I don’t know why some people seem to think voting is a great imposition. I love lining up and watching the person behind the table pick up the ruler and find my name. There’s a little warm glow of being one tiny thread in the great muddled ball of string that is the democratic process. Always, in the queue there’s a particular feeling: pleased, proud, everyone hugging to ourselves the little secret of how we’re going to vote. When my kids were at primary school, I loved helping to person the stall churning out the Democracy Sausages.
If you don’t count the doling-out of snags – sauce or mustard? – I’ve never been involved. But this time is different. A few weeks ago I sent an email to six writer friends, to see if they’d be interested in joining a group I hastily named Writers for Climate Action. Five of the six said yes straight away. The sixth said she thought it was a good idea but that it would be preaching to the converted, so she wouldn’t, but good luck.
Writers for Climate Action now has an impressive list of members, including Di Morrissey, Helen Garner, John Coetzee, and Mem Fox. There are about seventy writers on the list, and every day more writers ask to join us.
This time is different because we’re running out of time. The last two years of unprecedented fires and floods are the first flicker of our future. Looking back, those floods and fires will seem like just the gentlest hints of what was to come.
Standing in that little cardboard booth with the little pencil in our hands, we’ve got a lot of urgent issues swirling in our minds. The cost of living, employment, refugees, taxes, corruption, defence, Indigenous justice ... They’re all important and they’ll all shape our future. But the writers who have come together believe that one issue underlies all the others: the need for a reliable climate. Without that, all those other issues – no matter how important they are – are only going to get much worse.
Writers for Climate Change isn’t pushing any particular candidate or party. We’re just hoping that people will do a bit of googling about the candidates in their area to find out which is the most likely to be part of real action on climate change. Most of them can see there are votes in climate action and are talking the talk. Let’s hope enough of them are prepared to walk the walk as we head into the next last-chance few years.
For more information, visit: https://www.writersforclimateaction.com/