Name-calling and denial from our political leaders fails those suffering from the predictable effects of catastrophic global warming, a conference on the religious response to the climate emergency has heard.
Professor Lesley Hughes, of the Climate Council, told the inaugural Australian Religious Response to Climate Change conference that even conservative scientific predictions foresaw the likelihood of the unprecedented fires and droughts that Australia was experiencing.
The conference, which was held in Canberra on 8-10 November, heard that even in the face of this evidence, Australian emissions had been rising since the carbon pricing legislation was scrapped by the Abbott Government.
ARRCC President Thea Ormond said federal leaders had also ignored the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s warnings that new gas and coal mining was incompatible with a safe climate.
“Political leaders who say that concerned citizens are lunatic, city-based greenies fail to acknowledge the worrying basic facts that global average temperatures are rising and seas are acidifying,” Thea said.
“People in the bush are being failed by denialist-led governments who refuse to support new pathways to economic prosperity, and instead rely on old formulae.
“They are paying the highest price for the mismanagement of water resources today. People in the bush are also being robbed of a viable future by government support for coal and gas exports and unsustainable models of agriculture.”
Thea said a positive attitude was needed to act.
“Hope is necessary if we are to take action. Giving up is not an option,” she said.
Wembley Uniting Church Minister Rev Elizabeth Raine agreed, saying: “Mobilising people in our churches, forming networks, and protesting to push our government to take meaningful action on climate change is imperative.”
Synod Social Justice Worker Timothy Molineux was among a number of other UCA people who attended the conference, along with representatives of various Christian denominations, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and other faith traditions.
You can read Queanbeyan Uniting Church minister Rev Dr John Squires’ reflections on the conference here.