Archive for June 3rd, 2011

June 3, 2011

Climate rally speech I will never give

“Say Yes” rally; Sunday June 5th, 11am – be there (Victoria Square) or be square.

Thank you for coming. It matters that you are here. I invite you to applaud the organisers of this event,
look around you – applaud yourselves and all the people around you- who have come,
and finally – and loudest of all so they can hear us – all those people who wanted to be here but – for whatever reasons – couldn’t be here. Let us nowapplaud absent friends!
(hopefully people applaud!)

I’m trying something a little bit different today. We are always asking our governments and the corporations and the institutions to act differently in the face of climate change. I think that means we have to do things a little differently too. So this is not so much a speech as a series of challenges to you. What I’m trying is to ask you a bunch of questions. I’m cheating a bit, because I think and hope I know some of your answers in advance. I want you to yell. I want everyone to be able to hear your answers.

So my first big question is why are you here?
Are you here to say “YES” to climate action?
Are you here to show you care?
Are you to display this wonderful movement’s strength?
What’s your answer?
(Hopefully a shout of “YES”)

Good. And I hope you’re here for hope, energy, passion, and ideas. Those exist in you and in the heads and hearts of everyone around you. After the rally, please stay a while and talk to others about what you are doing, what you want to do.

My second big question is this:
Is coming here to this wonderful rally enough?
Do you think that the campaigning groups you belong to only need your money and not your energy and ideas and time?
Do you trust corporations to act in our best interests?
Can we let the government take it from here?
(Hopefully shouts of “No”!)

That’s right. We are the ones we have been waiting for. Nobody else can do this. Not the state – it’s too clumsy, like an elephant tapdancing. Not our children – they won’t have time. There is no future but the one WE make. That WE make.

So my next big question is this.
Will you do more about climate change?
Will you go from this rally and today – yes, today – contact your councillors, your state and federal members of parliament and demand they say where they stand, and why they stand there, on this issue? Will you phone them? Will you write letters to them? Will you email them? Today?
(hopefully folks are yelling yes by this stage?)

OK, remember your answer to the “can we let the government take it from here” question? What was it? Remind me- can we let government take it from here?

So is that pressure you’ve promised – today – on your elected representatives enough?
(Hopefully shouts of “No”)

Then the big question is this; will you do more than that? Do you publicly commit, here and now, to doing more?
(Hopefully shouts of “Yes”)

You have the power. You have more power than them. If you will use it. We need climate groups on every street of every suburb of every town and city across this country. Groups that grow in numbers and knowledge and power. Groups that learn from both defeat and victory. Groups that organise in factories, schools, mosques, churches, and sports clubs. Groups that win small victories, and then use that momentum to win again and again, bigger and quicker, bigger and quicker.

Look around you. Look at all these other people who have come here today. They have abilities you need. You have time and energy and enthusiasm that they need. We can’t all be experts on everything. We need to learn about different pieces of the climate puzzle. Each of us needs to find something we can do, we want to do. Whether it’s about food, or energy, or transport, or simply climate justice. We each of us need to learn about that issue we choose. We need to build networks and knowledge and pressure. People here today can help you do that.

So my final question.

Do we need a bigger climate movement?
Will you encourage your friends to get involved in this adventure?
Will you get your family involved in this urgent venture?
Will you talk with people where you work, where you worship?
Do you say yes?

(sit down!)

June 3, 2011

Denialists – a very very loud 5.8%

Via the comments at Larvatus Prodeo, which runs an excellent “climate clippings” service, comes an (interim) report Public Risk Perceptions, Understandings, and Responses to Climate Change in Australia and Great Britain: Interim Report (86 page pdf)
by Joseph P. Reser, Nick Pidgeon, Alexa Spence, Graham Bradley, A. Ian Glendon & Michelle Ellul
Griffith University, Climate Change Response Program, Queensland, Australia, and Understanding Risk Centre, Cardiff University, Wales

The overall findings of this collaborative research were particularly striking in a number of respects: Despite dramatic differences in geographic regions, climate, climate change exposure, and recent histories of extreme weather events, the findings across most risk perception and concern domains were remarkably similar.
Public concern levels with respect to the threat and perceived impacts of climate change were very high.
Australian respondents viewed climate change as a more immediate, proximal, and certain threat to their local region and nation, than was the case for British respondents, for whom the problem was perceived to be more distant, uncertain, and less familiar in terms of anticipated consequences.
As with the findings from many overseas surveys, a distinctive minority of Australian respondents, approximately 5.8%, could be characterised as being disbelievers or strong sceptics with respect to the reality of current climate change and/or the causal role of human activities and environmental impacts, with these strong views disproportionately influencing overall survey findings. The comparable figure for British respondents who could be characterised as being disbelievers or strong sceptics was 5.1%.

Emphasis added. Am I trying to say that because they’re in a minority they must definitely be wrong? No, of course not. Am I saying they punch well above their weight in the public debate, because of their funding, their lying, their telling of soothing do-nothing tosh, their free time and their gish gallopping? Yeah, I am.

June 3, 2011

“Garnaut puts Tony in a spot of bother” says Megalogenis

George Megalogenis has a very good analysis piece in the Australian (Weds June 1)

ROSS Garnaut plans to return Labor to its reforming roots with a kitchen-table surprise for Tony Abbott. Pensioners would receive their compensation ahead of the introduction of a price on carbon so they would not be caught short when their first elevated power bill arrived after July 1 next year.

This measure echoes the approach John Howard took with the GST in 2000, and poses a dilemma for the Opposition Leader to defeat a carbon tax at the next election, he has to promise to reduce pensions before the mooted cost of living pressures are fully felt.

and this

Nevertheless, the Garnaut advice contains a policy trap for Labor. It connects the revenue from a price on carbon to the Henry review’s goal of increasing workforce participation. But increased workforce participation was meant to be the centrepiece of last month’s budget, as well as the proposed tax summit later in the year. What will Wayne Swan have to talk about at the summit if he takes up tax reform now?