Australian fires and conflict with Iran, is the world on fire?
By Nathan Woolridge, News Editor
The 2020s decade has kicked off with rising tensions in the Middle East between Donald Trump’s administration and Iran. As well, Australia is being plagued by deadly wildfires that have killed nearly 1 billion animals and have burned through roughly 15.6 million acres, according to VOX.
Typically the phrase, “Set the world on fire” refers to becoming successful, attracting a lot of attention and becoming famous. But, in 2020, it can be taken quite literally while the world witnesses drone strikes and devastating wildfires.
Deadly Australian wildfires
As of Jan. 9, “a total of 27 people have died nationwide, and in the state of New South Wales alone, more than 2,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged,” CNN wrote.
There has been a lot of concern regarding the impact of the dangerous smoke along with the loss of the animals and people. According to BBC, around four firefighters have lost their lives battling the blazes. The National Post shares that nearly 100 Canadian firefighters have been sent to Australia in teams to assist Australia with the fire.
The fires have caught international attention as Australia experiences one of its worst droughts in decades. The megafire continues to grow as strong winds have spread the fires, leading to fatalities and the devastation of Australian wildlife.
BBC reported that the fires were caused by multiple factors. “Humans are sometimes to blame for starting the fires, but they are also often sparked by natural causes, such as lightning striking dry vegetation,” BBC writes.
“More than 30,000 protesters brushed off hot and humid conditions to voice their displeasure at the federal government’s handling of the bushfire crisis and its attitude towards climate change,” wrote The Sydney Morning Herald on Jan. 10.
American conflict with Iran
In other international news, the United States’ President, Donald Trump and his administration have also been caught up in more controversy after the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleimani, a top Iranian military official.
According to VOX, news of Soleimani’s killing came as a surprise.
“It was first reported by Iraqi state television and later confirmed in a statement from the Pentagon, which said the general was ‘actively developing plans to attack diplomats and service members and Iraq throughout the region prior to his death. The Pentagon said the strike was meant to deter future attacks from Iran. [But didn’t] provide details about those planned attacks,” VOX wrote.
But, in the days and weeks following the killing of the Iranian military official, the international community began to spiral out of control, unsure of what the next actions would be from the United States or Iran.
It seems The Guardian put it best when they wrote, “There would be chaos, outrage, instability – maybe even war. Among those who opposed the killing and those who cheered it on, there was more or less consensus: things would never be the same again.”
The implications of the killing will be hard to measure, but what we do know is that the impacts it will have moving forward likely won’t be pleasant.