On the road up through Daintree Rainforest in far north Queensland there is an area where cassowaries may be found crossing the road. They are large, shy, solitary birds that have long blueish-purple, featherless necks and in some ways resemble an emu. There are endangered, and fastly approaching extinction, with only around 1200 left in the wild.
Of course when we travelled that road, even though we kept our eyes peeled, we weren’t lucky enough to spot any.
This road sign, warning of an approaching speed bump, had been masterfully changed! Unfortunately not only motorists are a problem to their survival. Habitat loss due to human settlement and attacks by dogs are a major problem.
I don’t think I’ll ever lose my wanderlust. It ebbs and flows like the tides on my doorstep here in Western Australia. Sometimes the pull to stay ‘home’ is strong: when the beach beckons, and the outdoor lifestyle is easy, with good food, wines and friendships.
Then there are times when the lure of new shores overwhelms, the draw of old haunts tempt, and the need to leave this remote city to return to the familiar people and places of my formative years is stronger than the urge to stay.
I took this photo in November last year just before jumping off the tourist boat to go snorkelling. An hour later I was in shock. In the twenty or so years since I’d last dived here how could this have happened?
The Great Barrier Reef, in far North Queensland, is the largest living structure on Earth, and it’s visible from space. Most of us know of its outstanding beauty and biodiversity and many of us now know of the coral bleaching that has been so devastating over the past years.
Sir David Attenborough says, “It is one of the greatest, and most splendid natural treasures that the world possesses.”
So why are we doing nothing to protect it?
Why are we so complacent about climate change that we have ignored the science that could have prevented coral bleaching and the increase in extreme weather events?
Why does our government not only approve the biggest coal mine in Australia’s history to a foreign company, Adani, when pollution is killing our reef and fossil fuels are quickly becoming a thing of the past, but also offers Adani a billion dollars in incentives?
Do those of us who are educated and living in the developed world really believe that by ignoring climate change it will no longer be a problem?
One day our children will say, “What on earth were they thinking?”
Oh yes. And Happy Earth Day 2017 …
At six degrees south of the equator,
the surprise of dusk is dramatic and sudden.
One moment you are enjoying the last rays of sunshine,
the next, darkness falls like a warm blanket.
Zanzibar, the Rufigi River in Selous Game Reserve, and the Uluguru Mountains in mainland Tanzania.