THE SI­LENCE IS DEAF­EN­ING

DNA Magazine - - FROM THE EDITOR -

In DNA #228, my edi­to­rial was in­spired by

Sir David At­ten­bor­ough’s ad­dress to the COP24 cli­mate con­fer­ence. Sir David urged ev­ery­one to em­power our politi­cians to act quickly on re­duc­ing and re­vers­ing the ef­fects of global cli­mate change. He pointed out that most peo­ple un­der­stand the se­ri­ous­ness of the sit­u­a­tion and want to see ac­tion, but that politi­cians lack the po­lit­i­cal will to do it.

In my edi­to­rial, I en­cour­aged read­ers to con­tact their par­lia­men­tary rep­re­sen­ta­tives and tell them that cli­mate change is an im­por­tant is­sue for them, and that they want to see ac­tion. Of course, I put my money where my mouth is and on De­cem­ber 13, I wrote to Aus­tralia’s Fed­eral Min­is­ter For The En­vi­ron­ment, Melissa Price, and Aus­tralia’s Fed­eral Min­is­ter For En­ergy, An­gus Tay­lor.

In my email I said that I had heard the Prime Min­is­ter, Scott Morrison, say that, we, Aus­tralia, had re­duced our car­bon emis­sions and were on our way to meet­ing our Paris com­mit­ments. But this turned out to be un­true. Our emis­sions are the high­est they’ve ever been and, in fact, we have no pol­icy for meet­ing the Paris agree­ment.

I don’t be­lieve that tran­si­tion­ing to a low­car­bon en­ergy sys­tem will cost jobs or make power more ex­pen­sive. And I don’t be­lieve we can ig­nore cli­mate change be­cause “other coun­tries aren’t pulling their weight”. None of those ar­gu­ments stack up any more.

I re­ceived a prompt re­ply from Melissa Price. It read: “Thank you for tak­ing the time to write to me. This is an au­to­mated re­ply to let you know that I have re­ceived your email. As you will ap­pre­ci­ate, given the vol­ume of cor­re­spon­dence re­ceived, a re­ply can­not be sent im­me­di­ately, nor a re­ply sent to ev­ery email re­ceived.”

And I’ve not heard from her again.

As for An­gus Tay­lor, it’s now mid-Fe­bru­ary and I’ve not had even an au­to­mated re­sponse.

Cli­mate change is a bi­par­ti­san is­sue. Ev­ery­one is con­cerned about the fu­ture live­abil­ity of our planet. Only a hand­ful of cli­mate scep­tics ex­ist. They are usu­ally from vested in­ter­est in­dus­tries or are fringe politi­cians who see cli­mate change as “ide­o­log­i­cal”.

Wher­ever you are in the world, when­ever your next chance to vote comes, make some noise and make a dif­fer­ence. I will not vote for a party that does not take cli­mate change se­ri­ously or listen to the science on cli­mate change.

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