How long does it take to become sustainable?
And how much effort does it take?
These are very difficult questions to answer – if they can be answered at all.
One thing I do know is that it is usually much easier to avoid damaging something than it is to (try to) fix up any damage later. I am sure that is something we can all relate to. And it certainly applies to the environment. Let me explain – and show you how one simple action can make a big difference.
Often – usually – it is impossible to reverse damage to the environment, particularly after a certain threshhold is reached.
That is the case with the greenhouse gases that we are pumping into the atmosphere. And it is those increasingly high levels of greenhouse gases that are causing the heatwaves in Australia, the freezing conditions in North America, and will shortly lead to collapse of marine ecosystems (which means there will be no wild seafood amongst other things). 🙁
And it will certainly be impossible to reverse the damage that will occur to the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef if dredging and dumping of the dredged material is allowed to occur in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. These plans – for the dredging for a coal port terminal – are at the final stage of approval.
If it is allowed to proceed, not only will the dredging and coal terminal destroy that part of the Great Barrier Reef and local coastline, but it will be facilitating further mining and burning of coal – which will make climate change and ocean acidification worse.
We are in times that are very dangerous for the future of our planet’s ability to support life. Because of built-in lag times, our children and grandchildren are already facing a very different world to previous generations. They will experience much more extreme weather and worse food and water shortages. 🙁
And – if we continue to dig up and burn fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas – that will only get worse…to the extent that planet Earth will be uninhabitable. 🙁
Now that in most cases we have alternatives to fossil fuels, the only answer is so a few people can make a quick buck.
But what use is that money if life is miserable or you are dead?
Now, before you get really depressed and throw in the towel, the good news is that we can stop this march to our own destruction…if we all work together to ensure quick and decisive action to reverse this march.
That’s the call of The Elders. In this piece a few days ago, Kofi Annan challenges governments, businesses and citizens across the world to step up and take bold action on climate change.
That’s why I wrote recently about the importance of making your voice heard.
And an important opportunity for making your voice heard for sustainability of life on Earth closes this Friday, 31 January 2014 (Australian Eastern Daylight Time).
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has yet to approve whether the dredging for the proposed coal terminal can proceed. And it will take our views into account.
One simple phone call, letter or e-mail is all it takes from each of us.
By working together, by many people speaking up and taking action, we can stop the march to our destruction.
Will you join me and many, many others in letting the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (and the Australian Government) know that:
- we want the magnificent Great Barrier Reef preserved for everyone, now and in the future, and
- we want to keep fossil fuels in the ground?
All it takes is one email.
Or you could make a quick phone call:
Till next time…be gentle to yourself and our world!