It would be a “bloody disgrace” to discuss climate change as close to 600 schools are closed today in preparation for a day of catastrophic fire danger, according to NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro.
It would be the talk of “inner-city raving lunatics” to even mention it, according to Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack.
We might be better off sharing “thoughts and prayers”, as Prime Minister Scott Morison said over the weekend.
But today happens to also coincide with a few other things, making discussions on the topic difficult to ignore (outside of the unprecedented, catastrophic fire warnings that have been issued).
A new report out this week finds Australia is not on track to meet its already insufficient 2030 emissions reductions targets, listing Australia as the third worst country when it comes to making progress towards Paris goals.
A reliance on fossil fuels, along with a lack of policy, is leaving Australia “economically, political and environmentally” exposed, the lead author and chief executive of Climate Analytics told The Guardian. Australia was also described as a “deforestation hotspot” with no policies in place to address it.
The ‘Brown to Green’ report outlines key opportunities for enhancing our climate ambitions, including to develop strategies for 100% renewable electricity in the 2030s, adopting vehicle emissions standards (we’re the third worst for transport emissions per capita), and better energy efficiency standards on appliances and buildings.
As Hare told The Guardian, there are numerous opportunities for Australia in renewable energy, particularly having some of the “best solar energy potential and wind potential.”
Meanwhile, today is not the day to discuss the new Annual Ethics Index, a report from the Governance Institute of Australia that also happens to mention… climate change.
The survey of more than 1000 people finds that nine in ten want to see the Federal government taking action on climate change, along with a similar number that say organisations must also take action — even if it results in profit and job losses.
The Index has seen climate change move from tenth position as the most difficult issue to navigate ethically to third, and 53 per cent of respondents said Australia has an “urgent ethical obligation to transition to renewable energy”.
These are the letters sent by former NSW Fires Chief Greg Mullins and 22 other former emergency chiefs to the Prime Minister in April and September predicting a bushfire crisis and requesting a meeting. #nswfires #auspol pic.twitter.com/djhHjHknAe
— Zoe Daniel (@zdaniel) November 9, 2019
“We’ve been struck by the clear and compelling message from this year’s index for business leaders and the government: that more Australians now regard climate change as an urgent ethical obligation,” Governance Institute CEO Megan Motto said in a statement on the findings.
Glen Innes Severn mayor Carol Sparks is talking about climate change today.
Overseeing a community where two people lost their lives and hundreds of houses were lost over the weekend, she’s angry and wants politicians to read the science.
Sparks has penned an emotional and compelling piece describing how her community has been affected. She talks about the personal and the local toll the disaster has taken, but notes that their story is unfolding within a statewide and global disaster. “The anger is real. The anger is justified. Because this disaster was all foreseen and predicted. For decades the link between a hotter, drier climate, land-clearing, excessing irrigation and increased fire risk have all been attest in scientific papers.” Please, read it.
And Mid Coast mayor Claire Pontin is also speaking out against those saying climate change can’t be mentioned at a time like now, telling the ABC: “They need to get out and have a real loot at what’s happening in this country,” she said. “We don’t have capital greenies around here, we have farmers coming to us and saying, ‘look what happened to my farm, I can’t afford to feed the cows anymore because I’ve been buying feed for the last 18 months.”
“It’s not going to go away if we bury our heads in the sand.”