I turn 74 next month, I have been worried about the environment and climate change since reading the Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth in the 1970s.
I first visited the Great Barrier Reef in 1964 as a young sailor on the Royal Australian Navy survey ship HMAS Gascoyne.
I was amazed at the stunning beauty of the corals and fish on the Great Barrier Reef. We were using charts made by Captain Cook and were most likely the first humans to see some parts of the reef, it was in pristine condition.
When I retired my wife and I settled in Cairns and I took my grandkids to the reef to show them it’s wonders. The reef had suffered coral bleaching for the first time. I was shocked at the damage rising ocean temperatures had caused, the change I had witnessed in my lifetime was shocking.
I have four great grandchildren now and I fear for the future we are leaving to them and future generations. It’s not just coral that is dying most of the Australian ecosystems are collapsing.
The world is beginning to recognise the huge problems we are leaving to our children and future generations. At the recent G7 meeting in the UK political leaders promised to move rapidly to Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The Australian government refused to commit to Net Zero and is in fact determined to encourage more investment into fossil fuels.
It’s hard to understand how politicians can ignore the scientists and put our children’s future at such a great risk for short term profit. Australia has tremendous opportunities in clean energy creating millions of jobs as Ross Garnaut has recently written about in his book Super-Power.
We are witnessing an unprecedented crime against humanity. Fossil fuel corporations are donating millions of dollars to influence our politicians. Rarely do journalists call them out and in fact the Murdoch press cheers them on.
Working together at the United Nations we set 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Goals for a sustainable future. We must hold our politicians accountable and demand they act now for our children and future generations.