There is no excuse

It has been two months since my last post and this is my confession. Hopefully these words absolve me from the wrath of blogdom, however several projects have taken my focus away from actually putting finger tip to keyboard. (Doesn’t have the same ring to it as “Pen to paper” does it?)

There has been something in the wind these last few weeks that has brought me back to the keyboard. It worries me that, as arguably, one of this worlds most intelligent species, (note that I didn’t say smartest) we are so ostrich-like (read head in the sand) when it comes to climate change.9

This photo by Mat Watts show’s just a frame of what is at stake if we get it wrong

The temperatures here in Southeast Queensland are unseasonably hot, as it is over much of the country. One hopes that this doesn’t become a trend or I fear that we may well have been underestimating the time that it takes to raise the earths temperature to crisis levels. It is worrisome that the scientists are becoming a touch too regular in admissions that they may have missed some of the actuators causing this warming.

It still amazes me how many people are finding ways to deny man’s influence in this cycle. I believe that there is no doubt that the earth temperatures cycle over the years. I also believe that without question there are drivers that cause these cycles…. The driver for this current cycle is, without a doubt, man’s invention.

In this past week, a bunch of school children took time out from school to protest the lack of action on climate change by this government. Unfortunately the point has been by-passed as nay-sayers have turned the focus to the fact that children are protesting.

The conversation that these kids are having must reverberate through that entire generation. It is their world that will be the most impacted by the greed of this generation of politicians. It is a conversation they must have and it must be encouraged. By protesting, they will make it a leading debate in our society today.

Not since the world woke up to the era of flower power and the threat of nuclear war has there been an issue so demanding of action as climate change is today. The Australian Prime Minister, today, chastised these kids for protesting. The Prime Minister is wrong. He needs to listen to them… It is their world with which he plays a dangerous game.

As temperatures increase, scientists tell us that the nutritional value of crops will decline,
meaning we will have to grow more just to stand still

People like Abbott and his minions will be remembered by generations to come as the “War Criminals” of the climate war that needs be waged. They had it in their grasp to push for new technology to combat rising temperatures but they chose, instead, to continue to mine the very carbon from the carbon sinks beneath the earths crust for the few last remaining dollars that they can glean.

In my humble opinion, it is coal and oil that are pretty much the prime cause of warming as most other forms of carbon were always a part of the chemical/mineral balance that nature intended. You simply cannot keep adding to the carbon load with out something going wrong. Add to that, the deforestation that has occurred where the very mechanism that removes carbon from the atmosphere has been systematically removed without replacement…. the trees, and you have a recipe for rising temperatures. Commonsense is rarely rocket science.

If each man woman and child did one thing every day to change our reliance on coal and oil, we, the average person, can make a difference.

I have not used this blog as a political platform before, however I hope that this message might touch some minds out there and, like the wings of a butterfly, cause a hurricane of action that in some way makes a difference.

If this resonates with you at some level, please share it in as many ways as you can.

The worst case is that if we all get on board and clean up our act we will have a much nicer world to pass on to our children’s children. That can’t be too bad a thing.

If you don’t agree with me, I respect your view.. I only ask this one question…

If you don’t believe that Climate Change is manmade and that it is nothing more than a conspiracy theory that requires no further action, can you please tell me this…

WHAT IF YOU ARE WRONG?

Will this be the burning sunset that brings man’s time on earth to an end?

Not On My Watch!

Today I watched a documentary on Netflix called Chasing Coral, having previously watched another documentary called Chasing Ice. Their collective message regarding the state of our world made me realise the urgency of the peril that we face.

Getting the feel of weightlessness at Sabang.  This was one of my first dive experiences after training with Asia Divers Dive shop

I have recently had the privilege of diving on coral reefs in the Philippines with Asia Divers in Sabang and am in awe of the beauty that lives just below the surface of the sea. Perhaps because of that experience, this has touched a deeper nerve.

A Longhorn Cowfish. one of the Boxfish familyPhoto Credit: Mathewatts Photography

If you were to do nothing else today, your time would be richly spent in taking the one hour and twenty minutes to watch this documentary, Chasing Coral. When you do, take a moment to reflect on just what the consequences of not listening to the message will be, and ask yourself, “What can I do?”

