We need an independent climate change movement

May 30, 2009

On May 4, Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) head Don Henry said: "We have achieved a significant step forward on climate change." The achievement was convincing the federal Labor government to merely consider adopting a target of a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

The problem is that this "step forward" was a sweetener intended to distract everyone from the fact that the government was making the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) even more appealing to big business.

In response to criticisms that the ACF is selling out to the Labor Party, Henry wrote: "Our charitable status would be imperilled (sic) by any action that could be interpreted by a hostile government as being party-oriented."

What in fact happens is that, in order to protect their "charitable status", these groups will not allow themselves to be seen as too political or critical of the government, thereby constraining their ability to fight for drastic change.

In Australia, big polluting corporations like Rio Tinto have the real say over how the economy is run. At the end of the day, Kevin Rudd and all politicians answer to them.

All of history shows that politicians must be forced to act in the interests of the majority of people and the planet, instead of the big corporations.

Resistance works to help build a climate change movement that will act independently of the current system (the capitalists and their politicians).

We aim to help empower ordinary people — workers, students, communities — to take action themselves, not simply look to specialists in peak bodies like ACF, or politicians like Rudd who promise change, but fail to make the radical changes needed to save the planet.

We campaign for positions that reflect humanity's and the planet's needs, and put demands on the government that reflect these positions, such as the call for 100% renewable energy by 2020.

We believe that people are educated and empowered through their direct experiences, and in the movement argue for open, inclusive organising methods in which the people who make the decisions are the ones who carry them out.

We support collective action through rallies and marches, community pickets, direct action and so on, as the best means of putting pressure on the government to act. This shows people that they are not alone in their opinions, and draws more people into the movement.

Most of all, we need a movement that is united and collectively organised so that we can collectively learn from our mistakes together and determine the best way forward for saving humanity and the planet.

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