Here is a link to the Australian climate emergency petition, both online, and paper versions. Many people are trying to help gather as many signatures as possible. We need Australians to tell governments to treat climate change for the emergency that it is, and has been for some decades. This is just one way to do it, and many repetitions of the same message are necessary.
The online page is also asking for answers to small survey questionnaire, about what people say they are already doing, or intend to do as their personal response to climate change. It is already changing lives.
Here is the link to the petitions on-line version, where petition forms can be downloaded from their toolbox page, for off-line signature collection with physical person to person impact
Steve Posselt provided a focus today for the petition gatherers here in Sydney with his own personal one-man (plus support team) kayak journey to boost global climate change awareness, called "Connecting Climate Chaos".
Steve arrived in Sydney Harbour this morning of 28th January 2017, in his one-man kayak craft, an ocean-worthy miracle of lightness, with a tiny bit of wind sail assist, which was collapsed as the jetty neared. He got a big welcome from those who came to answer the social media event notifications. Big local groups included, the Climate Change Balmain-Rozelle, ParraCAN, a large contingent from the always ready for music at call Ecopella , and some from the growing Citizens Climate Lobby. We all gathered by 10 o'clock near the Man O'War Jetty, which is next to the Sydney Opera House.
For Steve this was just one of several stops that he will be making on his way to Canberra, as he navigates river or ocean, or just walking while pulling his Kayak on the road on wheels. Steve has travelled a long way, acquiring a lot of stories to tell. He has authored a book from his journey down rivers in Australia - "Cry Me a River". He continues to provide updates and next itinerary on his website, and his site has a big link to this climate emergency petition of course.
I hope Steve gets all the way to be a celebrated big part of presenting an overwhelming number of petition signatures to the Australia Federal Government, on 25th February. A big thank you to all of those keen people who are doing the work of petition gathering.
It was a humid hot beginning to a big morning. Many passing members of public, visitors to the Botanic Gardens and nearby foreshore area, found themselves contributing their signatures and details, in a majority of cases. On Australia Day just two days ago, ParraCAN members had already been busy in Parramatta Park collecting many signatures, from among those coming to those big public celebrations set up by Parramatta Council.
The welcome parties began arriving early, and soon all were grateful for the ample shade of a few impressive trees of the nearby parts of the Botanic Gardens, overlooking the jetty. Picnic planners and providers, had brought enough for a small picnic and refreshments table. By the time of the big arrival, their were about 80 participants altogether.
After bringing his craft onto land, everyone headed back to the picnic shade, for the official welcome to country, speeches and refreshment. The attached wheels make an easy transition to land travel.
The "Connecting Climate Chaos" to our own behaviour is still an ongoing problem.
In the background is a Botanic Gardens security vehicle, with two personnel who seemed to think that this was entirely their land, and people with even a tiny portable microphone and speaker, banners and placards, must be foreign intruders. Nevertheless, a ParraCAN banner was re-unfurled briefly just as they were leaving. In the blue shirt in the middle is Steve Posselt, looking very fit and stable on land. Left is David Hook, speaking clearly in his natural loud voice.
Other speakers included Kate Smolski, from the NCC, a representative from Sydney Council on Clover Moore's team, and of course Steve Posselt. Nothing was said that wasn't a surprise to all of these climate-aware activists, words were brief but sincere, and it all felt very good to be there, in one of the most iconic beautiful spots in Sydney, next to the water, in overwhelming sunny weather. David Hook was probably the most academically qualified to speak.
David mentioned the Climate Change Policy statement put out by the "Engineers Australia", as late as 2014, which includes the clear statement that
Engineers Australia accepts the comprehensive scientific basis regarding climate change, the influence of anthropogenic global warming, and that climate change can have very serious community
Engineers in Australia have a great capacity to give technical help on climate problems, but too many area still working on the old fossil fuel ways, and being paid to do things the old ways. Perhaps political change of direction is required first. Have we had such a clear statement from our political parties? Too many personal political statements begin with the words "I'm not a climate scientist", and go downhill from there. Now climate change is an emergency we at least need to get politicians to acknowledge that climate change is a human - caused emergency.
Are the science concepts of climate change so hard? Do you need to be a biological scientist with degrees and peer reviewed publications in order to know how babies are made? Cause and consequences are well known, as are the self-interest instincts.
Global warming, causing climate change, whatever the details in the past, is now being forced by human beings. We are making the greenhouse effect much stronger, very quickly, by adding lots more more greenhouse gases, mainly CO2, into the atmosphere, from burning fossil fuels. The rest is details, which a lot of people still manage to understand.
No politician ever needs to be a scientist to understand this. It has been common knowledge for more than a hundred years already. We cannot afford to be paying for politicians who won't make the connection.
If and when will these bloody stupid minded fossil fueled blockers ever learn? Denial is a strong human trait, related to death denial, self-esteem, tribal identity. Human understanding sometimes a strange a mix of Religion, Magic, and Science. So we are already inclined to be persuaded against our better interests by those who can manipulate a large choice of leverage points, which make the work of con-artists so much easier.
When politics becomes largely driven by vested interest, paid for by party donations, and abuses trust, it causes the biggest bugger-up by stupidity in democracy. It is a culpable corruption. Are not these people traitors to their nation? These puppets of foreign vested fossil fuel interests or billionaires, such as Donald Trump by his billionaire backer. Such people need to be locked up, and not tolerated as elected or public officials. "Oh, you mean those fossil fuel emissions"!
Maybe we should get all "Pauline Hanson"-ite with climate change denial. Political denial (including a particular One Nation senator) aims to prevent public acknowledgement of the denial problem. It needs to get called out more often than it does. The emergency is we need to speed up what little progress we have made on collective mitigation. Their is a pervasive undertow of corruption of democracy, which seems to be biased towards interests of very rich people. We have mis-sunderstood exponential growth, and failed to identify resource depletion, and ignored system limits. At the same time we keep trying new ways to continue our dependency on fossil fuels. The result is a visible waste of growth of generations to build a house of cards, an entire set-up of civilization has has been built with supports that are ready to collapse very soon. The networked global links of fossil fuel energy systems have oil supply as their weakest links, ready to collapse, another kind of emergency on the way.
We needed to learn to become fossil fuel free as soon as possible. There is now no more "More". Now it looks like the quickest option is steer into collapse. Carbon emssions reductions need to be much faster than current political proposals, which are figments of imagined mitigation timetables, incompatible with delusions of continued economic growth, still promised by political parties. We still don't get the term "emergency". Everyone's emission target reduction dates are way past their terms of office. It is still full speed ahead, with all privileges being served, for the first class passengers cum drivers of our Titanic Civilisation.
Back to the arts of denial
Ecopella performed their climate change denial song in the form of a tango. Its a song made by "Men with Day Jobs", which was performed it in 2015 together with Ecopella, at big climate change march in Sydney. Remember this?
Finally we took our leave, packed up, and I found myself going to the next activist meeting or event, kicked on with a dose of caffeine. The meeting just happened to be on that afternoon and I was without a committed plan for something else. Climate change related events, meetings, talks and forums, are happening all over the place, every week, except in important places where insight is blocked by the back quarters of political denial. This has to be changed, as now there is no escape from climate change for us, our descendants, and all the other species not quite yet made the extinction list. There should be no escape for politicians who are trying to escape from hearing it mentioned frequently.
Everyone has their work cut out for them, because we can't easily cut out politicians from the corrupt system that feeds itself. That is a real emergency.