Tis the fire season! What can we do to prevent wildfires in our ever-changing climate?
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
We’ve reached a point where fire season is reaching all the headlines. It's important to ask ourselves—are they really ALL natural disasters? To what extent are we responsible?
Here’s what we’ll cover step-by-step:
You’ll see how the facts behind all these wildfires that have been happening are not piping hot—it’s actually an ongoing vicious cycle.
🎯 Action step 1 of 4: READ — Let's start by looking at a few articles together.
Wildfires are a wake-up call to how climate change is impacting our world’s natural disasters. For instance, here's the TL;DR on the Australia fires. You can read the full article here, which answers 5 questions about the Australia fires.
You’ll learn that
So, why do we care about Australia?
It's not just Australia— fire season everywhere is getting worse and worse and worse. But, we've gotten better at collecting data and understanding the tie between climate change and natural disasters.
Here are some rapid fire facts:
It's easy to ignore the problem because it's just so huge, but as we know, it's closer to home than we think.
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 1 of 4: READ.
🎯 Action step 2 of 4: LISTEN — we'll watch a short video or listen to a podcast to further expand on our topic.
The number of acres burned worldwide has been exacerbated by anthropogenic (human-caused climate change). Wildfires are subsequently causing a vicious climate change cycle. Warmer temperatures equals more wildfires. More wildfires equal more carbon emissions, which equals even WARMER temperatures.
So, how can we better understand this vicious cycle? This New York Times podcast episode, "Why Australia is Burning" is about a woman who fled with koalas and kangaroos in her car! This episode is important because it goes over ideas we haven't touched on yet, like the impact on biodiversity or what to do if your country doesn’t care about climate change. Apparently, Prime Minister Scott Morrison declined to curb Australia's carbon emissions and was apparently on vacation in Hawaii despite the bushfires being in full swing.
Click here for more notes and the full episode. There’s still much to learn.
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 2 of 4: LISTEN.
🎯 Action step 3 of 4: ACT — Now it's time to do something. Let's go!
There's a lot we can do in our communities to proactively offset and mitigate climate damage. One of them takes as little as 5 seconds. It's between that and a guilt trip.
Here they are, in order of effort. The first one takes 5 seconds!
1. Get your company involved (5 seconds to hit ctrl+c, ctrl+v, and send an email we already wrote for you)
You can donate products, services, or strategic partnerships to Direct Relief for disasters. We even drafted an entire email for you. All you have to do is find whom to send it to and copy this. Seriously, you don't even have to customize anything else if you don't want to.
2. Join your local Climate Reality Project chapter (30 seconds to sign up)
It's not easy to understand (and sometimes care about) better forest management, sustainable disaster response, clean energy, and other policy-related eco topics. That's what the climate reality project is for! They bring speakers, host events, and basically tell you what to care about and how to help. We left each meeting feeling more intelligent and more energized (pun intended).
3. Become a Red Cross volunteer (1 week to 2 months according to urban legend)
I know—this has been on the back of your mind, on and off, for years. It's time to make this a reality, because here's the thing. When disasters strike, the Red Cross NEEDS volunteers to mobilize. But most of the time, you can't show up at a disaster strike and say, "Hey, I'm ready to help!" We tried that—it turns out you have to get certified and come back in 2 months. So do it now!
Now we can start being proactive in mitigating climate change for the future—in rapid fire mode of course.
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 3 of 4: ACT.
Before we go any further, it's time for you to pledge your commitment. It takes less than 30 seconds to pledge and we can bother you about it in a friendly way, so we can hold each other accountable. Pledge here!
🎯 Action step 4 of 4: REFLECT — what can you commit to? What fresh perspectives can we look at?
After fires largely passed in Australia, Australians and international reporters are reflecting on centuries-old indigenous cultural burning practices that were used to manage the landscape before natives were colonized. These techniques were highly effective, but generally disregarded and invalidated by the post-colonialism Australian government.
Our takeway: It's important to understand the history and cultural context of where you live. In addition to taking action, looking at the environment through an intersectional lens not only allows us to be mindful of social challenges; it can potentially save lives.
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 4 of 4: REFLECT.
Check out our membership community for more resources like free weekly events with social justice experts, sustainable product discounts, pre-written email templates, a social impact job board, and in-person hangouts with new friends. Thanks for taking action with Soapbox Project!
Get our free bite-sized climate action plans before you go!