Wedded to coal
THE Whitsunday islands and the Great Barrier Reef have been a mecca for sailors, divers, and explorers for centuries.
The reef is part of our national identity; it sustains our culture and way of life. It nourishes us with seafood, provides an idyllic cruising ground for sailors and jobs for our children. The labyrinth of coral reefs is a playground for divers, scientists, photographers and 700,000 tourists every year. This paradise is the backbone of our economy.
But all this is at risk if we continue to ignore science and invest in fossil fuels.
The Australian Government’s own report states that climate change and global warming is the greatest threat to the reef. Burning coal contributes to global warming. When sea temperatures remain too hot for too long, corals loose their colour and can die. Global warming will also mean more intense storms, cyclones, and floods that will interrupt our way of life. So, why are we still wedded to coal? Why are we not realising the job opportunities in renewable energy? . Even Adani said recently “The time is now for a paradigm shift to renewable energy”.
In Australia we breathe clean air, drink clean water and are blessed with boundless sunshine and wind. We are fortunate to live in paradise. We are also the custodians of the reef. But we need to step up and protect it.
We can ensure the next generation inherits a planet with clean air, clean water and coral reefs. But we can no longer sit back and be complacent.
Cherry Muddle Australian Marine Conservation Society