Friday on my mind 12.09.2019
This week the effects of climate change became all too real for many people living in
southern Queensland. Unprecedented fires continue to burn through prime agricultural
areas near Stanthorpe and Applethorpe after a hell week for residents and firefighters.
Sadly, the iconic Binnaburra Lodge was burnt down as uncontrolled fires swept through
the Gold Coast hinterland. News has been slow to filter through about the fire’s impact
on some of the largest subtropical rainforests in the world that make the Gold Coast
hinterland an international biodiversity and tourist hotspot.
Reinforcing the dire and unprecedented nature of these events, the Queensland and
Fire Emergency Services predictive services inspector, Andrew Sturgess warned us
that that fire danger has never been as severe so early in spring.
Twenty-three of Australia’s most senior retired emergency services personnel reinforced
Mr Sturgess’s comments by signing an open letter calling on the Prime Minister to “get
on with the job” of reducing greenhouse gasses.
These warnings only add to the endless reports of unprecedented global catastrophes
including the drying out of the Murray Darling system, fires in the Arctic, the Amazon,
and bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef. The list goes on.
Unfortunately, our governments continue to show few signs that they understand the
climate science or prepared to meet the climate challenges that our nation now faces.
Our leaders continue to profess unqualified support for the coal industry while doing
little to transition workers and communities that depend on carbon-intensive industries.
Our leaders should be seriously investing in new industries and opportunities for
affected workers and communities who depend on carbon-intensive industries like coal
The old argument that Australia can make very little difference to global emissions is
both morally and factually wrong. It is increasingly clear that Australia is being
dramatically impacted by anthropogenic climate change and that the cost of not acting
far outweighs the benefits that emission-intensive industries bring to our economy.
Australia must take our place as a leading international voice for an urgent reduction of
greenhouse emissions. Unfortunately, our voice will carry little weight if we fail to clean
up our own domestic and exported emissions. Currently, Australia has no moral
standing to ask the world to reduce its emissions while we open up new fossil fuel
projects and pump cheap coal into the world economy.
Mackay Conservation Group