Putting the Coronavirus ‘Bonus’ to Good Use

I’m not sure what to call the pump-priming payout of $750 to old age pensioners such as I have just received. The reason for this ‘bonus’ is correct (but a bit tardy) as it is a small part of the government’s response to the coronavirus emergency shutdown of our economy. The problem is what we are going to spend it on, with most commercial enterprises, and all our op shops, shut down.

Due to the fact that for most of my life I have lived off ‘the smell of an oily rag’ the old age pension is more than sufficient for my needs. Also in the space of a few short weeks we have gone from being urged to spend big locally to help revive our bushfire damaged economy to the place being mostly in lockdown – not quite complete as a number of non-essential stores and businesses (like the loggers and DELWP) continue to function.

Consequently I have decided to divide my ‘bonus’ between three organisations active on the ‘climate change’ front. The Friends of the Earth Act on Climate team are super-active, local, and clearly advocating a just transition – something that is vital for a smooth changeover from the old carbon based economy to the new renewables one. In particular they have continuously promoted the wind farm options of Star of the South and Delburn. These projects are essential for Gippsland which is still heavily dependent on the old carbon economy.

Environment Victoria is also vocal in the need for climate action including the unsuccessful ‘climate election’ push of last year and their clear recognition that the logging industry is also part of the climate problem and should be closed down as soon as possible. The Climate Council continues in its role of projecting and publicising the current science whilst remaining politically neutral. There are many other deserving organisations working hard on the ‘Climate Emergency’ including Greenpeace and the Australian Conservation Foundation.

Outspoken barrister Julian Burnside is frequently quoted on his claim that “If we don’t fix climate change nothing else matters.” Whilst the immediacy of the coronavirus pandemic dominates the media and our lives it is worth remembering that extreme weather events associated with global warming like our recent bushfires and drought are already bad and will progressively get worse. If you are in receipt of a bonus and it is not essential to your finances please consider donating it to an organisation active in the climate emergency.