By Kammy Cordner Hunt
The Northern Hemisphere summer season of 2021 was a terrifying array of catastrophic weather events across 100s of countries on all continents, the likes of which have never been recorded before: heatwaves, wildfires, storms, floods, ice-melts.
This is a glimpse of what we are in for. I dread our Australian Summer coming soon.
In the midst of all this, the IPCC’s report came out. All of this should shock us into action, but will it? “Action” lies in the hands of governments and those in power. Do ANY governments have the right people in power to act? Will those mighty global corporations (those that wield a power that’s even greater than any government’s) let them act, even if they wanted to?
Vote Planet wants people to do just that, vote for people who will make decisions on behalf of our planet’s future, because that is OUR future, and that of every other living thing sharing the planet with us now, and (hopefully) in time to come.
Some overseas events during the Northern Summer (due for us in the South this summer?):
Heat wave 2021: Climate scientists warn about a new normal (nbcnews.com)
Greece fires: Death toll rises as blaze hits holiday resorts | news.com.au — Australia’s leading news site
Wildfire in Northern Ireland declared a 'major incident'
NASA Images Capture Worst Siberian Wildfires in 10,000 Years (sciencealert.com)
46 fires burning across Florida, where risk remains high - South Florida Sun Sentinel - South Florida Sun-Sentinel
California crews battle 12 big wildfires | 7NEWS
Bush fires in Iceland, page-1 - HotCopper | ASX Share Prices, Stock Market & Share Trading Forum
Italy bushfires: Hundreds evacuated as wildfires approach Campomarino (thenewdaily.com.au)
Turkey fires ‘like a horror movie’ as blazes hit Mediterranean | news.com.au — Australia’s leading news site
Greenland experienced 'massive' ice melt this week, scientists say | Reuters
Record-breaking June 2021 heatwave impacts the U.S. West | NOAA Climate.gov
Climate crisis made deadly German floods ‘up to nine times more likely’ | Climate crisis | The Guardian
Belgium, Netherlands and France also hit by deadly flooding
NORTHERN ITALY overwhelmed by HUGE HAIL, LANDSLIDES and FLASH FLOODS. It is still ALERT (PHOTOS and VIDEO) »ILMETEO.it (italy24news.com)
by Jane Edwards
Some unnamed fossil fuel industry evil-doers appear to be threatening to hurt Auspol politicians’ children if the politicians don’t do the fossil fuel industries' bidding. It looks as though this is also happening to politicians around the world.
This claim is based on deduction in lieu of direct evidence: blackmail is the only logical explanation for why anyone with some power to avert the coming climate catastrophe, would hurl their own kids into the apocalyptic abyss in coming years, in order to save them from harm today.
There’s the slim possibility that some of the politicians remain wilfully ignorant of climate threats but this doesn’t cut it. Even if the politicians thought there was only a 10% chance of a plane crashing, there’s no way they would put their kids on that plane. And our current chance of a ‘Global Climate Catastrophe’ is now way over 50%.
It’s worth considering that these politicians are all psychopaths; they don’t care what happens to their kids, or care more for money and power granted by the fossil fuel industry today. However, psychopaths reportedly care about their own fate and these politicians have signed up to a mutual suicide pact, perhaps it is the older ones who think the climate collapse will occur beyond their end of life.
A climate campaigner asked Mark Butler, then ALP shadow Minister for Climate Change (he apparently knew too much so was replaced last year), ‘Don’t you love your children?’. Because why would anyone that knew so much about global warming and loved their children promote the suicidal target of Net zero by 2050 as safe?
In response to the question, Mark Butler immediately lost his measured cool (by all accounts for the first time ever), demonstrating that he does in fact love his kids, but more immediate threats than a global catastrophe hang over him and his children .
So how should we save a chamber full of MPs suffering under the most vicious blackmail imaginable? Easy: we vote them out. Then the blackmailers have no hold on them.
Just as with any spy blackmailed into being a double agent, we need to replace these MPs immediately with those who have not yet fallen under the searing hand of the fossil fuel industry.
By Adrian Whitehead
So sorry to hear about the floods in Europe. Best wishes to all those affected and condolences to those who lost loved ones and friends.
