By Joanne Sim
On the 20th of September people are walking out of their workplaces to join youth-led #ClimateStrike actions demanding that leaders take emergency action to tackle the climate crisis. I am proud to say that an email from our HR Director made me aware of this; it explained that Cundall supports staff who want to make a stand against climate change. After the warm and fuzzy feeling of wow, I have a company who understand that their staff are passionate about climate change, I started to think about why I am choosing to take the day off work.
Previously when you talked about climate change you talked about future generations, “think of our children’s children”. Unfortunately, the language has changed. The effects of climate change are on the news every day and impacting everyone now. It is easy to disconnect yourself, as to be honest it is impacting others in the world more and it can easily be put in the ‘not my problem pile’, however I started thinking about how climate change is affecting my own family, now.
It is getting warmer
I’m British but have lived in Sydney for seven years so have acclimatised to warm weather, however when in London last year for a wedding I struggled. Temperatures were hitting 30C+ and the family felt it. My poor daughter was getting heat rashes, as the hotel we were staying was just not designed for these temperatures. Back here in Sydney, we are also seeing record temperatures year on year, meaning that the air conditioning is being used more as our ceiling fans are just not cutting it, which will significantly increase my electricity bills.
It is getting dryer
New South Wales is officially in a drought, so we now have restrictions on when and how we can use water. The Australian farming community is struggling meaning buying Australian produce is becoming more expensive and our choices for different Australian produced fruit and vegetables will change.
I live next to the beautiful Royal National Park. It’s only the start of the fire season in Australia, but more than 140 bushfires are already raging across Queensland and New South Wales. Around the world we are seeing forest fires burn more regularly, fiercely and are less predictable. I am hoping my local Rural Fire Department are not challenged this year with any out of control bush fires, as they put their lives at risk to protect my community’s homes and lives.
The poor reef
My husband and I love the ocean; we enjoy snorkelling and adore the Great Barrier Reef. My daughters are three and nine months and I want them to experience this amazing wonder of the world. The increase in CO2 in the atmosphere is acidifying the ocean, that combined with increase in sea temperatures results in the bleaching of the coral. Estimates suggest about half of the Great Barrier Reef’s shallow-water coral was killed during bleaching events over the past two years linked to increased water temperatures. This 2017 report calculated that the Great Barrier Reef has a economic, social and icon asset value of $56 billion. It supports 64,000 jobs and contributes $6.4 billion to the Australian economy- so why isn’t the government doing more to protect it?
So on the 20th September I will be at the Domain in Sydney, with my placard asking our government to have the leadership to act now for Climate Change-will you join me?