What Sydney’s Smoke Means For The World

Sydney has been covered by a blanket of thick, choking smoke from the bushfires for a few weeks now, but recently I have been blown away by just how bad the smoke and the pollution is.

The other day, I planned to take my parents to Balmoral Beach. We woke up to a thick haze outside of our window, but hoped that it would pass or not be as bad by the beach thanks to the sea breeze… how wrong we were.

Instead of Balmoral’s usual blue skies and crystal clear waters, we were greeted with a line of ash on the sand and air so thick it was choking. We couldn’t see the boats in the water or the other side of the shore. We got off the bus and got on the next one to go home.

I’m not from Australia so I’ve never seen the effect of a bushfire before but I know from locals that this level of smoke and pollution is not normal. There are not usually so many fires so early in bush fire season and the level of devastation they have inflicted is higher than ever.  It is terrifying, dangerous and incredibly concerning. It is not something to ignore.

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I am not an ‘eco warrior’, but I do my bit. I recycle, I use public transport, I don’t drive, I don’t eat meat… but there is more that I can do. There is more that we can all do. When I look at these photos or think of when I was walking on that choking beach, I want to do all I can to make things better.

Because the thing we have to save by making a few small changes is worth it. The planet is our home and the only one we have got. We are watching it flood and burn and fill with pollution. We are contributing to the destruction, and that cannot go on. If it does, the planet won’t make it and neither will we… if that’s not enough motivation to change our behaviour, I really don’t know what is.

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