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Where is our Greta?

By Ad astra

Here she is – looking at us, looking right into us, right into our soul, just as she was on the title page of the UK version of The Big Issue.

Writing in it, Adrian Lobb begins:

In August 2018, Greta Thunberg took a stand. One small act of defiance for a 15-year-old Swedish girl became one giant global leap forward for change. One simple act of refusal – skipping school and sitting in silence outside the Swedish Parliament with a homemade placard saying: School Strike for the Climate – Thunberg sparked schoolchildren around the world into action.

She was joined by hundreds of thousands of young people taking their first steps into activism, no longer able to tolerate the failure of a generation of politicians to act fast enough in response to the climate crisis.

”It’s just spiralled out of control”, Thunberg says, speaking from her home in Stockholm…”in one way it feels like it was yesterday. But on the other hand, it feels like it was 10 years ago…”

Here we have a schoolgirl doing what our politicians haven’t the guts to do – demand that we take immediate action to counter the climate change effects that we hear about from climate experts every day – on radio, on TV, on current affairs programmes, on commentaries that play all night on our radios. We would need to be deaf or have tin ears to avoid their dire messages.

Yet we have a PM who habitually seeks to avoid the issue, who refuses to commit to zero emissions by 2050, who bends to the demands of the array of climate change deniers that sit at his side, fearful of losing their conditional support – an obscene example of politically motivated cowardice.

Ahead of official G7 talks, PM Morrison travelled to Cornwall for dialogue with the leaders of South Africa, South Korea and India about ‘climate change, nature and open societies’. G7 environment ministers had already agreed to deliver climate change targets in line with the Paris Agreement, which limits the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees. But burdened by Australia’s indolent record on climate change, its unambitious targets, and its unenviable status of being a major fossil fuel producer and exporter, what could he, what did he, contribute?

On arrival there, in his typically grandiose style, Morrison announced: This is a very important place for Australia to be today as we touch down here in the United Kingdom to join the G7-plus dialogue.That was it!

In The price of arrogance: we asked if you were embarrassed by Morrison’s response to Biden’s strident message to the climate change forum he sponsored: “The signs are unmistakable. The science is undeniable. But the cost of inaction keeps mounting.” Our PM shamed us by telling the world that he will run his own race irrespective of other countries and their opinions. With characteristic arrogance, he refused to bow to pressure from the US to use the summit to announce an increased target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He told an astonished summit: We are well on the way to meet our Paris commitments thereby exposing the enlarging gulf between Australia and its allies about how best to tackle the climate crisis. For good measure, Morrison added: “We’ll update our long-term emissions reduction strategy in time for the Glasgow COP26 climate action conference”, scheduled for November. Another ‘nothing to see here’ move.

So where is our steely-eyed Greta to refute Morrison? One of the Greens? A Labor politician? An independent, perhaps Zali Steggal, the one who ignominiously ejected Tony Abbott in Warringah to a state of irrelevance?

Please offer your own nomination. Who is your Greta? Readers will be interested. For me, the one most like Greta is Penny Wong. Strong, articulate, well-informed, outspoken, believable.

She’s my Greta!

This article was originally published on The Political Sword

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  1. Michael Taylor

    In my humble opinion ‘our Greta’ would need to be a very public person, such as those suggested by Ad astra. Our Murdoch media would do a thorough and complete character assassination on any ‘unknown’ member of the public who put their hand up for the job.

    Maybe it could be a concerted effort by a group of people.

  2. DrakeN

    Indeed, Michael.
    We in Australia have no need for conspiracy “theories” – we have the collusion of politics, religions and commerce slapping us in our collective faces.
    No conspiracies, but business as usual.

  3. Keith

    Greta formed a friendship with one of the most eminent climate scientists, Johan Rockstrom from the Potsdam Institute. Greta also sought advice from other climate scientists. Greta knows more about climate change than our leaders which is rather sad.

    Australia experienced some very dynamic school leaders during student strikes. But, who would want to put young people to the pure nastiness that Greta had to experience from ignorant fools.

    Helen Haines has been doing some great work, and champions climate change strongly.

