Our house is on fire
Australia Bushfires 
Climate Emergency
Architects Act
Greta Thunburg

Australian Bushfires #ourhouseisonfire

“I don’t want your hope. I want you to panic. I want you to act. I want you to behave like our house is on fire. Because it is.”

– Greta Thunberg 2019
It is absolutely heartbreaking seeing our country burn at the moment – the scale of the loss and devastation is overwhelmingly tragic and the effects are being felt across the world.
These beautiful and sobering photos are from Mia’s (my employee’s) family home in Far East Gippsland where she has been helping defend the property over her summer break by putting out spot-fires, while CFA/DELWP are backburning adjacent to their land…thankfully they are all safe and have a good understanding of bushfire behaviour. We are all being affected by this in our own ways, and there can be a feeling of helplessness, but there are things we can do all do to help.

“Compassion without action is just observation.” 

Our leaders are failing us, so it is time for each and everyone of us to show leadership, care, and take action in whatever way we can. There’s a saying that it is the darkest before the dawn, and this is perhaps the wake-up call to those in denial about the state of our planet. 
  1. We can help today by donating money

  1. We can help by offering accommodation:

Offer your spare bed for victims of the bushfire crisis for free in the @airbnb through its Open Homes program in New South Wales and Victoria, or this Helping Homes website too: https://helpinghomes.com.au/ 
  1. We can help by being political:

Write to your MPs (some great advice how to do this by @1millionwomen) & attend ‘Fund the Firies’ / Climate Action protests in your capital city. (You can find out more via @thedesignfiles post here.) 
  1. We can help by offering pro-bono architectural services for future re-builds: 

Architects can sign up here to give assistance: http://architectsassist.com.au/give/ and the AIA have a National Bushfire Response page on their website: https://www.architecture.com.au/about/national-bushfire-response/

and last but definitely not least, we can help by being more pro-active and not just re-active to help prevent the climate emergency getting worse. The buildings architects are designing now will 

  • Switching to 100% renewable green power (and stopping use of all fossil fuels – including gas). Find out more about all-electric homes.
  • All new buildings to be zero-carbon (+ retrofit existing buildings to be zero-carbon too). The smartest way to achieve this is by designing energy-efficient buildings to the international Passive House standard. Focusing on a high-performance building-fabric first can means up to 90% less operational energy.  Passive House buildings are also healthier for the occupants, and very comfortable all year round – they just make good sense!
  • Consider embodied energy/embodied carbon/upfront carbon emissions as the next step (Energy used for materials is typically only 20% over a building’s lifetime compared to operational energy accounting for 80%).
Of course, there’s lots more to do help with eco-system restoration and regeneration, improved bio-diversity, water security, food security, social-sustainability, becoming carbon-positive, walkable communities, etc…but let’s not get overwhelmed…let’s just start with one action, and take it from there.

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

– Arthur Ashe
#australianbushfires #climateemergency #architectsdeclare #architectsact #architectsdeclare_au #climateaction #climatecrisis #ourhouseisonfire #AustraliaFires #bushfires #bushforesaustralia #JoinTheRegeneration #fireback #IMTHEVOICE #notbusinessasusual
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