At the risk of repeating myself, I am so tired of the whole climate change debate. I have read and heard both sides of the argument, and it strikes me that just like many arguments, people have lost sight of what is really important in a concerted effort to come out on top. I am sure you know by now which side of the fence that I sit on, but let's just suppose for a minute that the climate change skeptics are correct and the current bush fire catastrophe has nothing to do with the warming of the planet. Which is happening - Irrefutably getting warmer. Ask any scientist you care to bring into the mix. And unlike Pauline Hanson I don't think it is because we are closer to the sun or whatever rubbish she is trying to pedal this week.
It kind of reminds me of the time, decades ago, when I was teaching in a Christian School, and I fronted up to work completely devastated because my cat had died the night before. Two of my colleagues decided that it was a good time to debate whether pets went to heaven or not. Both of them going at it hammer and tong, both determined to win, and neither noticing that I had left the room because I didn't care which of them was right. I am sure they were a bit annoyed that I didn't seem to care who had their theology correct; but I really didn't - couldn't give a toss.
In the same way, surely it is more important that we acknowledge that we are seeing suffering and damage that is off the scale - far worse than anyone has seen before, not just here, but anywhere? If climate change isn't happening, if there is no link between carbon emissions and the fact that our beautiful country will be forever scarred, then WTF is the Paris Climate Agreement all about? Why does the rest of the world think we need to stop living in denial and get our act together (Wake up Australia!)?
It is clear to me, at least, that those who don't want anything to change are very often the ones that are desperately clinging on to the way of life they have always known. Which in the case of your average rich white bloke, has been pretty sweet, less face it. Politicians deny climate change, because it is so much easier than having to deal with the uncomfortable truth and risking pissing off their rich white mates. Murdoch's press denies climate change because there is a direct link between the mining industry, conservative politics and his millions. But as Oprah has often said, when we know better, we should do better. Thankfully, the vast majority of Australians are stepping up and meeting the challenges head on. Some of them fighting fires, some of them rescuing wildlife, or manning support stations for victims, others giving what they can to help out. People are thinking of ingenious ways to help the planet. And when the dust (and smoke) has settled, I am guessing that there will be an unprecedented amount of money raised for an unprecedented crisis. Finally we are starting to listen to the wisdom of the First Nation People - wisdom based on tens of thousands of years living in harmony with our natural environment. Its a hard lesson to learn and a hard way to learn it, but I think the one of the few positive outcomes of this tragedy is that Australia has finally started to wake up! Let's not go back to sleep.