South Western Times

Act on reality of a changing climate

- BILLY KERR

We have got to start getting a bit more excited about this climate change thing because it is real and it is here.

Politician­s have taken some time to warm to the existence of this man-made phenomenon largely based around the big industry polluters. They have come to the realisatio­n that being climate-change deniers is no longer fashionabl­e and could well be career threatenin­g and as such for the majority they now acknowledg­e the threat the planet faces.

Sadly though, just scratch beneath the surface and you will find evidence of climate-change deniers in all political parties

Some will argue that the changes in climate are little more than 100-year events which is something that our forebears prescribed to.

In their defence, our forebears did not have access to the sophistica­ted science that is available to the modern meteorolog­ist. Even if it was a 100-year event we would still have to deal with it if we want to stay on the planet for another century.

Our history in this place is relatively short and if you went out and spoke to Aboriginal people who have been here for tens of thousands of years then we might learn a lot about how to look after the planet properly. They have been here for that long and in order to survive, prosper and to build their culture, they must have been doing a lot of things right.

We had an industrial revolution and in the space of 200 years we have just about knackered the joint and it is certainly going to take more than 200 years to fix the place up again.

As a country we punch well above our weight in terms of our uptake of alternativ­e and green sources of energy. The South West in particular has been at the forefront of embracing renewable technology with a great deal of enthusiasm and householde­rs and industry are now powering up at a rapid rate courtesy of the Sun.

The downside of the push into renewables has resulted in the use-by date for Collie being bought forward but to their credit the people of Collie have taken the coal industry’s demise on the chin and are actively and successful­ly pursuing new options for their town.

The State Government in particular is very supportive of a new Collie emerging from the coal dust of the past and that just shows what proactive governance can deliver when confronted with the implicatio­ns and reality of climate change.

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