A version of this article appeared in the Southern Highland News, 20 November 2013. More articles from the CANWin column.
Picknickers for Climate Action Photo Denis Wilson
Why did 60,000 Australians in more than 130 towns and cities join in rallies last Sunday to demand climate action? Why did some 250 people come to a National Day of Climate Action Picnic in Bowral on a day better suited to hot soup and a good movie?
Heatwave colours brightened a decidedly cool day Photo Denis Wilson
Because they understand that the world must stop burning fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas – for energy. Because they realise that destroying the climate won’t save the economy. Because they get that “There is No Planet B.”
And because they know they know that the good life doesn’t need fossil fuels. We can still build a better future, but to do it governments must get energy policy right and speed up the switch to renewable energy.
Early arrivals on a damp, dark day Photo Angela Towndrow
The people who came to the damp picnic in Bowral are undaunted by the challenge of climate change, so it’s not surprising that they adapted easily to the unpicnic-like conditions.
Master of Ceremonies and master fiddler Bob McInnes Photo Denis Wilson
Musicians set up in the CWA hall instead of the rotunda and performed for a constantly moving crowd. MC Bob McInness managed to make himself heard by both the indoor crowd and those outside in the gardens.
Picnickers stood and talked instead of sitting and eating. One unscheduled speaker started a parade up Bong Bong Street. Another stressed that science follows all the evidence, even when it leads to conclusions we don’t like.
Anthony Ackroyd, in a heatwave hat
Special guest Anthony Ackroyd told some tales of his career as an impersonator of politicians. Meeting his subjects, he learnt that politicians are mostly charming people who want to do what’s right for the country. Those who doubt, or even deny, the science of climate change are probably not evil. “They’re just misguided,” Anthony said.
Good to know. Thanks Anthony.
About $200 was donated for Citizen’s Own Renewable Energy Network Australia Inc. (CORENA). CORENA uses donations from the public to fund practical renewable energy projects for community organisations. The loans are repaid from savings on electricity bills, and the repayments finance future projects so that the donated money is recycled. It’s people power powering people, far into the future.
Marshalling the marchers… maybe Photo Angela Towndrow
When the new government abolished the Climate Commission, thousands of people let their donations do the talking: within a week the Climate Commission returned as the crowd-funded Climate Council
Last Sunday thousands of people rallied in support of strong climate action. They represent the majority: two out of three Australians believe that climate change is occurring. In the words of the 2013 Climate Institute report on Australian attitudes to climate change (PDF 2.4Mb):
Strong majorities recognise that doing nothing on climate change will increase the risks and that there are economic opportunities in acting in areas like renewable energy. Significantly, appreciation of the economic benefits and jobs associated with a strong renewable energy industry is not contingent on acceptance of climate change, or even that humans are responsible for it.