A Plea for a government of National Unity on Climate Change 28.10

parliament house Canberra

With the current business as usual scenario the planet is still heading for a warming of far greater than 2 degrees. There is mounting evidence that even a 2 degrees rise will be disastrous for most of the planet. Even now with a warming so far of about .8 of one degree the human occupied planet is experiencing unprecedented heatwaves, hurricanes, floods and bushfires. Climate Change has been a major factor in the current Syrian crisis and the refugees flooding Europe are the just the first of the climate refugees. Refugees from a number of Pacific Islands that are regularly flooded by storms and high tides may be next.

It follows that it is high time that the overwhelming issue of climate change took priority over party. A government of National Unity on Climate Change will probably be the precursor to an Emergency (war-time style) government. Major changes in direction, policy, finances will be required across all levels of government where measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change become paramount. It may be necessary at least to name and shame, and possibly make illegal, resistance to the required changes.

The immediate aim of climate activists across Australia should be to use the system to cleanse denialists from both houses of parliament. The preferential system makes this possible. Preference trading should be ignored by all people and parties of goodwill and be replaced with preferences for strong climate candidates and against the climate deniers. This tactic is especially needed in the Senate to help the major parties dispose of some of their ‘albatrosses’ like Senator Benardi.

At the moment a government of national unity would be comprised of about half the Liberals, most of Labor, all the Greens, some Independents and even perhaps one or two Nationals. It would have an overwhelming majority in both houses. It could even be led by Malcolm Turnbull who, of the leaders of both major parties, has been most outspoken on climate change in the past.