The IPCC have shown us what needs to happen, so why isn’t this the climate election?

I’ve been struggling with the election. How are we avoiding the elephant in the room?

  • ✅ We’ve committed to 1.5 degrees of global heating by 2050
  • 🤔 To hit that we must peak carbon emissions in the next 3 years
  • 👉 Even if we SUCCEED, 99% of coral reefs still die
  • ❌ Labor and the Coalition really don’t have a plan?

This is an emergency.

We can fix this. But we must do it now. We must decarbonise. And we have to GUARANTEE coal and gas workers security, a chance to be part of that transformation.

Labor has some semblance of a plan, but also accepted half a million dollars in donations from fossil fuel interests last year, as well as committed to allowing new oil and gas extraction which would undo everything.

The central message of the IPCC report is clear: despite affordable renewable energy solutions being available now, governments and businesses are failing to act. Global greenhouse gas emissions must peak by 2025 and halve by 2030 to limit warming to 1.5 degrees.

The IPCC said the dramatic reductions in the cost of wind, solar and battery storage technologies over the last decade meant they were already commercially viable and would be the key to decarbonising most of the world’s energy systems.

“It’s now or never”: new IPCC report issues warning to governments to speed up renewables transition – Climate Council

So while I’m buoyed by the possibility of a change in government, we must make this election count. It feels very much like our last chance.

Vote Compass has already told us that more Australians mentioned climate change as their number one issue than any other topic.

So I’ll be voting Greens and preferencing progressive parties to hold whichever govt to that standard. I think it’s the most powerful change I can make right now

If you’re not sure where to start, here’s a guide to parties & candidates in the election who’ve committed to actually doing something. It’s not everything, but imo it’s a good starting point.

Traffic light election guide. Vote climate one. Make climate the winner.

The other important thing to remember is even if your local member is an asshole, you can still vote for change in the senate

I lay awake some nights catatonic with the thought of what’s coming for us, and fuck, what’s already here.

But there is hope. We have a path forward in the IPCC report, we have most of the technology we need, and we just need to make it happen NOW. No more excuses.

Here’s the best summary I’ve found on what comes next ❤️

Update: climate won 😭

I think Scott Ludlam, former Green put it best:

'holy shitballs', tweeted at 9:37 on election night.

The Liberals were wiped out by a wave of Greens and climate-focused independents. There’s a lot of analysis, but ultimately this is a really hopeful result.

On election night the ABC ran this graphic, saying the number 1 concern for voters was climate change. Just makes you wonder why, in the face of it all, it was completely missing in the media campaign.

A TV on the wall showing the Australia Votes coverage with the caption 'Australians said climate change is the no. 1 concern at this election`. The graphic shows 25% of Aussies ranked it number 1, followed by 16% who said economy.

I’m miserable but I’m fine

This is a bit of a rant. Please skip it if you don’t want to feel worse.

The Omicron variant is tearing through Australia’s workforce, from health care and child care, to agriculture and manufacturing, to transportation and logistics, to emergency services.

The result is an unprecedented, and preventable, economic catastrophe. This catastrophe was visited upon us by leaders — NSW Premier Dominic Perrotet and Prime Minister Scott Morrison in particular — on the grounds they were protecting the economy. Like a mafia kingpin extorting money, this is the kind of “protection” that can kill you.

Jim Stanford @ The Conversation

It’s been a bit of a time. But not at all unexpected.

When we followed Morrison’s “plan” to open everything up for Christmas right as Omicron was tearing through the population vaccinated and unvaccinated alike it reminded me a lot of watching Europe slowly fall. Cases popped up in Italy then Germany then the south of the Netherlands, getting closer and closer while governments did sweet fuck all. Catastrophise much?

Merry Christmas I guess.

Mt Tibrogargan out the train window

I took the train to visit my parents over the holidays. It was a calculated decision: go early in the spike or not at all.

