Glendy Jimenez, Staff Writer

While many are joking about World War III, there is a bigger issue on the other side of the world. Australia has been suffering from fires since September 2019. More than 200 fires are burning right now. There have been 28 deaths and half a billion animals have died. This is a tragedy for the continent’s animal population and for the entire world.

The skies have been filled with smoke and about 17.9 million acres have been burned. Keep in mind, this is more than eight times the area that was burned in California in 2018. Thousands have evacuated, the skies are bloody red, and a third of Australia’s koala population has died. Australia just had its hottest and driest year on record. (CNN)

Climate change is real. Scientists say that climate change is the reason why all this is happening. The Earth is getting warmer and it is important that we do something about this. In 2019, Australia has been the driest it has ever been. Most of Australia has been suffering from a severe drought. Due to the Earth warming, there has barely been any rainfall in Australia this year. It being dry causes all these fires to happen. Fires in Australia have started in various ways.

One of the main ways is climate conditions that provide ample fuel to help the fires grow and spread quickly. It is summer right now in Australia, adding the high temperatures that are partly to blame. But the climate is getting even hotter due to human activities. Looking at these fires is seeing a vision of the future. Australia is the first to suffer from climate change, but what place is next?

To make matters worse, Australia’s government doesn’t believe in climate change. Their greenhouse gas emissions account for 1.3 percent of the global total. Australia is the world’s largest exporter of both coal and liquified natural gas. Greenhouse gases are gasses that trap heat. They prevent the heat that sunlight brings from leaving the atmosphere. Scientists have shown that human activities are adding too much of these gases in our atmosphere, which is the reason these natural disasters are happening.

Australia’s government always puts off the questions when asked about climate change. While Australia was suffering, their prime minister, Scott Morrison, took a trip to Hawaii while the nation was looking to him for leadership. Many people are upset with the Prime Minister and refuse to shake his hand when approached by him. 

The smoke of the fires has traveled halfway around the Earth already according to NASA. The smoke is affecting atmospheric conditions on a global scale. Nearly 7% of the country is covered in smoke. Hospitals are filled with patients who have asthma. Many animals are left with no shelter and food. It is expected for the smoke to make a full circuit of the globe and return back to Australia. The smoke has been turning the sunrises and sunsets in South America colorful. 

Australia is in our hearts. We send love to those who have lost their homes and the poor animals that are suffering. This is only the beginning. Climate change is real and if we don’t do something about it, we can be next. What is going on in Australia affects us all. 

Here is a link on how to fight climate change:

If you want to help and donate to Australia here is a thread on Twitter to donate: