Part One: The Burning Platform for Climate Change.
Australia has literally become the burning platform for climate change.
Our catastrophic raging fires are front and centre internationally.
I've read perspectives from The New York Times (US), The BBC world news (UK), Le Monde (Fr), and DeutscheWelle (Ger) and the perspectives are similar. Whilst they are filled with compassion, they are not flattering of our leadership or our efforts towards climate change.
Both political parties have been heavily criticised. Scott Morrison's criticisms reflect what we are seeing in terms of his choice to holiday in the face of national disaster, the promotion of his efforts to tackle the fires as lacking authenticity and his dismissal of climate change as being causational. Our government is also heavily criticised for its failure to make any real progress on its commitment to reducing global emissions through policy change. Some fact checking confirmed this:
Australia is the worst-performing country on climate change policy, according to a new international ranking of 57 countries. The report also criticises the Morrison government for being a “regressive force” internationally.
The 2020 Climate Change Performance Index, prepared by a group of thinktanks comprising the NewClimate Institute, the Climate Action Network and Germanwatch, looks at national climate action across the categories of emissions, renewable energy, energy use and policy.
Across all four categories, Australia was ranked as the sixth-worst performing of the 57 countries assessed.
On the assessment of national and international climate policy, Australia is singled out as the worst-performing, with the report saying the re-elected Morrison government “has continued to worsen performance at both national and international levels.”
The Guardian, Dec 11, 2019
Our shadow government is also under criticism for some of its pro-coal policies.
We, as a nation, are heavily criticised for our coal mining industry, and expansion plans - here's a quick summary. The UN Secretary General held a major gathering of wold leaders in September to accelerate global action on climate change. Scott Morrison was notably absent.
The UN secretary general has made tackling fossil fuels, and especially coal, central to the summit’s success. He has urged governments to stop permitting new coal-fired power stations to be built and to phase out subsidies for fossil fuels.When it comes to global fossil fuel dealers, Australia is a kingpin. It is the world’s largest coal exporter, having captured a larger share of the global seaborne coal market than Saudi Arabia has of the global oil market. Australia is the largest liquefied natural gas exporter, too. From 2000 to 2015, Australian coal exports more than doubled and LNG exports tripled, and since then LNG exports have nearly tripled again.
The Guardian, September 24, 2019
The article goes on to say that Australia plans to double its coal mining again by 2030, and that, quite simply, if it does this, the International Paris Agreement on tackling climate change will fail. You can read the full article here.
Australia has known about the dangers ahead for some time. You can read them for yourself in this excellent article on the challenges ahead by Dr Joëlle Gergis an award-winning climate scientist and writer based at the Australian National University. It is really eye-opening and worth a read.
We are seeing the very worst of our scientific predictions come to pass in these bushfires
I share these perspectives and facts to increase awareness of the direness of Australia's vulnerability to climate change, and our need to make significant brave changes for a more sustainable global future.
BUT - there is one very important point to be made here. As we feel the devastation of the destruction to our country, our people, our livestock, our very essence, allow yourself to be angry, but direct that energy towards positive change, not blame and criticism. There is a tendency to become embroiled in debate about who did or didn't do what. I believe its counterproductive to action that makes a positive difference.
We need to pull together as a nation and show the world what we are capable of.
The actions of governments actually follow potential votes, our votes, and we can vote with our feet. Our individual actions can also have a direct impact on climate change.
Part 2 of this series will cover the research I've done on the most impactful changes we can make as individuals.
Have hope, you can make a difference.