I’m asking myself, what exactly does Earth need to do to get our attention? No, really, what the heckedy-heck does it take to make us truly sit up and notice the massive changes going on in the natural world around us?
(ABC Science Show)
It’s a travesty that so many people are fixated by staring at their so-called smart phones in a search for imaginary Pokémon creatures, while the real plants and animals of the world are turning up their toes in their billions.
Look what has been happening lately around Australia’s coastline alone. If our home is girt by sea, as our national anthem says, then all the signs are that we are effectively burning the floorboards. Disaster after disaster is happening. Think I’m being alarmist? Well, think about this; off Queensland, more than nine-tenths of the Great Barrier Reef has just been bleached. Perhaps a quarter of it has died and likely won’t come back.
Look up north in the Gulf, the worst mass die-off of mangroves ever seen, 10,000 hectares of it along great lengths of the coast. Look off Western Australia, 960 square kilometres of kelp forest has just disappeared. More than a third of it is now extinct. And all of this has become evident in just the past six months alone. It’s as if our oceans have just suffered a massive stroke.
And don’t get me started about the terrible decline in bird populations around our shorelines, or about the rapid southward shift of tropical and subtropical fish, seaweeds and urchins. We are finding Nemo in Tasmanian waters! And don’t mention the millions of tonnes of man-made polymer waste materials, PET bottles, caps, bags, disposable plates, wrappers, you name it, that enter our oceans every year, turning them into one great plastic soup. The sand on every single Australian beach is now made up in part of countless grains of plastic. I could go on but what’s the point. I know I’m far from alone in being aghast about all this. But if the list I have just reeled off hasn’t got Australians off their butt demanding action and marching in the streets, I don’t know what will.
And more – worth a read
(ABC Science Show: 13 Aug 2016: Bob Beale)
Bob Beale has been writing on science and the environment since he worked as a journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald. Here he reflects on the lack of concern and the lack of real action in dealing with a world he sees as crumbling.