Similar floods in 2002 followed by the European heat wave in 200, triggered the start of my climate campaigning.
What was obvious back in 2003 was if we didn't want these events to occur with increasing frequency and severity, we needed to cool the planet immediately. Our slogan back then was Zero Emissions Now.
Eighteen years later the world is planning for 30-50+ years of increasing devastation through the adoption of the suicidal target of net zero emissions by 2050. Net Zero won't even stop the heating because of the degradation of natural systems that are also now heating the planet (loss of carbon from soil, forests, methane from former permafrost, loss of the summer Arctic ice etc).
This 2050 target is immoral, unethical, and to be blunt, a crime against humanity.
Society as we know it will collapse if we do not do better. What we need now is an emergency speed program with three key foci:
We call this Emergency Mobilisation.
Our ecology is already collapsing, the collapse of our societies has started, global food production will be pushed to the point where there is not enough food to feed the world. The world's poor will starve and suffer first.
This future is not set in stone, but to avoid it we must take on our existing politicians and their corporate backers. Our current politicians have shown again and again they are not mentally equipped to deal effectively with the climate emergency.
If you are in Australia and want to play a part in saving us all please join us at voteplanet.net and help us at the next federal election - this election is one of our last chances to make a real difference and avoid the warming levels that will push us to collapse.
By Andrea Otto
I want to talk about habitat and in particular our native animals and their reliance on trees.
Many of our birds and most of our tree dwelling animals rely strongly on hollows. I think we need an education campaign around hollows because so many people don’t know or understand the interconnection between our birds and animals and hollow trees.
It takes around 80 years for our trees to produce a hollow for our smallest inhabitant. As the tree grows so do the hollows. The home is then too big for that smaller critter and so it moves out and that hollow is then used by something bigger. Even hollows on the ground are important as they provide habitat for many small mammals, reptiles and invertebrates along with fungi’s and other plants.
When we understand this, it isn’t hard to see that the loss of old trees is one of the main reasons that Australia extinction rate is so high.
Protection of our old trees is paramount to native species survival including our own. Australia is one of the worst developed countries in the world for broad scale deforestation; an MCG area of forest or woodland is cleared every two minutes, killing countless native birds and animals.
Vote Planet land use policy includes ceasing land clearing, instead subsidising land owners to regrow and maintain forest, and ceasing logging native forests. Please read more on our policies page.
By Jane Edwards
For a chance at a future, we need to be acting like the house is on fire. Governments have been promising incremental change for three decades, over which time greenhouse gas concentrations have dramatically increased, increasing warming impacts and setting off all the major feedback loops (tipping points) that were theoretical when governments first started promising incremental change.
We need to be reducing greenhouse gas concentrations and reaching huge net negative emissions. It’s all doable and can only be good for us in by any measure, though not so good for the balance sheets of people emitting obscene amounts of greenhouse gases and mining coal and gas.
We save the planet not via suggestive ‘economic signals’ but by hands on steering down the right path:
We achieve a safe future by dropping the ponzi scheme of perpetual GDP growth. Instead we adopt a model such as Doughnut Economics (image on right). The idea that we shape society to live within the limiting boundaries of climate change, pollution, ocean acidification, biodiversity loss etc. while maximising societal wellbeing measures across housing, equity, education, political voice, etc.
So simple, so far removed from what we are doing. What the hell are we waiting for?
Naturally, feel free to facebook like articles on a government taking an incremental step in the correct climate direction, but point out how far they are from where we need to be.
Read more on Vote Planet's policy page.
If the government was serious about energy policy for the country as a whole and the need to cut emissions then Climate Emergency Action Alliance–Vote Planet has the following suggestions for how to spend $600 million:
By David Lughermo
An image that sums up climate emergency campaigning for me is a dinghy of people in fast moving water heading for a waterfall. One passenger is frantically paddling to avoid the drop. The others look anxious - some even alarmed - but they sit idle and somehow resigned to whatever outcome the single paddler can achieve.
Climate emergency campaigners work really hard. They have sacrificed money, careers, job security, and family time. Some might have ditched the dinghy and swum their loved ones to safety if that were possible but the dinghy metaphor doesn’t extend that far. There’s no Planet B - we’re all in this together.