  4. Martian Hacker

    Two points:
    1. If Australia ceased to exist, what difference would our absence have in terms of local or global temperatures or climate, over what period of time?
    2. Most of the rest of the world enjoy access to Nuclear Power – France derives 75% of their energy from this source.

  5. RosemaryJ36

    Since 5 February 2020, with 2 exceptions (one of which was because I had had a mild stroke on the eve of my 85th birthday, leading to 3 days in hospital) I have sat outside the NT Parliament House for 2 hours every Wednesday afternoon to protest the continued failure of government to take action on global warming.
    On Sunday afternoon, the NT government shut Darwin down, and today extended the lockdown to lunchtime Friday.
    But on Wednesday afternoon I plan to spend my usual 2 hours, outdoors and outside Parliament House.

  6. Michael Taylor

    Keith, I have an interview with Helen next week. I’ll be sure to raise this with her.

  7. Michael Taylor

    Rosemary, you are an inspiration to us all.

  8. Keith

    Martian Hacker

    Australia exports huge quantities of gas and coal; so, should such exports stop, a significant reduction in greenhouse gases can be expected.

    We are in a time with a short window of opportunity, it still allows for the worst of climate change to be reduced. The biggest hurdle are politicians, some of the worst offenders being Australian ones. To make any kind of dent in greenhouse emissions coal and gas need to be de-commissioned as soon as ever possible.

    Already under a heat dome in Western USA and South Western Canada people are living in extremely difficult conditions. Seattle and Portland have never had to prepare for the heat conditions they are experiencing at present. Siberia has also had excessive temperatures.

    The leaked document from a draft IPCC Report to be released in 2022 is scary.

  9. Ken Fabian

    Mr Hacker – the “I’m not going to unless you do first, so if I don’t it’s your fault” defense of failure. All that criticism of China and India and almost all by people who don’t want to anything about the climate problem but want to feel okay with behaving irresponsibly. ie blame others.

    BTW, about 1/3 of global emission come from nation’s that emit similar or less than Australia. Interesting that Germany – the industrial powerhouse of Europe – makes not much more emissions than Australia, with a much larger population.

    Nuclear? The biggest political problem nuclear faces is climate science denial – by people who (allegedly) think nuclear is the best solution to global warming.

    You really think people like Barnaby Joyce genuinely support tackling global warming (and reducing demand for coal and gas) with an ambitious nuclear program? His kind of climate science denial pushed nuclear under a bus – sure, they waited for a hippie painted kombi bus… and the driver didn’t dodge, but not all the opposition to nuclear in Australia could do the damage to nuclear’s prospects that climate science denial, by people who LIKE nuclear, did.

    If they took climate change seriously and really believed nuclear was a viable solution it would be THEIR policy – rather than what we got, which was irresponsibly dodging the issue in”you care so much, you fix it” style, followed by “NOT like THAT”.

    Not strength of opposition but weakness of support killed nuclear’s opportunity to become the principle clean energy response to global warming. Now economics of renewables makes it not worth the trouble.

  10. wam

    we are greta, every time we try to inform the deniers of the symptoms of disaster that are visible in many parts of the world.
    Secretly, even here, almost everyone knows climate change is a natural ongoing process and the trick is to convince deniers that man’s greenhouse gas emissions upset the natural balance and accelerate global warming.
    It is comforting to know that jack couldn’t operate today because pea-soupers no longer cover london?

  11. Ad Astra

    Bravo, Rosemary J36

    You are a hero – another Greta.

  12. RosemaryJ36

    I was warned, by some incoming Parliamentary House staff, that security would notify the police this afternoon (30/06/21) and I would be turfed out. I was not even approached by the police.
    But one of the regular security members, with whom I have had many, friendly, conversations over the last 11 months, did, as I was packing up at 3.00 pm, warn me that he had been asked to tell me that I should not be there.
    So here’s hoping that lock down is not unduly extended!
    I wonder whether I would get help from crowd funding if I did get fined?
    Hopefully the issue will not arise!

  13. Consume Less

    What about Tim Flannery.

  14. Michael Taylor

    Rosemary, did the security guard tell you if this was because of the pandemic?

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