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The Climate Conundrum: when 300 chairs weren't enough

300 chairs were put out for the guests and that wasn’t enough! A young environmentalist’s dream came true last Thursday night when 350 people crowded in to The Climate Conundrum forum, organised by local Year 12 student, Lachlan Nicholls at St Peter’s Broulee. An impressive panel of speakers included renowned climate scientist ANU Professor Will Steffan, marine systems ecologist Pia Winberg, author James Woodford, Bishop George Browning and local student, Pearl Mitchell, a young environmental activist involved in marine debris project in Timor-Leste.

Photos: Gillianne Tedder Lachie is a passionate skier, and has been a fly fisher from the age of 7. The total lack of success over 3 days of fishing last January spurred him to find out why. “The past January was the hottest on record for the snowy mountains region.In a subalpine creek just south of Tumut I had the least productive 3 day fishing experience I’ve ever had. Not a fish landed, caught, nor seen. "The bottom line is trout will die if the water is sustained above 25 degrees celsius. This is no green algae problem here, the water was simply too hot to bear fish. "I’d taken quite detailed data of the water temperatures for the three days and it wasn’t until a few google searches later, we found out why there were no trout. Trout require highly oxygenated water. Water which is colder holds oxygen better than warmer water. In fact one friend had claimed one day after a particularly hot day to have seen fish flowing with the current belly side up.” He then went on to say “I’m pretty self-centred, I value fly fishing success way too much to not do something about climate change” and the idea for a climate forum was born. Lachie made the decision to act. Bringing together the scientists, the passionate, his friends and the youth of our community information was exchanged, intelligent questions were asked, answers and suggestions discussed. “It’s inspirational to see that these younger people clearly understand what’s needed. It’s really concerning that some of our politicians aren’t convinced we need to take action” said Derek Andersen of local environmental group Coastwatchers. Attendees got tools and idea’s to take away so they could actively engage in a plan to help make a difference. The night was a huge success.

Photos: Gillianne Tedder


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