News of Australian fires has DHS heated
This past January, it was estimated that over 1.25 billion animals were killed in the 2019/2020 wild bushfire season. According to The Verge, “An area about the size of South Korea, roughly 25.5 million acres, has burned.” For weeks, every major news source was covering some devastating aspect of the fires; the whole world was shaken up.
On the other side of the world, students here at Duxbury High School felt the impact of these fires, and what they mean for the direction in which our climate is heading. Their reaction was overwhelmingly downcast.
Jessica W., a senior at DHS said, “When the fires first started happening, I was following them in the news, but it made me really sad so I stopped watching — the poor koalas.”
Molly B., another senior at DHS said after she first saw news of the fires that her initial reaction was emotional. “The people and their land, as well as the animals are being hurt in one of the most awful ways.”
In her AP Environmental Science class, Molly said, “I’ve also learned how long it takes for an environment/habitat to come back and be healthy again after fires. It takes a very long time and it’s sad to see.”
Taking AP Environmental has taught Molly a lot about climate change, and how she herself can help combat the dangerous effects. “Throughout the class so far, I’ve learned more about what some of the leading causes of the increase of greenhouse gases are, and I’m trying to be better at avoiding those causes,” said Molly.
“I try my best to avoid activities and products that I know will increase the greenhouse gas emissions,” said Molly.
Chasey S., a classmate of Molly and Jess’ said that she makes small efforts to combat climate change as well. “I make sure I always recycle and I walk to school instead of driving. Climate change is real and we should do more about it. Some people may think that it all has to do with big oil companies changing their ways, but if everyone made little changes it would make a big impact.”
Although devastating to hear about the effects of climate change in Australia, the distance that separates these news stories from Duxbury can be enough to provide students with a sense of relief for the fate of their hometown, for the moment.
“I’m not worried at the moment, but years from now I might be. If the global temperature keeps increasing and the ice keeps melting that means the sea levels will rise, and that could greatly affect Duxbury,” said Molly.
Caitlin S., a senior at DHS, was motivated by the news of Australia to use her position as an National Honors Society officer to stand up, get together her group of NHS students, and make a difference.
“After my initial shock, I wanted to do something, but again I couldn’t leave and head to Australia especially when I couldn’t fight the fire myself, so I did some research so see what was needed most and found that at this time donations of money was most impactful,” said Caitlin.
Caitlin’s NHS group decided at the beginning of the year to focus their initiative on animal welfare. They discussed the idea of fundraising for Australia and agreed that it was an issue worth working for. What was once just an idea, became a huge success.
“Over the course of a week, we held a bake sale and asked the student body and school community for any donations they could give, and we were able to raise over $400 dollars to support those in Australia who had risked their lives and lost practically everything,” said Caitlin. All proceeds went to the Global Giving Organization.
News of the fires in Australia has slowed, but the damage has forever been done. Students here at DHS feel the ripples of the wave, and are making changes to help.