To be clear, a climate emergency means breaking business as usual to the same degree COVID-19 has broken it and more, but swap staying home, face masks, and hand sanitiser, for green armies, mass retrofits, and technological leaps. Grassroots campaigners forged the climate emergency path, campaigning for what is necessary, not what is convenient.
The climate emergency paddlers swelled 10,000 fold with the rise of Extinction Rebellion and Friday for Future School Strikes since early 2019 but there are still not enough paddlers to change the fate of the dinghy. When the climate emergency campaign gets momentum, opposing forces just pull harder. Typical excuses of those sitting idly by are they don’t know enough - others would do a better job, or they are too busy. I’ve used both of these excuses.
To respond to the first excuse - not knowing enough, there are 1000s of jobs going in the climate emergency sector with every skill required - full-time, part-time, casual, or occasional (Disclaimer: jobs are unpaid). Since you are reading this, you likely have a better grasp of the issues than Scott Morrison. Claiming ignorance doesn’t cut it. Below is a range of opportunities to get your hands wet. You learn on the job.
Join Extinction Rebellion. Extinction Rebellion is a crash course in the climate emergency. Civil disobedience in the face of the climate emergency had to happen broad-scale. Why wouldn’t we break the law to change our horrific trajectory when polite discourse has failed? To find an XR group near you, head to facebook.
Join Fridays for the future. If you are still at school or have kids who are at school you can join 10,000s protesting every Friday outside their national or local parliaments demanding that our elected governments take action on global warming.
Link with climate emergency campaigners and offer your help. Join facebook groups like ‘What I did today to reverse global warming’ and link with people who may need your help, from eye watering admin, proofreading, web skils, fundraising, leafleting, policy writing, sound, media and legal skills, the list is endless. You might have to be persistent and take initiative as it can be time consuming to absorb someone into a focused and urgent effort. See the list at the end of this blog for Australian groups.
Stand as a climate emergency candidate in local, state or federal elections - or help someone else running as a climate emergency candidate. Run as an independent or in Australia contact Save the Planet or One Planet.
Organise a climate emergency talk at your workplace or community group. See the list at the end for those groups well versed in speaking on the climate emergency or try Extinction Rebellion.
Help do the research for the solutions that will save us. Volunteer with groups like Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) to work on their transition plans across every sector - there are lots of openings besides just engineers - but engineers are also wanted. Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration publishes research papers on the climate emergency.
Help write the policy and legislation that will save us. Are you a policy wonk? Try Research and Strategy for Transition Initiation Inc. RSTI produces the foundational legislation governments will need to move into emergency mode.
Join or start a local climate action group or network. You can pester local politicians for a climate emergency response - including local councils, get active at election time. Stage events, leaflet the neighbourhood, post climate emergency billboards and signs. If you’re starting your own group, other CAGs/CANs will be more than happy to mentor you. Make sure any CAG/CAN you start or join calling for full emergency action rather than calling for incremental change or suicidal targets which reinforces non climate emergency action. If your local CAG/CAN is a problem, start a new one focused on getting a full emergency mobilisation by all levels of government including your local government. See CACE for getting your council into emergency mode.
Campaign for a fair media that will tell the truth about the climate emergency. There are many groups making headway - or start your own campaign to write letters to the editor. A more or less truthful media is a pillar of going into climate emergency mode.
And to respond to the first excuse - you are too busy. If you’re really too busy to help then find a grassroots organisation that is making a difference, give them money to do what they do - just do something to help them! (Warning: They probably won’t have tax deductible status). Even small amounts make a difference.
Lastly, if you don’t see yourself in an activist role or don’t mix in circles that would accept you in a climate emergency role, then you are just who the climate emergency needs outside the echo chamber.
Paddling vanquishes despair. And even if we go over the fall you’ll be able to tell your kids you tried.
