Corals as canaries in the coal mine - Michael Sweet video transcript

Professor Michael Sweet is sitting in front of a fish tank in the University of Derby Aquatic Research facility.

Professor Michael Sweet:

"As we build up to COP26, we're all thinking about climate change and more importantly, climate action about what we're going to actually do to save the world. And I mean, save the world because that's exactly what we're facing now.

Behind me, we have some corals and some coral fish. Corals, act as canaries in the coal mine. And I mean, that in the fact that they've given us early warning signs from around the 1980s, that signs are going to start happening quite quickly and we're going to go down a sort of ever spiral to something that we may not be able to recover from. And the time is now to actually make that change.

In fact, sadly we might actually be past that time. The problem is, that if we stop our carbon footprint now and I mean flick a switch and get to net zero by tomorrow, then we're still going to see increasing temperatures, shifts and changes in our climateand species loss, for example, as a result of that. And this may happen for upwards of 60 years.

This is a difficult thing to face for the general public to see that whatever action they make, changing the way they travel or changing the way they heat their houses will not actually have an immediate effect. And is also quite an important thing for politicians to note. That what we're doing is not for me and you, it's for our future generations. It's for those people who we want to hand over our planet to in a better place than when we found it. So now we have to act and now we have to act, this instance. Today and not tomorrow."

Corals as canaries in the coal mine - Michael Sweet video

Back to Environment news