Paradise lost

We’ve heard about it for years now. Sea levels are rising! The world is warming one degree Celsius! Climate Change is here! 

For most countries it’s put to the bottom of the pile because there’s ‘more important things to worry about’ or because for some, it simply doesn’t exist.

In the last 20 years sea level have risen 6.6 cm. This may not seem like much in the grand scheme of things however over the last century sea levels have risen by 17cm and by the end of the century it’s expected that sea levels will have risen by one meter.

Not to mention the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The rise in global Carbon Dioxide levels  Source: NASA
The rise in global Carbon Dioxide levels Source: NASA

Weather is set to get more extreme (think autumn floods and summer heatwaves) and whole nations will sink beneath the waves.

It has gotten to the point now where people are starting to talk about climate change in the present, not the future.

Pacific Island politicians are making their voices heard in regional meetings  as the world gears up to key UN climate change talks in Paris later this month.Among the voices, one of the loudest was Fijian prime minister Frank Bainimarama who said that “We in the Pacific are innocent bystanders in the greatest act of folly of any age”

“Unless the world acts decisively in the coming weeks to begin addressing the greatest challenge of our age, then the Pacific, as we know it, is doomed”.

At the recent Pacific Islands Development Forum a statement known as the Suva Declaration was made. In it the leaders of many Pacific Islands said this:

“[We] are gravely distressed that climate change poses irreversible loss and damage to our people, societies, livelihoods and natural environments; creating existential threats to our very survival…”

This very sentiment is echoed in a recent radio interview with Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten on the ABC’s AM radio program, who brought the realities of the situation into the light again,

“Rising water levels mean that these people not only lose their food security and have economic pressure; they may well indeed lose where they live”

That’s the reality of this. Climate Change is no longer a theoretical scientific debate.

It certainly doesn’t help the situation when you’ve got people like this lot with this mentality….

If urgent action isn’t taken to reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses entering the atmosphere then the loss of the Pacific will only be the beginning.

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