Put Climate Action Back on Track

When President-elect Joe Biden made his winning speech last November, he highlighted some of the major problems he intends to focus on once he gets into office. The US is due to lead the world once again in taking action on coronavirus, equality, economy and climate change. After 4 years of Trump, who literally took his hands off taking any responsibility for climate action, by denying climate change and abruptly pulling the US out of the Paris agreement, it is time for America to lead again.

This week at a global climate summit convened by President Joe Biden, he pledged to slash US greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, amid an American-brokered Earth Day summit featuring leaders from 40 countries across the globe. “This is the decade we must make decisions that will avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis,” Mr Biden said at the White House. However, the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has refused to bow to pressure from the US and announce an increased target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Once again, the Australian Government stands well behind the rest of the world, and instead of leading the climate action globally, the land- down-under is lagging behind the rest of the world alongside third world countries. The conservative government in Canberra is supporting and subsidising fossil fuels, coal and gas, while pushing back on renewable energy. It’s time to change the government in Canberra with leaders who do care about the future generations.

I came across a dear member of the uprising young generation – my 12 year old son – who rightfully demands action from today’s politicians. The following is an open letter to the undeserved Prime Minister of Australia, Mr Scott Morrison (written by a Next Generation leader):

Dear Mr Scott Morrison,

The hottest January and February ever recorded, catastrophic bushfire hazards around the whole of Australia, over 45 degrees in many parts of Australia in one day. This is serious.

People are not protesting and standing up for their planet for no reason. They’re doing it because they care. They care about their family, their friends and their land. And I don’t feel that you care. This is not just a coincidence. This is real. Climate change is real. And it’s happening now.

People voted for you to be Prime Minister for a reason. They voted for you because they trusted you. They trusted that you’d care. They trusted that you would do the right thing and be what a Prime Minister should be. But people are losing their trust in you. Because you are not doing the right thing. You are not standing up for our country and our planet. You are just ignoring it like it’s nothing and not changing. You’re continuing to burn fuel and even worse you’re encouraging new mines.

Our planet is unique. It’s special. And it’s the only one we’ve got. And you’re taking that beauty and throwing it in the bin. You do not throw beauty and nature in the bin. You MUST not treat our precious planet as garbage. You must treat it like it’s special. Like it’s wonderful. Because it is.

Millions of Australians are suffering from depression and anxiety about climate change. They know it’s real because they have brains and they understand logic and weather. These people do anything they can to help but it’s just not enough. Because they need you. Instead of spending billions of dollars on more fossil fuels, spend it on renewables. This is the future. You can’t deny it. But you do. And I don’t understand what goes through your mind when you see and hear chaos. Protesting, chanting, screaming, fury in every person, and you just decide to ignore it all. I just don’t understand.

Every day I cry and cry in rage because you’re ignoring the fact that this is important. This is literally a life or death situation of our planet. And it’s not hard to get more solar panels, electric cars, free public transport or shut down plastic factories. So why is it so hard to spend a section of the money you have to do these things. WHY! Stop leaving it to others. It’s your job. You need to do it.

Here’s my question: Why are you not doing anything when you can? When you should. Because now’s the time to act. And if we don’t act now it’ll be too late. Make it your legacy to lead the change, don’t leave it for the next person.

Do you not understand the dangers of climate change? Do you even care about your children!? Do you even care that their lives and their future is in danger?

There are 54,000 bushfires every year in Australia. Climate change plays a big role in that. Last summer almost 19 million hectares of beautiful bushland burned down. People have died and over 2,000 homes have been destroyed in these horrifying bushfires. Imagine if you saw your precious home burning down right in front of your eyes. How would you feel? Thousands of families have experienced this and it’s a painful and horrible feeling. Do you even care!!?

And if you want children of future generations to live in a happy and safe environment, then ignoring climate change will cause us to live in a dangerous environment of extreme natural disasters and heat waves.

Just keep in mind that a Prime Minister is meant to be a true leader. A Prime Minister makes people proud. A Prime Minister doesn’t just speak, but listens. Life isn’t about you, it’s about everyone.

P.S. I originally wrote this letter last year, before the pandemic that stopped us dealing with climate change. Unfortunately, it is not gone. We have to take it seriously and you, as the Prime Minister of Australia, should treat it as a priority.

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