On Sunday night, a group of Greenpeace volunteers, including myself, took to the streets of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to take a stand against the coal industry and its place in causing mass coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef.
Environment Minister Greg Hunt has tweeted the most despicable words of the election campaign so far. Across a picture of sparkling blue Great Barrier Reef waters, he has in recent days proclaimed: “Under Labor, the U.N. put the Great Barrier Reef on the in danger ‘watch-list’. Under the Coalition, it came off.”
You may have caught Greenpeace Australia Pacific’s video launching the #CoalFree movement to protect the things we love from coal pollution. The video features four half-naked volunteers having their bodies painted - half of them as black smoke protruding from coal stacks and the other half as all the colours of Australia’s most precious natural environments. That’s me on the right, in the spectacular colours of the Great Barrier Reef.
Friday morning nearly 100 of us gathered near the Sydney Opera House to raise awareness about the current coral bleaching event and to call on the government to get serious about fighting climate change.
Fish of every imaginable colour race between the corals as the sun’s rays dance through the ocean’s surface. A stingray slowly drifts by, taking its leisurely time. I encountered this breathtaking scene last month and it reminded me of how extraordinary the natural world truly is.