*Nature is declining globally at an unprecedented rate. The Man-driven Sixth Mass Extinction is accelerating as quickly as10,000 times the previous five others. Record numbers of Australia’s wildlife species face imminent extinction.
On Monday, 450 scientists and diplomats with the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services predicted that one million forms of life are facing extinction.
In Australia, logging native forests is rampant. It’s amongst the highest in the world.
Across Queensland in 2015-2016 alone, 45 million animals were massacred from bulldozing the ancient forests. Over the previous three years, the annihilation of ancient forests across New South Wales has spiked by 800 percent. In Victoria, the colossal mountain ash, the equivalent of 29-storey skyscrapers, are quickly being felled. It’s imperiling the drinking water supply of five million in the megalopolis of Melbourne.
Allow me to remind you that as these masterpiece ancient trees age, they inhale more carbon dioxide and exhale more oxygen.
For some species, 40 percent of all the oxygen exhaled occurs during the last quarter of their long lives. All these remaining glorious living cathedrals must be protected from chainsaws and poachers.
We have an oxygen crisis as recorded from air samples from Tasmania’s Cape Grim and California’s La Jolla. Earthlings are burning so much fossil fuel that atmospheric oxygen levels have dramatically tumbled since the mid 1980s.
We have an oxygen crisis…”
It’s not just oxygen, Australia. This past summer, inferno-like fossil fuel heat cooked and choked millions of animals to death e.g. fish, bats, goannas, horses and so many others. Repeated marine heatwaves that struck the Great Barrier Reef were 175 times more likely to have occurred because ofunparalleled fossil fuel heat accumulating in the oceans. That unrelenting heat has also left huge forest graveyards strewn across the landscape.
Currently, Australia lacks the political will to break free from subsidizing fossil fuels corporations and the unscrupulousbanks backing them. Australia is a sun-rich continent.
There is money and an existing labor force to power every town and city on the Australia continent with the sun.
It’s a no-brainer, end fossil fuel subsidies immediately and begin to race towards a zero-combustion economy.
With more prolonged droughts, higher temperatures with more frequent, longer-lasting heatwaves and $571 billion in insurance costs predicted by 2030 from global warming and extreme weather, it was preposterous for the Australian federal government to greenlight the Indian-owned Adani Carmichael coalmine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin.
Digging up that climate-destroying coal will shove the critically endangered gorgeous black-throated finches off the planet. Moreover, the Adani coalmine will discharge poisons into the Doongmabulla Springs and its vast underground water source that is sacred to the Wangan and Jagalingou Peoples and all life.
Poisoning any freshwater sources in this Man-driven climate emergency is suicide.
It’s up to each of us to consume less. Adopt a plant-based diet. Travel much less. Plant food-bearing trees. Harvest rainwater and become thrifty just like Nature.
Currently, we are consuming 1.7 Earths in order to stoke a three percent Gross Domestic Product (GDP). At this current rate that means in 20 years, we will consume 3.4 Earths in just one year. Based on this profligate metric, the children have no future.
On May 18 Australia, vote for the Greens because Liberals, Labor, Nationals and others lack the basic understanding that it’s time to tackle the Sixth Mass Extinction and the fossil fuel climate emergency right now.
Dr Reese Halter is an award-winning broadcaster, distinguished conservation biologist and author.
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