Climate stories

In March 2022, I lost almost everything I own in the Lismore floods.

Emma’s story

Lismore, NSW

  • Drought
  • Fire
  • Nature
  • Sea level rise
  • Storms

I’m an environmental science student at Southern Cross University in Lismore, NSW. The first time I was impacted by climate change was back in 2011 in Thailand. Where I got caught in a typhoon that caused flash flooding and killed over 159 people and displaced over 6.5 thousand villagers. When I began my studies in 2018, I traveled to Fiji to participate in a volunteer program where I stayed in a remote Fijian village. The locals told me about their experiences and concerns regarding sea level rise due to climate change. In 2019 I was awarded a new Colombo plan scholarship to study tropical marine biodiversity and aquaculture in Nha Trang, Vietnam. Where again, I learnt about the implications of sea level rise that concerned Vietnamese locals were experiencing first hand. After a very long drought in Australia, I was impacted by the 2019/2020 black summer bushfire crisis. For the first two weeks of that crisis, I was in New Zealand and I could smell the bushfire smoke from those fires in Auckland. The scale and intensity of those bushfires negatively impacted my mental health and I’ve had severe climate anxiety ever since. As a student environmental scientist and a passionate conservationist, I was really devastated to learn that 3 billion animals were killed or displaced by those fires. In March 2022, I lost almost everything I own in the Lismore floods. It was an extremely traumatic experience for the entire northern rivers community and we’re still feeling the effects of it here in Lismore. It adversely impacted my mental health, which in turn, impacted my university studies and it also impacted me financially. I am a volunteer member of the NSW rural fire service. And I am very concerned about this upcoming bushfire season, which is predicted to be catastrophic. I could potentially lose my life trying to protect my community while our government fans the flames of the climate emergency with further fossil fuel expansion. Australia has the potential to be a climate leader and a renewable energy powerhouse. Yet it is the third largest exporter of fossil fuels in the world. With 26 proposals for new and expanded coal mines currently waiting for federal government approval. If approved, they would release 12.6 billion tonnes of emissions that would super charge the climate crisis. Australia also has the worst mammal extinction rate of any country in the world, with an estimated 4 extinctions per decade. Essentially, this is ecocide and genocide on a global scale, and our governments failure to act has put us all on a highway to hell. It is a heinous crime against humanity and all life on earth. Please stop protecting the fossil fuel industry. And start protecting vulnerable communities, our precious wildlife and younger and future generations. No more fossil fuels. No more propaganda. No more lies. No more betrayal. No more racism. No more genocide. No more ecocide. We are in the Earth’s 6th mass extinction event. Declare a climate emergency now.

Climate change is harming us all

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.

Bianca's story

Middleton Grange, NSW

  • Flood
  • Health
  • Nature

I’m really worried for the next generation, and the effects of climate change they will face. Will extreme weather events become the norm?

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Bushfires. Floods. Heatwaves. Disease.

People all across Australia are being harmed by climate change. These are some of their stories.

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