Burning planet: When will we listen?

_Jayda Ragas_, _Opinions Editor_

Many people are inclined to deny our planet is in extreme danger. They choose to deny the facts that are staring us in the face. The wildfires in Australia are just one example.

Of course there are many instances I could discuss, but that would take up more space than I have here. Since the Australia fires are so recent and still raged into the new year, I will use this occurrence to talk about how ignoring climate change is going to destroy us.

According to the Global Fire Emission Database, satellite fire detections this year were four times higher than in the 2002-2003 fire season, which is the last season on record. Guido van der Werf, someone who helps maintain the database, said the fires in New South Wales and Victoria have emitted 400 million tons of carbon dioxide, a new record for the country’s carbon dioxide emissions. The estimates for 2019 were 900 million tons. December brought Australia its two hottest days on record.

The drought the country is also experiencing helped the fires spread rapidly and massively. Dry conditions are key for fires and climate change is what kickstarted the extremely hot temperatures and drought.

Even with all of this occurring, Prime Minister Scott Morrison took a vacation. He has already upset his citizens by completely dismissing the issue of climate change in the country, and this is just further proof that he does not care. This is what is going to bring our planet to its knees. When people who have the power to change things ignore or deny climate change, they continue to lead us into the end of life as we know it.

We are overusing our planet’s resources to the point where they cannot replenish fast enough. We are expending the environment, and we need it to survive. Without the environment, humans would not survive. That is why it does not make sense to me that country leaders are not listening to scientists and are not doing more to lessen the effect that we have on the planet. Some things are irreversible, like animals going extinct. But if we make the necessary changes, we can prevent other species from dying out and we can continue to live on this planet. 

It wouldn’t be hard to create legislation that worked to reduce carbon emissions. Those emissions are what heat up the global temperature and contribute to sea level rise. Catastrophes like the Australia fires will not stop, and will probably get worse unless we collectively, as a planet, do something about it.