The climate emergency has arrived, writes Dr Michael Schien. With the first degree of the predicted four degrees of warming by 2100, this 11,000 kilometre fire front is stretching our capacity to respond, while weeks of smoke have replaced the clean air that our forests usually provide us for free. Positive change means facing at least two major issues.
First is the reality that politicians are poorly equipped to make decisions benefiting the national interest.
The second issue is our love affair with fossil fuels, and the lie that transitioning to renewables will cost jobs.
Our potential is enormous. But so far, our government has failed us.
To break the gridlock, emergency chiefs have proposed establishing a panel of experts; engineers, scientists, indigenous and other leaders, to meet in early 2020, triage our challenges and start adapting to them.
It would recognise that true security involves a healthy planet, meaningful jobs, great health care and education. All areas where politics has failed.
Dr Michael Schien is a Newcastle GP, a member of Doctors for the Environment Australia and convenor of the DEA agriculture and food special interest group.
Read the full article in the Newcastle Herald on 30 December 2019.