By Michelle Hamrosi, mother of 3, Bateman Bay GP.
Alice Walker once said “Activism is my rent for living on the planet.”
I don’t know about you, but I’ve mostly lived rent free, not giving too much of a second thought about my impact on the environment. Things dramatically changed for me when I had children. I made a commitment to read more about pertinent issues - such as climate change - when my youngest was just 6 months.
As I began to understand the science of the anthropocene - the new uncharted era we have entered thanks to carelessly polluting our atmosphere and recklessly clearing much of the earth’s forests - I became deeply concerned for my children’ future. That is why I joined a small group of locals today, calling on the government to focus on a healthy recovery, not more fossil fuels, including gas.
The next generation, our young people, should be our government’s vested interest. But instead they are selling their future short, for a quick quid. The bisectional relationship between both parties, corporately owned press and the coal/gas/minerals council, is crippling our democracy and blinding our politicians to act in our best interests.
Local campaign organiser Geoff Berry said: “The gas industry ‘bail-out’ announced by the Federal Government defies logic, economics, expert opinion and works against our international climate commitments. Experts, states and territories and much of the public agrees that Australia has a chance to become a renewable energy superpower, and that we need a green COVID-19 recovery. A taxpayer-subsidised 'gas-led recovery', boosting emissions, while other industries suffer, is a fundamental breach of public trust.
“In the Eurobodalla, our horrific summer of bushfires gave us a glimpse into our disastrous climate future. Climate change-fuelled megafires, lives lost, countless cost to flora and fauna and communities destroyed and traumatised are already our reality, yet all we here from our federal leaders is spin, excuses and denial about the reality we face. We must invest in renewable energy, now, and do everything we can to protect our natural environment. We don’t have another moment to waste.”
Jesse Rowan, a small business owner and mother of three, puts it simply…
"I have attended every school strike to support our children's call to politicians to take action to preserve their future. I am very saddened that our children grow up feeling afraid and a sense of hopelessness as they watch politicians continue to make poor decisions that ignore scientific evidence. Continuing to invest in gas is not a Recovery, it is taking us further down the path of climate destruction, and it's a poor investment with no returns for our society, only for the few fossil fuel companies and their investors. Renewable energies are cheaper and safe, and it's a no-brainer. I am so proud of these informed young people who are standing up bravely in an adult way, while our leading politicians act like ignorant children."
As a doctor, it’s against the law for me to accept gifts or donations from pharmaceutical or other medical industries – these are safeguards for us, and for you, as patients. These rules make doctors a more trusted profession.
So, how is it that politicians and political parties can receive donations from polluting fossil fuel industries? According to data from Market Forces, In 2018-19, fossil fuel companies donated (a minimum of) $1,897,379 to the ALP, Liberal and National parties. Our major parties continue to vote against a Federal Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). The (unelected) head of the ScoMo-appointed National COVID Coordination Commission, making recommendations on billions of dollars of recovery spending, is gas company executive Nev Power.
How can we stand to see such brazen corruption, eroding any hope of meeting our climate Paris agreements?
Charlie Bell, a retiree from Tomakin, agrees: “The kids care, it's their future. They need our support.”
Hoping things will get better just won’t cut is any more. We all need to pay an active part in being part of the future we choose.
Alice Ansara, Moruya mother of two, and local producer and radio star on 2EAR, shared her thoughts as to why she supports the strike…”At the very least, I want to be able to look my now 2 and 4 year old children in the eyes when they are older and tell them, 'darlings, I did everything that I could'. I am striking because I want them to live and survive and thrive.”
We can all agree with want a future our children survive and thrive in. That is why I am calling on all members of our community to join us in sending a message to our government.
Today many across the nation joined to tell the government Fund Our Future, Not Gas At a local level we too assembled with Covid cautions to have our voices included.
If you want to be part of a local community group that has a focus on our future then join Eurobodalla350.org to be part of the movement.