It was pretty rough to learn on Earth Day that 93% of the Great Barrier Reef has been impacted by bleaching.
“I have cried. I have broken down in front of cameras. This is the most devastating, gut-wrenching fuck up,” Professor Justin Marshall, of the University of Queensland, told The Guardian yesterday.
“This is Australia’s biggest ever environmental disaster.”
I went snorkelling at Hayman Island 20 years ago. It was the most stunning thing I’ve ever seen – the colours of the coral just offshore were breathtaking.
All coral I’ve seen since then has been bleached – the Seychelles, Fiji, Tahiti and Hawaii …
Bleaching occurs when corals sit for too long in unusually warm temperatures. It’s been happening worldwide for decades.
Scientists have linked the long-term trend towards rising ocean temperatures to fossil fuel burning.
It hasn’t stopped the Australian government granting approval for what could be Australia’s largest ever coalmine in Queensland’s Galilee basin.
“This is not just about little Australia. This is a global event. When we mine coal and sell it, that is killing all reefs – not just ours,” Professor Marshall says.
It breaks my heart my children will never see beauty like I witnessed at Hayman Island.
Earth Day – April 22 – is about igniting passion and motivating people to action on environmental issues.
Here’s how celebrities have used their voices on Instagram for the planet during Earth Day 2016: