Climate change is already impacting our lives.
As it gets worse, we will be affected by more floods and storms, bushfires and droughts. Globally there will be less clean water and farmland available. This disproportionately affects those who have the least — women, Indigenous people and those living in exploited nations.
Capitalism cannot resolve the climate crisis.
It cannot because of its structured social and ecological irrationality. This is why, regardless of what the science tells us we should do, fossil fuels are still being burnt and sustainable energy systems still have to be fought for.
There is already too much carbon in the atmosphere.
The warming already in the system risks the crossing of various natural “tipping points” that would change the earth’s life support systems irreversibly on human timescales, and could raise temperatures further and faster. In this warmer world, maintaining large-scale agriculture would be difficult or impossible. Without a secure food supply, we can expect outbreaks of famine, disease and war.
Bringing greenhouse gas emissions under control will require fundamental changes.
As world temperatures are already creating dangerous climatic events, there is no amount of new greenhouse emissions that is safe. We must stop greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible.
Australia is one of the world’s worst culprits.
It has the highest per-capita rate of greenhouse gas emissions among advanced economies and a disproportionate responsibility for the historic emissions that have caused the current dangerous warming.
Emissions trading schemes in general are not a solution.
These schemes are riddled with loopholes and are designed to allow some polluters to delay emissions cuts, when we need all emissions to be cut as fast as possible.
Nuclear power is not a safe, clean, sustainable or viable energy solution.
The nuclear cycle begins with uranium mining. All the operating mines have a history of leaks, spills and accidents.
We have enough sun and wind to provide all our energy.
We also have the wealth to develop a renewable energy manufacturing industry and other appropriate technology. We can also provide this technology to countries with underfunded infrastructure, as a repayment of Australia’s climate debt for its historically high emissions.
Such a program would revitalise Australia’s dying manufacturing industry.
It would provide quality, skilled jobs for tens of thousands of people. It would also put Australia in a position to go from one of the worst climate offenders in the world to being an important part of the solution.