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Australia is burning - but why are the bushfires so bad and what can we do to help?


Alison Schutt, the Brisbane based Environmental Health Professional, Founder of Haasch Sustainable Design, and supporter of Prospero World, tells us more. Alison's expertise in the field of environmental health spans across environmental toxicology, environmental hazards, waste management, water and wastewater, pollution science, education for sustainability, communicable diseases, infection control and food safety.


From Brisbane, Alison writes:


"The Australian Bushfires are not something we can control and prevent from happening again, even if we refer to controlling the scale of the crisis as I am afraid that forecasts are much more bleak due to the ignorance on global warming from governments and the general population when we step outside our social circles. The fires are generally started by arsonists or naturally. Due to the changing weather patterns we are experiencing. 

As temperatures rise, things will get worse. The only things we can do individually are;

  1. limit our contribution to greenhouse gas emissions by reducing energy consumption 

  2. buy only what we need 

  3. have a zero waste policy in our households

  4. reuse and recycle 

  5. eat locally grown fresh and processed produce only and grow your own food if possible

  6. walk or use public transport where we can

  7. and support local tourism

Our government was made aware of the very severe bushfire season by meteorologists and the weather forecasters back in September when the heritage listed Gondwana rainforests burnt in southern Queensland behind the Gold Coast. Last year there were bushfires as far north as Cairns and rainforests were burning then which had never been seen before. For Gondwana rainforests to burn means our planet is in a terrible state. Even if our government had heeded to the warning signs I don’t know how they could have been prevented in time.


For the future and so that Australia is equipped and prepared for what lies ahead for bushfire season, our government needs to listen to experts and scientists, invest heavily in equipment to control bushfires early, our defence force should be trained to manage and fight bushfires on the frontline, and our kids should be educated in basic natural disaster management and planning for bushfires, cyclones, floods and drought. 


Finally, our government needs to invest in this country’s future, particularly clean energy and fuel (hydro, solar and ethanol) to limit greenhouse gas emissions and assist to stabilise global warming and this climate crisis."

Photo: supplied by Ryan Pollock

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