I got the bulk emailout from global campaigners Avaaz at the same time the news came through that Tony Abbott and Environment Minister(?!) Greg Hunt had approved the Queensland Carmichael mine, the biggest hole in the ground anywhere under the equator. I know we’ve gotta have energy and we’ve gotta have jobs, but some are saying all the bustling activity around this hole might well deliver a fatal blow to the already ailing Great Barrier Reef.
These are simple facts. This beautiful colourful sensitive band of rainbow brilliance that we’ve been blessed with is bleaching out to a white skeleton of its former self, struggling under rising ocean temperatures. And now add this mine and its ships and spilled coal dust in the mix.
If you take away the massive tourism industry the reef supports you can’t put a price on it. It’s sad that any debate on climate change has a big dollar sign stamped on it. I despair that you and I are part of a minority who hold trees and mountains and nice clean blue swimming water, and just the feelings all these things give, as OUR currency.
Argh, and this is just one issue we’ve gotta fight for!
So Avaaz are staging a Global march this Sunday, pre-empting the UN Climate Summit that Ban Ki-moon is hosting for world leaders in New York a few days later. In fact they’re predicting 100,000 concerned planet-lovers to turn up for the NY one. The email was asking for people everywhere to sign up and stage their own events. I emailed them straight away to offer my help, for what it’s worth. I thought some friends and I could just play a free show somewhere? But within half hour I got a call from GetUp! who’re organising Australia’s main event here in Melbourne… it’s this weekend. Sunday, 21st September. They’ve asked me to play a few songs at the Treasury Gardens after the march and some guest speakers. I don’t have any environmental call-to-arms kinda songs (I gotta write one!) but I’ll sing some others anyway. So I hope you can get there!