Is it finally time for climate and public opinion to come together? 255

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The Paris Climate Summit kicks off today. But we have to ask if the consensus is strong enough for worldwide politicians to put their heads and their careers on the line? Have we finally reached the point where action can be supported? Share your thoughts.

The Lowy Institute says that 60 per cent of Australians want to see action ahead of this week’s Climate Change Summit, and yet our country sits as one of the worst offenders in the world on the issues.

Marches were held across the world over the weekend, putting foot to pavement to show how solid public concern is getting. In each country in the western world the political courage is growing stronger, even in Australia which has had very powerful growth of opinion since 2012 when the introduction of the carbon tax temporarily halted constructive debate.

There is another interesting observation, and that is that public climate change opinions have often been in opposition to the government of the day meaning that addressing the issues prior to now has been relatively impossible.

This week though it seems that public opinions and government opinions in Australia might be aligning to finally see climate change hit the agenda of the people and the government at the same time.

Back in 2006 when we all first started to worry about climate change and global warming, John Howard told us it was not important, and refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.  Coal was critical to our nations success. In 2008, Kevin Rudd said he would tackle climate change and all of a sudden our interest disappeared.  He introduced an emissions trading scheme that became a reality and a nightmare for the Labor Party. This was followed under Julia Gillard by The Carbon Tax, a political nightmare that drove protests that saw their demise. And then Abbott who came into power because of the political pain wound the tax back but eventually was said to have ignored an important environmental issue rising.

So today we sit with a new leader awaiting a new position on climate change.  At the same time, the western world is in a major period of global engagement on terror, brining it closer and to a more co-operative point than it has been for years, and potentially, this is the time for action.

Our Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull sits on the other side of the world for the Climate Change Summit and can potentially use this moment to bring Liberal and Labor together for the good of society.  It will all be about timing…

Do you think the time is right now for politics and the will of the people to come together to acknowledge climate change and take action? 



Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. My personal opinion. Yes carbon reduction will help stop polluting the planet. However the world’s gravity pulls it further to and near to the sun while rotating on its axis. Climate has changed hence this way for millions of years. If you believe in evolution then it it is an obvious ‘change’ that causes animals to change and fish to come out of the water onto land. Again my opinion on what I have studied. 😷🙉🐦🐢🐳☔🌞⛄🌿🌈

    3 REPLY
    • Climate change and evolution are 2 different issues, for millions of years there was no land , volcanic activity formed the land on the surface and that gave life new territory and new food sources it also caused evolution to kick start on land There is 3 times the amount of water inside the earth as the outside, we truely live on a water planet

    • Oxygen accumulation from photosynthesis resulted in the formation of an ozone layer that absorbed much of the Sun’s ultraviolet radiation, meaning unicellular organisms that reached land were less likely to die, and prokaryotes began to multiply and become better adapted to survival out of the water. Prokaryote lineages[135] had probably colonized the land as early as 2.6 Ga[136] even before the origin of the eukaryotes. For a long time, the land remained barren of multicellular organisms.

    • Ok David James. Both different matters but evolving through climate on way or the other. How about rotation of the earth around the sun. Do you not think it can tilt on its axis?
      Or do you think gravity never changes as we revolve around the sun.
      What do you think about land suddenly evolved out of the sea. Other land sinking. We are not a static planet. Even our mood swings and the tides are effected by the moon. It sure as eggs does not change the tides due to pollution supposedly caused by climate change. Moon waxes and wanes so do our moods.
      PMT moment right now.

  2. The climate changes from day to day, week to week, year to year, always has and always will !!

    16 REPLY
    • the ALARMISTS are out in force turncoat will do his best for his banking & trader mates to make trillions out of this scam don’t worry

    • Biggest rip-off this century and we’re the ones who lose. Also our kids, grandkids and great grandkiids. Paying for fresh air is absolutely ridiculous. Once they get this crap through, we won’t hear anymore about how hot or cold the earth is, just about the incredible billions we have to pay out.

    • It’s the weather that changes, climatic change is much slower and is measured over greater time.

    • Seriously….it is speeding up. There wasn’t pollution and smog, and rubbish in the oceans, and de-forrestation…get with the programme.

