KATE KELLY manages the Clean State campaign but she is better known for her work on the Save Beeliar Wetlands and Rethink the Link campaigns. In this week’s THINKING ALLOWED she explains why we need to walk the line between hope and despair to engender change. Clean State is launching its new campaign next Thursday, October 25 from 6-8pm at Pakenham Street Art Space in Freo with special guests including Timothy Nelson. Tickets available through Eventbrite.
THE weight of climate change facts in the media are overwhelming.
I often try to consider how a younger person might feel looking into the future; trying to hold onto hope in response to the climate policy failures of successive governments.
The blind politics of hope though, is equally seductive.
We can lose our agency drowning in the idea that someone else, somewhere else will be able to change things because somehow it’s all too big and overwhelming to intervene in the relenting swell of climate problems.
What if I told you that it is possible to walk a fine line between despair and hope and that it’s probably the best thing we can do.
What if we found a way we could keep our beautiful and unique state biodiversity strong and tackle climate change, while growing an economy based on renewable energy, which in turn would give WA a steady stream of sustainable jobs?
In WA the largest amount of carbon or climate pollution comes from the gas industry, particularly LNG for export.
There is a way we could transition away from this industry by making sure that we neutralise the effects of the pollution, while stimulating a better carbon economy with renewables and clean technology/innovation.
By being attentive to the threats and opportunities from climate change, it is possible to re-boot our state as a place which is powered economically and safely with renewable resources. We could even become a benign renewable energy superpower.
We can achieve this by reinstating and improving the conditions on giant gas projects run by companies like Chevron, which pay little tax and no royalties. Especially on pollution heavy projects such as Wheatstone and Gorgon.
During the carbon tax years, the conditions which made the environmental approvals on those projects possible were removed by the Barnett Liberal government.
They have never been reinstated and there are currently no limits on the amount of pollution produced there.
Without conditions, which could mitigate and put a break on the climate pollution, there is no incentive by international companies to limit the pollution.
Worse, without the timely intervention of better regulations we will miss this important opportunity to reset the carbon economy in WA.
We have the most amazing opportunity in WA to restore and preserve our beautiful environment, and support our regional communities with sustainable jobs, rather than the boom-bust cycles of the fossil-fuel era.
Carbon sequestration or farming projects could be providing rural and remote communities with new and healthy ways to care for country while giving back life and jobs to the regions.
We have the technology in development to export our renewable resources and the corollary effects will engender significant and positive changes here and around the globe.
Please back the Clean State campaign because we need to let our decision makers know they have the support to enact change.
WA should become the clean renewable energy powerhouse it is destined to be as soon as possible.
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