The following words were written by rob Miller, a dairy farmer in new South Wales. He is convinced about what lies behind the devastating climate events of recent months and is calling on everyone to act on the climate emergency that is with us right now and suggests that others join the paint it yellow campaign. He is being supported by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF).
Bushfires stalked my Milton dairy farm for weeks before arriving with fury on New Year’s Eve – and again 4 days later.
The farm’s usually rich agricultural country turned into ash in minutes. Flames consumed dairy livestock, pasture, fences and fodder reserves as well as rainforest trees, swamps, and untold numbers of wild creatures living there.
We’d been in drought for 31 months before the bushfires arrived. When drought combines with extreme heat, low humidity and wild winds – as it did with ferocity this summer – fire is inevitable.
In late January yet another big fire tore through the southern side of my farm.
Less than a week later, I had to muster my herd of dairy animals to higher grounds to avoid floodwaters. More than 300 millimetres of rain fell in a weekend. Hundreds of acres of burnt farmland disappeared beneath a metre of ashy water.
Communities across rural and regional Australia are living through wave after wave of extreme weather events. My family has been on the land for a long time. We know what we’re seeing, and we’re not alone. The climate is not just changing, it is breaking down. I’m taking a stand and I’m asking you to do the same alongside me.
Ordinary Australians, like you and me, can show how much we want our leaders to take action on climate.Because so many of us are feeling concerned about climate change, let’s make that concern visible to our leaders with a paint it yellow action.
Find something, anything, that you can paint yellow – a banner, your front gate, your letterbox, or even part of your house.
Write “we want climate action” on your yellow sign. And share a photo on social media using the hashtags #ShowOurColours and #ClimateActionNow.
This action started in bushfire affected communities like mine, and now it’s spreading across Australia. Will you help to make concern about climate change bright and visible by pulling out some yellow paint, getting to work, and then sharing what you do on social media?
Watch Ian’s story
Video from the ACF
You can be creative. Make or even find something yellow – like central western Queensland grazier Jody Brown, who took a video of yellow wildflowers that had come up in the recent rain.
Share what you’ve done on Facebook or twitter, ask your friends and neighbours to do it too and together let’s show our true colours on climate action.
People in the regions are often on the forefront of extreme weather events – the droughts, the fires, the floods. And with climate change those extremes are coming in waves, with some communities – like folks from Shoalhaven in NSW – having to rapidly change modes from bushfire recovery to flood evacuation.
We need climate action now.
So we hope that you take this action in support of those of us in bushfire and flood affected areas. Help us show that we all stand together.