Monday, July 07, 2008

Oh no, he's at it again

The headline in Saturday's Age was one I have been wanting to see for a very long time: "Act now or face disaster". The subject: climate change. As you all know all too well, I have been, to put it bluntly, scared shitless for three years now by what appears to me to be the bleak future for human life on this planet, and every day of inaction, at least as it seems to me, puts the day of reckoning one day closer. I have always been a pessimist by nature, but the way my mind is working at the moment, if the glass was more half-empty it would be as bone dry as the Murray Darling basin. (At the recent "Triumph of Landscape" exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia one of the standout Australian paintings was called something like "Floodwaters on the Darling River": a painting that isn't all that old (late 19th Century?) but feels like something out of ancient history.)

One thing I don't know is, has the rest of the world caught up to where I was three years ago? Or have things actually started to look worse even than that?

What I do hope is that the release, finally, of the Garnaut Report, and the attendant media avalanche, will go some way towards galvanising people's thinking: that this is an actual crisis we are facing (if not entering now). The time to act has to be now. The worst thing that could happen is that industry lobby groups, States'-rights advocates, and independent Senators derail the process by way of a thousand concessions. Already the signs are not good in this regard. But the government surely knows that it has to stand firm this time. Doesn't it?