More than 175 different climate change actions took place across Australia on October 24. The protests were part of the 350.org international day of climate action.
Leading climate scientists say the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide must be drawn down below 350 parts per million to ensure a safe climate. But today, it has reached about 390ppm. It rises by 2ppm each year.
In Sydney, Brianna Pike reported that 1500 people gathered at the Sydney Opera House and heard from speakers including Lord Mayor Clover Moore and Robyn Williams from the ABC. Climate Action Newtown also organised a cake stall with 350 cupcakes and a bamboo sculpture of an iceberg.
Cairns residents held an action to highlight the potentially catastrophic impacts of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef and the North Queensland economy, reported Angela Walker. They drew attention to the urgent need for leadership in reducing carbon emissions and investing in climate adaptation measures.
Sarah Hoyal of the Cairns and Far North Environment Centre said: "We face a climate emergency. The most effective way to protect the Great Barrier Reef, and many other important ecosystems, is to reduce carbon emissions by at least 40% on 1990 levels by 2020. Our leaders need to act immediately on this issue, and commit to significant emissions cuts at Copenhagen in December."
Bea Bleile reported from Armidale, NSW, that Sustainable Living Armidale and Socialist Alliance New England joined forces with the Armidale Urban Rivercare Group for a 350.org action on October 18. Fifty people planted about 1000 trees.
[More details can be found at www.350.org/australia