Launceston Locals look at Climate Change
By Mara Schneiders
Cold snaps and heatwaves! Has weather worsened because of climate changes, or is this part of nature's cycle? The debate is ongoing, yet there is concern by some that the time for talk is past and action is needed.
In towns around Australia, and the world, May 5th signalled Climate Impacts Day and local groups invited the community to ‘connect the dots’ between extreme weather and climate change. Their aim to raise awareness.
In Northern Tasmania, Climate Launceston, a local Tasmanian environmental action group joined with Oxfam Launceston Group to highlight the issue, and urge people to respond.
Connect the Dots event in Launceston for Climate Impacts Day
On a crisp, yet sunny autumn Saturday, people in the city mall were asked to consider recent events such as flooding, droughts, heat waves and rising seas.
Connect the Dots is a project of 350.org – a grassroots global movement which aims to solve the climate crisis. As campaign organizers say:
“Across the planet we see ever more flood, ever more drought, ever more storms. People are dying, communities are being wrecked — the impacts we’re already witnessing from climate change are unlike anything we have seen before. But because the globe is so big, it’s hard for most people to see that it’s all connected”.
Launceston locals, Anthea and Roger were out shopping. “It is really interesting to see the extremes of weather and look at the map at how continents have had record droughts and record floods” Anthea observed. Invited to add a dot to the world map on display, Roger chose Tasmania for the flooding that happened in the North East last year.
Yet not everyone agrees on climate change.
Jess works in one of the clothing shops in the area. Whilst she believes climate change is a concern, she said not all her colleagues think the same.
“One guy says don’t worry about it until all the trees are cut down"
Local organisers said the response to their event had been mixed.
“Some people insist there is no such thing, but others say yes, it is an issue, what can I do?”
Whilst the debate continues nationally and internationally about what governments should do in response to environmental issues, local organisers believe that people can make a difference.
Kim Beasy is a geography student at the University of Tasmania. She has established EcoAction, a University Student group. She believes that whether you are a climate change believer or not, we can all do things which contribute to a better world.
350.org has collated footage from around the world which demonstrates the link between climate change and extreme weather. For them, and local climate change groups, the evidence is all around. Just look out the window they say.
Watch: Launceston Locals look at World's Weather video on YouTube.