The Australian Wildfires has burned an estimated 6.3 million hectacres, destroyed over 2,500 buildings, and killed 25 people (as of 5 January 2020) as well as over half a billion animals, resulting in an estimated 30% of all living Koalas being burned to death.

The bush fires are rgarded by some as one of the worst bushfire seasons in history, with record-breaking temperatures and a prolonged drought making the bushfires some of the most extreme in memory.

The blame for the Australian bushfires has been placed on the extreme heat, prolonged drought and strong winds, with the cause of all of these extraneous weather conditions being the ever increasingly apparent consequences of climate change and global warming, whether or not politicians wish to admit it. 

Global warming, in short, is caused almost entirely by humans: since 1850, almost all the long-term warming can be explained by greenhouse gas emissions and other human activities. in its 2013 fifth assessment report, the IPCC stated that it is 'extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature' from 1951 to 2010 was caused by human activity (with 'extremely likely meaning an approximate 95-100% probability). More specifically, global warming can be broken down into a number of causes:

  • The burning of fossil fuels: when fossil fiels such as coal, oil and gas are burned to create electricity, or power cars, CO2 pollution is released into the air. In Australia, 73% of electricity comes from burning coal and 13% from burning gas, making electricity generation the main cause of pollution in Australia. The remaining 14% comes from renewable energy such as solar power, which, due to sunny weather in Australia, is not only incredibly reliable, but also releases no Carbon into the atmosphere.
  • Deforestation: plants and trees are incredibly important in regulating the climate because they absorb carbon dioxide from the air and release oxygen back into it. Humans clear vast areas of vegetation around the world for farming, infrastructure development, or to sell tree broducts. when trees and plants are removed/burnt, carbon is relased back into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, contributing to global warming
  • Agriculture and farming: animals, particularly livestock such as sheep and cattke, produce methane, a greenhouse gas. When livestock are grazed at a large scale, the amount of methane produced is a huge contributor to global warming. In Australia, farming contributes to 16% total greenhouse gas emissions

As all the causes of global warming have been due to the thoughtless and selfish acts of humans, which have all added up to contribute to the gradual destruction of our planet, it can also be solved by humans beginning to perhaps think of something more than a need for energy, palm oil and meat, with a multitude of solutions available, it is shocking that the planet has been allowed to reach a near breaking point, with very few individuals making a conscience change to help protect the planet that is our home:

  • Move to renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, as well as using methods of insulation to heat homes
  • Plant more trees and prevent tree-claring and deforestation
  • Shopping for sustainable products that do not require any damage to the environment
  • Call of leaders to indroduce laws that prevent deforestation
  • Opt for a meat free, or perhaps a meat limited diet, reducing demand for meat and therefore the amount of livestock grazed