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The Day After Tomorrow

Do you remember what happened on the 26th of December, 2004? The Boxing Day tsunami.

The countries that were affected by the wave had a weakness; the topography of the land was flat. Scientists have reason to believe that well before the end of this century the ocean level will have risen by 30cm. This will result in huge property loss world-wide because of the rising seas and produce world-wide climate change.

We’ve also just seen the devastation caused by the recent Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. Who’s seen the film ‘The Day after Tomorrow’?...Pretty scary thought isn’t it!

Many scientists believe that we have already started to see the effects of global warming on our world. The ice at our poles (Antarctica and the Arctic) is melting at a very fast rate as a new photograph taken from a satellite in space has shown.

The major culprit of ruining our planet is …. us! We create extra greenhouse gases by burning fossil fuels (coal, petrol, gas) and cutting down trees. The greenhouse gases make the Earth warm-up and a change of less than 1C can cause huge problems.

How can we stop this from happening? Most of it is down to our governments. There is something called the Kyoto Protocol where 154 countries have all agreed to do something about reducing the amounts of greenhouse gases produced by their country. Two countries which so far stand out as not having agreed to do this are the United States….and Australia.

The United States currently produces 21 tonnes of greenhouse gases per person, whereas New Zealand produces just 13 tonnes and Japan, 10 tonnes. Here in Australia we produce a whopping 27 tonnes per person…that’s terrible isn’t it?

It is also down to industries like oil refineries and steel plants to reduce the gases they produce.

Organisations like Comalco, BHP and Integral Energy are all working on reducing greenhouse gases. Want to know how they are doing this…we’ll let you know in our next newsletter.

Meanwhile, what can we do to cool the planet? Think about all the things you do that need fuel or electricity and try to cut down on those things. Turn the lights off, walk or cycle to a friend’s house rather than getting your parents to drive you there.

Do you get hot in school but worry about the effects of air-conditioning on the environment? Well, if your parents use Integral Energy for their electricity, if they ‘round-up’ their bill, say from $78.65 and instead pay a straight $79, then Integral will put the difference towards putting solar power into all schools. Great idea eh? Get your parents to ring them now or you can do it online on their website,

Story: Alastair Wadlow