Walk against Warming – 3 December

Melbourne FoE’s Climate Justice campaign boat visited the Walk against Warming at Albert Park to highlight the approaching disaster threatening Pacific Islands and beyond.

From the FoE Climate Justice Campaign flyer:

On a global scale, climate change will not only have environmental impacts, it is likely to have drastic impacts on people everywhere, becoming the biggest justice issue ever. The reason is simple: the poor are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change and climate chaos.
As the United Nations Environment Programme summarises: “The predicted impacts of climate change would probably exacerbate hunger and poverty around the world…People who are highly dependent on farming, fishing or forestry will well see their livelihoods destroyed…The poor would suffer the most because they have fewer options for responding to climate change.”
The UNEP also notes that the predicted impacts of climate change may lead to mass migrations, which themselves lead to social and political conflict, and loss of cultural identity. Small Island states in the Pacific, Caribbean, and South Asia are likely to be the hardest hit. Some low-lying islands may become totally uninhabitable, due to increased severity of storms and sea level rise, and entire populations may become Ecologically Displaced People, commonly known as environmental, or in this case climate refugees.
Tuvalu, a Pacific island not far from the coast of Queensland, is one such island, where seawater is invading their agricultural gardens and making increasingly difficult to produce food. If sea level rise continues, it will ultimately force Tuvaluans to leave their home, and become climate refugees.

The boat was accompanied by a ‘climate refugee’ carrying a suitcase with the flags of Tuvalu and other island states under threat – The Marshall Islands and Kiribati:

FoE 'boat' and activist with suitcases carrying flags of Pacific nations

FoE Action Group's boat “Climate Justice”

FoE Action Group’s boat “Climate Justice”

Another feature of the event was an enormous scroll which invited signatures to an alternative Kyoto Protocol:

One end of long scroll with signatures

The scroll read in full:

This scroll represents a large movement of individuals, organisations [and corporations – added later] that are committed to tackling climate change in their homes, workplaces, cities and states by switching to a clean equitable and safe future.
We are calling on our Government to do the same by making a commitment to cutting greenhouse gas emission by 80% by 2050.
Sign on to Our Kyoto Protocol because our government won’t.
Take action NOW!

The whole scroll

The space for signatures was quickly filled.
Amongst the names can be seen a miniature Aboriginal flag with the signature of Kim Wandin, who earlier gave the Welcome to Country on behalf of the Wurundjeri People:

Many of the signatures

Many of the signatures

After the initial speeches there was an attempt to get Our Glorious Leader to sign a large folio inscribed ‘Kyoto Protocol’ – unsuccessful, of course:

Puppet head of John Howard and activists with 'Kyoto Protocol'

FoE’s anti-nuclear campaign was also represented (as was Nuclear Free Australia):

Lineup of FoE and NFA