TEXT by ADRIAN RINGBAUER
IMAGE & CAPTION by JOSEPHINE JACKSON
I have a vision that the world is a place people listen to the cry of the earth.
“Climate change” is no longer change. It is catastrophe. This is no longer something we can push to the side like it has been for the last one hundred and fifty years. People have been ignoring this disaster since the nineteenth century and proper action has only begun recently. Climate change is set to kill 250,000 people each year and about 5 different species are going extinct each day. In the last 50 years, more animals and plants have gone extinct than in the last million.
It was only 2015 that the Pope started getting involved with climate change. He wrote Laudato ‘si, a response to climate change and how it is a problem for everyone and everything.
Many scientists have come up with different solutions to help battle this problem. From little things like not using plastic and eating local foods, to much bigger things like not burning fossil fuels and stopping fossil fuel exports.
One scientist, Paul Hawken, introduced the method of drawdown, removing the carbon from the atmosphere by planting trees.
More trees will hold more water in the ground for us to access. An easy way to contribute to drawdown is to plant a tree once a week to help the environment heal and regenerate.
We all need to make a change, drawdown is just one of many examples of things needed to be changed. For example, live exports. In one day, an export ship can burn up to 330 tonnes of dirty fuel. This fuel goes straight into the atmosphere and affects everyone. But, this is not the only reason live exports should be stopped. The animals are cramped into a ship which only allows three animals per square meter. These conditions are cruel to the animal and many don’t make the journey. To help stop this industry, make sure that the meat you are buying is from Australia and it is even better if it comes from around your region.
Climate change is affecting everyone and everything, especially Australia. Global average temperature has increased by almost 1 degree. This may not sound like much, but even 0.1 degrees can affect the flora growth and fauna development. This then affects every person in Australia in many ways such as food shortages, drought, fires and even floods.
This can be easily combated by the simplest things such as planting trees, and even not killing noxious weeds like willows and yes, even thistles and blackberries. This is because, even though they are considered pests, they are still contributing to drawdown and even provide food for native animals. The environment is not our only concern though, because global warming is also affecting our people. In 2018 alone, deaths from heat stroke was recorded at 65,846 and 48,585 people died from skin cancer. These statistics are a scary reminder of how dangerous climate change really is.
All of these factors are reasons why we should be doing something to prevent this worldwide disaster, even the simplest things done by each individual can help prevent global warming. Every time you recycle, plant a tree, walk to the place you need to go instead of driving this can help stop this worldwide disaster.
The text and image above are taken from the two winning entries in the BCCAN Climate Competition, in which high school students were invited to contribute responses to the challenge of climate change. Adrian and Josephine are both 14 years old and attend school in the Central West region of NSW, Australia.