Senate debates

Monday, 2 December 2019

Matters of Urgency

Climate Change

5:00 pm

Photo of Nick McKimNick McKim (Tasmania, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

Well, here we are: the planet is burning and the science is telling us that we have 10 years to radically reduce our carbon equivalent emissions, or humanity and nature will collectively face a calamity. And what does Labor do? They come into this place with a carefully orchestrated campaign and attack the Greens. We have a government made up of climate deniers and we have the Greens in this place, focused on the government and holding them to account for their lack of climate action, but what does the Labor Party do? They come into this place and run a carefully orchestrated attack on the Greens.

This is ancient history and it is revisionist history. It's so long ago that half of the current mining lobby was actually still in the ALP caucus at the time. That's how long ago this was. This attack by Labor on the Greens, while the Greens focus on the government and on holding the government to account for their calamitous climate policies, is nothing more than a fig leaf to cover up for Labor's love affair with coal.

And why does Labor love coal? Because they take the millions of dollars in donations from the big polluting corporations. The hypocrisy of Labor's attack! Seriously! If they think a price on carbon is such a good thing, why won't they join us to vote for one today? Why won't they take a price on carbon to the next election? This owes far more to them trying to cover up for their love affair with coal. It says a lot more about them, I might add, than it does about the Australian Greens.

Bipartisanship on climate can't mean starting up friends of resources groups with climate deniers, like Mr Craig Kelly MP. But that's exactly what the Labor Party is doing. I have to say that there are far too many in the press gallery, in the media in this place, who are buying Labor's spin. They're buying Labor's spin because it suits their predetermined narrative on centrism. I say to those many, many journalists in this place who are calling for centrism on climate policy that there is no centrism on climate science, there is just the climate science. There is no centrism on climate physics or climate chemistry, there is just the climate chemistry and the climate physics. And if you're not with the science, and in this place that is everyone bar the nine Australian Greens senators, then you're against the science. You are either acting on the basis of climate science or you're acting in denial of the climate science. And to those people in the press gallery: you're either writing in favour of those of us who are sticking up for the climate science in this place or you're writing in denial of the science.

So I say to those people in the media—and there are far too many of them—that this is not a time for centrism. This is not a time for meekly going into the night. This is the time to stand up and fight against every single person in this place who is not acting in accordance with climate science and who is not setting policy in accordance with climate science, and that is everyone bar the Australian Greens. (Time expired)

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