Ray Goodlass’ Ray’s Reasoning | OPINION

Last week I quoted Michael McCormack’s stated views on climate change when I referenced his first parliamentary speech, in which he referred to “so-called climate change” in Parliament in 2012. Just because there is less rain “It does not mean we all need to listen to a government grant-seeking academic sprouting doom and gloom about climate changing irreversibly,” he said. 

I also pointed out the irony of Mr McCormack’s stance as a climate change denier, as it will lead to more extreme and more frequent droughts, heatwaves and bushfires that will impact on regional and rural Australia far more than they will do on the  major cities. His constituents are therefore in for a shock if they expect him to look after their interests. 

Last week came confirmation of how wrong Mr McCormack is in the form of an investigation by ABC’s Four Corners, which pointed out quite clearly that across Australia, farmers, small businesses, government planners and major corporations have stopped waiting for politicians to decide whether climate change is real. They're acting now. Let’s hope Mr McCormack takes notice of his core constituents and changes his mind. As the program showed, mounting evidence suggests our changing climate is having an impact on everything - from what we grow, eat and drink, to house prices and the cost of insurance.

In case readers jump to condemn this report as just more ABC leftist propaganda, “Business as usual is no longer an option” is the key message from the not-for-profit advocacy organisation Farmers for Climate Action, which is launching a new crowd-funded television campaign across regional screens from March 24.

The television campaign follows the inaugural Farmers for Climate Action Climate Smart Agriculture Fellowship in Victoria, and the first ever climate change summit of Queensland farmers, which is taking place this week.

“Farmers across Australia know that climate change is already hitting them hard – this isn’t just a problem for future generations, it’s hurting us here and now,” said Verity Morgan-Schmidt, CEO of Farmers for Climate Action.

“Momentum for climate action is growing rapidly across rural Australia and we’re calling on farmers to look up, speak up and our politicians to keep up.”

Representatives from Farmers for Climate Action have delivered a petition with more than 150,000 signatures to the Queensland Parliament, calling on all politicians to take action on climate change and to oppose the expansion of new thermal coal projects.

The petition was delivered as Four Corners aired its episode on the impacts of climate change I referred to above, showcasing agriculture as one of Australia’s most climate exposed industries.

“As farmers, we can’t allow our country to continue on a trajectory of rising emissions and climate inaction. Our future is in our hands,” said Ms Morgan-Schmidt.

Crookwell sheep farmer, Charlie Prell, said farmers were on the frontline of climate change and were taking the lead on climate change action.

“Standing up for rural Australia means standing up for action on climate change,” said Mr Prell.

So farmers are clearly feeling the impacts already. Their livelihood is at stake, and that impacts on the food security of all Australians. This is everyone’s problem and we all, including our climate change denying politicians, need to act now.

RAY GOODLASS, www.dailyadvertiser.com.au