The Australian fires are THE game changer for Climate Change — forcing deniers in politics and business to finally take action.
The Australian fires are THE game changer for climate change deniers in the Australian Government. Finally PM Scott Morrison and his cohorts, who went to the Madrid Climate Conference in 2019 to water down their requirements and do as little as possible, are being forced to talk about taking action.
The fires are devastating, and attacking our cities, but this has been predicted by climate change scientists and experts for many years. Now the Australian public are waking up to the fact that their homes and cities are threatened — and are rapidly turning on their climate change denying government and demanding real action.
No more trying to do less, now is the time to do more. Australia resembles a war zone today, and as John Hewson, former leader of the same party as Morrison states in the Sydney Morning Herald, “it’s do or die”. The fires are forcing the Prime Minister Morrison to acknowledge that climate change is contributing to the fires — although he refuses to concede that Australia can do anything to fix the most urgent issue for the planet, but the fires and the public will soon force him to change his tune.
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Opinion Normal text size Larger text size Very large text size Columnist and former Liberal opposition leader You were…
In his book, The Uninhabitable Earth, David Wallace-Wells warns that the singular focus on the rising waters of the oceans has distracted the world from the much greater issues facing the world as a consequence of climate change. He persuasively outlines the rise of devastating fires, hurricanes, food shortages, food crop blights and more. But it’s the chapter titled “Wildfire” that should be required reading for any US or Australian politician who is a climate change denier. In this section, Wallace-Wells states that fires caused by “climate chaos will breach our most impervious fortresses — that is, our cities”, and that “Wildfires will become a global pandemic”.
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The vested interests behind the governments of US and Australia climate change inaction are like the tobacco industry and their powerful lobbyists in the 1970’s/80’s. Eventually the public forced governments to stop protecting them, for the overall good of public health. Climate Change is like the “tobacco moment” for governments and corporates, except this time it threatens more than our health, it affects our homes, cities, nutrition, health and our very future, and so the public will eventually force governments to stop protecting the coal industry and others who are trying to slow down what needs to be done.
While Trump is a lot stronger than Morrison at the moment, and buoyed by a base which denies climate change, there will be similar fires that will inevitably force the US government to change as well. Because people will realise that their houses are at risk. It’s not about jobs, or religion or guns, the core issues that Trump’s base care about, it’s about their homes. When they start to be destroyed — in hurricanes, fires, flooding and more — the base will turn. Just like is happening in Australia. Because unlike religion and guns, people will not defend the climate change deniers if it means losing their homes.
The fires, floods and hurricanes will only increase and get worse. Particularly the fires. But there is hope. We believe at Equilibrium that global corporates will actually be the key drivers of positive action across our environment. Many corporates realise that while people have to wait 5 years before they can kick a government out, they can stop buying products the next day. They also know that while the US and Australian federal governments may be out of touch with reality, many other countries, states and cities are not.
Especially the cities. As they come under increasing threats from oceans and fires, cities will enact carbon, plastic and waste taxes and fines, financial institutions will increase the cost of borrowing and insurance for companies with high environment impact. To mitigate these financial burdens, corporates will need tech solutions to find ways to drive real change in their businesses, helping CEOs show politicians how to fix our planet. The fires in Australia have lit a proverbial fire under climate change deniers, who are realising that public opinion is changing, and now is the time for politicians and CEOs to stand up and lead — they are the ones who will be remembered in history