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A Few Things You Should Know...

Tahlia Palmer: Steady Eye

A Few Things You Should Know...

Andrew Ryan

I was watching Question Time this week, and came to the alarming realisation that the carbon tax issue that Australia is dealing with- which is undeniably pressing, complex and history making- is being used as just another game by the opposition party to win over voters. I found this alarming because the proposed carbon tax is wonderfully symbolic of a leap towards cleaning up our economy, training Australians to use renewable energy sources and produce less waste, something integral to the continuation of life on this planet amongst as much biodiversity as we can save from this point onwards. Any negativity surrounding the debate only serves to divide the population and delay any movement towards the achievement of reducing our carbon emissions and raising awareness for greener living solutions.

I’ve written about the carbon tax before, but I will do so again because I truly believe that any action taken in reducing pollution is a good thing. A really, really good thing that has been too long in coming. This has nothing to do with being a liberal or labor supporter, nothing to do with being unpatriotic or having disrespect for farmers or any of that negative crap, this issue is PURELY about preserving future life on our planet, in the biggest, broadest and most important way.

The number one question that is repeatedly raised concerning the carbon tax is the cost to the average Australian family, who may already be struggling and couldn’t handle any rising costs of living. The answer given by Julia Gillard and her government is that a large proportion of the money taken from taxing the big companies for their CO2 emissions will be given back to individuals and families. Fairly fucking straight forward. Grants will be given out to switch homes and businesses to alternative energy sources and pensioner welfare will increase. As for employment, tradies that loose out under this plan will be able to be trained in a similar field that relates to renewable energy, there will be more work for certain industries, and new jobs created. As I have said before, life will be a bit different, but it won’t be so hard to adjust. Nor will it be to our detriment.

Opposition leader Tony Abbot is a professed disbeliever in climate change (it is “rubbish” apparently), and his party is disturbingly divided over the issue. They have a kind-of climate change plan to support their challenge of Labor’s plan, but the lack of belief in the urgency of our environmental decline is evident in the half arsedness of the plan. I know that pollution is a problem, regardless of whether or not climate change has been blown out of proportion, and I want my government to understand that too.

To take advantage of the unknowledgeable public and plant seeds of doubt in their minds does nothing more than severely delay the action the government is attempt to take. Calling for a re-election because Julia Gillard was voted in after promising not to bring in a carbon tax may technically be valid, but I think it could easily be averted if the government takes FAST steps to educate as many people as possible about what the carbon tax actually means. Put a special information program on primetime television twice in one week or something, put flyers in letter boxes, get all up in the social networking websites and focus on the POSITIVITY of CUTTING DOWN POLLUTION, how living greener is cheaper and better for the environment, and that our children won’t have to clean up an even worse mess if we act NOW. Do it for the kids Mum and Dad! Suffer a little now so that they don’t have to wear gas masks to leave house in 50 years. The APL could definitely improve their PR a little, and Liberal’s campaign aimed at “average Aussies” is doing nothing more than scaring people away from wanting to learn about the benefits of green living. Conservative media isn’t helping either. Actively creating delays like this means NOTHING GETS DONE.

There should be little wonder at why people get so frustrated with governments. I figure that 4 years is not long enough to make any significant changes to the way Australia works. To have a push and pull between the Liberals and the ALP every 3 years means that no long term issues get focused on properly. Maybe changing it so that we have a federal election every 10 years, and all other elections every 5 years will prove to be more beneficial for long term planning for the future. It’s something that probably should have been put in to effect at least 30 years ago, and maybe environmental, medical/mental health and indigenous issues would be closer to worked out by now. But hindsight is easy. Forward planning and long term solutions are harder, but far more worthwhile than “we should have done it differently”.

This stuff needs to get out. Do the research and get involved.
Start here and then maybe join this one and then maybe we can all come together sometime and chat about our vegetable gardens and stuff, and everyone will be happier. Spend less= work less. Good luck!