Thousands of Australians protest over climate change policy as bushfires rage

Pablo Tucker
January 12, 2020

People across Australia are calling on the government to implement stronger climate measures.

"This (the bushfire crisis) is caused by climate change, there is no denying it and they're (the government) just letting it happen", he said. People in high-risk regions in New South Wales (NSW) and South Australia were also urged to think about leaving, but officials did not say how many. Conditions were milder on Saturday and the forecast remained relatively benign for next week.

"It is great to have some respite now, so we can reset and refocus in terms of our operational activities and what we can do to support community, but we will have more hot weather", Mr Andrew Crisp, Victoria's emergency management commissioner, told reporters.

As fires tore through the town of Mogo on the New South Wales south coast on New Year's Eve, there were grave fears for the animals at the local zoo. Several firefighters received minor burns, and one suffered short of breath but was not admitted to a hospital, he said.

Seventy-one firefighters from the USA and Canada arrived this week to help with firefighting efforts and they will assist the Victoria Rural Fire Service, the largest fire service in the Australian state of Victoria.

Australia's fire crisis has killed at least 26 people, destroyed more than 2,000 homes and razed an area larger than the U.S. state of IN since September. It has also made allegations that Prime Minister Scott Morrison's conservative government should take more action to combat climate change, according to experts who are aggravating the fire.

Fires have devastated Australia since September.

Australia is the world's largest exporter of coal and liquefied natural gas.

On Friday, thousands of people on the road to fires fled to evacuation centers, while some chose to ignore evacuation orders and stayed to protect their homes.

The protesters, who criticised politicians and police officers for saying that the resources would have to be moved from the fire fronts to manage the marches, criticised the mismanagement of fires by the authorities in the states of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

Colin Beale, an ecologist at the University of York, told the BBC that animal survival instincts go into action. A fire attack team and various members of the Australian army arrived to try to rescue property, and they were willing to dive into a fire station if the flames attacked them.

The NSW Rural Fire Service has warned that coastal towns south of Sydney including Eden, Batemans Bay and Nowra could again be under threat weeks after losing homes to the fires. He has no electricity, instead of using batteries to power the lights and a small wood-burning stove to heat water. The cottage itself has a warm and cozy feel.

"Common sense tells you that there are other times to make your point", he told a televised briefing. In some ways, I almost think it's got a brain. More than two dozen people have been killed and more than half of all fatalities occurred in the start of January, traditionally Australia's hottest month. Harris prepared for the fire by sticking sheets of iron over his windows and clearing the area around the house from grass and shrubs that might have caught fire.

"As extreme weather events increase in Australia, insurance premiums are escalating and too many people, particularly people on low incomes, find themselves under-insured or not insured", ACOSS chief Cassandra Goldie said.

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