A New Australia for a Hotter World

Want to reverse climate change? Here’s a handy primer.

Things to do now: within ten years or less

Stop flying

Flying has a huge impact on the climate, so do less of it, and get used to paying more.

Introduce a flight tax: the more kilometres per year you fly, the greater the cost per kilometre you pay

Use railways for long journeys

Start building high speed rail networks now

Stop taking cruises

Those massive ships are hugely polluting – sail on wind-powered craft only

Stop driving

By all means buy your electric/hydrogen and other non-fossil fuelled cars, but that won’t make a significant dent fast enough: Get rid of your cars

The bigger the vehicle, the higher the purchase tax should be.

Incentives for buying and using smaller, less polluting vehicles.

Stop boating

Get rid of your powerboats, water bikes and other personal powered watercraft – wind-powered only

Use public transport, especially rail and electric buses

The era of powered personal private transport is ending. Governments need to invest massively in public transport infrastructure.

Use human-powered transport – walking, cycling

For our personal health, as well as the health of the planet, we need to walk and cycle more. And governments need to rejig existing cities and plan new once where nothing you might need is more than a short walk away.

Stop burning stuff to generate power and heat

  • No wood stoves, no coal or oil, no gas or electric heating
  • Use heat pumps to move heat from outside to indoors in winter, and vice versa in summer
  • Heavily insulate your home
  • Make use of natural shade and ventilation
  • In the meantime, turn your air and water heater thermostats down at least two degrees, your aircon thermostat up at least two degrees
  • Install solar hot water system
  • Install solar electricity system

Stop using animal products

  • Animals and animal products – such as fish, meat, milk, eggs, leather, feathers – impose a huge burden on the climate
  • Eat sparingly if at all – use as garnishes and flavourings, not as a main ingredient
  • Cook less – eat more raw foods

Things to do next: within twenty years or less and thereafter

Start moving away from the coast

  • The seas are going to rise
  • Temperatures are going to rise
  • The land area usable for agriculture is going to shrink
  • Do not house people in areas where there is relatively reliable rain
  • Demolish cities and suburbs built on former farming land and return them to agriculture
  • Build new cities in the deserts

After that: starting now and for the foreseeable future

  • Phase out sheep, cows, chickens, pigs horses and all other imported animals
  • Phase out wheat, rye, barley, rice, cotton and all other imported crops
  • Reclaim farmable land from under the cities and suburbs
  • Farm organically and sustainably using native crops only
  • Green the deserts
  • Reclaimed cleared land and regrow degraded ecosystems
  • Develop water harvesting systems that extract moisture from the air, even in arid areas. For example, build artificial forests that capture airborne moisture which waters the plants shaded beneath them
  • Use science and imagination: build new things and stop digging up and destroying old ones!

About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)