How to put climate action first this election

The big picture: Check out how the candidates in your electorate stand on climate at https://voteearthnow.com/ and how your current MP has previously voted on climate at https://theyvoteforyou.org.au

Why it matters: After months of rain, it’s hard to forget the floods that rocked most of Eastern Australia earlier this year. Twenty two people died and there was over $2.5 billion worth of property damage in Queensland alone. As a nation that in the last decade alone has struggled with intense fires, mass flooding and devastating droughts, it’s shocking that combating climate change isn’t universally one of a top priorities this election.

For one filmmaker, Damon Gameau, this latest disaster proved to be an especially tricky situation. Gameau spent the last two years working with WWF to put together his latest film ‘Regenerating Australia’. A 17 minute documentary that hopes to start the conversation around what solutions Australia can implement now to have a better 2030. Yet, as Gameau was hoping to tour the country pitching the film’s vision, his family was rocked by floods.

Lack of expedient Government financial and on the ground response left Gameau’s community stranded and fending for themselves.

“We need to just start being real about it and say, This is what happens in climate change.” Gameau said “Yes, we’ve had floods, and we’ve had La Niña years, but they’ve never been amplified in the way that they are by climate change. What all the scientists have been saying for a long time is that warmer air does hold more moisture and there’s more energy intensity in the system. So we’re going to continue to get these bigger events” (Find out more about the science here)

People who’s lives had already been torn apart by floods 5 years ago were once again thrown into chaos and had their sense of security shattered. “I mean, far out, they feel hopeless. And they think what am I going to do, where are we going to live? You know, because why would you rebuild in Lismore again, knowing what’s coming?” said Gameau.

In the last 30 years, we have adopted this sort of really extreme neoliberal model that commodifies everything and just strips away any of our humanity. That is an ill-equipped system for the current moment we’re in, whether it’s the war, whether it’s covid, whether it’s the climate crisis, we’re going to need humanity more than ever. So we have to find ways of bringing that back into our system.

Damon Gameau

It’s imperative that we put climate first this election. You need to use your vote to help support effective climate action that will drive change. The last few years have shown the Liberal Party have failed to support communities and their weak targets will not reach the bare emissions reduction target of 50% by 2030. We need a government that will deliver effective solutions for our communities, both in metropolitan and rural areas. If you want to find out about candidates in your local area, check the links below or listen to the podcast to hear more about Damon’s journey.

Find out more:

Listen to my full chat with Damon:

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