The 2019 Australian bushfires are almost twice the scale of the Brazilian wildfire last year. And yet there are still two more months of fire expected. Over 25.5 million acres of land have tragically burnt down (Woodward) and the effects of the fire continue to travel through the air in forms of hazardous smoke and air pollution. There are people, livestocks, pets and wildlife animals dying everywhere. So who’s responsible?

We, the main source of climate change, are responsible for the loss of millions of lives. According to Bruce Lieberman from Yale Connections, climate change and the wildfires is tied via a harmful chain. “The rise in average global temperatures has led to higher spring and summer temperatures, and importantly an earlier onset of spring. This pattern has led to a rapid melting of spring snowpack, causing soils to dry out earlier and remain dry longer (Lieberman).” The dried out forest is now more susceptible to infestations by insects such as bark beetles. This is deadly as insect outbreaks play an important role in harming the trees. 

Since we are responsible, what can we do to help? Although it is crucial that we reduce our carbon footprints and work on the rising global temperature, there are more immediate and practical solutions we can take at the moment. Meredith Carey from Condé Nast Traveler writes that the best course of action we can take is planning a trip to Australia — or not cancelling your current reservations. Carey states that visiting Australia is considered as “ an opportune time to travel with purpose and get one’s hands dirty by volunteering and making a difference to real people’s lives.” While also doing volunteer work, helping the animals and people affected by the wildfire, you can also contribute to recovering from the economic loss Australia experienced in the past few months. 

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