Earlier this year, the planet lurched past 400 parts per million of CO2 — for the first time in human civilisation. That’s dangerously beyond the safe limit of 350 ppm – the number that scientists tell us is essential for a safe climate. Yet as we begin to create dangerous “new normals”, our politicians continue to ignore the facts. Tony Abbott is powering ahead with his plans to repeal the carbon price and introduce his laughable ‘direct action’ plan.
The moment has come – the moment to ask you to do important, challenging and powerful things. Last year Australia experienced an ‘Angry Summer’. Temperature records were smashed nationwide. And with the 12 months leading up to this September being Australia’s hottest on record, we can expect Summer 2013-14 to be one of extremes too.
This year we want to make it politically hot as well. That means we need you, out on the frontline. We need to show up and speak out. We need you to show Tony Abbott and the fossil fuel industry what direct action is really all about.
Around the country, communities are fighting on the front lines of Australia’s coal and gas expansion. In New South Wales, the Maules Creek community is determined to stop Whitehaven’s plans to start a massive mine in the Leard State Forest. In WA, gas mining in the Kimberley and Midwest wildflower country is being fought at every turn.
In Queensland, the fight over the Galilee Basin, which would involve nine new massive coal mines, is heating up. If the Galilee Basin is opened up for exploitation, the impact will be global. Just six or seven places on earth have concentrated stores of carbon as large as the Galilee’s. Unless the carbon within them remains in the ground, catastrophic climate change is a certainty.
We have never confronted such a dramatic and dangerous expansion of fossil fuel extraction. It is time not only to challenge these projects individually, but to challenge this extreme expansion in a united effort. We need to fight it at every turn.
We’re calling this next phase of the fight “Summer Heat.” Over Summer 2013-14, from Northern Queensland to the South West of WA, we’ll be delivering the message that it’s time to stop the reckless expansion of the fossil fuel industry in Australia. And that means it’s time to stand up – peacefully but firmly — to the industry that is wrecking our climate, and our future.
We believe that mass action can breathe life into even the most hardened political fights, and so these actions will aim to unite thousands of people — perhaps sometimes on the other side of the law.
For those on the front lines these fights are often, understandably, about the local immediate impacts. And now all of us together need to add the weight of our anger and hope as well. It’s one big fight for our future. Front-line communities need and deserve reinforcements, pouring in to help the people who have been carrying these struggles as they begin to impact upon us all.
This movement isn’t made up of professional protesters. For the most part, it’s students, teachers, retirees, civil servants, farmers, businesspeople, fisher folk, artists, religious ministers. It’s about the people whose homes were demolished by the floods in Queensland or the fires in New South Wales.
We’ll be facing up against some powerful opposition. Mining magnates such as Clive Palmer and Gina Rinehart will do anything to make a profit, even at the expense of our planet. And with Tony Abbott as Prime Minister the fossil fuel industry has right of way. We can’t outspend them, but we have other currencies to work in: community, passion, creativity, spirit. And sometimes we will have to put our bodies on the line – like the climate movement in the United States has over recent years to halt the Keystone XL pipeline.
Here’s how it works.
This is the fight of the decade and we need you on board.
Let’s make summer 2013-14 an historic show of solidarity not just with the Australians who suffer most from the coal and gas industries, but with the people across the planet whose lives are at risk as the world warms — and indeed with the planet itself, beleaguered but still so worth fighting for.
If you weren’t needed, we wouldn’t ask. But in a fight as big as this, we are all needed, now more than ever