The bushfire crisis

The bushfire crisis

... has given the Government a political 'out' to its climate change problem

Posted on 06.01.2020

The fires across Australia are taking a terrible toll.

For those who have lost their loved ones and for those who have lost their homes.

For those who suffer weeks and months of fear, and for the firefighters working beyond exhaustion.

For the millions who breathe harmful smoke with the risk of future illness, and for the many businesses that go broke.

And for nature: we are losing animals and their habitat, biological diversity and natural beauty at massive scale.

The physical and mental scars will be with us for years. Every drive or walk in the woods will be a reminder. Spring will bring fear of the summer.

The bushfire emergency, arising from the drought, has become a national crisis.

You need to lead

It could be the turning point for Australia’s climate change politics and policy that is so deeply in the ditch.

It could allow Government politicians to discard their past destructive stance on climate change, and give the opposition an opportunity to look to the future.

It could be the turning point for Australia’s climate change politics and policy that is so deeply in the ditch.

It could allow Government politicians to discard their past destructive stance on climate change, and give the opposition an opportunity to look to the future.

So dear Prime Minister and Cabinet, please find it within yourselves to drop the old anti-climate change stance.

You have created the perception of being aloof, uncaring and ineffective on the fires. This was epitomised in the way the Prime Minister turned his back on a resident of fire-ravaged Cobargo when she pleaded for help and the partisan way of going about the announcement of the federal measures.

You will need to lead, and that means showing concern and acknowledging that climate change is a huge issue for Australia.

And you will need to pivot on climate change policy. You’ve been politically locked into a no-action position, but the bushfires give you the reason to change. The bulk of Australia’s business community will be behind you, they yearn for sensible national climate policy.

You can make it your mission to protect the country from harm, an essential conservative cause.

Your biggest problem will be the Murdoch media, some rabid backbenchers and some coal companies. But you are in charge, right?
 

Your legacy is at stake

And of course we need to do what we can to limit future climate change. That means encouraging strong global action on emissions.

We cannot do that as long as we are seen as a recalcitrant on the global stage, as we are now.

We should invest to transition Australia’s economy to a zero carbon powerhouse, and to build up renewables-based energy export industries.

With our unrivalled renewable energy resources, we are extremely well placed to prosper in a global zero-carbon energy system. But we need to get started, and be seen to be playing ball on climate change.

Australia has profited from fossil fuels for decades. The workers and architects of the carbon industries deserve respect. But the future for our economy lies in services, clean industries and smart agriculture.

This is all quite obvious to most of our young people, and that is where things will turn.

For those who see their future in peril, climate change action is not a left-right divisive issue, but one of common sense.

The pressure and that will come from the young generation will sweep the climate nay-saying aside.

So dear politicians of all stripes: get with sensible climate policy, or be left behind. Your legacy is at stake.

Source
Frank Jotzo
ABC News

 

 

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