Simon Quilty

Doctor, Alice Springs, NT

Published 5th October 2021

Living in one of the hottest places in Australia, climate change looks like even hotter days and longer summers.

I’ve already lived through the last few summers that have broken every record in the book. These summers saw thousands of old established trees die. Kangaroos disappeared. On the very hottest days, birds fell dead from the sky.

This is only the beginning. Climate change looks like a huge pressure on the beloved ecosystems that define our northern horizons.

Explaining why many birds are falling dead from trees around the house was very hard. My children now understand that the world in which they are growing up in is rapidly changing, that the diversity of ecological life is diminishing. They are very sad about it. As a parent, explaining such things is dark grief.

"There is a lot of work to do, and this is going to require everyone … every single one, from communities to business to government, to do their bit."

Simon Quilty

Doctor, Alice Springs, NT

In my community, there are many of my Indigenous friends who already live in extremely tenuous socioeconomic circumstances.

They all know things are getting hotter and changing, and their capacity to shelter from the new extremes of heat is limited at best.

And every time I see another dead tree I acknowledge the madness of anthropocentrism and what our species is doing to our planet.

In Central Australia, the community of colleagues at my hospital is working together through the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals alliance to reduce our environmental footprint.

All of my efforts now are redirected to mitigating and adapting to the new reality of climate change.

Even though we are facing monumental challenges, things are now moving quickly. The collaborative pace of action towards mitigation to address climate change gives me real hope that we'll get to where we need to be.

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