A few weeks earlier I’d grabbed a handful of RATs in preparation for things to come (who would have thought they’d become like hen’s teeth) so I was feeling okay about the risk. But on the train, despite being law, a majority of folks and one staff member just took their masks off once we were underway.

It reminded me a lot of the repatriation flight back from Europe: twenty five hours and eighteen thousand kilometers in a metal tube heading into the unknown. No idea whether the air I’m breathing will be what kills me. A resolve to mask up and sleep the entire journey until hunger overrides everything and I slip the mask off for long enough to scarf down the little airplane meal while trying not to breathe.

Christmas was fine. I spent a couple of days working from the side deck which was somewhat optimistic considering the temperatures were hitting the mid 30s. But truly my parents live in a wonderful place and I really appreciated the greenery. It sort of inspired me to fix up my own courtyard in the new year.

A laptop and water bottle on a table, looking out over a garden

I’d made a personal resolution to vlog my christmas, and given my Sony camera just stopped working I had to do it on my phone. For some reason the Sony had an exhausted battery & wouldn’t charge using the cable I took with me, but it sprung right back to life when I got home.

The vlog was kind of interesting because excluding a few medicated moments I was a wreck for the entire holidays. I wasn’t really happy with the video, it was a bit disjointed and the quality wasn’t up to my standards. But people seemed to enjoy it, and I was surprised by how many different bits folks picked out as their favourites. So in the end even though I was too caught up in my own stuff, recording the little moments to tell a larger story kinda worked. Note to self.

Because of the massive rise in case numbers, rather than catching the train my folks drove me home. They stayed a night at my place before visiting every single family member within three generations.

Since then, like seemingly the majority of Brisbane, I’ve been on lockdown lite. It’s not that places are closed as much as there just aren’t any places I want to go right now. So I’m laying low, just waiting for the next thing. Surviving.

But like seemingly the majority of the world I’ve also been fixing up my little corner of it. I already installed screens last year so I can keep the insects out and naturally cool my apartment. At the end of this month my proper curtains are being installed. I finally got around to putting up some cute fairy lights, and when the outdoor chairs I had my eye on went on sale Ben convinced me to unload my wallet and get em. So after about 6 months this place is really turning into home. It’s my little oasis. I couldn’t be happier.

An outdoor patio, with two garden chairs and LOTS of plants

So to speak. It’s been a slog. I feel like Australia is now in the throes of that first wave most of the rest of the world experienced in 2020 and it’s really shown what we’re made of. There’s no protein (let alone meat) in the supermarkets, the ones that are even still open. Test and trace collapsed within days, and fucking Smirko do-nothing Morrison is looking to win the next election despite presiding over the entire shitshow. It’s rough watching all this stuff that we knew was going to happen, yet somehow nobody planned for, all the while having to just plug on and keep working like everything’s fine.

I’ll be honest the thing that’s kept me going for most of the year is making to-do lists. Simple things that I can pick up to break myself out of the absolute listlessness that’s underscored this latest wave. That, and I finally fixed my bike so I’ve been enjoying riding after work. Bike rides are on my list.

Bikeway, the go between bridge, the Brisbane Skyland in the background. On the left there's street art on a column for the coronation drive overpass, painted with geometric symbols and a pair of drag queen eyes.

When Dad was here he mentioned the tap water tasted disgusting, so I ordered a water filter jug along with some other items I needed from Kmart. When the water I’d been hoarding in the fridge ran out I realised that yeah, it does taste disgusting. The ABC says it’s because of rainfall and algae, natural and harmless. But my first thought went back to that article at the start of the pandemic outlining that probably a week into our supply chain failing we’d lose water treatment. Catastrophise much? But the jug arrived and while I’ve never much been one for filtered water, that first sip was heaven.

So this is what back to normal looks like I suppose. I’ve been trying to plan what my future looks like from here, but there’s not a lot to look forward to at the moment. New curtains at the end of the month? Everything else is just treading water and remembering to breathe.