Residents of the town of Tathra on NSW’s far south Sapphire Coast decided to spell out the climate change message personally last weekend.
A 2,000-strong contingent turned up to write ‘Keep Tathra Cool’, ‘Decrease CO2’ and ‘Climate Action Now’ on the Lawrence Park oval in three human signs.
Fourteen local fire trucks and a taiko drumming team were also on hand at the event organised by the Clean Energy For Eternity group.
Climate change message – history repeating
The town has been at the forefront of solutions to climate change since 2006. It was then that Clean Energy For Eternity first formed a human sign on the town’s beach.
VIDEO: Sunday, September 30, 2018 – Tathra spells out its message.
In 2014 Bega Valley Shire Council formed a partnership with Clean Energy for Eternity to build the Tathra Community Solar Farm. The plan was to develop one of Australia’s first community solar farms to power the town’s sewage works.
Clean Energy for Eternity president Dr Matthew Nott said it was a “disgrace” and a “dereliction of duty” that Australia did not have a national emissions policy.
He said the sign’s message was to “politicians of all colours and stripes”. That’s because they need to come together to develop a strong national policy on emissions.
Tathra resurgent following bush fires
Earlier this year, Tathra experienced a bushfire that devastated parts of the town. According to ABC News, the fire that broke out on March 18 destroyed 65 homes and 70 caravans.
Nick Graham-Higgs, the founder of environmental consultancy NGH Environmental, spent March 18 fighting to save his home and neighbouring properties.
“We are lucky that no lives were lost that day, but it took several months to recover from the emotional trauma as well as the smoke inhalation,” Graham-Higgs said.
“Everyone is extremely uneasy about the coming summer, as a hot day and strong breeze could set off the nightmare for us once again.”
Solar is more than just low-cost power
Although many people are turning to solar panel installations to fight high energy costs, renewable energy also reduces carbon emissions.
Carbon emissions contribute to the increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. This traps heat and leads to higher temperatures and increased bushfire risk.
More residential and commercial-scale renewable energy can help offset this effect.