We are out of time
A right wing government and unpredictable Senate with power held by racist and climate denying extremists has just been confirmed for Australia.
We are in the last few years of what was called the “critical decade” for our climate.
The minerals council has welcomed the “trifecta” of government cabinet appointments with open arms and have been positively giddy online, practically flirting with Senator Canavan, and falling over themselves to welcome the combined portfolio of energy and environment.
APPEA Chief Executive Dr Malcolm Roberts said: “The Holy Grail of policy is integrated environment and energy policies, which can deliver lower emissions and affordable energy security.
“Combining environment and energy into a single portfolio is a bold move that should be supported by everyone seeking sound long-term policy. Environmental policy is often energy policy and vice versa. (continued in media release)
My friends, we are up shit creek, and we are the only ones who can paddle ourselves out of this.
It is time to cast away any pretensions that a political solution is possible to the climate crisis. Those who still held faith with Malcolm Turnbull, and were waiting for what he’d do once elected in his own right – have been firmly answered.
Despite some good campaigning from the progressive movement, organisations like the ACTU and GetUp and some notable scalps, such as right wing warrior Andrew Nikolic, as well as substantial swings against key Liberal MP’s, the right wing still have much of their power base, enriched by a new, fruitier Senate.
Queensland MP, George Christensen has been emboldened by the election of Pauline Hanson and his racist rhetoric continues. With numerous Senate seats still on the cards for Hanson, she will hold disproportional influence, both in taking up media oxygen, as well as political leverage.
One of her likely Senate off-siders is a renowned climate sceptic, and leader of the Galileo movement, who wants climate denial taught in high schools.
Up and coming right winger Matt Canavan, one of the key players in the
witchhunt inquiry into the tax status of environment groups, has been given the resources portfolio, in an explicit nod to what his other portfolio of Northern Australia will essentially be responsible for – opening up the north for minerals exploration and riding roughshod over traditional owners… he will be pushing to use federal money to prop up the toxic Adani coal expansion. He has already gone on record regarding a level of “uncertainty” in climate science, and been boosted by his mate Christensen. Its 2016 and we have active climate deniers in our parliament speaking out despite assurances their boss takes it seriously.
So where to from here?
Those of you who were deeply involved in an exhausting two month campaign need to rest. But please come back soon because we need you.
Simply. We need to be ungovernable.
We need to step up, and mobilise in numbers larger than ever seen before. We need a huge and growing nonviolent resistance to the fossil fuel industry. We need to push for coal mines to start closing, and communities to receive just transitions. We must stop any new proposed fossil fuel projects with our bodies and our sheer force of numbers. We need to stand with farmers and small regional communities as they face down giant companies. We need to bring cities to a standstill, and move the social license of all fossil fuel industries to the toxic fume levels of asbestos, and cigarettes – because hey, they will do more damage than those two combined.
We need to build resilient communities and mutual aid, caring for each other in the face of increasing extreme weather. We need to re-think the economic system that drives the extractivist mindset.
We need to not give up, we need to stand up.
We will be working with allies in the coming weeks to map out what this might look like.
Sign up to join our active list – and we will be getting in touch with you to introduce you to people in your area, connect you to grassroots activist organisations and those working on direct action, let you know about upcoming training, as well as provide action kits and resources for you to run your own events. If you have never been involved before, no problem, we can support you.
It is time to push back. We have nothing to lose, but our planet.
** We discussed these issues and shared the stage with fabulous people at Splendour in the Grass today – Hosted by Lindsay Dr McDougall, Charlie Woods, from our friends and co-conspirators 350.org, Ariane Wilkinson from Environmental Justice Australia, and Caro from Be an Unfucker! – Blog post to come **