School strikes and all Australia has is a “Big Stick”

As the world’s leaders gather in New York for the 2019 UN Climate Summit, where do Australia’s top politicians stand on global warming?

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, while in the US, has carefully constructed his visit so he won’t attend the summit.

He who brought a lump of coal into parliament and told us “don’t be afraid,” is not even bothering god about climate change, let alone ratcheting up the ambition of Australia’s emissions reduction policies.

Back in Australia, emissions reductions minister Angus Taylor waves a big stick, and bemoans “shrill demands from aggressive activists” for unsettling business leaders.

Taylor is effectively using that stick to try to bully utilities into following the government’s lead on climate: ignore the science, turn a blind eye to the economics, and cling desperately to the fossil fuel economy.

While students and workers all around the country call for a quick end to fossil fuel burning, resources minister Matt Canavan labels environmentalists “bullies and cowards,” while in the same breath calling engineering giant Aurecon “a bunch of bed-wetters” for distancing itself from Adani coal projects.

Is it any wonder there are kids taking the day off school by the thousands? Is it any wonder that more than 2000 major Australian businesses also backed last week’s climate strike, and gave their staff a free pass to themselves attend?

Climate change is terrifying. The only thing more terrifying is the people who hold the power refusing to do anything about it.