By Niamh Condon, Year 12
It’s safe to say that it has been an exceptionally hot summer all across New South Wales. Indeed, we have experienced numerous record breaking temperatures and weather conditions throughout the past couple of months. Not only was Saturday the 11th Feburary, the hottest Feburary day in New South Wales history but it also had the hottest temperatures on the entire planet for the day. This was translated across to Sunday which, according to the Rural Fire Service, was the worst day we’ve seen in New South Wales when it came to fire danger ratings and conditions, causing nearly a hundred dangerous fires to rage throughout the state.
Naturally with such extreme, sporadic and unusual conditions climate change has again been brought to the forefront of many discussions within our society.
The climate has constantly been changing but the current rate is unprecdented, which, most scientists agree, is caused by human expansion of the ‘greenhouse effect’ as we release gases such as Carbon Dioxide and Methane into the Earth’s atmosphere, trapping heat radiating from the Earth into space. As a result of this and the consequential changes in climate and weather delicate environmental eco-systems are changing, coastlines are swamped and poverty is worsening. As such it is the greatest, and most pressing global issue humanity has ever faced and we are in dire need for effective solutions.
Tropical rainforests alone, without the help of humanity, can provide thirty percent of mitigation action needed to prevent catastrophic climate change. Furthermore, there are countless organisations, such as Conservation International, and policies, including the Paris Agreement, where people across the globe have banded together to help combat this issue. However, there is still much to do, particularly within Australia.
Too often in the Australian government climate change is used as a political standing or way to get votes, evident in the introduction and later removal of the Carbon Tax. However, this is not acceptable. If we are to save our planet our government cannot have this attitude. Indeed, on the 13th February an open letter was published from an unlikeley coalition of environmental, business and technoloical groups. These groups, from different backgrounds, came together to call politicians to put aside “partisan antics” and reform the system in order to work together to create a reliable, afforable and clean energy system. The significance of making climate change a bipartisan matter is important as it is an issue which affects all of humanity, bypassing political disputes and ambitions.
There is much that needs to be done to reverse the effects of climate change and it is no longer something that our global, national and community societies can continue to put off. For the sake of our Earth and all living things on it, now is the time to act.