Two Illawarra grandfathers will attempt to ‘sail’ a kayak between two of Australia’s key coal ports, Port Kembla and Newcastle in November, to draw attention to the need to halt burning fossil fuels, while demonstrating that a great deal of fun can be had in water craft that don’t burn up the planet.
The world still has not reduced its rate of burning coal, oil and gas and Australia produces 5% of the world’s supply of fossil fuels, in volumes that have significantly increased since 2005.
Those statistics explain why environmentalists Tom Hunt, from Oak Flats and Dr Simon Leslie from Bulli are calling for more immediate and effective action by our government to reduce fossil fuel mining and address climate change.
“We’re not aiming to break any records during this venture,” says Tom Hunt. “But we do plan to connect with politicians and climate action groups at events along the way.”
They leave from Port Kembla on Saturday, 3 November, with a plan to reach Newcastle for the ‘Rising Tide’ Newcastle Harbour blockade on the weekend of 24 November.
“Our sailing kayak has been named the ‘No more fossil fuel’ with that message boldly emblazoned on the sail,” says Dr Leslie. “It’s not a large vessel for the challenge, given the current and prevailing winds will most often be pushing us south.”
Tom and Simon, both in their late 60s, are getting coached by experienced sea kayaker, Steve Posselt of kayak4earth.com fame, and will be taking all possible precautions for their safety along the way.
Events* are being planned by supporters, including:
4 November: Wollongong Harbour – Rally for ’No more fossil fuel’ and farewell
8 November: Audley Weir – Protest of coal mine pollution in the Hacking River
12 November: Sydney Opera House – Climate picnic and rally
15 November: Palm Beach – Pittwater Welcome
17 November: Narara Eco Village, Gosford – Net Zero Expo
18 November: Brisbane Water, Gosford – Kayakers for Climate
19 November: Terrigal Farewell
23 November: Horseshoe Beach Newcastle – Arrival at Newcastle Harbour
‘Rising Tide’ is a Newcastle based protest group who have gone national and inspired strong support for their planned harbour blockade at rally meetings across Australia over the last month. They have another meeting planned in Wollongong on Monday 16th October – see https://fb.me/e/62EExIcMC for details.
*Events may be subject to change due to weather conditions. The Point will be following this journey.
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