The Coalition is on strong ground when it asserts its economic credentials, but the next federal election is more likely to be won by the Party that takes the threat of lasting Climate Change damage to the environment more seriously.
It is surprising therefore that leading conservative Liberal apologist Andrew Bolt should think that world renowned Naturalist film-maker, Sir David Attenborough, speaking at the United Nations Climate Summit in coal dependent Poland, is making a fool of himself.
Right now, we’re facing a man-made disaster of global scale,” Attenborough told delegates from almost 200 nations. “Our greatest threat in thousands of years: climate change. If we don’t take action, the collapse of our civilizations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.”
Attenborough was chosen to speak at the summit as part of the U.N.’s new “people’s seat” initiative, which encouraged citizens of the world to share their personal messages and videos explaining how climate change has already affected their lives. Several of these messages were shared as part of Attenborough’s speech today; they included footage of people standing in front of the ashen remains of their homes, which had been incinerated by wildfires. [6 Spectacular Species Named for David Attenborough]
“The world’s people have spoken,” Attenborough said. “Their message is clear. Time is running out. They want you, the decision-makers, to act now.”
This meeting of the U.N. was convened so that leaders of the world could negotiate ways to turn their pledges made at the 2015 Paris climate accord into a reality. Per the Paris accord, 184 countries agreed to implement emissions-reduction policies to help limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels over the next century. Most of the world’s nations are not on track to meet this goal; in fact, a global temperature rise of 4 degrees C (7.2 degrees F) seems far more likely right now.
According to a recent U.N. climate report, even limiting warming to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F) this century could result in serious consequences for the planet’s cities and ecosystems. Those effects include increased flooding and severe weather around the world, the destruction of up to 90 percent of the ocean’s coral reefs, mass animal extinctions, and food shortages brought on by regular droughts. A recent U.S. climate assessment, released quietly over Thanksgiving weekend by President Donald Trump’s White House, affirmed these findings and the impending danger of climate change.
“Leaders of the world, you must lead,” Attenborough concluded. “The continuation of our civilizations and the natural world upon which we depend is in your hands.”
The Liberal Party, hijacked by the Conservatives, is misguided if it thinks ordinary Australians will accept their inactivity in the face of severe droughts, record high temperatures with bushfires, and simultaneous alarming floods, before summer even starts. In addition we are being confronted by an inexorable degradation of our coral reefs.
This UN Climate Change Summit is hearing of similar disasters right around the world. No wonder Sir David Attenborough’s speech resonated with the attendees, if not with Andrew Bolt.
It is shameful that the Coalition government is now not even on track to meet its considered Paris Accord Emissions Target, and is instead planning to take a “big stick” to the energy providers to drop their prices.
Our proportion of world emission production may be small, but through energy exports we are indirectly responsible for a larger percentage of the world’s fossil fuel consumption.