Australia faces severe fires

ASD community attempts to reduce climate change

An+article+on+BBC+claims+that+amid+the+devastation%2C+one+effort%2C+Operation+Rock-Wallaby%2C+aims+to+provide+a+bit+of+help+to+the+bushfire%27s+smallest%2C+furriest%2C+and+most+vulnerable+victims.

Photographer: Matt Kean

An article on BBC claims that amid the devastation, one effort, Operation Rock-Wallaby, aims to provide a bit of help to the bushfire's smallest, furriest, and most vulnerable victims.

Kelsey D., Reporter

“What we really need on this planet is huge systemic behavior change in how we treat our planet,” says Emma Collins, an Australian teacher at ASD.

“We have a couple of projects that work to reduce the carbon footprint of the school,” remarked R. Dun-Roseman (’20), the Leader of EFFECT Club’s energy branch. 

While Australian dry seasons occur annually, this year’s drought is one of the worst seen in decades. Devastating fires have damaged 10 million hectares of land and killed over 33 people, with reasons varying from natural causes to arson to climate change. Despite receiving assistance from outside countries, Australia continues struggling. This issue affects not only Australian members of the ASD community, but is part of the larger issue of climate change. 

Whilst the fires have damaged over 3,000 homes, the animal population is suffering even more than people. Half a billion animals have been affected by the fires in New South Wales, with species that thrive in specific niches now at risk of going extinct due to habitat damage. According to the BBC, an estimated third of the koala population and their habitats have been destroyed so far on Kangaroo Island, one of the only locations where they are safe from the threat of chlamydia. 

According to Popular Mechanics, the rock-wallaby species in Australia is at risk of starving out due to habitat destruction, while most animals were able to escape the fire itself. In order to protect this species, officials have dropped over 4,000 pounds of vegetables in areas where key rock-wallaby colonies are present. Taking care of animals, putting out the fires and cleaning up its mess has been costly in more ways than one. Donating is one of the ways that people from all around the world are able to help protect these animals as a short term solution.

Further actions can be taken to help reduce these destructive fires in the long term as well. Reducing climate change would help these fires to remain in check every time there is a dry season. According to Australian ASD teacher Emma Collins, “Students and teachers and the community can really look at our own behaviors and modify our use of plastic and impact on the planet.”

ASD aims to do just this. R. Dun-Roseman (’20), the leader of EFFECT Club’s energy branch, states, “We have a couple of projects that help reduce the carbon footprint of the school. The biggest one is composting. Food waste has a huge impact on the amount of carbon in the atmosphere and is a huge contributor to emissions worldwide.” The EFFECT Club also recycles paper waste and batteries, intended to help keep the environment clean.

“A lot of us are in high school and will be leaving in a couple of years, but elementary school kids will be staying here for possibly 10 years. By educating them about climate change and what the EFFECT Club is doing, we are making sure that the changes we have made here at ASD are sustainable,” said Dun-Roseman.

 

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