Around 15.6 million acres destroyed, more than 2,000 homes burned, at least 28 people dead, and about a billion animals consumed in fires — that’s how much the Australian bushfires have impacted the country.
If that’s bad news, here’s the worse one more. This fire been raging since September 2019 and it’s not close to being doused yet, so all these numbers are expected to rise.
There’s not one but many crisis at hand. On The Big Story, we’ve been covering India’s ongoing crisis regarding the citizenship law, we’ve also been talking about the alarming law and order situation, the police brutality, the Kashmir lockdown, but simultaneously, there’s also an environmental crisis at large. And we don’t have to look beyond India to see the urgency.
2019 was a year of severe rainfalls in some states of India and none at all in others. The overpriced onions that you see in the markets right now is because of climate change. Chennai has been battling one of the worst water crisis in years.
Kashmir not only has internet shutdowns and restrictions on people’s movements but the saffron trade, which Kashmir is known for, has been estimated to incur a loss of roughly Rs 20 crores because of erratic rains and untimely snowfall. According to the Global Climate Risk Index of 2020, India’s economic losses due to climate change is roughly at Rs 2.7 lakh crore ($37 billion) — the second highest in the world.
On top of that, there are forest fires of our own which are not as damaging like the ones in Australia or Brazil but damaging in smaller doses nonetheless. For instance, in 2019, the Bandipur National Park in Karnataka, which is home to bisons, elephants, tigers, etc, suddenly caught fire due to dryness. In a matter of just five days, at least 20,000 acres of forest land was destroyed. According to the Forest Survey of India, the number of forest fires in the country rose from roughly 4,000 in 2018 to 14,000 in just a year.
How will these fires impact the planet at large? Tune in to The Big Story to find out.