May 6, 2021

The Crisis In Australia

There are currently over 5,900 acres of land that have been lost to bushfires in Australia. That is the size of the country of Denmark and it would also cover an area which is equivalent to three-quarters of the United Kingdom. It is frightening to think of such a huge area being completely wiped out with not much chance of anything growing for years.

A staggering 1 billion animals are now estimated to be dead because of the Australian Bushfires.

Just look at that number again – 1 billion.

It is a number that we cannot easily comprehend. It is a number that perhaps we have tried to battle within Hegarty maths, it is a number that we associate with football managers’ salaries – money we are not likely to ever see. It is a number giving an image of desperation, of a species almost being wiped out. It is a number full of great sadness when used in this context.

The number of kangaroos, koala’s and other wildlife as well as farm animals and pets, dying; burnt to death or suffocated because of toxic smoke inhalation keeps increasing at an alarming rate and certain species are already extinct.

Extinct.

A word that we should not hear in our lifetime. Animals should not become extinct in 2020.

Over 2,300 people’s homes have been destroyed. Because of the bushfires, many parts of Australia are having to struggle with temporary accommodation and deal with the true horror of families losing absolutely everything as well as the home itself.

Why am I writing this? I live here in Ilkley and come to this school; we are thousands of miles away from Australia. Why should I be concerned?

This affects me personally as my father lives on the outskirts of Sydney and has spoken to me about the disaster and sent me some photographs of the devastation. He has not lost his home but knows others who have. He has heard their sad stories, and both seen the images of firefighters working double shifts on the television and had the awful smoke from the fires cover the sun and pollute the air where he lives, causing breathing to be difficult for everyone locally.

A photo sent by my father. Taken on the outskirts of Sydney, NSW, Australia.

I am worried about the safety of my father but he assures me that he is taking notice of what the government is telling him to do and would evacuate if it became necessary.

I hope that the fires will be put out soon and no more lives lost. I hope that the people affected can have help building new homes and a new future together. However, most of all I hope that something will be done about climate change so that nothing like this will ever happen again.

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