Paddle to Paris for climate change awareness

Media Release
18 May 2016

Tamara Smith, Greens MP for Ballina, last night hosted an event for the public to hear from adventurer Steve Posselt  about his work around the world raising awareness of climate change and his most recent trip travelling across the world in a kayak.

“Steve Posselt is an adventurer and author who spent months in 2015 travelling from Canberra to Paris by kayak to raise awareness about the effects of climate change. It is my pleasure to be able to welcome him back home and to share his experiences with everyone else in the Byron – Ballina area who is also concerned about climate change,” said Ms Smith.

“I recently represented the NSW Parliament at the Pacific Parliamentary Women’s forum in Samoa with 60 female MP’s from Pacific nations and all that anyone could talk about was the impact that climate change is having right now on the economies and well-being of Pacific Island communities.

"Sea level rise, rising temperatures and extreme weather events are affecting the Pacific region now and yet we are still talking in Australia as if the impact of climate change is in the distant future," Ms Smith said.

Steve says he undertook the journey to draw attention to climate change. “I used to be concerned primarily with water engineering but now I believe climate change is the most important thing for our age. I am doing this for the sake of my grandkids. I will continue to do whatever I can.”

 It was a great night with about 50 people enthralled by the compelling narrative of Steve and his kayak voyage.

Steve mixed humour with edge-of-your-seat adventure to highlight what is a very poignant and serious subject matter.

Tamara talked about the hard reality of climate change in the pacific and the frequency of extreme weather events.

The message is clear - we don't all need to kayak 10,000 kilometres across the world to lend our voices to the call for action on climate change.

Steve Posselt’s other journeys include a seven-month trek from Brisbane to Adelaide along the length of the Murray-Darling River system, by kayak and on foot, to call attention to water conservation in Australia. The account of this journey became the book “Cry Me a River”, published in 2009. His website is at kayak4earth.com 

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