LETTER: Australia urged to follow climate ‘trend’

Sandra Young, Southend

IT IS time to reassess what is working and what is not.

What will be the “new normal” after Covid-19?

I see that we have learnt many lessons during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Relatively quickly we embraced an emergency mode, Leadership was decisive (except in relation to schools), the health and well-being of people became more important than the economy, the public sector became our “soldiers” in health, policing, essential services and farmers became highly respected.

We started to listen more intently to the scientists about the virus and its effects and we learnt that it is better to “be prepared” and take precautions than to accept what was coming to us.

Now, we must face the even greater risk to our way of life – the increasing temperatures leading to more and more catastrophic events like the bushfires of 2019.

True, it is not “in your face” as Covid-19 is now, but the threat is with us nevertheless and will affect our children and grandchildren more than ourselves today.

It has been said recently by David Spratt and Alia Armistead that “the world is sleepwalking towards disaster”.

The world is facing extremely high risks due to the impact of climate change and we are not prepared for it, as we were not prepared for Covid-19.

We only have 10 years to reduce our emissions to zero to avoid more than a two degree increase in temperature.

This is frightening.

Extraction of fossil fuels has to stop for that to happen.

I was amazed and horrified to read the Australian Climate Justice Project reported that our Government is subsidizing the fossil fuel industry by $30b per year – way more than the current stimulus packages to workers.

This goes to just 64,300 direct jobs which calculates to $466,000 the Government is paying for each direct job in the fossil fuel industry.

Also, I was disgusted to learn that 8 out of the 10 largest fossil fuel producers in Australia pay no taxes.

Where do we want our taxes to go after Covid-19?

I would like to see a stronger health system to cope with further pandemics and the injuries and diseases as a direct result of increased temperatures – fires, floods, cyclone.

I experienced Cyclone Tracey in 1974 and I will never forget the horrendous injuries I saw at Darwin Hospital.

Do we want our economy to keep supporting the carbon emitting fossil fuel industry or can we all see ourselves driving subsidized electric cars with garages converting to charging stations.

I own a hybrid car and it is quiet and beautiful to drive when in electric mode.

Let’s try to flatten the curve of emissions here in Australia and become world leaders.

This could be our ‘new green normal’ – one that is better for our health and well-being.

Did you know that more than 1480 national, regional and local governments in 29 countries have already declared a climate emergency?

Here in Australia, over 90 local councils and the ACT have done the same.

Could we ask our Councils to do follow the trend?

Let’s think deeply about this.

Sandra Young,
Southend

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