The beauty of a coral reef may become a rare thing in the future unless action is taken soon.  Photo Credit: Mathewatts Photography

Coral is a living organism working together to the greater good of all of the parts. One polyp, on its own, can do little, yet as part of the reef, it is responsible for much of the life in the world. Likewise, on our own, what each of us does may seem insignificant, but if enough of us work together, we can bring about the change that is so badly needed. All it takes is for someone to follow another’s lead and then someone else to follow them and so on and so on. However, if no one begins the cycle, nothing will change and we do not have the luxury of waiting for someone else to do it.

A pair of Clown fish enjoying a prickly lifestyle Photo Credit: Mathewatts Photography

Perhaps it is our fear of change that prevents us from looking at the reality of what is happening in this world. We hold on to what we know with such tenacity that we do not even realise what is slipping away from us on a daily basis. This is not just a political issue… it is a human responsibility. It is the world we will leave our descendants..

Corals can grow to a great size often resembling the trees on dry land. Photo Credit: Mathewatts Photography

This is our watch…..We are all responsible…… We can make a change….Will history portray the Millennials as the age of humanity that brought about the downfall of the mammals, or will it show that we are better than that?

A turtle takes a moment’s rest on one of the beautiful  coral reefs at Tabbataha Reef in the Sulu Sea in the Philippines.  Photo Credit: Mathewatts Photography

My blog, Street2stream.com, is about life. Be it the way we live (Street) or the way we interact with nature (Stream). There is nothing more fascinating than cultural diversity and the way that people interact with each other. Perhaps I lied… the amazing world of nature is also as fascinating, I would be remiss if, in the light of this documentary, I did not make a statement on the consequences of doing nothing, and to encourage my peers to do what they can, as individuals, to protect these beautiful reefs, along with the delicate food chain upon which, all species rely for survival.

Coral carpets the ocean floor at Tabbataha Reef.  Photo Credit: Mathewatts Photography

I was always of the mind that nature was so much more powerful than any other force in this world. I still believe that, and this is what makes me afraid for the human race. At this point in history, humanity is making a vital difference to all of nature. Sadly, not in a good way. The world that I knew as a young man is much different now. The weather is much what it has ever been on a daily basis. Some days it rains some days it doesn’t: Some days it’s hot, some days its cold. The issue though, is that it is the climate, not the weather, that is changing, and that change is destroying our beautiful coral reefs. Chasing Coral demonstrates this in a most graphic way. According to the documentary, in just one year (2016), on the Great Barrier Reef alone, 29% of coral died and with current projections, it will take just 30 more years before virtually all of the world’s coral fields will be wiped out.

This tiny sea slug comes in a variety of colour. Nudibranchs are common dwellers of the reef. Credit Mathewatts Photograhy

It is likely that where ever we live in the world, we will have heard about coral bleaching. For me, in Australia, it has been about the Great Barrier Reef and, until I saw a segment near the end of the documentary, I didn’t realise just how widespread the bleaching was. It covers the entire globe! This information doesn’t come from scientists or politicians but from everyday people who just happen to dive for recreation.

Another colourful example of a Nudibranch
Photo Credit: Mathewatts Photograhy

When the coral goes, the ongoing effect on the downstream chain of life will play out like a game of dominos as each species collapses from the loss of its food chain supply. This is not a distant futuristic possibility……. it will happen on our watch…… Children born today, will likely not enjoy the pleasures of diving on coral reefs as we have been privileged to do. Nature will prevail and, like the sickening reefs who purge the distressed chlorophyll from within, it will discard humanity and then go back to rebuilding a healthy world….. We just won’t be a part of it. As I have said, Nature is a powerful force.

A stunning Juvenile Angel Fish
Photo Credit: Mathewatts Photography

As I said in the beginning, taking an hour or so to watch this documentary and reflecting on what it truly means for our future will be the most important thing you will do today.

I believe this is a conversation that needs to be had. It needs to be in every home, every workplace, every pub, and restaurant. It needs to be in our schools and universities and it needs to be in our parliament.

Paddleflap Frog Fish. A most beautifully ugly fish.
Photo Credit:Mathewatts Photography

It is arguably the most important issue facing this world and yet it is largely ignored. This is my contribution. If I can encourage just a few to watch this documentary and they, in turn, can do the same, maybe it will add a few more straws to the camel’s back until we can release the brakes on doing something before we reach that point from which we will not recover

If, after watching the documentary, you feel the same way, please share this….. it just might make a difference

My son Mat and I pose for a photo on my first Diving experience at Sabang with Asia Divers.  Mat is responsible for all of the photographs on this blog.  You can check out more of his work on Instagram at Underwaterescape