Breaking News! Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is coming out of the darkness according to last week’s newspapers from down under. He rose to power as a vociferous climate change denier. But, miracle of miracles, he’s now changing his mind. The newspapers down under tell the story of Joyce going to visit his boyhood home in the wilderness and seeing the destruction that has occurred due to the extreme drought caused by climate change. He said: “When I look at this, I start to wonder whether climate change might really be happening.” Walking around in a setting that he grew up in, he suddenly realises that his ‘climate denial’ stems from being detached from nature in Australia’s capitol city. “When you’re surrounded by humans, you believe the world is all human, all man-made,” he said. 
Now most Australians according to the latest opinion polls, want their government to get hot on slashing the amount of the green house gas emissions that cause climate change. There’s a federal election there in about a month. So the Deputy PM’s conversion might be considered ‘suspect’. Time will tell.
No matter. His ‘reality’ is quite different from another news story last week that 50 Million Africans face starvation as crops fail from continuing drought. No rain for two years in a row. Southern Africa is in a desperate state. “Malawi, Mozambique, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Madagascar, Angola and Swaziland have already declared national emergencies or disasters, as have seven of South Africa’s nine provinces.”  Botswana and the Congo have also been hit hard. Half of the population of Malawi will be without food this year.
And, more news stories: “droughts and heat waves have ravaged much of India, Latin America and parts of south-east Asia”; while heavy rains have caused deadly landslides in Sri Lanka. This is exactly what the climate scientists told us would happen. Extreme weather: crops are destroyed by high temperatures and drought, or by torrential rains and floods. Just when you think the weather is getting back to normal after a drought, you get hit with floods which wash away your new crops and precious topsoil. Vast food producing areas of mother earth are being destroyed. They may never recover. 
So, one Australian politician says ‘maybe it’s real’ while 50,000,000 Africans, and most of the world, know climate change is very real and happening right now.
This story isn’t about one silly little politician. He is completely forgettable. It’s about the self-harm that we humans are inflicting on ourselves. Within a year we may see more death and destruction than was committed by our species in all of World War II.
Why are we so silent? What are we waiting for? Do we really think the politicians who signed the UN Paris Climate Agreement are going to stop climate change? Are you willing to bet your life that they will? Or maybe, you are hoping that some great political leader will emerge from the shadows. A leader who is NOT owned by rapacious corporations and the super-rich 1 percent? This is no game; climate change is ‘now’. Maybe you haven’t felt the full impact yet but it’s going to happen – much sooner than you suspect.
Political ‘leaders’ follow what people do. It’s time for all of us to ‘do’ everything we can to combat climate change. We start by taking control of our own lives – limiting our own carbon footprints. Then we get our neighbours to do the same. Then “leaders” will follow.
We have the tools and technology we need to solve the climate crisis. Let’s get on with it. The fate of everyone on this earth depends on you and me starting to ‘DO’. That’s the way it is.
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