on january 1st 2020, a blanket of smoke from the australian fires covered new zealand (the blue outline on the left). the smoke tinted glaciers brown, the sky turned orange and residents reported smelling smoke.
mallacoota, victoria, two days ago. it's 9:20am, and the sky is pitch black. the sun is not visible - the glow in the upper left is from a light. it's 50 degrees celsius (122F). 4,000 people are gathered on the beach, trying to avoid the fires.
up until recently, the volunteer firefighters were unpaid. there are not enough firefighters to control the bushfires, so many have left their jobs to try to save lives.
the morrison government announced that firefighters would be paid up to $300 per day for their service, totalling at $6000. twenty days.
there are 18 confirmed deaths and 17 known missing people. over 1500 homes have been destroyed. over 4,800,000 animals have died, including 30% of new south wales' koala population. two volunteer firefighters have died. all while prime minister scott morrison was holidaying in hawaii.
note that the data in the image is outdated - the figures have since gotten much worse.
these two photos of the mid-north coast of australia were taken one week apart
i was watching ABC news on new years eve and every single story was about the bushfires
the phrase "climate crisis" definitely applies here
scott morrison visited kangaroo island and expressed his relief that nobody had died there
people informed him that two people had in fact died
the australian bushfires have now burned over 10,800,000 hectares of land - more than the area of bulgaria.
scott morrison made a post about the bushfires with a (now removed) donation link. the link was not to donate to the fire service or state emergency services - it was to donate to the liberal party.
these two photos were taken six minutes apart.
the air quality in canberra (australia's capital) is currently the worst of any city in the world. all australia post deliveries to and from canberra have been suspended. hospital equipment such as MRI machines have had to be shut down to avoid damage. an elderly woman arriving in canberra airport from brisbane (where the fires aren't nearly as bad) died in the airport before ambulances could arrive due to respiratory issues.
this is auckland, new zealand. the sky is orange from the smoke from australia. new zealand is more than 2,000km away from australia's east coast.
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