Like everyone in Australia over the holidays, we've been watching in abject terror as the bushfires burn out of control.
So far over 10.7 million hectares have burnt choking towns and cities across the country in the most unbreathable air in the world. That number might not mean much but for comparison its the same size as one Iceland and about 1.5x Tasmanias (or Irelands).
The scale of the ecological devastation due to fire is simply without comparison anywhere in the recorded history of humankind, and we’re not even halfway through the season.
Take a second to read that again. Gulp.
10.7 million hectares has burnt which is equivalent to the entire landmass of Iceland.
Our 'new normal' is nothing short of apocalyptic.
Up to 1 BILLION (not a typo) animals have been killed, and several species are now on the brink of extinction. And of course there’s the incalculable human cost of 28 lives sadly lost and many thousands of homes, businesses and livelihoods destroyed.
The bitter irony of seeing Australian citizens rescued by boat isn’t lost on anyone who reads the news, but the truly scary thing is that we're only witnessing the very beginnings of the climate refugee crisis.
Because according to scientists the apocalyptic scenes we’re living through are a harbinger of our planet’s future and what will be considered ‘normal conditions’ in a 3C world - which is exactly where we’re going if we don’t radically decarbonise the entire global economy before 2050.
Carbon was already a huge problem, now we're truly fucked.
The NSW bushfires as seen from space. Over 250 million tonnes of CO2 has been released so far.
Back in December, NASA estimated that 250+ million tonnes of carbon dioxide have been released due to the fires which at the time was already 50% of Australia’s entire annual carbon budget. A month later you can be sure that number has risen steeply.
And again, we’re not even halfway through the season.
What can we do?
Long before the fires became an international crisis we decided to make every Citizen Wolf Tee produced in 2019 carbon neutral via verified offsets in Tasmanian forestry projects.
Considering the existential crisis presented by climate change, it seemed like the least we could do as a brand consciously trying to reform the fashion industry. Fast forward only a few weeks and that pledge is clearly no longer good enough.
Today Citizen Wolf is going much further by pledging to 5x the carbon offset for every Tee produced in 2020.
We are painfully aware that this is a drop in the ocean, but it’s a concrete step that we know will make a difference to protect whatever bush we have left. And it's not all we're doing, with more to be announced over the coming days as part of our emerging response to the bushfire crisis.