typing is not activism….

environ mentalism, fresh articles, interviews & checkitouts from Sydney.

Plain and simple, this weekend in Australia means…

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Like a forest lost for the trees, the constant stream of media, advertising, news, conversations, and emails is almost enough to blur the significance of this election as it looms large just hours from here.

Apart from everything that can be said and has been said, there is one fact of which amazingly little has been made. Three years ago, global warming was barely a blip on the political radar. This election, many voters are ranking it as one of their top four priorities.

Despite the tireless work of The Greens over many years, it is fair to say that more than any other issue in recent memory this is a dazzling example of bottom-up grassroots campaigning gaining an issue broader mainstream awareness. Tim Flannery, Clive Hamilton, Wendy Frew and Al Gore fit somewhere in there too.

And could the timing be any more dramatic? Barely a week after the election, the incredibly massive Bali climate change conference will be working out the future of the global response to the increasingly obvious.

Excuse me for sounding like a credit card ad, but we’re talking 11 days, 198 countries, 3,000 journalists, and 10,000 delegates. Being a part of that? Priceless!!

More immediate than the economy, IR reform, hospital innovations, skills training, education and the mining boom, this is as clear as the consequences of this weekend for all us Aussies can get.

On December 2nd, Australia will once again be the laughing stock of a major global meeting, probably disparaging India and China, and again being locked out of high level talks that will determine the future use and constraints of natural resources, species, industry, border security, and precious natural environments. Oh yes, and trillions of dollars in future earnings and damage abatement.

OR, our representatives will be attending to deposit a letter committing to fully ratify Kyoto and signed by the Prime Minister. For the first time in years, Australia will be embraced by the global community as it faces this massive challenge and America shall finally be without an ally in ‘but they were doing it too’.

For all Australians, what happens in 2 days time is a very big deal. Thanks in part to media bloviation, it is also becoming somewhat abstract.

It is increasingly a din that drowns the senses and numbs the mind. Exciting. Anxious. Huge. Frustrating. Hopeful. Cracker night with pencils.

But for something tangible, consider this: the U.N. reports on climate change have been conservative for the last decade to diminish accusations of exaggeration. But the latest, most thoroughly researched and comprehensively certain observation is this – the Inconvenient Truth ‘ten years to act’ scenario is gone.

We are in the end zone. The global community must initiate decisive action within the next 3 years for any chance that future generations might live as part of a world as rich in natural treasures as ours has been.

On that first weekend in December, a week after this election, the die shall be cast. We, as a nation, shall be either pariah, or prodigal.

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