“They will kill you, and your children. They think they will get away with it because they have got money. But money doesn’t isolate them from climate change and the death of the planet. These people are stupid, they are ignorant, and they are committing crimes against humanity.”
Rod Quantock is a famous comedian in Australia. On 18 August 2013 in Melbourne, however, he did not even try to make his audience laugh. He was moderating the line of speakers at a rally against the escalating fracking in the state of Victoria, called ‘Farmers against fracking’, and his statements, as you can hear on this video clip, were harsh and loaded with anger.
“There comes a time when the political process has to stop, and there comes a time when you really got to stand up. You’ve got to lock up, and pull down, and you’ve got to confront these industries. They will kill you, and your children. They think they will get away with it because they have got money. But money doesn’t isolate them from climate change and the death of the planet. These people are stupid, they are ignorant, and they are committing crimes against humanity. If the political system was just, these people would be in jail for the damage they have done already,” he told his audience of around 400-500 people who all seemed to fully agree with him.
“Fracking for gas, digging up coal… These are crimes against humanity, and our political system and our legal system should hold these people to account. They should be in jail for the damage they cause to our generation and the generations to come.”
Afterwards, we asked him to elaborate on his views. Here is a transcript of what Rod Quantock told us:
“Recently we hit 400 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere. And that guarantees that the world will be at least two degrees warmer by 2030 or 2040. And beyond that, the world will become uninhabitable for people, animals and plants, and all sorts of things.
So these people who are fracking for gas, who are digging up coal, transporting and reverting it, are committing crimes against humanity. These are crimes against humanity, and our political system and our legal system should hold these people to account. They should be in jail for the damage they cause to our generation and the generations to come. We are going to live on a dead planet because these people are unconstrained.
We have democratic movements in this country and around the world who are demanding that they are freed of these people and the damage that they do. But our parliaments and our legal system support them. So shame on them all. They should all be in jail, and we must now get involved in direct action. We have to pull these people down. We have to pull their rigs down. Stop them digging. Stop them drilling. We gotta save the planet, because nobody else will.”
“When our leaders fail us, then ordinary people have got to become heroes”
Ignore us – at your peril!
Ursula Alquier work with Friends of the Earth and Lock the Gate and was one of the organisers of the rally in Melbourne. She told the demonstrators:
“We need all parties to commit to significant investment in renewable energy to secure a safe and clean future for all Victorians. To protect jobs in manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism. And to allow our communities to be heavily involved in a consultation process that currently does not exist. The message we send to you today is: Make no mistake. You ignore us – at your peril!
I look around at all of you here today who are inspirational and brave. Courageous and determined. And I know that together, no matter how long the battle, that we will, and we can, protect all the things that these industries put at risk.
I will end by leaving you with a quote from the inspirational Drew Hutton: ‘When our leaders fail us, then ordinary people have got to become heroes’.”
In these months, more and more people involve themselves in this struggle for the future of our planet which Rod Quantock and Ursula Alquier talks about.
“It’s official: global warming could get worse – almost unimaginably worse. Conditions on planet Earth mean that in theory, at least, there could be a runaway greenhouse effect.”
Tim Radford, Climate News Network
Climate scientists are telling us that currently we are flooding the atmosphere with so much carbon – over 30,000,000,000 tonnes every year, and rising – that the world will be over 4°C warmer before the end of this century.
The Fourth Assessment Report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, ‘Climate Change 2007’, warns us that if increases in global average warming exceed between 1.5 and 2.5°C, one-third of all animal species are at risk of extinction by 2050. As global average temperature increase exceeds about 3.5°C, model projections suggest significant extinctions around the globe, 40–70 percent of species assessed.
This report is the largest and most detailed summary of the climate change situation ever undertaken, produced by thousands of authors, editors, and reviewers from dozens of countries. A Fifth Assessment Report is due to be published in September 2013.
Information and reports about the Farmers against Fracking rally in Melbourne can be found here:
ABC – 19 August 2013:
Fracking concerns mount in Victoria
More than 400 protestors marched through Melbourne on Sunday calling on the Victorian Government to ban fracking. By Kath Sullivan.
Yes 2 Renewables, Friends of the Earth (Melbourne)’s renewable energy campaign – 19 August 2013:
No to fracking, yes to renewables!
By Leigh Ewbank
Photos of the rally:
Rod Quantock has written ‘The Wonderful World of Climate Change’ – a comedy guide and since 2009 he has been touring Australia with a comedy show about climate change. He has also written a letter to the newspaper The Age that they wouldn’t publish. More about this here:
Rod Quantock: global warming’s just not funny
Rod Quantock’s Guide to Climate Change Part 1 and Part 2.
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