Contributed by Joe Montero
Today’s (5 July 22019) Hawthorn v Collingwood football match is going to be dedicated to the efforts of emergency service workers. The dangerous nature of their work will be highlighted.
These workers deserve praise for the contribution they make to our well being. While acknowledging this service, thought should be given to the fact, that they are at the front line of the climate chaos already being felt, and they are being put at even greater risk because of it.
In response, Extinction Rebellion has planned to be there. Two giant banners will be dropped. One acknowledges that emergency workers are at the front line of the climate chaos. The other supports the call for the federal government to declare a climate emergency.
“To protect them and ourselves we need to declare a climate emergency and move to zero emissions at emergency speed. If we fail to take the necessary action, we must admit that we are committing to more stress, hardship, and deaths in our emergency services.”
Anthony Gleeson, Emergency Workers for Climate Action founder and Extinction Rebellion supporter says: “It is so encouraging to see that the AFL is paying tribute to emergency workers at Friday night’s game between Collingwood and Hawthorn at the MCG. The question now must be asked: Is this merely tokenistic?
“In times of emergency we focus on working together to do what is needed. It is being suggested that the AFL has a responsibility to all players and fans of this great game to ensure it is viable for future generations to enjoy. This includes increasing awareness and action on the climate emergency.
“More than 30 former heads of emergency services from every state and territory of Australia recently called on government to address the climate crisis and we stand proudly with them tonight.”
“Extinction Rebellion commends the AFL on its previous work in promoting a more just and accepting society, but more must be done to raise awareness among professional, amateur and social players of the need to act on climate, so that we may all enjoy this great game and outdoor sport for generations to come.
“Extinction Rebellion is proud to stand with emergency service workers and acknowledge the immense mental and physical hardship and trauma that comes with their job. Emergency workers go to work every day knowing that today might be their last. All of this is done not for themselves, but for the community they serve.
“As a community, we have let them down. For decades we have known that climate change will wreak havoc on our environment and our society if we do nothing about it.
“Emergency service workers will be at the forefront of the increasingly chaotic and damaging extreme fires and floods which the science is predicting will only get worse. Society is failing to meet this goal and we are failing the brave men and women who protect us every day.”