Over the last fortnight however, our national parliament has descended into a farce. The ‘flat-earthers’ in the Liberal Party have done their best to drag their party back to the stone-age. It must be said they are doing a pretty good job.
Meanwhile on the other side of the Parliament Kevin Rudd’s climate rhetoric is going off the scale. Unfortunately his climate policies are failing to match the rhetoric and are going from bad to worse. In last week’s instalment a further handout of $4 billion to the dirtiest coal-fired power station owners was announced as the newest feature of his emissions trading scheme. And today the ALP have confirmed that this extra polluters handout is now ALP policy as they head into a Federal election next year.
That the CPRS has been voted down again in the Senate is probably a good thing. While we need a price on carbon, the Rudd Government’s legislation is so riddled with problems that it’s best that it goes back to the drawing board for re-drafting. Besides, Australia has been overly fixated on a ‘CPRS’ over the past 2 years- there are plenty of other measures that we could be implementing right now to reduce emissions, many of which are outlined in a Plan B developed by a number of environment groups including Environment Victoria.
However given the utter lack of leadership coming from Australia’s 2 major political parties, what’s a sensible, climate-concerned individual supposed to do?
Well as I see it, Australia’s climate movement has just one opportunity to mobilise on a massive scale this year and send a powerful message to Canberra and the world that Australians want a safe climate. That opportunity is the Walk against Warming, scheduled this year to coincide with the moment when world leaders arrive at the Copenhagen negotiations, and with climate protests around the world.
In recent years the Melbourne Walk against Warmings have been some of the largest climate change protests in the world, with the 2007 crowd of 50,000 people being quite possibly the world’s largest climate protest to date.
This year, as we head into a state and federal election year in 2010, and in the middle of the Copenhagen meeting, a strong turn out from the community is more important than ever.
A famous Mexican civil rights activist, Cesar Chavez, offered powerful words of encouragement to those involved in social change movements. He said: “Hope is believing in spite of the evidence, and then watching the evidence change”.
Climate activists and the broader ‘climate concerned’ who have been watching with dismay the ineptitude of our politicians responses to climate change need to keep building the movement and keep hoping. Joining tens of thousands of similarly inspiring people from all over Victoria in a short, sharp and fun climate event is a great antidote to the cynicism and inaction of the political debate. And with your help and a bit of luck our massive human sign on Princes Bridge will send a powerful safe climate message that is heard all the way over in Copenhagen.
We need you, but we also need your families, friends and everyone else you know at the Walk Against Warming on December 12!