Stepping into the melting pot

Stepping into the melting pot

Last month NASA released images that showed kilometres of ice (the size of Manhattan) break off the Pine Island Glacier in the Antarctic. Since then the video from the award-winning 2012 documentary Chasing Ice has once again been making the rounds on social media and for good reason.

Photographer James Balog and his team behind Chasing Ice* hold the Guinness World record for the largest and longest glacier calving (melting) ever filmed.  The calving lasted a total of 75 minutes.

The footage is nothing short of remarkable but with it being originally filmed in 2008 and with the recent images from NASA of more glacier calving, just shows that there hasn’t been enough done to try and slow climate change. We are still on the back foot.

In a 2012 interview with ThinkProgress James Balog spoke about how it wasn’t until he saw firsthand the magnitude of the ice melting on his expedition that he then believed that climate change was in fact real.

“That was really the smoking gun showing how far outside normal, natural variation the world has become. And that’s when I started to really get the message that this was something consequential and serious and needed to be dealt with,” he said.

 

Watch the glazier calving below.

 

The Great Barrier Reef feeling the heat

Closer to home, the Guardian published the images today taken by the Australian Marine Conservation of the newly bleached Great Barrier Reef corals near Palm Island.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority stated that from the Cape Tribulation to Townsville the sea surface has been 2°C warmer than normal for this time of year and has been for over a month. This hasn’t been helped by the heatwave a few weeks ago where land temperatures peaked at 47°C.

The Great Barrier Reef’s campaign director for the AMCS, Imogen Zethoven, told the Guardian that support for fossil fuel initiatives like the Adani’s Carmichael coalmine undermines the $1bn reef fund that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced last year.

“They (government) know what they are doing and they should come clean with the Australian public that they have no interest in the long-term survival of the Great Barrier Reef,” said Zethoven.

How are other organisations responding?

Uniting Church in Australia has long been dedicated to finding ways to combat climate change including divesting from fossil fuels and investing sustainable solutions.

That’s why its always great to see when other organisations and/or companies take the steps to understand their carbon footprint and social responsibility in regards to global warming.

Ben & Jerry’s is an example of this and has brought out an ad that encourages people to join the climate movement in the sweetest way possible.

As it says on their website: “If it’s melted, it’s ruined. It’s true for ice cream, and it’s true for the planet.”

 

 

Living Eco-friendly

So what can you to reduce your carbon footprint?  Well, in theory living eco-friendly is great but it might seem like a lot of effort and don’t get me wrong it is a commitment but its the small changes that can make the big difference. As Arnold Schwarzenegger eloquently put in a Facebook post:

“I don’t want to be the last investor in Blockbuster as Netflix emerged. That’s exactly what is going to happen to fossil fuels. A clean energy future is a wise investment, and anyone who tells you otherwise is either wrong, or lying. Either way, I wouldn’t take their investment advice.”

You can read the full post here, it’s definitely worth a read.

Thankfully, author, entrepreneur and advocate for sustainable living Sarah Wilson used her blog to share eight plastic items that we can reduce or better yet stop using altogether for a more toxin free environment.

Here are the eight items:

  1. Plastic cutlery
  2. Straws
  3. Bottled water
  4. Takeaway coffee cups
  5. Plastic toothbrushes
  6. Plastic shopping bags
  7. Take away containers
  8. Plastic wrapped toilet paper

If you’re thinking how exactly am I going to avoid buying all that?! Don’t worry Sarah provided non-plastic alternatives here.

Are you up for the challenge?

 

Resources

Uniting Justice

Uniting Earth

 

*Chasing Ice is available to watch on Netflix.

 

Melissa Stewart

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