November 23rd 2007
Tomorrow is a no-brainer
If there was one message this editor thought really cut through during the last six weeks of mind-warping banalities which, these days, pass for electioneering: it was a short interview with somebody who is not even a politician. Her message was as simple as it was dire, "We have to treat this like a war. The urgency we give it is equivalent to being at war". She was Dr Melanie Fitzpatrick, an expert scientific reviewer of the latest International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report and she was talking about climate change - of course.
Her comments echo, United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon who recently visited Antarctica to see the melting for himself . He thought it was as frightening as a science fiction movie but worse - because it was real.
According to Dr Fitzpatrick, the IPCC report is already out of date and in the last six weeks the arctic sea ice, in summer, has decreased by two times the size of New South Wales - about 40% below normal (Click for an amazing graphic from NASA). Antarctica is also rapidly melting creating "feedbacks" which, when ice turns to water, the darker water absorbs more heat therefore melting more ice.
The oceans, she said, were also now less able to absorb greenhouse gases and these were just some of the frightening comments she made in her Radio National interview(click here).
The issue has certainly grown dramatically in importance during the federal election but for a community sitting beside the Great Barrier Reef, which is now under major threat from coral bleaching and death from warmer water and likely to suffer from larger and more frequent cyclones, the "war" is lapping at our doorstep.
Meanwhile, with the rhetoric of the major political parties: happy to fund celebrations of the planet's increasing toxicity - like the Townsville V8 supercar race; do all in their power to promote the construction of a toxic aluminium refinery (Chalco) - which could consume the equivalent of 105,000 homes worth of electricity and consume the water of 59,000 households per year (click here), situated upwind of the city on low lying flood prone land - the disconnect from reality is, we think, dangerous and, frankly, delusional.
In times of war one needs to take the most urgent action. We feel confident that readers have heard enough from the major parties to decide which has the least worst on offer for the war ahead but consider it a no-brainer that neither are as committed, as willing and as honest as the Greens and Australian Democrats are to this battle for the future.
We urge voters to vote 1 Greens in the House of Representatives for Herbert. We would remind you too, that, as the Greens are still unlikely to gain seats in the House of Representatives, the best way a protest to the big parties on the environment has of being noticed is by voting 1 Greens then preferencing your preferred major party. A second preference for the Greens will be worthless unless they attract a massive primary vote and are seriously in the running to be elected.
We recommend Jenny Stirling over the Democrat in Herbert as she has been a tireless and hard working candidate with a demonstrated passion to speak up for what she believes in.
In the Senate we have been very impressed with Greens' number 1 candidate Larissa Waters' and number 2, Ayr's Anja Light's, energy and professionalism and only lament that the Australian Democrats never joined forces with the Greens as Andrew Bartlett has been a true friend of the environment and fighter of injustice.
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