Far to the north of Melbourne’s laneway cafés and Sydney’s glittering waterfront, you’ll find Australia’s Wet Tropics World Heritage Area – 450 kilometres of steamy rainforest canopy, babbling creeks and lush mountain ridges.
There is never a better day, than today, to speak out and take action to protect our precious planet.
For World Environment Day 2014, the theme is ‘Raise your voice – not the sea level’ and Alex Harris, Communications Officer at Greenpeace Australia Pacific, shares with us her extraordinary and brave experience of raising her voice about the Arctic.
“Had we attempted to retrace Shackleton’s polar survival journey as recently as 1962, a knock on the door of the managers’ house at Stromness whaling station would have met with a greeting in Japanese not Norwegian,” recounts polar explorer and environmental scientist, Tim Jarvis.
At this time in our history when greenhouse gases are at their highest levels in more than a million years, Arctic summer sea ice is reduced to about 20% of the area it covered 40 years ago and the oceans near Australia are 30% more acidic than they were just 40 years earlier – clearly the figures don’t make a positive equation for the future of our planet.
Bill McKibben is an author, educator and environmentalist and founder of global grassroots group 350.org. In partnership with GetUp and the Australian Conservation Foundation, who host Al Gore’s ‘The Climate Reality Project’ in Australia’, Bill toured Australia recently with his ‘Do the Maths’ lectures and Intrepid’s Jane Crouch had the privilege of being in the audience. “Bill challenges us to start putting two and two together, because we can no longer afford to take our planet for granted. Here’s what I learnt that adds up to me:”
Since launching our Carbon Management Plan back in 2007, Intrepid Travel has invested over $1 million in renewable energy projects. For those of you with a head for numbers, that’s 83,613 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions prevented – or the equivalent of taking 9,000+ cars off the road for an entire year!*
At the end of each financial year our Responsible Business gurus get busy measuring the environmental footprint of our offices and trips, introducing energy-saving mechanisms where possible and offsetting those emissions that can’t be avoided through our renewable energy supplier. Frankly, it’s a lot of work. And when the allocated credits have been exhausted we also need to select the project, or projects, that we’ll be supporting for the coming year.