thomas m wilson

Climate Protest in Perth.

November 4th, 2006

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There is no beating green and gold. Today in Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide, Canberra and Perth, people who you would not normally call ‘environmentalists’ came out in their thousands and protested our government’s inaction on the climate crisis. In Trafalgar Square, London┬áthirty thousand people marched (check out some photos), while in a country half the size of England, Melbourne boasted forty thousand participants and Sydney, forty thousand. This has been the biggest march on the biggest issue on the planet, to date.

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Every man and his dog put there right foot forward on the streets of Northbridge, in Perth. If you are reading this blog from outside Australia, this placard is more explicable if you know that our prime minister’s surname is Howard. I made this placard, along with four or five others I handed out, including ones which said: CAPTAIN HOWARD: FOSSIL FOOL AT THE HELM, and CARBON TAX NOW, OR YOU’RE DOING NOTHING.

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Blow your horns, blow your triumphant horns!

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Back-stage comment. As the hearts of men become increasingly arid, so too will the desertification of the earth creep forwards. This saying has taken on a new, quite literal meaning in light of the climate crisis issue and its effects in south-west Australia. Perth normally has around 870ml rainfall each year (falling mainly in May to October), which isn’t that dry compared to many places in the world. However since the 1970s human-induced climate warming has caused it to drop 25%, and by 2020 it is predicted to drop another 20%. The average run-off into Perth’s water reservoirs since 1996 has been 115 gigalitres, compared with 339 before 1975. That is a big drop. So people in this city have started to feel the local effects of the global climate crisis and scratch their heads, wondering why their elected government isn’t taking care of the national interest.

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Humour’s satirical barb at the end of the march (drawn by Bill Leak).

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Let us hope that Australia won’t forever look like such a rogue state. No, hope isn’t good enough. Time to get out of that chair.