    • That’s just it Owen, I’m not hiding under the bed…I can see what’s happening..not like so many others here.

    • In other words ,if I don’t agree with you go away,( I was going to say piss off but don’t want to be rude) with one guess I would say you are a Labor voter or worse still a Greens voter (God help us if you are).

    • Nope other way around actually. What I think we should be doing is working towards a solution for the way we are destroying our world not arguing with each other like kids in the playground. You can tell me to piss off gentleman that you are but I’m not going anywhere.

  3. Had a few more there than reclaim rally’s didn’t they 🙂 Deny climate change at your grandchildren peril, they will be the ones who suffer as the globe heats up

    7 REPLY
    • Deny that we have a problem with ISAS and are grandchildren will suffer. A lot of people are unemployed ask them would they prefer a job or money that we haven’t got to help Climate Change. Alot of people who attend rallies do so because they are bored and they really don’t know how the Government runs. for instrance it takes money to deal with climate change and all Countries to contribute and not say things that they now is impossible to reach. The climatge sumit starts today do you really think the leaders would be there if they didn’t want to find a solution to climatge change.

    • Cheryl Siddon !… people attend rally’s because they are bored??? really?? people attend rallys because they actually care and want to do something, show they are in unison asking the govts to act… its what we pay them for…… as for ‘money’.. there is plenty to waste.. and so much to do that would cost very little… I hope you get to read up on some of them .. oh as for the ‘summits’ they have all agreed many things in the past…just not put it into practise… its just another rort by pollies to waste our money…..havent they heard of skype? as far as I know no-one has denied there is a problem with either ISIS or unemployment… putting many options into place would give people jobs! perhaps its you that does not know how this works?

    • Cheryl Siddon or get paid by get up. Most rallies have the great unwashed who live by betting paid to go to all the protests

    • Moslim ideology will get them long before climate change does if we’re not careful Rosalind ……..

  4. In fact, the Sydney rally attracted at least 20,000 people and 5000 in Canberra, plus around 10,000 in Brisbane on Saturday. That is quite turnout of people marching for action

    6 REPLY
    • David, exactly what changes are these people rallying for?

    • David James In Qld new Windmill farm announced biggest in Qld 70 steel turbines , STEEL !!!! need coal, 10 year life time, Don’t work unless the wind is just right, still need the grid or you don’t have power AND the biggest problem The farmer get $10K per windmill, The OWNER gets $400K per year, Can you explain Where the money comes from to pay farmer & owner .

    • Hey David James you wrote “In fact, the Sydney rally attracted at least 20,000 people and 5000 in Canberra, plus around 10,000 in Brisbane on Saturday. That is quite turnout of people marching for action”

      You left out the many MILLIONS who didn’t attend these rallies. They are a drop in the ocean and consist mainly of GULLIBLE FOOLS falling for the greatest scam of our time GLOBAL WARMING which became CLIMATE CHANGE once the warming stopped circa 1990!

    • David your figures are way on the high side, similar to the press I might add, plus most were brainless kids just having a day out.

  5. in New Zealand we have a prime minister who thinks he is god and claims we have nothing to worry about but this man JOHN KEY says this in the same way as he says everything and so far it has all been lies, we believe it is happening but KEY only believes in money and that will stop climate change happening

    2 REPLY
    • John Key is the best PM New Zealand has had for many, many years which is why NZ is doing so well and why he was voted in again – look around you at other countries and see the idiots who run them before you speak …..

    • the best how come we are over 100 billion dollars more in debt than when he became prime minister and our country is not doing well also a pm is supposed to consult the voters on major changes key is doing everything to ruin our country and not telling us the voters what he is doing until he has under handly done it ,and you think he is good being the most corrupt man in nz he probably pays tax payer money to people like you to like him

  6. I find it amazing that there are still some in this country who cannot accept the scientific evidence of anthropological global warming. I guess they also still believe that cigarette smoking does not have a health impact. Whilst we >60 will not see the worst impacts of our failure to address this issue our children and theirs will. The time has already gone for us to impact on some of these changes but we need to act NOW to minimise the rest.

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    • And there are some in this country who haven’t read enough about history, geology and associated subjects to make an informed choice. There’s this big oval up there in the sky and it could fry or freeze our planet without any effort on our parr. Nor is there anything we could do to stop it.

