Alan Barlee’s letter to Geelong Councillors

Subject: Climate Emergency Declaration – City of Greater Geelong

This message is for the Mayor and all Councillors of the City of Greater Geelong.

It is now urgent that at its meeting on September 24, 2019, the City of Greater Geelong joins the 1000+ municipalities in Australia that have already declared a climate emergency and does the same.

Our citizens absolutely need science awareness, vision and leadership from all our elected representatives in order to for the community respond NOW to the overwhelming warnings of climate scientists around the world.

The reactionary and denialist position of the extreme right is reinforced by some scientifically illiterate sections of the media, and from some profit-focused but fear-driven industry sectors. This political rump is leading the community in totally the wrong direction, and is responsible for the wave of climate ignorance in our community. This negative pressure MUST be counteracted by our elected, independently informed and visionary representatives.

Most of us have children, and many of us also have grandchildren. Our generation has been deliberately ignoring the most critical issue of our time – the highest level and the fastest rate of carbon emissions and planetary heating for the last 800,000 years (before humans existed). We have been mining and burning fossil fuels, and clearing and burning forests, as though there is no tomorrow. This self-absorbed  ‘business as usual’ mentality has to change if our kids are to inherit from us at least a reasonably habitable planet.

A lot of irreversible damage has already been done: the time to stop it is NOW. Some State Governments – including Victoria – are moving to partially fill the policy void at the Commonwealth Government level, and LGAs around the country  are responding to community pressure for targets, action plans and timetables to reform our economy to a carbon-free future.

The first step in a public acknowledgement that we have a problem – a big one. As we have done more than once in the past when a world war has erupted, a state of emergency must be declared to trigger the necessary rapid and large scale climate-focused responses that we need, and for which there is much public willingness to support.

At this time, vision, courage and statesmanship have been in acutely short supply. PLEASE ACT NOW to change this.

Thank you.

Alan Barlee

(East Geelong)


Question submitted to Councillors

Council meeting date: Tuesday 24 Sep 2019
Name: Alan Barlee
Date submitted: 2019-09-18 12:50:29
Question 1: (a) How informed are our individual councillors on the current science of climate change, and from what sources are their facts being obtained?

(b) To what extent are our individual councillors concerned about the impact of the Greater Geelong’s  lack of action on limiting carbon emissions and deforestation?

(c) Is the Council  prepared to lead the community in recognising that we must ‘Act as if our home is on fire – because it is’ (Greta Thunburg – age 15)?