climate change protest
(Image: AAP)

After years of struggling to convince Australians of the need for climate action, Crikey readers are at their wits’ end. That recent pushes like the climate strikes have failed to galvanise wider public opinion is all the more frustrating, but readers had a few ideas why that may be — and offered some possible steps forward.

On climate action

Roger Clifton writes: Mock trials would put the writing on the wall for climate criminals. Trials would serve as a focus for the anger of survivors of climatic disasters, and provide hope as the public becomes more worried by the clouds mounting on the horizon. Preparing for a trial would demonstrate to whistleblowers what evidence needs to be collected. Running a trial would show legislators what laws need to be put in place. Besides, noisy mock trials would provide endless circuses for the media.

Sam Daniell writes: How about pointing out the positives with changing the economy to a green one. New industries, renewables, sustainable recycling, planting trees, new technologies. Factor the environment into the economy so there is value in a clean environment. Sorry to those who have reaped great reward from fossil fuels, but its over!

John Bushell writes: Given that is now 38 years since the Goddard Institute for Space Studies’ seminal report on global warming it might just be necessary to employ a different tactic than trying to persuade the punters of the need for drastic action. Just 100 companies produce some 71% of greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, elimination of fossil fuel subsidies, introduction of carbon pricing plus a concerted pressure to adopt zero emissions technology must surely be more effective that efforts to date. The urgency is such that a “war footing” is probably the only way of saving at least part of the planet as habitable space.

Donald Latter writes: I fail to see how lack of trust in governments has got anything to do with the failure to take climate change seriously. There is scarcely a government in the world that is taking the issue seriously, so they are in bed with the majority of the population. The most significant figure was the 65% of people who didn’t even know Friday’s strike was taking place. This suggests to me that people are wilfully ignorant about the most important issue humans have ever faced because acknowledging it would require a bit of curiosity, a bit of thought and a large amount of compassion for other people, along with the whole of the rest of creation. Underneath this smug, selfish indifference is terror.

James Burke writes: You can’t ask “why are people indifferent?” and then ignore the key factor. Go on all you like about ignorance, individualism and distrust of government, but it’s the denial industry that’s primarily responsible. Ideology, ignorance and stupidity may be factors in helping a politician become a denier, but the root cause is corruption. Denialist politicians are paid to be denialist: in donations, in favours, in helpful news coverage. Meanwhile, citizens are lied to by denialist media and by one side of politics, while the other side pretends not to notice. The denialists have corrupted our democracy and resuscitated fascism, all to profiteer from the destruction of an Earth habitable by humans. Are we supposed to ignore that? Why?

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Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey