The bush fire crisis in Australia has resulted in a surge of protests, charity and coming together of Australians but will it make a difference in the grand scheme?
January 15th, 2020
Turns out Australians aren’t completely on board with their country turning into a smouldering pile of ash. Who’d have thought?
Just last week tens of thousands rallied across Australia, including several members of the Indesign team, to protest the Government’s culpability in the bushfire crisis as well as their complete inaction on climate change. Inaction that will likely lead to crises like these unprecedented bush fires becoming Australia’s ‘new normal’.
The accepted slogan of the protests was #SackScomo but despite the hilarious signs and the coming together of thousands of Australians in multiple cities it would be insane to expect that this would somehow see a Government, or even just its leader, resign in disgrace, finally seeing the error of their ways.
Tomorrow we’ll still wake up to a country where the air quality index in our major cities constantly drops to become worse than Beijing, where our diverse and beautiful animal populations have been decimated and a country where the man in charge of fixing it all is the guy who brought a lump of coal into Question Time.
So, what’s the point of all this?
Protests, particularly protests of this size and scope, do serve as a reminder to the Government that a polite crowd ignored for too long might one day become an angry mob. The rise in protest and civil disobedience in the forms of groups such as Extinction Rebellion have also continually pulled the issue of climate change to the forefront of the media’s attention putting further pressure on our leaders to act.
These efforts, combined with the horrors of seeing our worst imagined nightmares of climate change manifested in these fires, have seemed to bear a bitter but edible fruit. The Government has finally admitted that climate change is real and, despite even people with a memory like that guy from ‘Memento’ being a little irked by their reality bending statement that this has ‘always been the Government’s position’, this is probably a good thing.
The staggering amounts of money that have been donated by people around the world have also been a humbling reminder that this particular crisis has truly inspired people to take action and help however they can. Celeste Barber’s fundraiser has seen $50 million raised on Facebook, the largest amount in the platform’s history and an Instagram model has used an unconventional tactic of selling nude pictures to raise over $700,000.
Giving money is not the only way Australian’s have stepped up to help. With many industries and brands donating services and skills to fighting the fires and providing relief to its victims.
In our own industry, we are in a unique position to assist in the rebuilding effort. Architects Assist, represents architects and practices committed to providing much needed disaster relief by way of pro bono architecture services. In support of this, Indesign are registering brands to donate and supply services to be shared with Architects Assist which we hope will help our communities who have lost homes and livelihoods. For more information you can find our page here.
Despite everything, there has been a point to all of this. We just need to make sure we don’t become complacent following this hard-earned awakening to action, we’re barely even halfway through Summer yet.
Editors Note: We’d like to again point our readers inside the industry towards Architects Assist, Over 100 Australian architecture studios have combined to provide free design and planning services to the victims of the current bush fire crisis. If you’re in a position to help we encourage you to get in touch with them, for more information please visit our site.
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