Climate change action would help farmers

Tony Smith OAM, Sale


OUR federal member may well encourage all levels of government to support our drought affect farming families, but while the government that he is a minister of, and indeed colleagues of his own party, shamelessly ignore accepted science and promote expansion of the fossil industry, that would be like putting a Band-Aid on a ruptured artery.

Yes, our farming community needs support, but how about some real, long term benefits, not sticky plasters.

Opening up Queensland’s Galilee Basin to the nine mines currently proposed would effectively double Australia’s coal production and would alone generate enough CO2 emissions to exceed the world’s 7th largest emissions by country (Australia is currently ranked 14th).

At the same time, the Adani Carmichael coal mine planned to draw 12.5 billion litres of water per year from the Suttor River — nearly as much as all of the local farmers combined.

That’s just one of the nine mines.

Yet the federal government, led by some vocal national party senators who are supposed to look after country folks, and a few loud Liberal back benchers can’t see beyond coal and think this is OK.

It is widely accepted that burning of fossil fuels is a major contributor to global warming and directly responsible for the changing climatic patterns that we are currently experiencing, and that have been worsening for many years.

Last year saw the hottest four years in history.

Eighteen of the 19 hottest years on record (1884 to 2018) have occurred since 2000. (The exception is 1998).

And judging by the start to 2019, this trend looks set to continue.

All of the other indicators are also in place — highest surface and deep ocean temperatures, highest global atmospheric carbon dioxide, the number and intensity of extreme weather events, bushfires in winter in both hemispheres — yet still no action, or even recognition at federal level (thank goodness for state Labor and at least some leadership).

The most effective way to help drought affected farmers, their communities and indeed the rest of the planet is for this federal government to join with the rest of the world, recognise that immediate action to change our ways of the past is required and either get on with it, or get out of the way and let others do it.