Engineer Steve Posselt worries about climate change. He worries so much that he even paddled his sea-kayak Old Yella in France to Paris for the critical climate change talks in 2015.
Posselt believes we are in a state of climate emergency. He says we need to accept the science, ask governments to declare a climate emergency, and immediately mobilise resources at a massive scale.
Globally, the past three years – 2014, 2015 and 2016 – have each been the hottest on record. Last year was Australia’s fourth hottest year and Sydney has just recorded its hottest January.
Posselt thought Paris might be the end of his journey, but he realised that even if all nations met their NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions), temperatures would still increase by nearly 3oC over pre-industrial levels. His ‘Connecting Climate Chaos’ journey was not yet over.
So on New Year’s Day 2017, Posselt brought out Old Yella again and started paddling from his home in Ballina, down the NSW coast to Moruya. From there he will walk to Canberra via Araluen, Braidwood and Bungendore.
Posselt and climate campaigners from over 30 community groups are collecting signatures for a petition, calling on the Australian Parliament to declare a climate emergency and to mobilise resources to restore a safe climate. He hopes to have 100,000 signatures by the time he reaches Canberra on 25 February.
Hopes for 100,000 signatures by the time he reaches Canberra on 25 February via Moruya, Araluen, Braidwood and Bungendore
Posselt is keeping a diary of his trip. On 1 February he recorded that he was welcomed into Wollongong harbour by a flotilla of kayaks and other paddle craft, and cheering people with large letters making up ILLAWARRA WANTS CLIMATE ACTION. It was “inspirational”, he wrote.
On 17 February, 350Eurobodalla is hosting a picnic in the Sage Gardens (110 Queen Street) in Moruya at 6pm, with a video presentation of ‘Steve Posselt’s Climate Story – his kayak odyssey’. The next day, Posselt gets back on the road at Araluen and walks up the escarpment to Braidwood.
As one who shares his climate concerns, I will be joining him for that leg of the journey. Others may care to join him for part of the way, or at least cheer him on.
Posselt’s odyssey ends in Canberra on 25 February. He’ll get back into Old Yella and be greeted by his supporters on the banks of Lake Burley Griffin around 10.30am as he paddles ashore with his welcoming flotilla.
They will then march with Posselt to Engineering House to hand over the Climate Emergency Declaration and Mobilisation petition. A climate emergency seminar will follow in the afternoon.
Posselt’s fellow engineer and a former senior international oil, gas and coal industry executive, Ian Dunlop, will take the petition to Parliament House on Monday 27 February. Dunlop, who understands only too well the grave risks of climate change, cannot be ignored.
To sign the petition, go to Climate Emergency Declaration.