OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Australia is on fire. Like, the whole entire thing. It’s one of the worst brush fire seasons they’ve had ever, with 10 million hectares burned, half a billion animals killed, and 27 people dead so far.
In response, people around the world are stepping up to help. Individuals are donating to organizations like the Red Cross and WIRES, New South Wales Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc. (You can too.) New Zealand and the U.S. have deployed over 150 firefighters to help battle the blazes. Australian natives like Nicole Kidman are using their platform and wealth to garner support.
The one person who’s done approximately f*ckall to help Australia?
Oh, sure, she posted on Instagram and probably tweeted about it, but. . . Well, just take a look for yourself:
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Australia is on fire. And the summer there has only just begun. 2019 was a year of record heat and record drought. Today the temperature outside Sydney was 48,9°C. 500 million (!!) animals are estimated dead because of the bushfires. Over 20 people have died and thousands of homes have burned to ground. The fires have spewed 2/3 of the nations national annual CO2 emissions, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. The smoke has covered glaciers in distant New Zealand (!) making them warm and melt faster because of the albedo effect. And yet. All of this still has not resulted in any political action. Because we still fail to make the connection between the climate crisis and increased extreme weather events and nature disasters like the #AustraliaFires That has to change. And it has to change now. My thoughts are with the people of Australia and those affected by these devastating fires. (Photo: Matthew Abbott for The New York Times)
She laments the horrific effects of the fires and ends on, “This has to change. And it has to change now.”
Okay, sure, Greta. How?
That’s it. That’s all Thunberg has to offer. Not a single link or organization mentioned. No suggestions on places to donate. No advice on what legislation to support or politicians to contact. No policy proposal. Nothing.
Instead, she decided to be very helpful by yelling at Australian leaders and coal companies (again) over the new coal mines they’re planning on building.
Swedish climate worrier Greta Thunberg again castigated Australia for its insistence on mining coal despite her complaints, adding a call Saturday for an end to the activity to her list of climate demands to be delivered at the upcoming World Economic Forum in Davos.
Never mind that the coal will likely make its way to places like India, Indonesia, and Vietnam, where access to affordable power could be a life or death difference. And forget about the fact that many of the people in these countries have more pressing concerns than fighting climate change, like, I don’t know, feeding their children. I could go on, but then this article would be about 18,000 words and that’s not what you signed up for when you clicked on it.
The point is, Greta Thunberg is useless. She’s a petulant child with anxiety struggles, and instead of helping her develop healthy ways of coping and teaching her something useful like climatology or engineering, we’re indulging her ongoing breakdown. She’s not influential. She’s not a leader. She hasn’t accomplished anything.
The worst part for me, though, is that I agree with a lot of what she’s said. I think the Australian government has been ineffective and Prime Minister Scott Morrison is a colossal wanker. But there’s no point in dwelling on that during an active crisis. I don’t know, I guess I just like actually ACCOMPLISHING things.
But to end on a happier note:
— Irie Maiden (@HAMDUNK) January 10, 2020
Anecdotal reporting and behavioral precedents point to wombats stepping up and helping smaller mammals escape the fires by hiding out in their burrows. Nature is amazing.