Dr Gillespie's Taree office staffer has perhaps neglected to tell him that for more than two months there have been constituents sitting outside his office every Friday visibly calling for climate action. He has been reported as saying it is not an issue in his electorate.
Our State MP likewise appears to be ignoring it. In the latest 'Brommy's Bulletin' there is not one single mention of our BOM-proven changing climate, even though his first paragraph refers to "the recent unprecedented bushfires".
Like too many, he is happy and grateful to accept the heroic services of our firies, but unwilling to take action to reduce the future risks to life and limb of battling fires under catastrophic conditions.
Given that a warming planet is now fact, doing nothing is simply not an option. That would be criminal negligence towards future generations. The financial costs of intensifying fire, storm and rain damage far outweigh any temporary costs of adjusting to our new carbon neutral economy.
Related reading: Letter: Climate change not talked about in Lyne?
News media is starting to report more widely that the future of power generation lies in renewables like solar, wind, wave, geothermal, hydro, together with storage like battery technology, pumped hydro and an upgraded grid that efficiently transmits across a wide continent. Somewhere in Australia, either the sun is shining or the wind is blowing!
Certainly the critical point in time for approving any new coal projects is long past. Humans are smart. With governments on board, we can follow the example of clean energy champions like Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Scotland, New Zealand, even our very own South Australia.
Just because we are lucky enough to be a tiny population (0.3 per cent of the world) who emits 'only' 1.3 per cent of the world's emissions (yes, four times our fair share) doesn't mean we don't need to bother.
Indeed Australia's per capita emissions (15.8 tonnes/year) are the highest bar only the oil rich Middle Eastern nations. It is a badge of dishonour not unnoticed by the international community. Per person, the average Australian is proportionally more responsible for every climate change disaster in the world than almost any other global citizen.
Without governments on side, there is only so much private enterprise can do. Every new coal mine or power station approved by government cancels out the emissions reduction actions taken by conscientious individuals and companies. It is disheartening.
This is a most beautiful valley, and I do echo the invitations of both our federal and state MPs urging tourists to come and visit, when we are not under the threat of fires or floods!
Sandra Kwa, Wingham
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