Pip on P.O.P (price on pollution)

30 May 2011

My name’s Patricia Penn (or Pip, if you like) and I’ve been a Greenpeace volunteer for about 5 years. Perhaps you’ve seen the current “Australia Says Yes” TV commercials calling for urgent support of a carbon tax. I’m the ‘grannie’ retiree in that!

I’m in my eighties now and an ex-freelance radio journalist. Now I volunteer for Greenpeace because I believe in the collective verdict of the majority of scientists — and scientific organisations — that global warming is the overriding threat to the planet. It’s mind-boggling what could happen if the ‘deniers’ were to get their way and sabotage the Gillard Government’s VERY MODEST plans for a price on pollution.

The carbon tax isn’t enough, I feel, but it’s the best we’ve got (with Mr Abbott and Co. biting at the heels of any workable precautions at all, the alternative is too awful to think about).

I’m part of the “Australia Says Yes” campaign because I think it’s foolhardy and dangerous to say ‘No’. That would ignore the best advice available to us — by that I mean the majority of scientists, and as far as I know ALL the reputable scientific organisations.

Can you name a reputable scientific institution that advises, “There’s no need to take urgent action against climate change”?

We’ve been through a troublesome and dangerous century. I really believe climate change is the biggest threat we’ve seen — it threatens the whole planet. It works very subtly — ice melting, seas rising.

I go to a weekly class of seniors all about my age, all mothers and grandmothers. Not one of them believes in Man Made Climate Change. “It’s all natural,” they say, “it’s a cycle.” And they all stare at me accusingly.

My answer is: “Look, you’re all married parents and grandparents probably.” (NOD, NOD) “Well, I’m single, never married, no kids, no grand-kids and I’m dead scared about the future. And you’re not worried! I just don’t understand it.”

“If you’re right, but we take precautions just in case, well and good. Nothing’s lost. There’ll just be a cleaner planet. On the other hand, if we’re right about climate change, but you win the argument and take no precautions — what a disaster!”

Some argue we must wait till other countries do something. They don’t seem to know what’s going on in Europe, and the UK. Flying out of Britain last year I was amazed to see scores of windmills in the Thames Estuary. Google it and you’ll find windmill farms all around the British coastline!

Even China’s furiously manufacturing solar panels and moving to renewables!

Governments everywhere are worrying about local problems like education and health but the fact is that unless we do something about global warming we’re not going to be able to have these things anyway.

Think about it … then join me in Taking Action