In the first 10 days of 2020, the world accidentally demonstrated what it’s capable of.
It began with scenes of an apocalyptic New Year’s Eve.
Thousands of Australians found themselves trapped on beaches or in coastal towns, without power or phone reception, huddled under a blood-red sky.
Fires reached towns they were never expected to, destroying homes and businesses and entire main streets.
As the days wore on we heard the death toll had reached 27. Half a billion of our wildlife were dead. Wildlife you won’t find anywhere else on the planet.
Watch: Celeste Barber’s mother-in-law calls out inaction. Post continues below.
And then, three days into the new year, a comedian famous for parodying the world’s most beautiful people, decided to pick up her phone.
Celeste Barber’s mother-in-law lives in Eden on New South Wales’ South Coast. Her husband, Api Robin, sat on the lounge, head in his hands, waiting for news that his mother’s house had burned down.
She couldn’t put the fires out. She couldn’t make our Prime Minster publicly acknowledge the link between climate change and bushfires, and commit to zero carbon emissions by 2025. She could, however, raise some money.
Barber created a fundraiser, which appears to be the first she’s ever made.
She pressed a few buttons and read a little bit about the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, the world’s largest volunteer fire service, who, according to multiple reports, need more resources.
And then she asked people to donate.
While so many of us walked around in circles, nursing our own spectator anxiety, asking ourselves who we were meant to donate to and where and how much and what would it go towards, Barber made it easy.