My Climate Change Awareness

Signing the Climate Emergency Declaration 2016

The first written mention I made about climate change that I can now locate is in some poetry written about 1988. However as a layman generally interested in conservation matters I was aware of the problem much earlier than this – probably around the late 70s to early 80s. I have a vague recollection of writing a letter on the subject to then Senator Don Chipp, but have no record of it. I can clearly remember discussing it at a party with Ian Enting – then a member of the CSIRO Atmospheric physics group – about 1985 and him saying words to the effect that “there is no debate in the scientific community about whether global warming was occurring. The debate is over how bad it will be.”

The following year our family joined a co-operative holiday house at Lake Bunga. Besides Ian Enting there were two other members from the CSIRO Atmospheric physics group – Roger Francey and Barrie Pittock. I can say without doubt that I have been heavily influenced and guided by these individuals and in particular by Barrie.

At this stage of my life I was immersed in research and writing on aspects of Gippsland history – frontier conflict and a local union history – and had little time for pushing the climate problem politically. As well I was broke. Thus my primary effort was earning a quid and the history projects took up my spare time. By about 1995 my finances had stabilized and the following year I began writing what turned out to be a monthly column for the Libertarian Workers in Melbourne. The column went for ten years and opinion and comments on global warming were mentioned on a number of occasions some of which I have republished (See here and here).

But it was not until the record breaking Antarctic ice minimum in 2007 that I fully comprehended the existential threat of global warming – that we were in a climate emergency. From that point on I was active spreading the word whenever I was able and on a daily basis after I retired in 2010. Much of this activity was political and involved trying to form a political party and also standing at various elections as a climate independent. In the short term both these actions can be seen as failures. The candidacy because the cost was very high for the publicity generated   – and the list parties I have been a member of  is long including the Global Warming Action Party Australia, Save the Planet, the Renewable Energy Party and Independents for Climate Action Now. Of these only STP is still functioning and registered.

Over the last 10 years my actions are clearly visible from the content of this website, specifically this blog which is now winding down and also standing as a climate independent. I remain active on the social media, support EGCAN, have a basic climate change power point lecture recently delivered to Bairnsdale U3A and am an occasional financial contributor to organizations like the Climate Council and Climate 200.