Have you ever seen an elephant doing star jumps behind a political journalist? It’s the elephant in the room – what could it possibly mean? Watch this video, then read on, to find out (the best bit starts at 2:00).
The AYCC‘s ‘Elephant in the Room’ initiative is based on the idea that there’s a huge issue – climate change – which is being all but ignored by the two major parties in the current election campaign. Young Australians face another 40 or 50 years living here, and on that timescale, climate change is the single largest challenge to the economy, agriculture, quality of living, transport costs, asylum seeker arrivals, extreme weather events and infrastructure in Australia and around the world. I’m not being pessimistic when I say that, I’m being realist – it’s that big.
Despite this, Julia Gillard has postponed strong action and abdicated responsibility to 150 laypeople, while Tony Abbott’s plan is to use government (read: our taxpayer) dollars to offset emissions generated by large, profit-making polluters. Both parties have the laughable target of a 5% emissions cut by 2020, when a 25-40% cut is necessary to keep the probability of avoiding dangerous climate change at a reasonable level.
I’m not going to vote for what will benefit me in just the next 3 years – I don’t think that’s what politics should be about. I view my vote as an investment in my future, an investment as real as a monetary purchase, because a democratically elected government with a mandate to take the global lead in tackling climate change is worth more to me than anything I could afford to buy.
If you’re a young person, I encourage you to vote Green to protect your future. If you’ve got a family, do it for your children. If you’re older, then make your legacy a future in which the next generation can enjoy the same quality of life as you have. Best of all, show the Labour and Coalition that we’re sick of being talked down to with childish attack ads and self-serving, short sighted policy – maybe we can convince them to lift their game so that we have a real choice in future elections.