Summer HeatSunday, 1 December 2013 - 9:00am to Friday, 28 February 2014 - 5:00pm
Earlier this year, the planet lurched past 400 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere — for the first time in human civilisation. That’s dangerously beyond the safe limit of 350 ppm. The moment has come; the moment to ask you to do hard, important, powerful things. Last year Australia experienced an ‘Angry Summer’. Records were smashed across the country. And with the 12 months leading up to this September being Australia’s hottest on record, we can expect this one to be a summer of extreme heat too.
This year we want to make it politically hot as well. Which means we need you, out on the frontline. We need to show up and speak out.
Around the country, communities are fighting on the front lines of Australia’s fossil fuel expansion. In New South Wales, the community around Maules Creek is determined to stop Whitehaven’s plans to start a massive mine in the Leard State Forest. In WA the expansion of gas mining in the Kimberley is being fought at every turn.
In Queensland we’re stepping up the fight over the Galilee Basin, which would involve 9 new massive coal mines. If the Galilee Basin is opened up for exploitation, the impact will be global. Just six or seven places on earth have concentrated stores of carbon as big as the Galilee, and unless the carbon within them stays in the ground, catastrophic climate change is a certainty.
We have never confronted such a dramatic and dangerous expansion of fossil fuel extraction. It is time to not just challenge these projects individually, but to challenge this extreme expansion in a united effort. We need to fight it at every turn.
We’re calling this next phase of the fight “Summer Heat.” Over the course of the Summer, from Northern Queensland to the South West of WA, we’re going to deliver the message: it’s time to stop the reckless expansion of the fossil fuel industry in Australia. And that means it’s time to stand up – peacefully but firmly — to the industry that is wrecking our climate, and our future.
We believe that mass action can breathe life into even the most hardened political fights, and so these actions will all aim to bring together thousands of people to stand together — perhaps sometimes on the other side of the law.
For people on the front lines of fossil fuel extraction, these fights are often, understandably, about the local immediate impacts. And now all of us together need to add the weight of our anger and hope as well. It’s one big fight. Front-line communities need and deserve reinforcements, pouring in to help the people who have been carrying these struggles as they begin to impact us all.
This movement isn’t made up of professional protesters. For the most part, it’s students, teachers, retired people, civil servants, farmers, businesspeople, fisher folk, artists, ministers. It’s about the people whose homes were demolished by the floods in Queensland or the fires in New South Wales.
We’re going up against some big opposition. Mining magnates such as Clive Palmer and Gina Rinehart will do anything to make a profit, even at the expense of our planet. And with Tony Abbott as Prime Minister they now have a great friend on the hill. We can’t outspend them, but we have other currencies to work in: passion, creativity, spirit. And sometimes we will have to put our bodies on the line – like the climate movement in the United States has over the last couple of years to halt the Keystone XL pipeline.
Here’s how it works. First, we want you to sign our pledge. This is a pledge to say that you will stand up to the fossil fuel industry and say ‘no, enough is enough’. If you want you can send in your photo with your pledge as a first step in the campaign, a show of defiance against an industry determined to wreck our planet. Once you’ve signed the pledge, we’ll let you know about events coming up in your area.
Second, go and check out the list of the actions planned so far. More will be added in the weeks ahead as we keep working with allies. Find the one nearest you. Start making plans to show up. Be there when the time comes.
And finally, if you’re really keen, you can add your own action, and we’ll support you to get it up and going. You can add your own action by filling in this form here.
Our hope is that this summer will be a historic show of solidarity not just with the Australians who suffer most from the fossil fuel industry, but with the people across the planet whose lives are at risk as the world warms — and indeed with the planet itself, beleaguered but still so worth fighting for.
If you weren’t needed, we wouldn’t ask. But in a fight this big, we are all needed, now more than ever.