The mainstream media are yet to grasp the climate emergency, and until it is embraced almost universally, every election should be a climate election – State, Federal and local. The ALP federally have pushed their climate legislation through parliament and it is now law. (I jumped the gun on this a few weeks ago.) However the legislation is minimal in that its proposed emissions reductions target is nowhere near enough contribution from us, for the world to limit warming to 1.5 C. It is a small step in the right direction.
Labor then spoils what little they have gained by their refusal to stop new fossil fuel projects. Aside from the fact that almost all these projects – from Adani down – will soon be stranded assets, it illustrates that our politicians are also yet to comprehend the climate emergency. From our Prime Minister down the thinking is still governed by short-term political advantage rather than what must be done. To put it simply and bluntly all burning of fossil fuels is causing the warming. Therefore all new projects should be forbidden and current usage phased out as quickly as possible.
Obviously State Labor are better by a ‘country mile’ than the Lib/Nats, especially as far as renewable energy is concerned, but they too are yet to come to grips with the climate emergency. This means there can no longer be any business as usual. The heavily subsidised logging industry needs to end much sooner than the current projected cut-off of 2030. Funds saved can be redirected towards a ‘just transition’ for workers and communities and all support for offshore oil and gas and the coal to hydrogen developments should be abandoned, as should the current tax on battery electric vehicles.
There are a few so-called ‘teal’ independent candidates sticking their hands up for the November State Election but the emphasis on climate is either lacking or not to the fore of their promotions*. So far there are ‘voices’ candidates in Hawthorn, Kew, Caufield and Mornington, and no doubt others that I have missed or are yet to declare their candidacy. Dr Kate Lardner will be running in the electorate of Mornington and her website clearly states the importance of the ‘climate’ issue. For a short time, she was the facilitator of the Gippsland2020 group meeting in Sale. I am unaware of any climate independents standing in any of the Gippsland electorates.
At the moment polls indicate that the ALP are comfortably ahead. Hopefully, like the recent Federal election, climate independents and the Greens can make serious inroads into both the major party numbers. Also hopefully, the Greens remember to direct their preferences to any serious climate independents.
*this may be because of media treatment, or lack of it. Sophie Torney in Kew for one is emphasizing climate in her campaign and Sophie, Kate and Melissa Lowe in Hawthorn are all supported by Climate 200