Climate change (a poem)

  • Wind turbine in field

In a world of more than seven billion people, each of us is a drop in the bucket. But with enough drops, we can fill any bucket. David Suzuki

Heatwave, storms and flooding rain,
Dust that sweeps across the plain,
Insect plagues that kill our grain,
Climate change is causing pain.

The health impacts are more than clear,
Big changes to our atmosphere,
High pollen counts and dust appear,
It’s rural folk who’ve much to fear.

Water-borne diseases flare,
Chronic coughs from sooty air,
Diseases rife that once were rare,
Impacts healthcare everywhere.

With stresses up and incomes down,
The land once green, is dusty brown,
Abandoned shops, a ghostly town,
A smile becomes a worried frown.

Heat-related illness high,
As days warm up and rivers dry,
The problems only magnify,
It’s not enough to just sit by.

Don’t use so much, be water-wise,
Walk a bit – it’s exercise!
Protect the land, and stabilise,
Grow trees, renew, don’t carbonise.

Alternatives to coal abound,
Wind turbines that go round and round,
And sun and hydro, all are sound,
Just leave the fossils in the ground.

Some heads can’t stay stuck in the sand,
It’s up to all to make a stand,
And scream and shout across the land,
“This has to stop!” is our demand.

A lot is up to you and me,
To work on our efficiency,
But pollies need to hear our plea,
So, write a note to your MP:

“To slow the global warming rate,
All parties must collaborate,
Disaster if we hesitate,
Our Earth deserves a better fate.

“For climate change is here to stay,
With impacts that won’t go away,
Our health is quite a price to pay,
It’s time to act, do it today.”

Associate Professor Kath Weston is academic leader of Public Health in Graduate Medicine, University of Wollongong where she is passionate about engaging medical students in the science of public health and empowering them as future public health advocates. Her research interests include historical aspects of disease outbreaks and public health, and medical education. Kath leads the Graduate Medicine Research and Critical Analysis theme and is a member of the Discipline of Medical Humanities.

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