Contributed by Ugly
Many Australians are on the move to do something about the climate emergency. Very few now doubt that it is real. The evidence is too obvious, and unprecedented numbers are mobilising to do something about it.
Failure of the political leaders to act, is not only sowing distrust in them and the political system they serve. People are angry that the polluters and their backers are able to buy it. They want an end to it.
The huge bushfires, subsequent flood, and the disgraceful response from the prime minister and his government, has added to the anger. Australia demands much better. But the message is falling on deaf ears.
It is in this context that groups already battling for a change, are stepping up their efforts.
Groundswell Gloucester made a name for itself with its successful campaign against coal mining and coal seam gas extraction (fracking), involving a large part of the Gloucester Valley community and attracting national support.
Its campaign committee has now met and decided to focus strongly on the climate emergency as the major priority.
Recognition of this emergency is not new. Groundswell Gloucester has always been concerned with it. The point has been reached, where the science is showing that we are now reaching the point of a catastrophe.
Groundswell Gloucester will also be involved in the campaign to stop the Minerals Council sanctioned Territorial Limits Bill, which aims to move any consideration of climate change in considering new coal projects in New South Wales.
A Climate Emergency Summit held in Melbourne this weekend has called the bushfire crisis a ‘harbinger of life and death on a hotter earth’.
“If the climate warms 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels, the Great Barrier Reef will likely be lost, sea levels could rise metres and massive global carbon stores such as the Amazon and Greenland, will hit tipping points, releasing millions of tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere,” the declaration added.
Governments have been called on to commit to rapidly reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero, to draw back carbon concentrations already in the atmosphere.
Australia’s political leaders are held especially culpable and blamed for having left Australians acutely exposed to the damage caused by escalating extreme weather events.
The Climate Council is taking on Scott Morrison’s announcement of a major increase in Australia’s gas extraction. Extending Australia’s dependence on the export of fossil fuels is not the road to a sustainable future.
More than 20 concerned organisations will join in a national day of action on 22 February.
Extinction Rebellion is planning a new wave of rebellion in May. This is going to be big.
These ate but a few of the examples that show the Australian movement for urgent action on the climate crisis is alive and growing.
The rise of a grass roots movement is timely, because an increasing number of the reports that are coming in are showing that the situation is even worse than many thought.
Temperatures are already going to rise by around 1.5 degrees centigrade. If emissions are not drastically cut back and soon, the prospect on the current course is around 3.5 degrees. This is enough to cause large scale extinction. For humans it means acute food and water shortages, severe economic crisis, and the collapse of society as we know it. Millions will die.
We are already seeing how much havoc an increase of only about I degree costs. Imaging twice or three times this.
There is still time to act, and the responsibility to make all the difference falls on all of us.