Action Card - February 2020

Australia - Future Challenges - from Christopher Garland in Australia
1. Pictures of devastation caused by this seasonís Australian bushfires have been seen
round the world. For us, as for many living in Australia, the impact has been
compounded by acrid smoke in the air, biting into our lungs, a red sun above and an all-
enveloping orange hue around us. There has been an immediate upsurge of
compassion for those who have lost lives, loved ones, homes and livelihoods and for
animals facing extinction. Yet issues concerning cause and effect of the fires cannot be
avoided. Here in Australia, the Government remembers that it was voted in by those
concerned for jobs and prosperity which are seen to rely on the mining of coal and other
resources. The governmentís go-ahead to the huge Adani coal mine project in
Queensland, for the sake of promised jobs and despite negative environmental impact is
a case in point. Although denial of climate change is becoming steadily more
untenable, there are many here who put effective land management and clearing of
combustible undergrowth as their main priority.
2. Yet even in Australia, recognition of the impact of climate change is growing.
Advocates, including former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, have pointed out that this
year has been a tipping point in the increase of bushfires, the deepening of drought and
our understanding of their link with climate change, but because of its resources of wind,
sun, and scientific and technological skill Australia can still find an alternative future
through exploring renewable energy and by working with rather against the capacity of
the natural world to restore balance.
3. On this issue, Anglican EcoCare Newcastle has a very good Facebook page and can be
emailed at ecocare@newcastleanglican.org.au.
As we seek to work with nature, as stewards, rather than against it, as exploiters,
many are talking about how much we can learn from Aboriginal culture about
living in harmony with the land. Such conversations are part of a wider
recognition of how far Australia has to go in showing full respect to Aboriginals
and to incorporating them in Australian political conversation
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