My Climate Story

The Greens are asking people to share their Climate Story – many of them will be read out in Parliament.  You can share yours here: http://grns.mp/your-climate-story

Here’s my story:

We know and have known for many years that Climate Change is the ‘Biggest Threat to Human Health of the 21st Century’. (Prestigious Medical Journal The Lancet).

I want my children and all children to grow up in a world where they have somewhere safe to live, have adequate shelter, food, security, nature and clean water to ensure they lead rich and fulfilling lives. If we do not increase our ambition and do what we must to reduce the worst impacts of Climate Change we will be leaving our kids a world with increasing civil war, food and water shortages, increased people living in extreme poverty, an increased health burden and infectious diseases along with increased environmental and weather disasters.

When they look back at why they are living in that kind of world they will see it was because we were too addicted to our ideologies and money to do the right thing.

They will look back and see our generations as selfish and irresponsible. Indeed many of use may quite rightly be tried for crimes against humanity.

When our kids can no longer enjoy a forest because we stole the water from the forest for gas fracking which reduced local rainfall and increased the temperature of our planet yet more they will shake their heads and wonder – ‘what were they thinking?’ – as we do when we think of the people of Easter Island as they chopped down the last tree.

I want to share this poem from Drew Dellinger:

“it’s 3:23 in the morning
and I’m awake
because my great great grandchildren
won’t let me sleep
my great great grandchildren
ask me in dreams
what did you do while the planet was plundered?
what did you do when the earth was unraveling?
surely you did something
when the seasons started failing?
as the mammals, reptiles, and birds were all dying?
did you fill the streets with protest
when democracy was stolen?
what did you do
once you knew?”

I want to be able to tell our children and our grandchildren we did what was needed to protect them, we did what was needed to provide a safe home for them. I want to tell them we reduced our emissions by 50% here in Australia by 2020 and by 100% by 2040. I want them to know we gave a shit and that we restored trust in the Australian Government and championed a global solution in Paris in 2015 which was sufficient for the near impossible task. That we came through when we needed to and reduced our global emissions, transitioned to a low carbon society and took care of our wild places, our precious biodiversity and our vulnerable people.

This is what I want to tell them, this is what we need from our leaders, this is what I beg of you. Do the right thing and raise our emissions reductions targets to what’s required to protect our children and their children, not what seems to fit a specific political and ideological perspective.

Our children really do rely on you.

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