Break the Silence on Climate Change by Deb Foskey

Climate change and drought. Coming to Gippsland with the support of the Nationals

Edited* Media Release from the Gippsland East Greens

“It’s been less than a fortnight since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report told us that we must act strongly to have any hope of keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees,” said Dr Foskey. “If ever there was a wake-up call, this is it. The thousands of scientists who contributed data to the report say that keeping the temperature within 1.5 degrees will require ‘rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society’ by 2030. For individuals, that means considering not just how much energy costs but how much we use and where it comes from. For governments, it means removing support from coal, gas and oil to renewable energy sources, halting deforestation and radically transforming transportation.

“Whoever forms government after the Victorian election will have to take on this gargantuan task and bring the people along with them. Let us not hear the Nationals and Liberals bleating that Australia is too small to make a difference; per capita we are among the world’s largest producers of carbon dioxide. Our Pacific neighbours are begging us to take action as their ability to survive depends upon it. If we think we have a refugee problem now, just wait until the seas wash over coastlines all around the world.

“Incumbent Tim Bull still hasn’t decided whether climate change, which he acknowledges is happening, is natural or human-induced. I can lend him many authoritative books and articles to read because it is irresponsible of him, as our voice in the Victorian Parliament, not to be fully informed on this matter. Is he blind to the impacts of temperature rise and changed rainfall patterns on East Gippsland, where agriculture is already feeling the pinch?

“While Labor has good policies on making renewable energy more widely available, it still pushes coal…The IPCC has made it clear that the time for positive actions for our future is now. The Greens want to ensure that our children and theirs experience a world at least as good as the one we have known. I challenge the other candidates for Gippsland East to declare their stance on climate change and outline the policies they will put in place to mitigate it.*”

*Editors Note: I have deleted parts of the MR that have attacked the ALP. Whilst much of it I agree with including the coal to hydrogen fiasco it is in the short term a matter of maintaining and possibly improving the Andrews governments’ momentum on renewable energy as opposed to the Lib/Nats opposition to the RET and having no climate policy. We are concerned here only with the issue and not partisan politics. In Gippsland East of the six candidates so far asked whether they accept the “scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming” four (2 independents, the ALP and Greens) have answered yes. For practical and strategic reasons as has been outlined many times here our preference is for ‘outstanding’ Independent candidates. For the full MR go here.