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Dr Gideon Polya
Dr Gideon Polya

2008 Walk Against Warming - Thousands of Australians Protest Government Inaction over Climate Emergency

Tens of thousands of decent Green Australians attended the 2008 Walk Against Warming that was held in Melbourne, Sydney and other Australian centres on November 15, 2008 to protest government INACTION over the mounting Climate Emergency

Shortly after the huge 2007 Walk Against Warming held around Australia, the newly-elected, extreme right-wing Rudd Labor Government actually signed the Kyoto Protocol but then proceeded to help the US sabotage the December 2007 Bali Climate Change Conference by refusing to agreed to defined targets (see “Bali Farce: Climate Criminal, Climate Racist US, Australia & Canada Threaten Bengal, India & the PLANETâ€).

Demonstrators at the 2008 Walk Against Warming hoped that they might – somehow – spur the lethargic, pro-Coal, climate criminal Australian Government into SOME action over the Climate Emergency.

Tens of thousands attended the rally at Martin Place in Sydney's central business district. For some photos of the Sydney Walk Against Warming click here.

Cate Faehrmann of the Nature Conservation Council was one of the speakers at the Sydney Walk Against Warming Rally stating that greenhouse gas pollution must be reduced "to the levels that science is telling us is necessary for a safe climate, not just to the level the fossil fuels industry can live with. How hard is it to stop logging our native forests and protect them in perpetuity to the vital role they play in stabilising our climate? How hard is it to build a fast and efficient rail service at the same time as you are planning new suburbs?"

8,000 people attended the Walk Against Warming rally in Melbourne, Australia. There was a similar huge Walk Against Warming rally in Melbourne. We were there at the Melbourne Walk Against Warming with our local Climate Action Group, the Yarra Valley Climate Action Group together with other Climate Action Groups associated with the Climate Emergency Network and the Climate Movement.

For photos of the Melbourne Walk Against Warming Rally click here - the big red on white banner stating CLIMATE EMERGENCY was held aloft by OUR local Yarra Valley Climate Action Group. See the OTHER side of our banner.

A succession of eminent speakers at the Melbourne Rally urged the public to get the Australian government to take urgent action to tackle the Climate Emergency facing Australia and the Planet.

Thus eminent Australia climate scientist and member of the Nobel Prize-winning IPCC, Professor David Karoly, stated that through existing pollution the world is ALREADY committed to temperature rises of 2 degrees Centigrade, massive polar region ice loss, massive sea level rises, massive ecosystem damage, coral reef damage and mass species extinction – he urged action to minimize the damage that is already in the pipeline.

The Melbourne Rally was addressed by video from “chilly†New York by US climate scientist Dr James Hansen (top US climate scientist; Director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies; member of the prestigious US National Academy of Sciences; 2007 Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility of the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science; for 1880-present NASA GISS Global Temperature graphed data click here: and http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/ ). Dr Hansen summarized the existing Climate Emergency, the dire threat to the Planet from combustion the huge remaining coal reserves and the urgent need for the public to become involved and insist on action.

One speaker told of the submergence of Pacific Islands that is happening NOW, and specifically of the Carteret Islands in Papua New Guinea. The speaker told how a system of maternal inheritance had operated there but the present mothers would not be able to pass their inheritance on to their daughters because it would be drowned due to rising sea levels due to global warming.

However the example given could just as easily have been of Bengali islands in West Bengal, India and in Bangladesh. Thus Lohachara Island, once home to 10,000 Indians, finally disappeared under the waves in 2006, see: “Disappearing world: global warming claims tropical island. For the first time an inhabited island has disappeared beneath rising seasâ€.

Climate Criminal Australia is not only disproportionately destroying the Planet – it is also in the process of destroying Australia’s (and the World’s) Great Barrier Reef (15% gone already and projected to die off completely above the MINIMUM atmospheric CO2 target of the Australian Government of 450 ppm), Australia’s Northern Territory Kakadu wetlands and the Murray-Darling River system (that covers one third of Australia, and which is involved in most of Australia’s agriculture).

The pro-Coal, pro-War Australian Labor Government and the pro-Coal, pro-War Liberal-Country Party Opposition (collectively known as the Lib-Labs) refuse to act to reduce Australia’s world-leading CO2 pollution – a position of greed, cowardice, climate racism and criminal irresponsibility that is simply explained by the reality that Australia’s coal industry , including its world-leading coal exports, is worth $100 billion and 25,000 jobs each year whereas the priceless Great Barrier Reef is only worth (in purely economic terms from tourism and fisheries ) $7 billion and 63,000 jobs each year (source).

To decent Australian who love their country the survival of the Great Barrier Reef is NOT NEGOTIABLE.

We all contribute to this mounting disaster, to the Climate Emergency and Sustainability Emergency but some countries do so disproportionately, most notably the oil-exporting Gulf States, the rain-forest destroying South East Asian states and racist, climate criminal (and war criminal) Western countries with the highest annual per capita fossil fuel-derived carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution – the US, Canada and Australia (for details see the Climate Emergency Fact Sheets of the Yarra Valley Climate Action Group).

Thus a Germanwatch is a German Climate Change Performance Index that compares the 56 worst greenhouse gas emitting nations on the basis of pollution contributions and policy directions. Of these countries in 2008, Sweden, Germany, Iceland, Mexico and INDIA are the BEST, ranking 1,2 3, 4 and 5 , respectively. However the very WORST polluters are Canada (#53), Australia (#54), the USA (#55) and Saudi Arabia (#56) (see source). however a key point made by these observers is that “even the winners are no winnersâ€.

Another comparison reveals that in terms of “annual per capita fossil fuel-derived carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution†Australia is the world’s #1 Developed Nation CO2 polluter. Consulting the US Energy Information Administration database we obtain the following information on “annual per capita fossil fuel-derived carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution†in “tonnes (t) per person per year†for Australia and other major polluters (2004 data): 19.2 (for Australia; 40 if you include Australia’s world-leading coal exports), 19.7 (the US), 18.4 (Canada), 9.9 (Japan), 4.2 (the World), 3.6 (China), 1.0 ( India) and 0.25 (for Bangladesh).

An appalling level of media, politician and academic censorship – an entrenched Culture of Ignoring , Denial and of lying by omission and commission - means that most Australians are unaware of Australia’s shocking “annual per capita exported and domestic fossil fuel-derived carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution†that currently (2008) stands at about 50 tonnes (t) per person per year and is set to increase enormously under the pro-Coal Rudd Labor Federal Government. Thus the Federal Governments election promise of “60% reduction of Domestic CO2 pollution by 2050†in actuality means a 50% INCREASE in Domestic plus Exported CO2 pollution by 2050.

Decent Australians can protest (as in the Walk Against Warming) and otherwise INFORM others about the Climate Emergency and appalling climate criminal Government inaction.What can decent people around the World do about this disaster due to climate criminal inaction?

Decent people around the World must defend their OWN country and their OWN people – as well as defending the Planet, including Australia’s own Great Barrier Reef that the climate criminal White Australians are in the process of KILLING - by (a) INFORMING others, (B) applying SANCTIONS and BOYCOTTS (e.g. as successfully applied against the UK-, US-, Apartheid Israel- and Australia-supported Apartheid régime in South Africa for denying equal rights to Indians and Africans) and © URGING their Governments to bring climate criminal Australia and like climate criminal countries to the International Criminal Court over ongoing Australian involvement in Climate Genocide – I have done MY duty as an Australian citizen and citizen of the World by doing exactly that (see "Formal complaint to the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court re Australian Government involvement in Aboriginal Genocide, Iraqi Genocide, Afghan Genocide and Climate Genocide").

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