I recently started working at an environmental organization. Everyday people are writing, citing, igniting and fighting (non-violently of course) … for the earth. The facts are outrageous. The real true nitty gritty of what civilization and capitalism is doing to our homes, how much we seem determined to destroy our planet… is heartbreaking.
We are eating ourselves alive. And somehow still setting ourselves up to be left hungry.
Greenpeace is running a campaign to stop the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef. It is planned to be the next slab of nature that humans ruin with greed and short-sightedness. On one of the Seven Wonders Of The World… someone had the bright idea to build a massive coal mine, dredge the reef to build a shipping port. On ya!
I really don’t want more Co2 in my sky and less fish in my sea. But maybe that’s just me.
If it isn’t … if it’s you too… Read this short blog. Put your name on paper. Stand up. Draw the line.
We are losing ourselves. Bit by bit. Reef by reef.
1. The plot is cliché
It’s like something from a James Bond script where an evil villain decides to dig up a massive amount of coal and detonate one of the world’s largest carbon bombs in order to make money for a company with a very dodgy environmental record. When the coal is burnt it will push the world into climate chaos. All of this will be done right on top of one of the seven wonders of the world and kill Nemo.
2. It’s just SO unique
Sharks, coral, turtles, schools of tropical fish… the Reef is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and the largest natural feature on earth. It stretches more than 2300 km. At 348,000 square kilometres, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is the biggest tropical marine reserve. It is a rich interconnected world where abundant species rely on each other for survival. Many creatures including six of the world’s seven species of marine turtles call this protected area home.
3. The plans that threaten it are highly dangerous
There are currently plans to dig out coal inland from the Reef in an area called the Galilee Basin and then ship it straight through the Reef. To do this, there has to be massive infrastructure development, including dredging the reef to build a bigger port. More coal mines means more coal ships and more chances for accidents, spillages and grounding on the reef. The scale of the project is enormous.
If we allow the Adani project to proceed, up to 60 million tonnes of dirty coal could be dug up and shipped out every year from 2018 on. When burnt for electricity, this amount of coal would produce 128.4 million tonnes of CO2, which represents more than 70% of total greenhouse gas emissions by the electricity sector in Australia (179.4 Mt CO2-equivalent).
4. The Great Barrier Reef is threatened by climate change
The Reef is on the front-line of climate change. Already we are seeing that rising ocean temperatures and ocean acidification are bleaching corals and killing the Reef. Just like the canary in the coalmine, the Reef is already showing us the risks and impacts of climate change. The need to take action is urgent – coal must remain in the ground and we must move away from fossil fuels to renewable energy. The idea that we would mine for coal in the very area that is being threatened by climate change is adding insult to injury.
5. Banks are already ditching bad investments
Without funding, the project will not go ahead. Therefore banks and financing institutions can be part of the problem, or part of the solution. A number of banks have already committed to not investing in projects that would damage the reef.
Importantly, none of the major four Australian banks have committed to Reef protection.
We need your help to pressure them to make a stand.
6. We have momentum right now
This year, on February 13th and 14th, people around the globe are taking a hard look at their banks to see if they’re investing in fossil fuels. If their bank is, they’re breaking-up with them. The fossil fuel divestment campaign is the fastest moving divestment campaign in history. Universities and religious institutions have divested. A fossil free pension fund has started in Australia with another due to launch in the UK this year.
This divestment day we can break up with fossil fuels AND save the Reef!
Sign this petition now to make sure that the 4 major Australian banks do not invest in climate chaos and Reef destruction.
Leanne Minshull is a Climate and Energy Campaigner at Greenpeace International.
All we have is you. Each and every one of you.