By NATALIA HAWK
At any given moment, there are at least 100 things that I’m worrying about.
I’m usually worried about work, just in case I’ve missed something among the hundreds of things to remember. I’m always worried about uni, in case I’ve accidentally skipped a tutorial or messed up an assignment. I worry about every single family member. I worry about all of my friends. I worry about my colleagues. I worry about my health and the health of everyone I know, even if there’s nothing wrong. I worry about holidays that haven’t been booked yet. I worry about my unused gym membership. Honestly, I even worry about what I’m going to eat for lunch the next day.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is brought to you by the WWF. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.
And I know I’m not alone. Men seem to be missing the worry-about-absolutely-nothing gene, but just about every other woman I know could compete for an Olympic medal for worrying about things they absolutely shouldn’t even be thinking about.
But what about climate change?
It’s something that few of us actually actively worry about. Of course, we all know about climate change. Of course, we don’t want the planet to get warmer, because we know that it will have directly negative implications on so many aspects of the environment.
We all understand it. But at the end of the day – a few icebergs melting hundreds of thousands of kilometres away is something we’re just not going to think about as much as our own direct problems. Sea levels can wait, we think, because mum has cancer and Jayden has Asperger’s and work is so full on right now and perhaps tomorrow I’ll care about whether or not the Maldives are going to disappear.
But I’m here to tell you that it’s no longer something we can push to the side.
We need to start caring about climate change – because something urgently needs to be done to put the issue high on the agenda at the upcoming election.
The earth is changing. And it’s harming the places and the animals we love.
It’s harming the Great Barrier Reef. Our pride and joy, the longest reef in the world, is slowly dying due to rising water temperatures. I saw the bleached coral myself when scuba diving in Cairns earlier in the year; metres and metres of white coral, where there was once purples, pinks, blues and yellows.
It’s harming our koalas. One of our most beloved animals is running out of places to live, because their gum trees are disappearing, due to extreme heat, drought and bushfires.
It’s harming our turtles. What might possibly be the most gentle and beautiful creature in the world might cease to exist sooner rather than later, because of rising sea temperatures; their nests are flooding and their eggs are drowning before they have a chance to hatch.
Even our frogs – those lovely little creatures – are being affected. Reduction in rainfall reduces reproduction, higher temperatures cause the deaths of tadpoles and eggs, and drier conditions generally cause adult frogs to die.
On a global scale – pandas, tigers, elephants, orangutans, whales, emperor penguins, salmon, flamingos, polar bears and even clownfish are just some of the animals that could disappear from the wild.
And that’s a scary thought.
We already live in a world without Tasmanian tigers, dodos, mammoths or dinosaurs. Let’s not expand it out to become even more extreme.
So far, during the 2013 election campaign, there’s been quite a lot of focus on issues such as asylum seekers and gay marriage. Not so much on climate change – even though there are significant differences between the policies of the various political parties.
That’s why WWF has launched the “I Am Real” campaign to support climate action. They want the next Australian government to step up and commit to stronger pollution reduction targets of at least 25% by 2020 and commit to policy solutions that can get us there, like an emissions trading scheme.
While the ETS is currently working for our environment in providing pollution reduction targets, it’s at risk of repeal. The Liberals/Nationals current policy is to replace it with ‘Direct Action’ – a policy which does not put a price and limit on pollution.
But again – the beautiful thing about a democratic system is that we all have the power to speak out about issues we feel passionately about. Start a conversation. Urge the political parties to take action. Consider sending a letter to your local candidate, and think carefully when you vote on 7th of September.
That vote has the ability to influence the policies which determine the future of our planet.
It’s time for Australia to step up and become a real leader for climate action. After that, the rest of the world might just follow suit.
Visit the WWF ‘I Am Real’ website here to see how you can help make a difference.
Climate change is a real problem that impacts on us all – our society, our economy, even our health – it affects everyone. The ads call on all Australians to think about the reality of climate change and its effects on the animals and places they love, and on us. They can choose to Take Action and ask our political leaders to commit to stronger pollution reduction targets a solution that works for real -a price and limit on pollution, like an ETS, which will drive investment in a clean renewable future and stronger targets. We want readers to help shape our political parties’ climate policies so we can better protect animals, places and people. We want them to speak out for the animals and environment who don’t have a say. Go to the WWF ‘I Am Real’ website here to see how you can help make a difference.
Is climate change something that you worry about? Will climate change policies effect the way you vote in the election?