So now, the rising sentiments against the ruling party as a whole can prompt Kevin Rudd play the game by putting on hold or reversing policy initiatives on climate change – once again leading to the ‘deadly political silence’ during election campaigns.
Australia, like the US, is already facing climate change impacts. The average temperatures have risen by almost one degree since 1910. Forest fires, droughts, floods, decline in alpine snow cover, loss of species, increase in cyclone intensity and falling crop yields have been recorded.
Like the US and Australia, politicians around the world are actively seeking and adopting ‘anti-climate action’ ideologies to woo people away from voting for candidates who have dared to follow scientific proof. The first resistance for social change has always been to say that – it’s not necessary. This seems to be most easiest thing to do. The promise to undo all pro-environment policies and legislations does not augur well for our future generations. Such posturing sends a wrong signal to people, that short-term needs are more important than long-term sustainability.
It’s beyond doubt that however strong and conclusive scientific evidence is, the world is governed by opinion. And it is important for politicians desirous of taking on the climate change agenda, which they eventually have to, to spend time and effort in generating positive public opinion.
As Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for a few good men to do nothing.” Silence on such issues tantamounts to deliberate negligence. The role of political leadership is to bring about social change by confronting issues that matter most to mankind. A well-informed public would not oppose such initiatives but would rather hold those errant politicians accountable for subverting action on climate change.
This is perhaps a better, if not the best, way to prevent bad politics from driving out good science.
Editor – ThinktoSustain.com
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