Peace and Space. That is my first impression of Australia. After having been travelling 8 months in South-East Asia, the wideness of the area around Cairns in North Australia is totally shocking.
Moreover, everything is so different. Besides openness and wideness, compared to the densely populated Asian countries I’ve been the last months, there is something else that strikes my attention: mass consumption.
One of the first things I’ll have to do when arriving is buying a sleeping bag for the upcoming months of camping and being on the road. Therefore, my friends decide me to take me to a shopping mall. Frankly, I haven’t been in a huge shopping mall for about half a year or so. I am overwhelmed.
Moreover, I am overwhelmed walking in the big supermarket with ails full of all kinds of milk, another all kinds of bread, another all kinds of water, another all kinds of fruits and veggies. Compared to the small grocery stores I’ve been visiting the last couple of months, and in addition the local markets for fruits and vegetables, I feel totally overwhelmed.
Which makes me wonder why we need all of this. If we need all of this by any chance.
I can see clearly that I am back in a westernised country based on consumption, consumption and consumption. It gives me Goosebumps. Because mass consumption means mass production of waste as well.
Zero waste, or zero recycling
Which is another issue. I don’t see as much recycling initiatives as I would love to see, not even in the hostel I am staying. Yet, by chance I do see lots of books on zero waste and the longer I am around, the more zero waste initiatives I see. Yet, it all starts in this kind of shops: selling waste means producing waste.
But the thing I am absolutely, totally shocked and surprised about, is the fact that the Australian government does nearly NOTHING about global warming. There are almost no initiatives, the targets are not ambitious enough and they are not even putting an effort to reach them.
What’s up, mate?
At the moment of writing David Attenborough actually called out on Australia for their lack of climate change effort. I must admit, I am happy he does, because I am totally shocked about it. Why can a country that is so wealthy in money and knowledge not acknowledge the need to mitigate global warming?
Moreover, since global warming is impacting Australia severely nowadays. There is the Great Barrier Reef which is litteraly dying and won’t make it to the next century if climate change does not stop. I wrote an article on it, and a blogpost which comes later, and even a vlog! Just to make you understand how critical the situation is.
In addition, Australia has a lot of farmers and I hear in the first month here in Cairns, so many stories about how changing weather patterns are affecting, not to say delaying and destroying, the harvests.
Add to that the damage to nature which is an abundant source of income thanks to its tourism, and one cannot understand why the Australian government does not step up. Contrary, they just gave permission to start building a new coal mine – the Adani mine – which will be one of the biggest coal mines in the world.
Give me a break, please !
So, the next months will be all on Australia, I’ll keep you posted here, in the magazines I write for, and via my youtube channel finfinnews. Keep on track, and let’s dive in the continent down under!