I am driving through time. I see how the lush greenery around me is changing for an arid and deserted landscape. I am driving from Cairns to Alice Springs eventually, from the north to the centre of Australia, from the rainforest to the desert.
When being on the road, I feel how I am not only traveling in distance, but as well in time. While the rain stops, the humidity fades and trees diminish, the sun starts burning harder, and my eyes and skin feel like drying up.
The astonishing waterfalls of the Cairns area and the wild rivers around the Daintry rainforest are fading away in my memories. Whole at the sudden they don’t look like real anymore. Maybe it was my imagination. Maybe It was nothing more than a beautiful dream.
Now I am standing here, watching a dried-up river. No water. No traces of water even.
Only a cracked soil, burst of heath and drought.
No animals to sip up the remainders of water, yet only a sky full of flies trying to fill their thirst with the liquid of our eyes and bodies. Like a cow I shake my ponytail to kick the flies of my face. But I have to face it: it is dry. Incredible, scary dry.
Climate change in Australia
Climate Change is hitting Australia hard. Since 1910, just in one century, Australia has warmed over 1 degree Celsius. 1.5 degrees is considered as the critical limit we should not pass. Yet, the process of warming is accelerating. 8 of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 2005. The last decade only.
The next decade will be critical to stop reaching the tipping point of no return.
Australia already experiences climate change with
- Increased in frequency of extreme heat events
- Increased severity of drought conditions during periods of below-average rainfall
- Decrease in depth of snow in alpine regions
- Decrease in number, but possible increase in severity of cyclones
- Decrease in rainfall in the south, and increase in rainfall in the north – both affecting agriculture, humans and animals
- Increased in fire hazards, both in length of the fire season as in severity of the fires
- People are suffering
- Animals are dying. For instance, only during the heat wave last summer, Australia lost one third of its flying foxes’ population (who live mainly in Cairns).
Window of opportunity
We have to stop climate change, here and now, it is not like traveling to the far future, it is a like traveling to that side of the earth we do not want to face that climate change is happening already. We are about to open Pandora’s box.
Yet, we can, I know we can do our fairly best to stop it still from happening. We live in this window of opportunity and it is up to us to keep it open and make the best out of it.
Keep on reading in the next blogposts and vlogs how you can contribute to this story.