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.
mallacoota, victoria, two days ago. it's 9:20am, and the sky is pitch black. the sun is not visible - the glow in the upper left is from a light. it's 50 degrees celsius (122F). 4,000 people are gathered on the beach, trying to avoid the fires.
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note that the data in the image is outdated - the figures have since gotten much worse.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."
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
@lynnesbian Thank you for this thread!!
@firstname.lastname@example.org's anti-chud pro-skub instance for funtimes