Every Aussie Needs To Read This: How To Prevent Bushfires
22 Oct 2020
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Australia’s most recent bushfires have left the country in skeleton. Bushfires burned over 50 million acres to the ground. Over 6 thousands homes were burnt down, billions of animals were killed and at least 34 people lost their lives. The 2019/2020 ‘mega fires’ were huge to say the least. The last fire that went out 7 months ago we’re already back into wildfire season. This means we need to be prepared! Preparation is important but so is prevention! Research shows that climate change plays a big role in bushfires around the world. So in light of International Day for Disaster Reduction, The Top Coins have compiled everything you need to know.
Wildfires are extremely complicated due to many variables. A study done by Dr. Van Oldenborgh from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute concluded that climate change had in fact exacerbated the fires and Australia’s overall risk. There are many factors that play a role in a bushfire including high winds, high temperatures, low precipitation, humidity, and many more. It was suspected that climate change was the cause of record warmth and dryness. This was seen last year, creating perfect conditions for lethal wildfires. However, now we have the science to back it up. Dr. van Oldenborgh confirmed that those conditions are 4 times more likely than they were before. The study also separately analyzed how climate change influences extreme heat waves. An intense heat mixed with a lack of rainfall is at least 2 times more likely than before 1900.
Peter Gleick, a climate scientist and co-founder of Pacific Institute in California, warns “Climate change is making these disasters worse.” “We’ve only seen a tiny fraction of the climate change that we’re going to see in the coming years and the coming decades. If we’re seeing these disasters with a 1 degree warming of the planet so far, and we know that we’re headed for a 1.5 or 2 or 3 degree warming, we can only imagine how bad these disasters are going to get.”
It’s become evident that it’s essential to take care of our own homes in the bushfire season. Still, we NEED to start taking more serious measures to address climate change globally. This is not exclusive to Australian. Our country was not alone in experiencing the devastating effects of bushfires as the Amazon, California, Russia, Indonesia & Lebanon experience it too. These countries have undergone the catastrophic losses in flames last year.
For the future of our planet:
Eat less animal products: Animal agriculture is the #1 cause of deforestation. You’ve heard it a thousand times but eating less animal products is the single most effective way to minimize your impact on climate change.
Vote with your dollar: Australia’s four largest banks are still heavily invested in the fossil fuels sector. Moving your money into an alternative bank and/or an alternative currency encourages the big players to invest more into the renewable sector.
Energy Usage: Switch to energy efficient light bulbs, turn them off when you’re not using them, wash your clothes in cold water and hang them to dry.
Green your commute: Utilize public transport, share your ride and get yourself fit while helping the planet on a bike!
Switch to 100% green power: Two-thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions are linked to burning fossil fuels for energy to be used for heating, electricity, transport and industry. We all use electricity everyday but we get to choose how big of an impact that creates. Make the switch today!
Take to the streets and make your voice heard!
For the Protection of your own home:
Clean gutters from twigs and leaves: Embers can travel up to 40 km and catch light on or near your home. Cleaning out gutters from flammable litter helps minimize the risk.
Mow your grass regularly: Fire thrives in long grass and can spread within seconds so keeping your grass mowed and tidy makes it harder for fire to travel long distances so quickly.
Fit metal NOT plastic fly screens: Metal is a lot tougher and can put up a bigger fight against the fire than plastic. Anything flammable on the outside of your house is making your home more vulnerable so switching anything from plastic to metal is a great idea.
Frequently trim branches hanging over your house: Trimming overhanging branches is crucial in preparing for fires. Also, minimize the derby around your gutters and roof.
Install non combustible fences.
Check smoke alarms: The batteries need to be replaced frequently and the actual alarm needs to be replaced every 10 years.
Replace misplaced roof tiles: Embers could fall through your roof if there isn’t adequate tiling. Ensure your roof is sealed for the best protection.
Australia may have received the worst of the fires last year. Still, they are a global threat, and we are all responsible for one of the most significant issues of our time: climate change. Though natural disasters may appear to be a "natural part of life," the heating of our planet is accelerating the number of disasters we are experiencing and the severity of them. If we want to ensure future generations survival and their safety, we need to take action on climate change. International Day for Disaster Reduction would not be complete without looking at the role that climate change plays into disasters. If we want to reduce the effects of disasters, we must solve first its causes.