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Ward off Climate Change

About the author

Gary Warden was raised in the Perth Hills. After graduating from the University of Western Australia with a degree in Geology, Gary joined BHP Billiton where he spent 18 years working in a variety of roles in a number of locations around the world. Prior to leaving BHP Billiton in December 2006, Gary was Global Manager for the company's US$1Billion business improvement program.

While he was originally sceptical about the claims relating to climate change, he became convinced of the urgency of the issue in early 2006. He left BHP Billiton primarily to spend more time with his young family, but also to dedicate himself to creating a more sustainable life for himself and his family and to support others in making that change.

In September 2007 he was trained by Al Gore and has delivered the "Inconvenient Truth" lectures to thousands of west australians since then. In November 2007 Gary ran for the senate in the Federal Election representing the Climate Change Coalition.

In addition to his climate change lectures, he has facilitated Living Smart workshops across Perth. Between 2008 and 2009 he was on the Executive Committee of the Conservation Council of Western Australia including one year as Vice President.

Gary co-founded and is Executive Director of the very exciting Days of Change program, one of the largest sustainability programs in Australia and is now General Manager WA for Eco-Kinetics, one of the largest Solar PV companies in Australia and subsidiary of ASX-listed CBD Energy.

Rise Above

by Gary 11/7/2007 10:32:00 AM

Rise above your previous political affiliations. In the Senate, Vote 1 for Climate Change Coalition.

The time to stop climate change has come and gone. A one to two degree rise in global temperatures is now locked in regardless of what we do now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

However we must act now to avoid even more catastrophic consequences. With your vote the Climate Change Coalition will be your voice in the senate that will ensure that the focus remains on climate change.

We have just come through the frenzied period during which the various parties have been negotiating their deals on preferences. On the basis of my experience in this regard, I must say that our system of preferential voting is rotten to the core.

I have submitted two group voting tickets – one placing the Liberal Party last, and the other placing the Labor Party last. On both tickets, The Greens are placed down the list, though ahead of the major parties, The Nationals and the Citizens Electoral Council. This is what I believed was required for us to win - and that is what we’re in this for. Losing is not an option.

In submitting two tickets I tried to rise above the politics and say “I don’t care what your political allegiances have been in the past.” The decisions we make today on climate change will define our future world for decades to come. We need to rise above our traditional political and ideological allegiances and vote for the planet.

Unfortunately, I have received flak from all sides of politics and from supporters who have traditionally supported both sides of politics. I’ve had people say that they can’t vote for me because my preferences might cause their vote to flow to the Greens. I’ve had individuals from green organisations who I respect actively campaigning against me because I didn’t place the Greens higher in my order of preferences. I’ve had people say to me that they can’t believe that I placed Liberal ahead of Labor (on 50% of the ballots).

It seems that with our preferential voting system, you cannot simply remain apolitical. This is something that I find deeply disturbing, though this is a fight that I will have to leave for another day.

If you are concerned about my order of preferences, then I suggest that you vote below the line, placing myself and Sarah as 1 and 2 and then voting according to your own preferences. This will take a little longer, though will ensure that your vote goes where you want it to go.

Neither of the major parties is covering themselves in glory over climate change. It is true that the Liberal/National Coalition has been in government for more than 10 years and has failed to act on Climate Change. However it is also true to say that neither of the parties has demonstrated during this election campaign that they truly believe that Climate Change is the biggest challenge we face.

The Climate Change Coalition is unashamedly a one platform party. Our focus is climate change. Climate change will affect all aspects of our society – from health, immigration and welfare to transportation, national security and the economy. If we don’t act urgently to avoid the most dramatic consequences of climate change, any existing concerns about those other aspects will pale into insignificance.

Our job in the senate will be to keep the other parties focussed on climate change. A vote for Climate Change Coalition in the senate will ensure that all decisions that come before the Senate will be scrutinised for their impacts on the planet and our society from a climate change perspective.

Almost all other parties have shown the degree to which they don’t believe that climate change is a critical issue by placing us low in their order of preferences. We can still win, however we will need a strong primary vote in order to stand a chance of getting elected.