    • Do you belive in God Rob Weaver ? show me the scientific evidence that says God is real..but there is scientic evidence to say that man made climate change is real

    • How do you explain that the earth has been warmer, much warmer, than it is now, on several occasions in the past (I’m assuming you will be keen enough to do your own Googling). And, as far as I know, there has been only one industrial revolution, so what fuelled the extremely warm periods in the millennia before that? Another example, in 1815, a volcano in what is now known as Indonesia erupted and in the next couple of years, tens of thousands of people in places as far afield as northern Europe and north America died of starvation because the gases released blotted out the sun and prevented crops from growing. Fact, not science fiction – and there are any number of places on the web you can read about it. And when a body as “insignificant” as the Moon can affect our tides, what price would you put on the Sun’s ability to affect our climate? BTW, whether or not I believe in God has nothing to do with it (but, yes, I do).

    • And even if you choose not to believe them, would it not be a better world if we improved the environment for our children?

    • Rob Weaver its surperfluous to tell us that you believe in god mr weaver it goes with your denier mindst fear has killed your reasoning

    • I’ve been told that a climate deniers site on the internet is one of the most visited climate change sites there is. As it is so popular this must prove the deniers are more abundant than those agreeing climate change and humans impact on it is real. No it just proves the deniers have one or two sites among the thousands of climate science, environmental science, oceanographers and the like, now even financial that believe climate change is real. If you hunt about enough a statistic can be found showing something that might not support climate change, in some archipelago somewhere it’s got colder, or a similar article. The evidence that climate change is real and is happening at a much more rapid pace than it may have otherwise is overwhelming. I do think we should do more to combat it. We need however to look at history for the other big climate changers, when did we have the last eruption of a truly massive volcano that sent the world into a volcanic winter. So along with addressing climate change other strategies need to be thought out to survive such pneumonia.

    • Increase taxes. That will fix it. Remember that politicians are all-powerful and can do anything if we increase taxes. Let’s give them a big pay rise.

    • Marlene Baker Greenhouse gases are not mainly CO2. They are 97% water so you should call for the banning of water.

    • We have climate change and taxes were not increased with carbon tax.It was a zero sum game,. They increased the tax on carbon but gave people the money raised. That made other forms of energy more competitive or if people just cut down use gave them extra cash in the pocket. The leis abut this are criminal We have climate change and if you care one little bit about grandchildren you would demand action.

    • I cannot believe there are some in this country that won’t believe that the science is not settled and many are now questioning the assumptions – NASA for one has been caught out fudging the figures – but I suppose those guys aren’t scientists – they just send rockets to the the moon and stuff – nothing significant.

    • It’s not that people don’t believe it its just that they believe it’s a natural phenomenon not man made. If all the holier than thou ditched all carbon producing crap they use that would help. Although doing without power or cars or pubs or restaurants or factories etc could cause some problems. Did you drive or take public transport to your latest protest.

    • Many scientists say it’s a scam so which scientists do we listen to? I personally don’t think so called climate change will be the world’s biggest problem.

  7. i hope so, but i doubt it, if politicians in the same country can’t agree, is there any hope for international agreement?

  8. the planet has had climate change before, ice ages and such so it is a naturally occurring event. however now that humans are affecting the climate we do have a moral obligation to try and prevent it.

  9. I do believe human activity has increased climate change. I do think all countries should work toward reducing the impact of humans. We have acted like vermin on our planet, greed and selfishness see some among us still clearing forests, killing highly endangered animals and over fishing the seas. Plastic in the environment is another man made horror, its impact on ocean life is only now being understood and it is too late to combat much of that. Cleaning up our carbon pollution may put more emphasis on cleaning up those other practices too, or our great grandchildren will live on a much depleted planet

    3 REPLY
    • I agree Deborahkate but who do you suggest stops having kids. Should all us oldies take an end of life pill at 70 or 75.

    • Definitely not Barbara Easthope!!!!!
      It is unfortunate that 3rd world countries multiply at such rapid rates – I think Melinda Gates is one of the only people who has addressed this
      I am sure good old human rights activists would cause a problem but surely contraception could be provided???
      Educating women is a necessity…

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