Angie McMahon has made an impassioned plea for Australians to vote with the climate crisis in mind at this weekend’s federal election.
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In an eight-minute-long video shared to Instagram, the singer-songwriter urged those watching to exercise their right to place a vote about who will lead the country through “the biggest crisis that we will ever know”, pointing to recent natural disasters throughout the planet.
“We have to stop the rising warming of the Earth, and we currently have leadership who are absolutely failing to make any plan that even inches toward that,” McMahon said of the current Liberal/National coalition government, led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
“Australia is a huge exporter of fossil fuels. We are really rich in coal and gas and oil. We are a nature blessed country, and we are led by a government who love the fossil fuel industry. They make a lot of money from it, and they will continue to sponsor oil and coal and gas infrastructure development. They’ve made that very clear.
“We are also a country who is really rich in renewable resources. If we had an ambitious climate leadership government who understood the urgency of the situation, and also the capacity and potential of our country, we could be a superpower of exporting renewable energy.”
McMahon went on to acknowledge that neither the coalition nor the Labor Party currently have an emissions reductions target that is in line with climate science. “There is no one in either the Liberal or the Labor Party who has made it clear that they’re going to try and save us. We’re going to have to do it ourselves,” the songwriter said.
McMahon asked those watching, if they knew of anyone planning to vote for a conservative government in this election, to share some sobering realities about the climate crisis with them – such as the fact that in 2030, one in 25 houses in Australia will be uninsurable because of the level of natural disasters impacting the country.
“This is a moment when we actually can respond,” McMahon said. “Our government chooses not to, and I understand that it’s scary, but there are ways to plan for a future where we actually get to survive beyond a few years “There is no way that we’re going to escape this.
“We’re going to have to get angry, we’re going to have to have uncomfortable conversations. I’m not trying to come on the internet to tell you who to vote for, but I do think it’s helpful to be informed – and I think we do need to vote wisely.”
McMahon pointed out that the Greens are the only major Australian party who have a climate reduction target in line with science – the party advocates for a 75% reduction in emissions by 2030.
“We are not going to survive this unless something is done about it,” she said. “We do have the option to vote for leadership that is thinking about this stuff, but we have to use our power and our voice in this moment – otherwise, the quality of our life and the length of our life is going to be drastically affected.
“I think that the climate crisis can be targeted and understood, and I think that we have to take on the responsibility of that – every single one of us – and shift the power away from the people who are focusing more on money and profit than what is actually really important.
“There is nothing else without the planet. None of our personal ambitions, none of our goals. None of the things that we own or love are going to matter when the whole planet is on fucking fire.”
McMahon concluded the video by acknowledging the need for a government who understands the knowledge of First Nations voices, in relation to the environment and work in collaboration with Indigenous peoples.
“They have a reciprocal relationship with the land,” she said. “They have always had tools and practices that care for the Earth, and that is a really powerful place for us to be looking right now as well.”
Last month, a slew of Australian artists joined the international No Music on a Dead Planet campaign, calling for the urgent issue of climate action to be made a priority in the lead-up to the election.
“This Earth is our home, a sanctuary we love and depend on,” commented singer Jake Taylor at the time – whose band, In Hearts Wake, recently released a feature-length documentary called Green Is The New Black about the making of their 2020 carbon-neutral album ‘Kaliyuga’. “We human beings have far more in common than we do apart.
“As we draw closer to the point of no return, there has never been more of a crucial time to take action. For the love of music and our children, we must face this crisis through solution and innovation, with a desire to thrive and evolve.”
“This is a clutch period for getting people to use their civic power for the good of the planet and others,” added Montaigne. “Hopefully, with a slew of extreme weather events under our belt, we can bring awareness to and encourage our audiences to vote for a progressive government that looks after its people and the planet.”