Further to the post below this one, Tony Davidson has also written to the Victorian DLP Senator, John Madigan. Here it is. Readers should note that the links in the letter at the numbered paras 5 and 6 as well as the third last para as published below have been inserted by Miss Eagle, the editor of The Network. They were not included in the letter sent to Senator Madigan by Tony Davidson.
Dear Senator Madigan,
I am writing to you on behalf of the Rode R.A.G.E. (Ride Against Greenhouse Emissions) Team, a group of young people from the Ballarat area. Many of whom will shortly be voting in their first Federal election, some too young to vote, but still very interested in politics, especially as it relates to the creation of a more sustainable and just world.
A group from our team has recently returned from our Khmer Rode RAGE (www.roderage.com.au/khmer ) where we lived and worked in a Cambodian orphanage and a Thai wildlife sanctuary (we also visited the Hell Fire Pass Memorial to pay our respects and give thanks) where we witnessed firsthand the suffering being created, at least in part, by climate chaos. We think that it is unfair that Australians are the biggest per capita emitters of greenhouse gases in the world, but that it is people in developing nations and wildlife who are paying the biggest and most immediate penalty for our pollution and we wanted to lend a physical hand and donate money that we had raised to help redress this unfairness. We think it is “Un-Australian” to create a problem and expect someone else to suffer for it… this was reinforced to us at Hell Fire Pass.
Your website says that it is our job to make sure that you speak for us…. And so we write to you so that you may be able to do so, and thank you for the invitation and opportunity.
We have recently become aware that you and the DLP will be sponsoring a tour by “Lord” Monckton which will include Ballarat. We wouldn’t want to pre-empt what he might say, and we certainly hope that he has read some scientific literature since his last public comments and that he will be expressing his new found awareness of the overwhelming scientific consensus on the issue of man made climate change.
We also fully accept your comments in The Courier 4/11/12 that “everyone is entitled to their opinion” and that people “should play the issue and not the man”. However we have some questions that we were hoping you could answer for us please:
1. There are many people in the world who believe that humans can survive with only oxygen and no food or water…. Or that smoking doesn’t have any link to cancer ( issues which have comparable scientific consensus to that of man made climate change) and in a plural society, they have the right to hold those views, but is it appropriate for community leaders and political parties endorse/sponsor forums for them to broadcast their views?
2. In last year’s Courier you were quoted as saying that you didn’t know how much the DLP would spend on this tour…. Do you now know? And do you know where these funds have come from??
3. You were also quoted as saying that you didn’t agree with everything he has to say…. Can you please clarify for us if you believe that human activities are impacting upon our climate in a way that results in more extreme weather events and thus results in loss of food production, property and life around the world?? And if so, do you believe that reducing our greenhouse emissions is a vital part of leaving a sustainable future for our children?
4. Are you aware of the proposal from Beyond Zero Emissions (www.beyondzeroemissions.org) which seems to us to be a well researched proposal, constructed by credible experts as to how Australia could be producing zero emissions within 10 years. In your view, are there any reasons why we can’t achieve this? Or why we wouldn’t want to achieve this?? You said that you speak for us…we would like you to please do everything within your power to make this happen.
5. What are your thoughts on “Lord” Monckton continuing to use the title of “Lord” despite the cease and desist letter from the House of Lords?? Do you think the use of that title is giving undeserved credibility to his views?? Are you and the DLP happy for him to continue to use that title?
6. In recent years, Australia (at this stage one of the least effected countries on the planet despite our massive per capita contribution to the problem) which has always had storms, droughts and floods….. has seen our worst/most severe floods, droughts and storms since records have been kept…. Do you and the DLP factor the financial costs of these events and health expenditure into the costs of generating energy from fossil fuels? And if so, how?
7. Again from last year’s Courier article, you said that you think that “people agree we need to debate the issue no matter what.” By “the issue” do you mean what immediate actions to take to massively reduce our greenhouse emissions??
Or do you, like “Lord” Monckton has said in the past, think that the issue for debate is whether or not man made climate change is real??? If the latter, we would like to express to you in the strongest possible terms, that we do not agree that this matter should be debated any longer by any serious community leaders. Maybe in the 1980’s debate was relevant, but the overwhelming scientific evidence from experts of all fields of speciality is that that debate is over….. the only debate now is what do we do about it and what will be the financial, social and human costs of delayed action. We think that to continue to facilitate “real or not” debate when only a small percentage of people (and only a tiny, tiny percentage of experts) disagree is dangerous, irresponsible and certainly not the role of democratically elected representatives. Especially when the vast majority being proven wrong will cost us little in comparison to us failing to act and them being proven right.
There is no debate that there will be far greater costs to delayed action than any costs we might invest now. The thing that we think that all families can agree upon is that parents will generally be happy to spend a bit more now if it means that their children won’t be burdened with a massive debt to deal with….we implore you to adopt this model in your approach to sustainable energy production/ energy conservation matters now and at all times when representing us.
Unless “Lord” Monckton has something new to tell us from his previous public comments, we strongly urge you to cancel his visit to Ballarat as a sign of your commitment to advancing the debate from “is there a problem” to “how do we solve the problem before more property, life, and money is lost.”
We would be very pleased to speak with you further on these or any other issues and we look forward to your replies to our questions.
On behalf of the Rode RAGE Team