Bundy church makes noise to demand action on climate change
Reverend Andrew Schmidt has a few important messages for the world and he's not shy about coming forward.
The Good Shepherd Anglican Parish leader led a small but loud protest on Thursday to help express the need for action on climate change.
He was joined by fellow church members including Father Edwin Edgerton Arch Deacon Keith Dean-Jones.
The group carried signs, a washboard, pots and pans to make a noise - and a point - about the state of the planet.
Rev Schmidt's first port of call was to make a point that if the "old fuddy duddies in the Anglican Church" could get out and give it a go to save the planet, anyone could.
"If we care about this, why is it that so many of our state and federal politicians don't?" Rev Schmidt said.
Rev Schmidt said voters needed to think hard about who they brought to power.
"I'm cynical of the political process and how it bends the good dreams of our politicians," he said.
"I believe most politicians go into it for good reasons, but the political machinations just bend that.
"We reward our politicians for resisting climate change by voting for them again."
Rev Schmidt said he believed some parties had an upper hand because they had more funding at their disposal than others.
"The only real voice people in Australia have, is the willingness to vote for someone different," he said.
Rev Schmidt said it was imperative the government led the charge because if things like plastic straws were being outlawed while structural issues were being ignored, it was simply a Band-Aid solution.
"When religious people, who globally tend to be more conservative, think something is important, surely that should say something," he said.
Rev Schmidt raised concerns over a coal mine proposed for the region, labelling it a "double standard" when everyday people were being asked to make changes to benefit the environment.
Arch Deacon Dean-Jones, who leads the CBD congregation, said the environment was "hugely important" and protesting for its well-being had "a spiritual quality about it."
Greg Blundell, who was also present at the protest outside the Bundaberg West church, said he knew first-hand the ways pollution and climate change was affecting human lives, having worked as an auditor in the South Pacific island of Tuvalu and Kiribati.
Mr Blundell said there was "miles of plastic debris you could walk over" in the seas near the Equator.
"What does it do to the fish and the livelihoods of these people?" he said.
"They're gentle, lovely, kind people. They don't deserve this, but we seem too concerned about our western way of life.
"We should be being very generous to them. In wars, they fought beside us. It's God's creation and we've turned a blind eye."
Mr Blundell said he hadn't been back to the islands in about 10 years and shuddered to think how bad the situation was currently.
"They've been crying out through the UN for help and I don't know how much they're getting," he said.
"It would be worse now."
According to NASA, global climate change and its effects are observable in the form of shrinking glaciers, melting ice in rivers and lakes, trees flowering sooner than usual and plant and animal ranges shifting.
Accelerated sea level rises and more intense heat waves are also happening across the globe.
Greenhouse gas emissions, triggered by human activity, are set to cause global temperature rises for decades to come with the net damage costs said to be significant and likely to increase over time.
Predicted future impacts include ever-increasing temperatures, changes to rainfall, increased heat waves and drought, stronger storms, more sea level rises and an ice-free Arctic region.