I remember sitting on the floor of my lounge room in 2016 watching Leonardo DiCaprio’s documentary Before the Flood and feeling an array of emotions – fearful for the future and a burning anger towards climate change deniers. I wondered how ignorant people, who were so hell bent on neglecting facts, were the same people who were in charge of leading a country?
The same kind of ‘bury your head in the sand and hopefully the problem will disappear’ attitude is evident in Australia within our very own major political parties.
The other day I was reading an article about the Australian Conservation Foundation releasing a detailed and independent report in April this year which assessed the major political parties and the amount of climate change action each party will take if elected.
Each party was tested on its policies over four categories which were; ramping up renewables, phasing out coal, nature protection laws, and discontinuing Adani. The Greens unsurprisingly earned a whopping total of 99/100, while Labor scored 56/100 and the Coalition received a measly 4/100.
I would be lying if I said these results didn’t terrify me to the core. Climate change action should be the highest priority and the fact that a bunch of old men in suits get to stand around and avoid the issue because they won’t be alive to witness it is a little nerve racking to me. It’s almost like they’re putting their fingers in their ears and saying ‘well it doesn’t directly affect me so we will leave the younger generations to deal with it when it comes to it’.
The fact that millions of school kids around the world who don’t get a vote yet are out there protesting on the streets for their future poses a question – if a vote directly affects the future of our young people, should they be given the opportunity to have their own say?
Maybe they should, or maybe it is as simple as appointing youth ministers for exactly these issues so that young people can have their voices heard when the matter of contention directly involves them.
Who will I be voting for in the upcoming 2019 election?
The answer is the Greens and not because I’m some hippy loving, meditating, flower child but because I’m tired of hearing about politicians stabbing each other in the back when there are more important issues at hand. I’m tired of living in a first world country that commits to the bare minimum of climate change action and, to be completely frank, I’m tired of governments sitting back and just accepting that the world is doomed.