Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Voting for creation: an open letter to my local MP

Dear Anthony,

I’m writing as a resident of your electorate. I’ve been receiving quite a lot of mail from you, so thought I’d reply and let you know what I care about. It seems to me that a great deal is at stake in this election - not only for the inner west of Sydney, or for Australia, but for the world and its population.
I’m particularly concerned about the state of the planet. So much damage has already been done to our common home. What kind of world will my two young kids grow old in? What about the global poor, other species, or future generations? Those who have done least to cause the problem bear its heaviest consequences. Apart from the obvious environmental aspects of the issue, climate change involves profound social injustice.
I would love to see an Australian government take swift and strong action on climate change. For instance: scientists say that nearly all known fossil fuel reserves need to stay in the ground, unburned, if we are to have any chance of limiting global warming to two degrees. We need to transition to 100 percent clean energy by 2050 at the latest, to avoid even more dangerous climate change.
And yet Australia is not taking bold steps in this direction.

*Heads in the sand*
Instead of limiting fossil fuel extraction, state and federal governments (of both stripes) continue to approve mine developments at an extraordinary rate.
Instead of penalising big polluters, the federal government pays them to stay in the game. I am horrified that the Australian government spends at least 12 billion annually in subsidising the production and consumption of fossil fuels. Roughly, that's the equivalent of $65 million in handouts to big polluters just from the tax payers of Grayndler!
Imagine if that money was directed towards positive alternatives. Imagine if was spent on education, or indigenous health, or the care of the aged. We could support numerous victims of family violence for that kind of money. We could resettle a lot of refugees in our neighbourhood. We could do a lot of good to the poor through increased overseas aid. Wouldn’t that be better for Australia?
As a follower of Jesus, I seek to love God and love my neighbours in everything – including how I vote. I’d love to see a government that works for a just society and a clean future. I urge you and your party to move quickly towards these ideals, for the benefit of all creation.

Yours sincerely,
Dr Meredith Lake

P.S. This is why Christians care about climate change.

1 comment:

byron smith said...

Well said!