Australian news, and some related international items

To National Party members. “Climate Change” is real, not “dirty words”

In London and Venice, the C-word isn’t a dirty word,,  Andy Marks, Assistant vice-chancellor at Western Sydney University.November 14, 2019 — Recent flooding in Britain is, according to Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson, “almost certainly because of climate change”. Contrary to the Australian experience, it turns out it is entirely acceptable around the world for politicians to utter the words “climate change” in an emergency.

Nobody called the thoroughly urban mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro a “raving inner city lunatic” when he said flooding due to climate change had brought his city “to its knees”.

Equally not prone to lunacy, Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, cautioned in the wake of Typhoon Hagibis that “making the world more resilient to natural disasters will be more important in the years to come”, in light of studies showing an “increase in cyclone intensity because of climate change”.

In contrast, amid recent Californian wildfires, US President Donald Trump tweeted the state’s Governor, Gavin Newsom, had done “a terrible job of forest management”, failing to “clean” his forest floors. Newsom retorted: “You don’t believe in climate change. You are excused from this conversation.”

In their absolute refusal to “go there” on climate change, our parliamentarians have more in common with Trump than the rest of the world when it comes to their inability to walk and chew gum on disaster response and climate change.

Fair enough, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack was right to point out that what people in the grip of disaster most urgently need “is a little bit of sympathy, understanding and real assistance”. But that shouldn’t mean treating them like simpletons, and ruling out any discussion on the cause of their trauma and strategies to prevent it.

And it’s not just, as McCormack claimed, “woke capital city greenies” demanding answers. The Nationals’ own constituency wants to have the conversation.

Rural newspaper The Land surveyed its readers on the eve of the March NSW election. A “whopping 63 per cent” of respondents, the news outlet declared, “believed in climate change”. And 15 per cent said the issue would determine their vote.

The state poll delivered an average swing of 25 per cent against the Nationals in four seats. These are electorates devastated by mass fish kills and long-term drought. There’s no hesitation among some in National Party ranks about what needs to change.

WA Nationals leader Mia Davies told The West Australian that the party’s constituents expect them “to be a part of the conversation” on climate change. “When you live in regional Western Australia you see the impact of climate change … we are dealing with [it] on a day-to-day basis.”

The party’s own polling ahead of the May federal election revealed “climate change is a key issue” for voters in National-held seats. The party’s member for Gippsland, Darren Chester, remarked many of his most ardent supporters are “practical environmentalists” who “expect a balanced and rational … response to climate change”.

There. He said it. Climate change. Not so hard after all.

December 3, 2019 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics

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