SANDRA REED is a Fremantle local and grandmother of a 7-year-old who she fears will inherit a world without fresh air, clean water or uncontaminated food. A former public servant, she says her days trusting that governments do the right thing are long gone as both state and federal levels are dragging their feet while she’s living the sustainable life.
MOST people do want immediate, meaningful and effective action on climate change. They are sick of rhetoric. They are sick of taxpayers’ money being used to subsidise dirty polluters that encourages them to continue to pollute, while reducing their responsibility to clean up their act.
The government is supposed to represent the people and do what is best for the people. That is why it was elected to represent the people. That means:
No coal-seam gas wells—fracking—ever
No uranium mining ever, or until there is a safe way developed to de-activate waste instead of storing it in ways that put our environment at risk
Immediately and rapidly phase out the total use of fossil fuels while simultaneously encouraging and stimulating the use and development of renewable energy sources
No more logging of any old-growth forests, ever
No super trawlers, ever
All foods with any trace of genetically modified (GM) substances must be clearly labelled to enable people to choose what they eat
The government uses our money for things it has no right to use it for.
It used to pay for infrastructure, now it only pays for roads which is archaic and takes away scrub and bushland leaving our already compromised wildlife homeless, and puts our health at risk with ever-increasing emissions (and it reduces money channelled into healthcare that compounds the issues people face).
Diesel was classified a class one carcinogen in 2012, yet no moves have been taken to reduce the use of diesel cars or trucks.
In fact, by increasing road use the government is doing the exact opposite. And cancer is not the only disease linked to diesel. The focus needs to be on improving public transport particularly light rail and the transportation links to main transit stations. The government need to be facilitating the development and use of electrical and hybrid vehicles. Why isn’t it developing light rail for freight?
Other countries accept that fossil fuels need to stay in the ground. They can no longer be mined and burnt. Our government is sending this country into an economic crisis where we will have stockpiles of useless fossil fuel and infertile lands, not suitable for anything—lifeless and toxic.
We cannot afford to do this as the costs are too great, in terms of economics, employment, food security, water security, health and health care and eco-tourism, etc. Other countries acknowledged rapid and effective action is immediately needed to reduce emissions but not in Australia. We are a global embarrassment where once we could have been global leaders in this area with our abundant resources. An opportunity lost.
We do not live in a democracy at all. Our government is even legislating in some parts of the country to remove the right for people to protest against these crimes that it, the government, perpetrates against us, the people.
The government is nothing more than legal mafia. Its corruption shines through. When the EPA was discovered to have approved multiple illegal projects the government changed the laws to enable those illegal projects to continue and to protect the perpetrators from any culpability.
The government needs to face facts. The days of coal and gas are over. For the government to continue to throw our hard-earned money into this area is environmentally and economically irresponsible.
People are sick of ongoing and blatant misuse of power and money and will one day very soon, overcome apathy and the feelings of helplessness that it instils, and demand affirmative climate action.
And even more than that, sue the government for the criminal negligence that is putting us all at risk of our very existence. We don’t pay peanuts and yet we still have monkeys!
• This article has been very heavily edited for length. Sorry Sandra!