It’s a Climate Emergency… a letter to our shire by Rosemary Gooch

Republished from EGCAN website

Dear Mayor Reeves and Councilors,

I’m writing to request that the East Gippsland Shire declare a climate emergency. I’m writing as a concerned member of the East Gippsland community and as a member of the East Gippsland Climate Action Network (EGCAN).

EGCAN requested council to declare a climate emergency nearly four years ago and we are asking you again now. In the last four years the discussion and awareness of climate change has changed significantly.

Each year there has been more information about the immediate impacts of climate change on human health, property, infrastructure, agriculture and biodiversity and it’s clear that extreme weather events are more frequent and severe; global action has, and is, accelerating.

However, despite this greater depth of knowledge it appears that getting this information out to everyone is a challenge. Concerted campaigns of misinformation and limited acknowledgement of the issues in our media has contributed to this.

Climate change is happening now and without deep emission cuts its impacts on Australia will be devastating. Hard decisions will have to be made and our lives will change as a consequence.

I’m asking you, as our local government, to take a leadership role on this critical issue. While you are doing a great deal of work in this area I’m not sure a lot of people realise this.

By declaring a Climate Emergency, you are saying loud and clear that this is a major issue, that will affect all of us, one way or the other and we must work together to limit its impacts. People need to know what’s ahead so they can make informed choices. How can it be otherwise?

How the seriousness of this problem is communicated to the public is critical.

I realise making climate change information relevant, interesting and engaging for a general audience is a challenge. I’m sure there are many people and groups in the area that would be keen to help with this.

For example, EGCAN is planning a Climate Art Expo and information event early next year where Climate change information and climate change impacts will be represented in many ways using a variety of media.

Possible ideas that the Shire could consider might be to offer regular forums with guest speakers or less formal Kitchen Table like events where people can come and just talk/listen.

Please give this request due consideration.