The megafires and pandemic expose the lies that frustrate action on climate change

Tim Flannery

Scientist and conservationist Prof Tim Flannery, one of Australia’s leading writers on climate change: ‘I have hope that the Morrison government can lead Australia out of danger.’ Photograph: Carly Earl/The GuardianFire, Flood and Plague – essays about 2020

If there was a moment of true emergency in the fight to preserve our climate, it is now

  • This is part of a series of essays by Australian writers responding to the challenges of 2020

by Tim Flannery

. . . .

“Will the Morrison government act in time? There is one important difference between the pandemic and the climate emergency that may hinder prompt climate action. Pandemics grow quickly: one week there might only be a scatter of cases, but within a fortnight, without strong action, there could be thousands. By comparison, the climate emergency is slow-moving. The fate of Turnbull warns that those struggling against self-interest and climate denialism have a difficult job ahead of them.

One cause for optimism, however, lies in the fact that the megafires and the pandemic have exposed some of the lies told to frustrate action on climate change. That it would be “economy wrecking” to take action in the face of the climate emergency is one. Australian electors now understand that their government can do extraordinary things to protect them. . . . “

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