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  • Writer's pictureGregory Andrews

Grass Roots Awakening: Rising CO2 Levels And Temperatures Demand Political Change

Despite all the talk about climate action from our politicians, the largest ever year-one-year increase in CO2 levels in the world's atmosphere just occurred. In March, the global average concentration of CO2 grew by 4.7 parts per million compared to 2023. This is the largest jump ever recorded according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Meanwhile, a distressing report from The Guardian, which surveyed hundreds of the world’s leading climate scientists, indicates that we are not just failing to meet the goals set by the Paris Agreement but are on track to exceed global temperature increases well beyond the target limits. Nearly 80% of IPCC scientists now predict global warming of at least 2.5°C this century, with devastating consequences for current generations and our ecological world.

This prediction isn't just a number; it foretells a future riddled with extreme weather events - more intense and frequent heatwaves, bushfires, floods, and storms - that will lead to deaths, famines, conflicts, and mass migrations. Despite the dire warnings, our political leadership continues to prioritise immediate economic gains and vested interests over our future. It's an approach that many scientists describe as a path to a "semi-dystopian" future.

Climate scientists are not just warning us about the consequences of inaction - they're visibly frustrated and despondent about the political will, pace and scale of effort. I am too. Vested interests, particularly fossil fuel industries, are a significant barrier to effective climate policies. Our Government's recent Future Gas Policy announcement is a classic example. In the face of an escalating climate crisis, it commits Australia to expanding gas production and exports out to and beyond 2050.

The reality of climate change demands robust and immediate action - not by 2050, not next year, not tomorrow, but today. Every fraction of a degree of warming that can be avoided will count. The cost of inaction and delay is too great and the window to secure a safe planet is closing. It's time to hold our leaders accountable and challenge the status quo.

That's why the battle against global warming has become as much or more about politics as it is about science and technology. True change - sustainable and impactful - requires political will and action. In Australia, supporting credible independent candidates in the upcoming election can be a transformative strategy. Figures like David Pocock and the Teals have already demonstrated the powerful impact that independents can have on national policy. More of them in our Parliament can help achieve a balance of power that prioritises our future over partisan interests. Independents may be our best hope for a safe future.

This is active hope - a belief in the power of our collective political actions to forge a path towards a better world. The major parties are trapped by their vested interests. They're not cutting the mustard. But we can energise, mobilise and vote for our planet's future.

Graphic from the Guardian.

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