Two years ago, things changed overnight and you helped us build something bigger and better than before. Now, we have the opportunity to do it again.
In September 2013, the Climate Commission was abolished in the Abbott Government’s first week in office. But, as swiftly as we were shut down you put us back to work, providing accurate, independent information to the Australian public on climate change. And day by day we’ve been shifting the dial.
You made clear that science must underpin public debate in a well functioning democracy; you made clear that Australia needed an independent, expert voice to provide the public with accurate information about climate change and take on the peddlers of myth and misinformation. And so, the Climate Council was born anew. Now here we are, remarkably, about to mark our second birthday. We would not exist today without you – together we have made this possible. Will you help us once again to prove that people power can make the difference and donate today?
Two years – it’s gone fast, but then again, we’ve been busy! In that time you’ve helped us issue 42 reports, generating over 14,000 media articles that reached 200 million people. And our videos, articles and graphics have reached over 100 million people through social media – thanks in no small part to you and your willingness to share these resources with your friends and networks. As a scientist, I love numbers. But really, this is about more than numbers – what this all equates to is that you’ve helped us put relevant and crucial information on climate change in front of many, many Australians, many, many times!
Not only has our work explained the growing risks of climate change, and the clear case for swift action, but it has been instrumental in changing the public debate:
- We’ve exposed alarming cases of anti-science bias, such as when climate sceptic Dick Warburton was put in charge of the government’s clean energy review, and Danish climate contrarian Bjorn Lomborg was promised $4 million in taxpayer funds to set up a so-called ‘think tank’.
- Through focusing on the impacts of climate change we have moved the debate on from a conversation on whether the science is “real” to an increasing discussion about solutions.
- Our work on extreme weather has directly contributed to a dramatic increase in the public understanding of the influence of climate change on extreme heat, fire and floods*.
- And through a coordinated communications campaign, we’ve made renewable energy a household conversation.
Our aim has been to consistently raise the bar of the debate, highlighting solutions both in Australia and overseas.
I genuinely believe that in many decades time, this juncture – when the Climate Council community stood up for accurate debate and policies that are informed by science – will be considered a pivotal moment in Australia’s history.
And now, with the recent change in the Prime Ministership, it feels like we now face another crucial juncture, and a huge opportunity: Australia can stay stuck in the past, or we can boldly embrace the renewable energy future we need, and in so doing, reap the rewards that will come with it for our economy, our community and our climate. Can you help us apply even more pressure for real, evidence-based solutions on climate change by donating today?
There’s still a very big job before us. Yet I truly do shudder to think where we’d be without your support. I invite you to help celebrate what you’ve made possible: that science still has a strong voice – that we are still here, advocating for the future we need. And because of that, our community is in a better position to be informed and demand action for a safer and more sustainable future.
I’ve known many of the drawbacks to working in a field that has become so politically charged and volatile. But never before in my career have I seen such passion, commitment and determined optimism from so many people. It inspires, renews and uplifts me every single day. Thank you.
My very best wishes,
P.S. As the famous quote goes: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Let’s do it together. Please consider donating to us today.
*Essential media found that in December 2014 76% of people believed that climate change and extreme weather are linked (compared to 52% in January 2014), including 63% of conservative voters (compared to 33% in January 2014)