People are spreading awareness about the Australia fires on social media

They are also dragging the prime minister for the way he has handled the crisis.

Jan 2, 2020, 7:28 pm*

Tech

Siobhan Ball 

Siobhan Ball

Shutterstock (Licensed)

Wildfires have been ravaging Australia since September. People are using social media to help raise awareness about them.

Thousands of homes have been destroyed, and 17 people have died as a result of the fires, which are being exacerbated by climate change.

The disaster has led #AustraliaBurning to trend, with many using the hashtag to inform followers of the fires.

“One of these images is a glimpse into a dystopian nightmare where humanity limps toward extinction along with its collapsing biosphere. The other is from that Blade Runner movie with Ryan Gosling,” Twitter user @JamesColton wrote, along with side-by-side images of an Australian city ravaged by the fire and a still from Blade Runner.

The two images look eerily similar.

https://twitter.com/yahudaaah/status/1212177968237305858

 

“At first glance I thought this was a painting. But it’s not. It’s the apocalyptic horror that our Australian friends are having to live through. Devastating lives and wildlife. Truly heartbreaking,” Twitter user @clairerendall1 wrote, along with another photo of Australian citizens huddled together as the fires take over their town.

In the hot, dry weather during the summer, Australia quite commonly experiences bush fires. Under ideal weather conditions, bush fires play an integral role in its ecosystem. Eucalyptus trees depend on bush fires to clear away vegetation beneath them, which would otherwise inhibit their growth. Eucalyptus trees, along with other species, also rely on the flames to trigger the release of their seeds.

However, in less than ideal conditions–high temperatures, drought, or an overabundance of rain–the fires can turn deadly.

As global temperatures rise, this is becoming increasingly common, as made evident by the current fires.

“To put it all in perspective.. this is a catastrophe!” Twitter user @TheFlemishSeth wrote, along with a chart comparison of catastrophic fires, like the Amazon fires. The Australian fires have reportedly burned twice as much land as the Amazon fires.

Posted by Rebecca Stanton on Thursday, January 2, 2020

 

“2019 saw South American Amazon burning, Central Africa burning, Madagascar burning, Indonesia burning, Eastern Europe burning, China burning, Siberia burning and now #AustraliaBurning. At what point do we say there might be deeper problem here that needs addressing urgently?” Twitter user @Mckendrick36 asked.

 

Climate scientists and former Australian fire chiefs agree that climate change is exacerbating the disaster. Higher temperatures and limited rain have created a longer, more volatile fire season.

“And so it begins, panic buying of food, people queuing to use a public telephone, roads blocked, no water, no electricity, mass extinction of species and environs. Welcome to the climate change world they’ve been telling you was coming for 50 years,” Twitter user @shayne_chester wrote.

 

Many Australians are expressing feeling “ignored” by the rest of the world, claiming the fires have received inadequate press coverage and far too little foreign aid.

“WHERE THE FUCK IS OUR GLOBAL SUPPORT?!???! HOMES AND LAND AND ANIMALS ARE LITERALLY FUCKING BURNING!! YOU ALL CRY OVER THE NOTRE DAME AND AMAZON BUT WHEN IT COMES TO US, SILENCE?!!?!?! WE NEED HELP,” Twitter user @alibeath96 wrote.

Many are directing their anger at Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who reportedly took a Hawaiian vacation in the midst of the crisis. He has been heckled by some Australians; one Australian even refused to shake his hand in an incident caught on camera.

“This is like watching Boris Johnson meeting folks during the election. Don’t make the same mistake as the UK of re-electing a man who also couldn’t give a toss about climate change Australia. #AustraliaBurning,” Twitter user @BenJolly9 wrote, along with the footage.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B6caN0PFNB4/?utm_source=ig_embed

 

Morrison further enraged Australians when he refused to cancel a New Year’s Eve firework display in Sydney, claiming a “show must go on” attitude would demonstrate Australia’s resilience.

On top of concerns about the fireworks potentially exacerbating the fires, many believe the display is disrespectful to the victims.

“It was self indulgence, recklessness and total disrespect to victims. Our PM threw a fireworks watching party with his rich elitist mate then went to the cricket the next day. He is a revolting excuse of a man,” Twitter user @KimaR87 wrote.

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*First Published: Jan 2, 2020, 6:44 pm