Glenn Morris opinion | The earth can no longer afford delays on climate action

Along my journey, I saw scorched drying trees clearly visible on surrounding hills and highly stressed landscapes. I know that the loss of trees and baking of soils will lead to a further deterioration in our local water cycle and town water supplies.

As I rode my horse Hombre to protest climate change inaction, I had ample time to see and think about the impact humans are having on this beautiful world. I also had time to think about how we can save the environment we have so heavily disrupted.

I've been an Inverell organic beef farmer for 20 years. In that time, I have researched and promoted the restoration of landscapes and soils as one of the best solutions we have for retaining a safe and liveable climate.

After 20 years of research and effort trying to raise awareness, solutions and action on climate change this is what I have learnt.

We are at a time where we have to deal with the terror of record disasters, collapsing ecosystems, and near tipping points of plant and animal heat tolerances. But at the same time we are encountering a rare opportunity to fully connect to all of the earth's grand life cycles.

Glenn Morris and Hombre. Picture: Bluebottle Films

Glenn Morris and Hombre. Picture: Bluebottle Films

Both the United Nations and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - two of the world's most preeminent climate bodies - have confirmed we are fast approaching a tipping point for humanity and a life and death struggle for our survival.

As climate change impacts more and more ecosystems around Australia, I am concerned that we are about to witness a very similar situation to what we have inflicted on the world's coral reefs over the past 20 years. That is, we could see extreme temperatures influence a global bleaching event of temperate vegetation (including crops) across the world.

On my property I have made efforts to make crops as resilient as possible against climate extremes. But I know there's only so much I can do until temperatures are too much for our pastures to handle. Unless climate change is addressed at a national and international level, eventually the property will suffer from the effects of a climate-warming world.

But it doesn't have to be this way.

We have all the solutions available to us right now. Using renewable technologies like wind and solar power, transitioning to electric cars, implementing efficient housing design and drawing carbon back out of the atmosphere through forest and pasture enhancement.

Picture: Bluebottle Films

Picture: Bluebottle Films

Farmers can do their bit through regenerative farming practices such as planned grazing and restoring healthy high humus soils.

All of these solutions are here, but the question is whether or not we have the people in place to employ them. As you head to the polls this week, take a moment to seriously consider what it is you want our future to look like. Do you want a future that is increasingly becoming a threat to all life or a future that is constantly improving the health of our nation and our planet?

We need all political parties to address climate change and the deterioration of our landscapes and phase out the burning of fossil fuels. We desperately need local and national policies that treat climate change for what it is, an urgent and life threatening crisis.

Imagine rather than facing the disaster of a worsening climate and deteriorating environment we could start influencing a revolution in the regeneration of the earth.

We could be part of a country which re-joined global efforts to restore a healthy regenerated earth. A world where children and their families live peacefully with absolute trust that their community and environment will be secure, safe and healthy forever.

Imagine a future where beautiful clean cities of unprecedented natural beauty are connected with wetlands and lakes, feeding magnificent food and timber forests.

Picture: Bluebottle Films

Picture: Bluebottle Films

Imagine a future where all food is naturally organic and we understand that this food will not only regenerate our health, but it will also regenerate the landscape and the ecosystems which we are dependent on for clean air, fresh water and a stable climate.

Some politicians have made no secret that they support big mining and an outdated economy over a safe climate, water security and the welfare of Australians and future generations.

In a climate warming world these are decisions that life on our planet can no longer afford.

With every action we take, with every election we vote in, we are choosing the type of future we want for our friends, our family and ourselves. Together, with the right choices we can restore a beautiful, abundant and secure earth.

I hope one day, I can ride through Inverell and the district and peer out over the surrounding hills only to see green paddocks and healthy trees that are flourishing in a world we have saved.

Glenn Morris is an Inverell organic beef farmer.

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