The fires, floods, and storms that we’ve been seeing are going to happen on a much more regular basis. Australia is going to suffer terribly.
My name is Charles Watson and I am a public health physician in Western Australia. I believe that the potential impact of climate change in Australia is likely to be catastrophic.
I became strongly interested in climate change about 12 years ago. It quickly became clear to me that this is the greatest threat to life on earth that we have ever faced. Moreover, it is not something that is way in the distance – it is already obvious and will worsen over the next decade.
At a personal level, my stepdaughter just lost her house near Lismore in Evans Head. In the first day of heavy rain they had 500 millimetres – that’s half of the local annual rainfall in one day. The basement of their house started flooding, but the next day the house all but submerged in 7 metres of water that rushed into the town. It went right up to the top level of the two-storey house and it wiped out just about everything. The result for them is unimaginably awful – just as it is for all the people in Lismore.
The reality is that in the last few years we’ve experienced dreadful bushfires as well as incredible floods. This is just a taste of what is to come in the future. It is clear that the catastrophes like the fires, floods, and storms that we’ve been seeing are going to happen on a much more regular basis. Australia is going to suffer terribly.
Most people in Australia now recognise that climate change is an important issue, but no one in power seems willing to help them. We need to start doing something really really quickly because the fossil fuel and gas companies not going to stop pushing their products that release carbon dioxide.
I am seventy eight years old, so I am not going to be experiencing the disastrous effects personally, but my grandchildren certainly will. I feel desperately afraid of what the world will be like for them in the future.
Hundreds of people from across the country are sharing their stories to send a clear message to the Australian government - it's time for real action on climate change.
Every story appears as a point on this map. Click around to read how climate change is affecting our communities, and add your own story to the map.
We need to stand up and work with our elders to protect the land we share and to keep Australia afloat.
People all across Australia are being harmed by climate change. These are some of their stories.