicising tragedy. not that they have shown any inclination to fulfil the function of an opposition party, mind you
@lynnesbian that has got to be the most craven thing imaginable, especially since a bunch of politically disengaged boomers would definitely have gone and donated through that link thinking they're doing something to help.
@lynnesbian What an asshole.
@lynnesbian you are fucking kidding me - that guy is a disaster.
@lynnesbian This is wild, and kinda sad to see. When a fire is that big and that widespread, I can see how it would be difficult to handle.I wonder how long it will continue. Will this be the new normal for Australia, like it is in California?
@gerowen the australian fires have been going since august and have burned almost double the amount of the past eighteen years of californian fires
current estimates are that the fires will continue until at least march
@lynnesbian At that size I can't imagine they can even get physically close enough to fight them to begin with. Their only options for a fire that large would be to cut massive fire breaks and let it burn itself out, hoping a spark doesn't jump the break, or use aircraft to drop something on it from above, and even then they'd have to get high enough to avoid being cooked and hope that the water or powder didn't burn up or evaporate before it even got to the fire.
@firstname.lastname@example.org's anti-chud pro-skub instance for funtimes