Australia’s New Foreign Minister Uses Opening Speech To Talk About ‘The Grim Reality’ Of Manmade Climate Change
"Australia’s New Foreign Minister Uses Opening Speech To Talk About ‘The Grim Reality’ Of Manmade Climate Change"
The Australian Climate Commission said last May we must act now or “the global climate may be so irreversibly altered we will struggle to maintain our present way of life.”
In the lead up to passing a comprehensive climate bill last year, the Australia’s political ‘debate’ over climate change became downright vicious. Some deniers actually threatened climate scientists and politicians who supported taking action to price greenhouse gas emissions.
In response to the ongoing war being waged by denial groups, Australia’s new Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, used his opening speech to the Senate to focus on the importance of addressing climate change. As former Premier of New South Wales, Carr has been outspoken on climate issues throughout his political career. With his new office in the Senate, he continues to sound the drumbeat:
“The land we call our own … is being transformed, as is the rest of the planet. Since the late 80’s I’ve been an unapologetic believer in the grim reality that human activity is changing the earth’s climate,” he said this week. Australia’s ABC News reported on the speech:
“But what if this shock, this chemical experiment with the Earth’s atmosphere is only the first of a series of shocks we might sustain?” he said.
“What about the change in the chemical composition of the oceans as they absorb more and more of the carbon our civilisations have been emitting?”
Senator Carr also used his speech to outline his vision for the way Australia can help promote tolerance between cultures and religions.
“Running foreign policy is about protecting our national interest … but it is also about being an exemplary global citizen when it comes to protecting human rights and protecting the world’s oceans,” he said.
In 2008, Carr gave a speech at the University of New South Wales, in which he called climate change deniers “the present danger.”
The Obama Administration, which has fallen completely silent on climate change and defending scientists from attacks, could learn something from Carr’s approach (see also “Aussie PM Gillard gives climate speech Obama won’t“).