Here you go, just kidding. Here you go, just kidding.
That’s kind of how it’s felt for those waiting for Australian Government action on climate over recent decades.
It’s time to change that.
For too long discussions about have focused on loss; loss of reliable high-paying mining and engineering jobs, with no replacements in sight. Loss of environment and species.
The story we need to tell is one of betterment and improvement.
Of guaranteeing a living-wage job, for every person who wants one in every community.
Of making sure every person, in every community has a roof over their head, drinkable water in the tap and food in their belly.
Of enabling First Nation people to manage their traditional land, in the best interest of us all.
Of embracing First Nations culture and history, unique in the world in holding stories which provide a living memory of managing and surviving a rapidly changing climate.
Of energy independence for every community in every state – no matter how remote – and for our nation as a whole.
Of reducing energy consumption and costs for every household.
Of reducing the burden of negative impacts from pollution for people with respiratory illness, immediately and permanently.
Of ensuring every person has access to affordable, safe and reliable transport.
Of helping our neighbours achieve Millenium Development Goals by providing access to cheap, reliable and zero-carbon energy via responsible renewable energy exports.
Of preparing for disruptions like automation, and making sure all jobs lost are meaningfully replaced, with reliable and well paid work making use of existing skills.
Of supporting regional communities to transition to self-sustaining local economies
Of protecting local ecosystems and communities for generations to come.
Of making sure nobody is left behind in the process.
We need to tell that story.
We also need to be honest with people; we can’t pretend coal, gas and oil are viable industries. We can’t pretend those jobs are still going to around in ten years. We need those jobs to be gone, for the betterment of all.
But those who have jobs on the line need to know how we will make sure their lives and livelihoods are not only protected, but improved.
If we fail on that count, we may never win the support of the very people and communities we need, in order to make our collective transition work.