It beggars belief really unless the all too human trait of hope and belief in a future that can be better still informs your views. A couple of nights ago three of us went to the Trades Hall in Victoria St and in a very small room behind the bookshop saw Naomi Klein's film "Everything Must Change" based on her book with the same title. Roaming the globe she showed us just how bad things have become and how the policy makers are failing to do what is necessary to fix the immense problems facing planet earth. Her call is for people power to address the real issues and to bypass governments and corporations who will eventually follow.
The strange thing that I can't fathom is that most of the people who are in power have families who will not be any better off when the waters rise and the tornadoes and cyclones hit. They may be slightly better off when the food and water wars start for a little while but there is no guarantee of that either. Having access to survival supplies must make you a target in a time of extreme need.
Klein remains optimistic as does another commentator and writer, Mark Shapiro. I hope they are right. I am basically optimistic in general but having tracked this for the last twenty years and seen the massive effort and money going into denial leaves me open mouthed and panting.
After Paris one could have been optimistic but then seeing the buffoon Hunt getting an award from a nation of fossil fuel pushers as the Best Environment Minister in the world it seems like business as usual Down Under. Turnbull (or Turncoat) has disavowed none of the Abbott era policies and it is widely said that he is held hostage by a significant right wing flank in the parliamentary party who believe that climate change is a left wing hoax. Presumably these people have families too. Is there enough money, power and or prestige for now to throw it all away when the inevitable happens? Democracy allow for different views but survival depends on seeing the train before you step into its path.
Kevin Rudd called it the biggest moral issue of our time and when faced with the problem of not getting it through the Senate, with the Greens voting against it, jettisoned the action he had planned as if it didn't matter anymore. Which leads us to Ms Klein's point. The people have to take this on. Make the changes in your own lives. Consume less. Recycle more. Buy green power or generate it yourself. Question your utility suppliers, ask AGL why when they are trumpeting their green credentials they doubled their emissions in one year last year. Shop organic and local. Don't buy imported food or drink. Yes tap water is fine.
Have a good look at your wardrobe and swap or donate those things you don't wear any more but are still hanging on to.
This one is not for everyone but if you can do it become a vegan or at least don't eat processed meat. Ask where your fish comes from and buy organic. Eat meat twice a week. Grow what you can.
For a very long time we behaved like we had limitless resources and all we had to do was kill, pick, dig and burn to keep our lives improving. We don't, we never did. Nothing is infinite or without end. We are at the pointy end now and need to take responsibility for where we are now and for where we are going. It is easy pickings to see that North Korea is a threat to world peace. It is equally blindingly obvious that we are in for a very rough ride if we constantly deny reality or partition it in our minds as a problem for other peoples in other places. Right now in Miami and down the east coast of the USA people are being flooded in their homes and highways. Their pollies are in denial like ours (except Obama) and nothing is being done.
Climate change is not a political problem - it is a problem of survival. We all need to act, not tomorrow but now. We need to network with our communities and take on this immense problem because if we don't it will take us.