WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING IN AUSTRALIA
Social Media has alarmed the masses of yet another massive climate crisis; Australia's deadly bushfires. Whether you found out through a heartfelt post, or yet another inappropriate meme, the important question strikes us time and time again -- What can we actually do? Remember when the world realized that the Amazon was on fire? Millions of posts and comments and alas....the Amazon is still on fire.
Although reposts and comments generate awareness, awareness is only as good as the actions taken. Before we can map out what it is we can do, it's important to know exactly what the hell is happening.
Most experts have agreed that global warming is exacerbating these bushfires at an unprecedented rate. It's important to know that most of these fires were caused by dry lightning storms as Australia just experienced one of its driest/hottest years last year. Where Aboriginal communities have understood the purpose of seasonal bushfires as an environmental necessity for thousands of years, our global climate crisis is transforming what used to be ecologically important bushfires into environmental hazards.
So here's the tea:
Recent Bushfires have presented to be an environmental concern for months now with a frustratingly slow political response. Nearly 20 million acres destroyed, 25 reported dead, over 2,000 homes lost and over 480 million wildlife animals completely eradicated. So here we all are once again witnessing the manifestation of our global climate crisis while we stare at out Iphones
The reality is, unless serious global efforts are taken to reduce our climate crisis, we are only going to continue to see increasingly worse damage endured to our ecosystems and believe it or not, what happens to Australia, Brazil & California affects everyone globally.
So what do we do? Recycle? Eat less meat? protest in the streets? well kind of... although individual efforts are strengthened in numbers, it's policy that solidifies social change. Here's the kicker though -- public demand shapes political policies. Until we continue to demand for world leaders to take aggressive action against this climate crisis, no one will hold large conglomerates accountable. So what exactly can we do?
Here are 5 Action items we curated here at GBS that can help Australia
FOCUS ON ABORIGINAL RELIEF
We know that anytime an ecological disaster strikes, local indigenous communities are always left with the largest disparities. Indigenous people across all colonized nations lack both power and resources and we are now seeing more and more aboriginal families having to say goodbye to the land of their ancestors. To make matters worse, Aboriginal communities have remained huge advocates of habitat protection because like all indigenous peoples, we know that we are not connected to nature -- we are nature and when our lands die, we die.
We understand that when disaster strikes, indigenous communities require culturally specific relief. This includes, temporary relocation for indigenous families, basic amenity and emergency relief, refurbishment of damaged property, replacement of vital items i.e damaged medical equipment, clothing , toiletries (these are the action items that are being taken by our chosen organization)
Ironically, what most people fail to realize is that indigenous people hold some of the greatest solutions for fighting climate change yet their voices are squandered. For this exact reason, GBS is gearing all our donations towards Aboriginal Relief.
20% of ALL our proceeds will be sent to Yorta Yorta First Nation Neil Morris' Go Fund Me Fire Relief Fund for First Nations Communities until Monday 1/20 at 11:59PM EST
SUPPORT WILDLIFE RESTORATION
Much of Australia's Wildlife has been recently displaced during the course of these Bushfires. Unfortunately its a bit hard to directly save the Koalas from your apartment in Cali, however providing support and funding for wild life conservations can most certainly help alleviate some of the damage. If you're passionate about donating directly to wildlife relief, you can do so here
ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO FOLLOW ACTION ITEMS
While posting about how heart broken we are over this ecological catastrophe, heartfelt photos and angry retweets just won't suffice. The best way for your social media posts to create an impact is to encourage others to follow a set of action items. Take our good sis Kaylen Ward as an example. We all witnessed this goddess raise over 100k for wildlife relief in a mater of days by selling her content online. Not all heroes wear capes--some actually don't wear anything at all. Whether you're selling art, leading people to petitions, sharing links for donations, just make sure that your posts contain a proactive aspect rather than a reactive one.
REDUCE LIFESTYLE CHOICES THAT NEGATIVELY IMPACT THE ENVIRONMENT
These next two action items are less about what's happening right now in Australia and more about a holistic perspective at tackling climate change. What we're seeing in other parts of the world will begin to affect us here at home if we don't begin using preventative and restorative methods.
So here's the part where we tell you to start recycling and to eat less meat. We know that the choices of large companies far outweigh the impact of individuals. We also know that large companies navigate differently depending on the demands created by their markets. Supply & demand is a constant ebb and flow of cutting corners and maximizing profits.
Americans are some of the largest consumers in the world with most of us living in a perpetual state of over-indulgence. The food we eat, the clothes we wear, our phones, cars, and single-use plastic items create a never ending sh*t storm of environmental destruction. Not to mention those of us living below the poverty line with environmental racism knocking at our doors daily.
*Whispers in your ear* Flint still doesn't have clean water and Mauna Kea is still occupied.
Because GBS doesn't know your life, we're not gonna tell you to go vegan if you live in a food desert and we're not gonna tell you to bicycle to work if you're wheelchair bound. What we will tell you to do is to commit to doing 100% of whatever you possibly can to reduce your personal ecological footprint. We're asking you to tap into a universal obligation to protect our planet to our greatest individual and collective extent.
Not sure on what your footprint looks like? Click here to take a closer look so you can see how to reduce your ecological impact
GRASSROOTS AND BOYCOTT
Now this is where we tell you to call up those responsible, trustworthy and caring politicians we willingly elected, and tell them how much you care about the planet.
*Whispers in your ear* Remember when Obama denied access to build the pipeline in Standing Rock only for Trump's administration to give it the green light afterwards?
Ahhh....we love morally consistent government.
We know that writing a strongly worded email to your local mayor may not do sh*t. However, local organizations have a great impact on local government. Grassroots organizations not only say more, they do more. joining with local groups that are dedicated to environmental conservation can give you a bigger voice and better resources. this can include organized protests, clean-ups, petitions, fundraisers, homeless feedings or community gardens.
And finally, the power of boycott. If Americans maintain any kind of power at all, it is the power of our pockets. Unfortunately for us, Some of the world's top polluters provide us our energy and no one really has the choice to live without electricity. For most of us, our best bet is to shop local, support small businesses, support businesses with strong environmental missions, and support black/indigenous owned brands that have good ecological practices.
Be sure to check out our Activist Apparel during this Donation period. Have an organization or social topic you'd like us to look into? shoot us an email about any issues you're passionate about and let us use our platform to make a difference.