For decades international scientists have been warning Australia that this island continent would feel the worst environmental impacts of global warming first.
And for just as many decades (with the exception of the years between 2007 and 2013), as both governments and the governed, this country has been ignoring these warnings.
The end result is that Australia now lists 83 species of higher plants, 23 mammal species, 22 species of birds and at least 4 frogs species as having been driven into extinction since 1788.
There are many hundreds more threatened species and ecological communities. See: C'wealth EPBC Act List of Threatened Fauna.
While we as a nation and people have not yet achieved 100 per cent extinction in certain flora and fauna groups, climate change has arrived to assist in turning this unique landmass and its coastal waters into a barren wasteland.
This year alone has seen 93 per cent of The Great Barrier Reef experience coral bleaching and 700 kilometres of the Gulf of Carpentaria suffer widespread mangrove dieback with saltmash loss, while the Great Southern Reef lost 100 kms of its giant kelp forests in 2011 leading to the functional extinction of 370sq km of rocky cool-climate reefs, extending down the coast from Kalbarri, about 570km north of Perth, Western Australia.
Now reputable institutions and senior scientists are giving us another urgent warning about extinctions to come if Australia doesn't stop acting as if the natural environment hasn't changed for the worse in the last 200 years.
SCIENTISTS’DECLARATION: ACCELERATING FOREST, WOODLAND AND GRASSLAND DESTRUCTION IN AUSTRALIA