So… the planet is on fire. We’ve finally come to the point where the effects of climate change are glaringly obvious in a real, physical sense, but for some reason we still see fit to argue about it instead of actually trying to do something to fix it.
What chance do we have?
We have elected politicians who are only concerned with holding on to power for the next few years and as a result aren’t interested in actually dealing with the problem. It’s like setting fire to your kitchen and then going for a lie down in your bed upstairs, while saying something like:
“It’s not really a problem, I’ll deal with it later, maybe when the fire climbs the stairs. We have more important things to worry about right now. Like keeping those damn neighbours off our grass!”
And outside of the cluster fuck that is capitalist politics we have right wing trolls so obsessed with “owning the libs” that they are doubling down on outright denying that climate change is real and are even trying to bring violence to people by spreading false rumours that environmental activists are actually setting fires around the world, as if in some idiotic attempt to accelerate the very cataclysm which- in reality– they are trying to prevent. I guess so that they can have the pleasure of saying “I told you so” on twitter as the world turns to ash around them? Is that what these trolls think? I don’t know but the constant lies being spread have muddied the waters and have ordinary people talking about the wrong things.
The latest misinformation campaign launched online has been the concerted effort by trolls and bots to misrepresent New South Wales crime stats, making it seem as though the wildfires- that have killed around 25 people, countless animals and destroyed more than 2000 homes- were in fact started by arsonists. This comes from a report by the New South Wales police force titled ‘Police take action against more than 180 people so far during 2019/2020 bushfire season’. Admittedly, it sounds bad, and if you never read past the headline this would be a very worrying statistic. However, as is often the case with warped stats from the right, actually reading the source material gives an altogether different impression than the one being peddled. On reading the New South Wales crime report, it becomes clear that only 24 people were arrested for deliberately starting bushfires. Still unacceptable, but not enough to engulf a large portion of the continent in flames and all reported incidents were responded to and dealt with by emergency services. The rest of the people arrested were simply violating the rules of the fire ban or for carelessly discarding cigarettes. A spokesperson for police in the state of Victoria said in an interview:
“Police are aware of a number of posts circulating in relation to the current bushfire situation, however currently there is no intelligence to indicate that the fires in east Gippsland and north-east Victoria have been caused by arson or any other suspicious behaviour.”
Misrepresenting stats and using them to argue against the validity of climate change is careless and dangerous. This has been Australia’s hottest and driest year on record. Prolonged droughts and bushfire seasons have meant that things like lightning strikes are enough to set off large fires. The wildfires have been so widespread that they are creating their own weather systems which is causing more likelihood of adverse weather, causing even more fires.
The point I’m trying to make is simply this: be careful about who and what you believe online. Even as you read this article, I implore you to look for yourself and make sure that you keep yourself right. Don’t let people manipulate you. Don’t trust YouTube documentaries. And don’t let anyone convince you that climate change isn’t a real and present threat. Around the world huge areas of land are either on fire or flooding. People lose their lives every year in abnormal, horrific weather events. Just because things aren’t happening to you here doesn’t mean that the problem doesn’t exist.
Make up your own mind, don’t let anyone else make it up for you.
Check out the link below to see the police report for yourself