What’s coral bleaching? Great question! When the sea gets too warm or pollution kicks in, coral can't eat. It loses its colour, it starts to starve and, just like any starving animal, it becomes vulnerable to predators and disease. Bad news for the reef and bad news for all the amazing marine life that live in it.
We’re not just talking about any reef here… it’s the Great Barrier Reef. The largest coral reef system in the world - (it can be seen from space!) It is consider the 8th great wonder of the world because it’s just that – but great doesn’t even begin to describe how amazing it is! It’s been built by nature over thousands of years and is home to all kinds of weird and wonderful colourful marine life– over 1500 of them. This includes whales, seahorses, turtles, giant clams and the cute wee nemo that all call the reef home. The Great Barrier Reef also supports over 60,000 jobs (For the record that’s way more jobs than coal mining!).
Fossil Fuel Burning Needs To Stop
When choosing between the colourful underwater paradise that is the Great Barrier Reef and a lump of coal, it’s a real no brainer.
It’s pretty obvious that Australia’s summer wasn’t normal this year – extreme weather like heatwaves, fires and floods don’t happen by chance – they are the result of climate change. And the biggest culprits of climate change – you guessed it, burning fossil fuels.
We all know that if it is melted, it is ruined and with warming happening as quickly as it is, our reef – like our planet – won't stand a chance. To save our reef, we have to urgently phase out coal, oil and gas in order to give the Reef a fighting chance to survive. Without phasing out fossil fuels (and preventing further climate change), we will lose this incredible home for our marine life and a natural wonder of the world.
We need to know the government is taking the threat of climate change seriously, because an ocean of colourful marine life, as well as the livelihoods of 60,000 people, are depending on it. Taking the threat to the Reef seriously means a Federal plan to phase out all coal, oil and gas and replace it with renewable energy.
How do we do it?
With a country as big as Australia, it’s more than possible to move to renewable energy and kick the coal habit for good.
If enough people add their voice to the demand for a fossil fuel free future, we will start to see it. Ready to see action? We are too! Here’s what you can do:
Add your name to the Climate Change Act petition – this will help make sure we see the Climate Change Bill adopted and a move towards reducing fossil fuels;
Make your voice loud! Here’s a list of ways you can get your voice heard;
Want to make your voice even louder? Our friends at 350.org can help you with that!
Want to know more? (Because knowledge is power!), Our science friends at the Climate Council can help you this that too.
And just so you can remember why it’s all worth it? We recommend kicking back with some Blue Planet episodes as an excuse to set up a movie outdoors (and don’t mind us if we eat Phish food straight from the pint).