Torres Strait & Gulf face climate change oblivion. 12 Dec 2007. “You don’t have to be a scientist,” he said, “not when you see metres of beach disappearing every week.” Metres of beach disappearing every week? So it must be gone now right? No it’s still the same. Just lots of honesty disappearing every week.
Torres Strait & Gulf face climate change oblivion (2007, December 12). Torres News (Thursday Island, Qld. : 1957-2015), p. 1. Retrieved February 28, 2020, from https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/255499372?searchTerm=climate%20change%20in%20australia&searchLimits=#
The Torres Strait and the Gulf of Carpentaria will bear the brunt of climate change, in Australia, according to a recent international report.
Sea level rise of one or two metres would wipe out dozens of populated homelands and islands, particularly those in the Torres Strait and the Gulf of Carpentaria, said the report by Friends of the Earth International.
The report says Indigenous Australians are among Australia’s most vulnerable to climate change.
More than 100,000 live in remote communities, many of which lack adequate infrastructure, health services and employment—disadvantages that may restrict their ability to cope with climate hazards.
Direct impacts include heat stress, loss of traditional food sources, and more food-and water-borne illnesses.
Responding to the report, newly elected member for Leichhardt Jim Tumour said the Rudd Labor Government has acted decisively to address the issue of climate change since coming into power last Monday. “The Rudd Government has already signed the Kyoto Protocol and the Prime Minister is going to the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali with Penny Wong, the Minister for Climate Change.
“The government looks forward to implementing not only our commitment to reduce green house gas emissions in Australia but also helping to reduce the emission of such gases internationally.”
Mr Tumour said that it is also important to investigate locally the increased use of renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar and even tidal power.
“We’ve already got to the stage where inundation is happening on some Torres Strait islands so we need to plan and prepare a response if this continues to worsen,” he said.
The Torres Strait Islands, scattered across 22,000 square kilometres between Australia and Papua New Guinea, are home to more than 8000 people.
Many live only metres from the beach, sometimes less than one metre above sea level.
In early 2006, high tides, strong winds and heavy rain caused severe damage to half the region’s inhabited islands. Homes were damaged, sewage systems flooded and belongings lost.
Islanders report such events as increasingly common.
The report quotes one Torres Strait leader as saying there is no doubt that global warming is to blame.
“You don’t have to be a scientist,” he said, “not when you see metres of beach disappearing every week.”
The report finds the most-fundamental step toward dealing with climate change is to stop fuelling the problem.
“Yet Australia’s energy emissions are soaring. Coal power supplies about 85 per cent of Australia’s electricity, and Australia remains the world’s biggest coal exporter.”
“On a more-positive note, climate change is now firmly fixed on the public radar. A convergence of events including the drought, the film The Inconvenient Truth, and the Stern Review have given climate change a high profile.
The report concludes that Australia is a dry, hot country with a history of drought and bush fires and describes our nation as a portal into the world’s future with climate change.
“While we cannot be certain that climate change is behind the current drought, there is no doubt about the threat posed by a hotter future. Though wider Australian society has the resources to adapt, many among its Indigenous population are not so fortunate.”