We all need to demand action from our pollies

Opinion: First-hand witness to changing climate


First-hand witness to changing climate.


For anyone contemplating new year resolutions, can I suggest picking up a copy of Jared Diamond’s 2005 book Collapse.

I initially struggled to believe the author’s account of how previous civilisations collapsed due to greed and laying waste to the environment. But I now see because of similar ignorance and greed, we are racing blindly towards a global collapse.

My family has been farming in the Oakey district, near Toowoomba, for seven generations. Since 1991, we have been mostly in drought.

We’re not living in the same climate that we were 50 years ago, but politicians don’t seem to want to recognise climate change is affecting farmers.

How can I be sure about these climate changes? Because I’ve witnessed them first-hand.

In 1966, I got my pilot’s licence which allows me to regularly fly over Australia. I first flew over Alice Springs about 1968-69, and I have noticed the Red Centre is no longer so red. It has greened up as rainfall patterns have changed. 

50 years ago, our property hosted numerous cypress pine trees. Since then, they’ve all died out. Research suggests drought weakens the trees, leaving them vulnerable to infections.

In Southern Queensland, the past two decades have seen below average rainfall during the April-October period. This, and increasing temperatures, has meant reductions in soil moisture. We used to crop twice a year, today, we almost never have enough water for two crops.

I urge everyone to demand action from our politicians, by cutting emissions and moving to renewable energy. I want our country to be a place my grandchildren can not only be proud to call home – but one that can be habitable for them and theirs.

*Darling Downs farmer and Farmers for Climate Action member, Sid Plant.


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