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Opinion & Editorial

It’s No Longer Summer in Australia

Australia is suffering wildfires, thunder, drought, flooding, and dust storms (Martin Snicer/Flickr)

 The United States is one of Australia’s oldest allies. Two years ago, the two countries celebrated 100 years of mateship. Yet our media is giving more air time toward the heating tensions of a Warren-Sanders feud rather than the lethal blazes terrorizing our ally. 

2019 was the warmest year in human history. Lijing Cheng, an author from the Chinese Academy of Sciences said, “The amount of heat we have put in the world’s oceans in the past 25 years equals to 3.6 billion Hiroshima atom-bomb explosions.”

Most alarmingly–the ocean is warming at a rate of five atomic bombs per second. According to Cheng, the Hiroshima bomb had an energy of 63,000,000,000,000 Joules. 

Australia is currently on the front lines, suffering the planet’s unmistakable onslaught. 

As of last week, 3,000 homes had been affected or destroyed. The flames did not stop in rural townships. Urban areas also braced for impact. Australia’s most prominent cities, like Melbourne, Canberra, and Sydney have been submerged in suffocating smoke. In Sydney, the air quality was measured at 11 times the “hazardous” level, reports CNN. Students are being sent home from school because the smoke cannot be contained. Children with asthma or other breathing conditions are at a particular risk. 

At the Australian Open in Melbourne, Dalila Jakupovic had to quit her qualifying match after enduring a coughing fit due to the blanketing smoke. 

Australia’s drought, which started in December, is one of the worst in decades, making the land and vegetation prime kindling for wildfires. Some regions are experiencing conditions at 113-120 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Across the nation’s six states, more than 17.9 million acres have been lost to the fires. California lost less than 6% of that number last year. 

Ecologists at the University of Sydney predict that one billion animals have been affected. Already, nearly one third of New South Wales’ koalas have been killed, as they have already lost one third of their habitat. 

Now Australia is suffering a “one-in-100-year” flood. In Brisbane, 50 houses have been flooded. The states of Victoria and New South Wales have been deluged with rainfall. 

Australia is only halfway through their summer season: months of this destruction lie ahead. 

President Trump sent his “love” for Australia in a tweet.

But sympathies and condolences won’t cut it. 

There’s no question that the planet’s recent extreme weather is climate-change-induced. California, Mozambique, Venice, the Bahamas, the Arctic, and Australia bear witness. 

Our generation will inherit this Earth. How much will there be left to save? 


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