I got back from Australia two weeks ago.
A couple of years ago, I lived in Australia and it’s a country that forever has a piece of my heart. I started to get information from my Australian friends in September that the “bushfire season” had started early. Yes, bushfires are so common in Australia during the summer that they even have a name for it. I was mostly worried if the wildfires were going to affect our trip in any way, but we got to our departure date in November and began our journey to Australia.
As we landed in Sydney, the first thing we saw outside the window was the smoke from the surrounding bushfires. It hit me so hard, sitting on an airplane that was releasing tons of carbon dioxide, looking down at what our way of living has done to the planet. This is climate change.
The bushfires were a constant reminder during our trip, whether it was waking up to the smell of smoke, having to change plans because roads had been closed due to the fires or the constant news reports. Some days were worse than others, like our last day in Sydney when authorities said that everyone should stay indoors (the header photo in this post was taken that afternoon when the air quality had gotten a little bit better). Still, we could enjoy our vacation without much disturbance.
The situation has gotten much worse now.
The fires have been burning for three months and they will continue to burn for at least three months more. 15 million acres have already burned down. Half a billion animals have already been killed. The air quality in the cities is already terrible. 30% of the koalas have already died and they’re on the verge of not being able to repopulate themselves. Houses have been lost. Human lives have been lost. This is the worst wildfires Australia has faced in decades. This is climate change.
What You can do to Help
My heart breaks and we need to do something. Here are some organizations that accept donations to help the firefighters, the citizens and the animals in Australia.
Wildlife Warriors: https://wildlifewarriors.org.au/
Australian Red Cross: https://www.redcross.org.au/
The Salvation Army Australia: https://www.salvationarmy.org.au/
St. Vincent de Paul Society Bushfire Appeal (NSW): https://donate.vinnies.org.au/
NSW Rural Fire Service: https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au
Victoria Country Fire Authority Bushfire Disaster Appeal: https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/
Victorian Bushfire Appeal: https://www.vic.gov.au/
Port Macquarie Koala Hospital: https://www.gofundme.com/
Australia needs much more than “thoughts and prayers” right now! ❤️