Stop Adani. That’s what the young people called for when 150,000 Australians marched for climate action last month. They were also calling for us to start using renewable power in earnest. Now.
It’s not like we don’t have the technology to run our lives, our communities, on renewable power – we do. Solar and wind are in abundance in Australia and so is the know-how to get it happening.
We’ve had it for decades and it’s now quite refined, affordable, and ready to scale up to the level we need, the level that will replace fossil fuels – coal, oil, and gas – and stop us driving ourselves into catastrophic climate change. We can provide renewable tech to developing nations too and ensure our economic future is as sustainable as our energy sources.
So why don’t we deploy renewables on a massive scale, ban all new fossil fuel developments, wind down the existing fossil fuel explorations, install the infrastructure for this carbon-free future, amend our systems – our transport in particular – and get on with it? Why instead has the Liberal Morrison government today approved the next step in the Adani coal mine?
It seems they’re prepared to sacrifice our liveable climate, for the short-term affluence of a few. And when I say ‘liveable climate’ I mean just that.
The science is clear, we are in an unprecedented time of mass extinctions, the likes of which the planet has never, in all its geological history, seen before. Species are being wiped out right now and we might be next. As more and more reports come in about the demise of species (40% of all insect species, 40% of all frog species, for example); the collapse of ice and glaciers (the Andes, Kilimanjaro, Greenland, Antarctica, the Himalayas); the rise of oceans; the acidification and warming of oceans; the demise of great kelp forests and reefs. These natural systems and living things have been around for millennia and now they’re all collapsing. This is not a coincidence, this is human-induced climate change.
But as I said, we have solutions. We’ve known what to do for decades. All we need is the will to change. We don’t have another election cycle to wait. We are locking in climate catastrophe if we let Adani go ahead, if we let oil be extracted from the Great Australian Bight, if we let one more coal, oil, or gas exploration go ahead.
What the Liberal party offers does not bear mentioning; their intention to continue business-as-usual is clear.
The Labor party has just announced for the federal election, a suite of lacklustre steps in the right direction – not nearly enough to make the shift we need to a zero-carbon future. They may be promising to invest in electric vehicles, but Labor’s climate change policy will still drive us off the cliff in to climate oblivion.
We can adapt. We can re-imagine our future and the nature of our daily lives, but we must do it now. We must vote for it now. Our fossil fuel addiction must end if we are to survive and thrive.
© Palitja Moore, text and image, 2019