I attended the launch of Safe Climate Australia over breakfast on Monday 13 July in Melbourne. The guest speaker was Al Gore, who I was very keen to hear.
I regard the Inconvenient Truth as one of the better movie-documentaries I have seen. It struck a chord with me when I viewed it, particularly Gore's observations about the shortcomings of the United States political system with respect to tackling climate change.
Gore speaks very well. His delivery is excellent. He engages the audience and looks about in a calm but forceful manner.
His content was good to. He spoke about the climate emergency the need for urgent action. But then he slipped up. He praised the Rudd government for displaying global leadership on climate change.
While this statement may be politically correct, it is factually untrue. Australia's proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme will not reduce emissions, but he didnt go into this.
I felt there was a gap between his rhetoric and his call for action. If governments around the world don't set the right policies and legislation to drastically reduce carbon emissions they will greatly hamper our ability to ensure a safe climate future.
We can't lock in failure to reduce carbon emissions, which is what the CPRS will do.
I think Gore was intent on delivering a positive message and unifying some of the fractures that have emerged between environment groups intent on political lobbying and those that are more closely aligned with the latest science and grass roots climate action groups.
However, as I have observed recently, our political process, the structure of our governments, and the influence industry has over them are part of the climate change problem at present, rather than part of the solution.
We need to build a movement with grass roots engagement that cannot be denied by recalcitrant goverments, and we need to recreate the political process so that people really do engage with it, trust it, and be truly represented.
This sounds odd doesn't it? Political and government systems that people want, like and trust! It is a real challenge to achieve this, but I feel we really need this to facilitate the paradigm shifts required to move to a low carbon society with a safe climate future.