By: Tori Poma
Summary. Australia is undoubtedly one of the most exotic and beautiful places to exist on Earth. The country is home to crystal clear water, filled with colorful coral reefs and an array of extravagant fish along with other varieties of sea life. More than 80% of Australia's wildlife is made up by species exclusively native to the nation, and cannot be found anywhere else. Animals such as Koalas, Kangaroos, and Wallabies make up a few of the different 140 species of marsupials that are unique to Australia that fall into this category. As well the 828 bird species to exist in this beautiful country, half of which living nowhere else. Australia was recently ranked last, out of 193 other United Nation countries, for actions taken to reduce greenhouse gases being put out into the atmosphere. This report highlighted Australia's reliance on coal oriented power, which in turn results in a large eminence of greenhouse gases. The report also took into account the countries with the largest amount of carbon emitted per capita, which Australia seemed to unfortunately accomplish. The United Nations has put forth an organized and thorough list of goals to fully meet the Department of Economic and Social Affair's requirements. This list is known as The 17 Goals of Sustainable Development. Australia sadly ranked 35th in its progress to meet all the Sustainable Development Goals. Casting more doubt on the country's environmental compliance, the sworn in deputy prime minister, Barnaby Joyce, is not a believer of global warming to say the least. He has made statements in the past about "refusing to be bullied into" being more environmentally progressive. He has also commented on this matter using religious analogies to try and explain why he does not believe in global warming.
Why we should care? Australia is an environmental paradise filled with ecosystems and species that can exist no where else, if the country's own leadership does not believe in its preservation it cannot be saved.
I enjoyed the way this article dove into the leadership aspects of Australia, to give the reader a deeper understanding of why this may occurring. I for one can say that I knew absolutely nothing about the Australian government and politics, despite those being a crucial part in how environmental policies are enforced. Without explaining why something is flawed and just presenting the outcome with no context, there is no room for speculation or improvement. When the politics and government are brought in to the conversation, there becomes a person or group of people who can appropriately be held accountable and open to change.
Science in Action.
Richie Merzian is a Climate Specialist at the Australian Institute.
Richie researches both domestic and international climate change affairs. This is especially relevant to my blog topic both because he is an expert in human affects on climate change but also because he was once a part of the Australian government, the exact country I am writing about. Richie has an inside view into how environmental issues are handled in this country, yet he also has the knowledge and education how they should be handled instead. This makes him the perfect guy to trust on this topic.