List of Australian Climate Emergency Grassroots organisations (may not be exhaustive)
Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE)
Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration
Centre for Climate Safety
Council and Community Action in the Climate Emergency (CACE)
Research and Strategy for Transition Initiation Inc. (RSTI)
Save the Planet
Sustainable Living Foundation (SLF)
Victorian Climate Action Network (VCAN)
By Jane Edwards
by Bryony Edwards
You’ve had a pretty tough time lately. Your numbers are diminishing and you’ve lost a total of $700 billion of your $8 trillion in the past year. More importantly, you are no longer seen as maverick winners but are demonised for your planet-trashing lifestyles and rampant entitlement (sorry if this is the first you’re hearing of this).
There’s even growing pressure on you with your untold wealth to save the planet - like you should finance the roll out of a 100% zero emissions grid for some fossil fuel laden country. Technically your combined wealth could probably afford such a grid rollout across 27 Earths, but you’d have to liquidate all your shares and so violate tons of laws with respect to your collective shareholders.
The good news is, you don’t have to bankroll saving the planet by yourselves What if I told you there's a country where for every single dollar invested, the venture of your choice receives over $15,000 of taxpayer dollars? That’s right! In Australia, an ‘above-the-counter’ lobbying investment of only $1.9 million AUD (that’s 2018-19 figures) resulted in $29 billion (that’s 2.3% of GDP!) in public subsidies directed to the lobbyists' industry of choice (in this example, the fossil fuel industry). Best estimates for the US, based on a quick google search are not as favourable, so Australia is a no-brainer to start, but I’m sure you are already aware of which country provides the best returns.
You could just use whatever cash you can scrape together from your collective billionaire petty cash boxes to outbid fossil fuel lobbyists at the Australian government’s back door.
Here’s an example of what your combined $3 million outlay would be purchasing (topping the the fossil fuel lobby's figure by $1 million):
For the list of demands above, you would probably have to surpass the going fossil fuel bid by a million or so to get past some ideological challenges, particularly among the ‘bring on the apocalypse’/‘coal is good for us’/'I hate pinko-greenies' LNP. The ALP will be simpler - you’ll just need to distract them from their fracking overlords.
Forbes says that out of the 15 richest billionaires, only a couple built their wealth on fossil fuels so chances are this won’t be bad for your business (Richard you might take a hit - but your planes rank 83rd on the Atmosfair Airline index so go suck an 747-9 Dreamliner tailpipe). Surprisingly, these odds are similar among Australian billionaires, where only a couple of our 14 or so of our plutocrats stand nose-deep in open cut mines filled with fracking sludge, dead koala and shredded Native-Title.
Unless you are heavily invested in industries relevant to saving the planet, you might not see a direct monetary kickback for your handiwork, so get busy! We want to pile on the wins for you. Another win is that your kids may just have a future that doesn’t involve trading homemade crossbows bolts for dried Jerusalem artichokes and way out-of-date Ventolins.
The $3 million above excludes below-the-counter contributions. But very quietly, one extremely common (and apparently effective) covert lobbying tactic is offering the rancid MPs cushy jobs for when they retire from politics (we are urging immediate retirement). Imagine an additional $500 million worth of salary packages over a few years for 100 odd MPs we need to buy off. Scott Morrison, our PM, would cost more to compensate for his Messiah complex, but this could all be taken care of with shady corporate accounting and be spread among your many corporations. The beauty with the joint effort is you collectively represent many more corporations than there are MPs, so the chances of your staff having to suffer a meeting with both Barbaby Joyce and Peter Dutton are controlled.
We would like to provide you more support on the dark arts of bribery and blackmail but this is an above board proposition, and we assume that getting to where you are means you have the necessary expertise for dealing in the shadows.
While a 200 of you might focus on Australia, the remainder can tackle the US, UK, Canada, and, perhaps with the right Linkdin connections, the EU, Russia and China.
We're deeply sorry to put you in this position, but climate criminals hold the wheels of all of the worst climate-offending nations and their media (ie Rupert Murdoch). Democracy is broken. The will of the people is a currently a pipe dream.
Please take this opportunity to make up for the climate, environmental, and human rights havoc many of you have wrought (Jeff, Alice). If you need more inspiration, imagine France in 1789 or have someone explain to you.
Unfortunately, you may be our only hope.
The Australian people
Some hard facts -
Bloggers on this page include Adrian Whitehead, Philip Sutton, Jane Edwards, Andrea Otto, David Lughermo.