This year, we have seen fires in the Arctic, the continued melting of the ice caps and glaciers, including the Earth's thickest glacier, sea levels continue to rise, record temperatures around the globe, catastrophic fires in California, and over the past few weeks at home in NSW and Queensland, with the real fire season yet to commence! For the first time, NSW was faced with a catastrophic weather forecast day on the 12th November - a combination of high temperatures, no humidity and high winds, with around 40 fires already burning out of control. Coincidentally, in the same week, the whole of Australia recorded its first ever rain free day!
I am not going to be restrained in what I write about the pathetic and disgraceful lack of leadership we have in this country.
For starters, Deputy Prime Minister McCormack, and his National Party cohort, Barnaby Joyce, should both be expelled from Parliament for their senseless and outrageous comments in the midst of the bushfire crisis in NSW. Prime Minister Morrison refused to be engaged on whether the early onset of the fires and their intensity could in some way be attributed to climate change. "Now is not the time to talk about climate change", he opined!
But Prime Minister, you never want to talk about climate change, unlike your counterpart across the Tasman! You don't want to upset your mates in the fossil fuel industries. You are more concerned with pretending to keep electricity prices down by a few dollars by propping up coal power, than by supporting renewable energy, which will make the planet safer and ultimately, the cost of living cheaper, because renewable energy will be cheaper, and our insurance premiums won't skyrocket, as they will under your disaster laden policies (that's something politicians haven't been talking about).
Why also, is the Labor Party even talking about emulating the Liberal Party's policies, on exporting coal (Albanese's reasoning that, "if we don't do it then another country will, and Australia will miss out", beggars belief), and on renewable energy and emissions reduction, when climate scientists universally are saying this is not within a bull's roar of being enough?
The time for political argy-bargy is over. All parties must come to their senses and show some statesmanship on this crisis. Isn't that what they called it during the World Wars when the world was in the grips of a different crisis?
In the coming weeks, BSFG will be seeking agreement from Benalla City councillors to pass a motion declaring that we have a Climate Emergency, as over 75 local government areas around Australia have already done. This will mean that all management and planning decisions made by Council need to consider the impact on greenhouse emissions, with the aim of reducing and even eliminating them. I ask all members and supporters to be encouraging of this action. Please take whatever opportunity you may have to talk to Councillors and communicate the urgency of the situation.
Finally, I acknowledge that all of us have been contributing our own personal efforts over many years to reduce the levels of greenhouse emissions, and to live a more sustainable lifestyle, but we have now reached the point where micro efforts are no longer enough. Only the macro changes that can be enforced by government legislation and political common sense will now turn the tide.