We have a climate emergency, but no one is reporting or acting on the facts. What are we going to do?
Inspired by American presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ call for a World War II mobilisation, we started asking a row of Australian leaders this question. Their reply was not to look towards the politicians, but towards the people. Politicians will not lead with action until the public is aware, accepts the truth, and demands urgent action.
So we started asking: Who will be able to be that ‘Climate-Churchill’ for Australia who is able to do what Churchill did at his time for the United Kingdom and its allies: uniting and mobilising everyone to take action against the threat.
The Sustainable Hour’s climate emergency ‘radio relay baton’ has so far gone from:
 David Spratt – science author, co-author of Climate Code Red – and:
 Bernie Sanders – American presidential candidate – to:
 Ian Dunlop – former coal executive – to:
 Peter Rae – former Liberal senator – to:
 Christine Milne – former Greens senator – to:
 Carmen Lawrence – former Western Australia premier – to:
 Simon Sheikh – Future Super CEO, former GetUp! leader – to:
 Rob Oakeshott – independent politician
Who will be next? A media representative? A director at the ABC or SBS? The editor-in-chief at The Age?
Welcome to The Churchillian Challenge radio relay
» Right-click to download the audio file (MP3) with Rob Oakeshott
“Political leadership fails by ignoring Pacific Island neighbours who are moving schools, houses, and at times entire villages due to the emergency of climate change. This is happening right now. All at the indulgence of those stuck in a debate focused more on power and money than logic and evidence.”
» Right-click to download the audio file (MP3) with Simon Sheikh
“The point is not the petition in itself, it is who you connect with during the campaign.”
» Right-click to download the audio file (MP3) with Carmen Lawrence
“We are inherently egocentric, as a species, but if we focus on the health effects [of climate change] and draw them to people’s attention, then we may be getting better results than we are getting at the moment. One of the ways that we can get people to think about climate change as an emergency is to focus on the impact on human beings. We should focus on all those things that people really care about – themselves, their health, their family, their community – and try and draw out for them what will happen if they don’t act, and how things can be made better. Constructing the climate emergency in terms of its effect on human beings more than, in a sense, its effect on the ice flow in the Antarctic. These are things that are remote for many people’s experience, but they do understand the effects of the extreme weather events, for example, on communities. They do understand what happens when there is a drought and when there is competition for resources. So, let’s focus on those things and make sure people understand how potentially dire circumstances are, but equally, how much it is possible to act to change these things.”
» Right-click to download the audio file (MP3) with Christine Milne
“We are in an emergency, and I think that the more we can use that word the better. At the moment, to a lot of people, that seems like an extreme thing to say, but it is actually an acknowledgement of the physical reality.”
» Right-click to download the audio file (MP3) with Peter Rae
“We need an education program. This requires the media to be able to inform people accurately what the facts are, and what the solutions are.”
» Right-click to download the audio file (MP3) with Ian Dunlop
“We’re being taken for fools by the political system. Politics is broken in this country. Money has stopped the real issues being addressed. This is not a left or right wing political issue. This is an existential issue. If we don’t get it right, we all have a very big problem. What we need is a Government of National Unity. The main environmental groups are not honest about the problem. The NGOs are as much a part of the failure as anybody else.”
» Right-click to download the audio file (MP3) with Bernie Sanders
“We have a global crisis. Pope Francis reminded us that we are on a suicide course. … This is a difference between understanding that we have a crisis of historical consequence here, and incrementalism and those little steps are not enough. Not right now. Not on climate change.”
» Right-click to download the audio file (MP3) with David Spratt
“The unprecedented rate of global warming is melting the polar ice caps, raising sea levels and undermining food and water security for many of the world’s peoples. Action has been too slow, because economics has trumped physics. Now emergency action is the only rational response.”
» More about Churchill:
Winston Churchill: There is one bond which unites us all
The Sustainable Hour on 94.7 The Pulse has signed and supports the Climate Emergency Declaration Petition