Over 200 people gathered on Metung’s Village Green on Sunday in a spectacular demonstration of local support for climate change action. The rally was part of a day of global climate mobilisation. Around the world, 2766 events in 161 countries combined to make it the largest climate march in history.
The global action was planned to coincide with the United Nations’ emergency Climate Change Summit in New York on Tuesday where more than 100 world leaders are meeting in recognition of the urgency to respond to the world’s biggest threat.
Organiser of the Metung event, GetUp member Jenny Herbert said that the local turnout was exceptional, representing nearly 12 per cent of the Metung/Nungurner population. ‘Although there were rallies around the world, from India to Istanbul, London to Canada, New York to Melbourne, few places would have come close to such substantial representation of the local population. The numbers reinforce how widespread local support is for stronger action on climate, renewables and a clean and prosperous future for Australia and the world.’
Climate change activist Peter Gardner addressed the crowd, pointing out that climate change is not a belief but an indisputable scientifically established fact, backed by 99.9 per cent of climate change scientists. He said there was urgent need for action to counter this serious global problem, and that major party politicians must be persuaded to stop putting money into the coal industry. (see full speech global warming politics page)
Other quotes from the crowd included:
Jonathon Smith: ‘The country has been hijacked by the fossil fuel industry.’
Mendy Urie: ‘Listen to the science, Tony.’
Audrey Porter, whose most recent great grandchild was born last Thursday: ‘ I am concerned about what we are doing to the planet, and what we are leaving to our children and grandchildren.’
Rob Barton: ‘We must work through the existing political channels by physically visiting local MPs’ offices to voice our concerns.’
Richard Thompson: ‘We share one earth, and we share the responsibility to preserve it.’
Tony Smith: ‘If the oceans die, we die.’
Greens candidate Scott Campbell-Smith said that the fossil fuel industry is causing untold damage. ‘They control the debate in the media. But people want clean energy: renewables are already at price parity and they are going to get cheaper. It is the failure of our representatives that clean energy is not being promoted.’
Media contact: Jenny Herbert, 0417304841