Lismore kayaker paddles across English Channel
AFTER a grueling eight month journey from Canberra via the USA and UK, 62-year-old Lismore grandfather Steve Posselt has paddled his kayak across the English Channel to France, scene of desperate climate refugees, on his way to Paris.
Now he has met the human face of climate refugees, one million people whose once fertile country is now dry sand, but few people are connecting the dots.
The climate crisis preceded and fomented the war in Syria, allowing the ascendancy of ISIS.
Mr Posselt has had plenty of wild experiences so far, a flooding Mississippi and severe fog were life threatening; mountainous seas, searing temperatures and prolonged rain were just inconveniences.
His Connecting Climate Chaos trip, which started from Canberra in January this year, after a send-off by mayor Jenny Dowell at the Lismore Council offices, demonstrates the relationship between Australian bush fires, super hurricanes in the USA, freezing temperatures in Eastern USA, UK flooding last year and the French drought.
Speaking in England Mr Posselt asked:
"Do UK people understand that Australia, the world's largest coal exporter, is critical to world climate actions and despite this Australian governments are intent on increasing coal exports while sacrificing world heritage areas such as The Great Barrier Reef?"
On behalf of the majority of Australians who take global warming seriously, Mr Posselt apologised for his government's indefensible stance.
"We want the world to know that we are better than that," he said.
Mr Posselt is a civil engineer specialising in water and is an Al Gore trained climate presenter.
In 2006 he almost died in the Australian desert when he crashed his motorcycle and has vowed to make every day count since.
He says his five grandchildren are his most powerful motivator and this journey to the Paris Climate Summit is his gift to them and their generation.
With Paris getting close Mr Posselt is looking forward to the climate summit and the chance to be back home by Christmas.