I have risen above my comfortable life in the Perth Hills to take a stance against the overwhelming complacency about climate change at a corporate and political level. I have tried to take an apolitical stance and in doing so have been criticised from all sides of politics.

All I can ask you to do is to RISE ABOVE your previous political affiliations, allegiances or ideologies and to vote with your heart.

You will have two votes on Election Day.

In the House of Representatives, vote for whomever you want to form government.

In the Senate, Vote 1 for Climate Change Coalition.

Can we win? YES. We need 160,000 votes and that is where YOU come in. By sending this e-mail on to all your contacts and by urging them to also send it on to their contacts, we can quickly reach this number.

I don’t have the big marketing budget of the bigger parties, so your help is critical.  Together we can do this! 

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Election 2007

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11/8/2007 1:44:51 AM

Gerard Bentley

i personally think that this whole cimate change wrap is the net big thing for evryone to winge about, it gives government leverage against its people through a state of fear and false trust. though i do not doubt that we humans and our industrialism have had an impact on the rate at which our planet heats/cools, i do strongly believe that this, along with many other natural disasters, happens frequently (in comparison to the earths age) we find shells inland, islands rise and fall, deserts of sand become ice, water becomes land, ice melts, land becomes water, it is an endless cycle and one way or the other we are going to have to deal with this situation. i think we should all stop trying to make such a big deal about it, do our bit for the planet as any moral citizen should be doing anyway and get on with what we are doing. using these issues to promote yourself as all our candidates for both federal and state elections are doing is just wrong as are the rest of the things you say that you know the people want to hear. elections are just games, i am not a fool, you are not a fool, we promote what sells because it makes us the money/votes. just because i acknowledge this doesnt make it right, it is not me you are convincing, it is the ignorant public who dont have a chance in hell to make up their own minds, they need to be spoon fed false hope, this i consider wrong. playing on the incapacity of the majority of our society to make an informed and sensible decision based on the facts.

Gerard Bentley

11/8/2007 1:51:25 AM

Gerard Bentley

playing on the incapacity of the majority of our society who are unable to make an informed and sensible decision based on the facts.*

Gerard Bentley

11/8/2007 9:39:21 AM

Gary Warden


Firstly, let me say thank you for taking the time to comment. I must admit that I was starting to wonder whether people were reading, so I'm pleased to see that the answer is yes.

Secondly, I respect your right to a different opinion and to be sceptical on climate change in particular. I was sceptical about climate change up until 18 months ago, so it would be hypocritical of me to be critical of other sceptics.

I agree with you that the Earth has been going through cooling and warming cycles for millions of years. Having studied climate change science at University, this was one of the reasons that I remained sceptical for many years.

What woke me up to climate change was the degree to which we are now heading into territory that has not been chartered for at least the past 650,000 years, and certainly for the period during which humankind has risen to dominance.

It is true to say that there are some scientists who believe that the warnings about climate change have been overstated. It is also true that there are other scientists who believe that the impacts from climate change will be much worse than widely accepted, citing impacts such as 6m sea level rises this century, the complete destruction of the amazon rainforest etc. I don't subscribe to either of these views.

What I subscribe to is the view of the 2000+ scientists who participated in the development of the IPCC assessment reports and to the view of credible organisations like CSIRO here in Australia.

While you are quite correct that we have always been frequently subjected to natural disasters of one form or another, it is also true that we take out insurance policies against such disasters.

I believe that by acting early to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions we are taking out insurance on the worst impacts of climate change.

As a former senior manager with BHP Billiton I understand what makes big companies tick and I understand what they are capable of achieving when they set their minds to it. I have no doubt that companies will be able to adapt to a low emissions economy with relatively little impacts to their bottom lines. I also strongly believe that the most successful companies of the future will be those that embrace the challenges and opportunities presented by climate change.

I do not believe that combatting climate change will bankrupt our economy. Conversely, I believe that not combatting climate change will have much greater economic consequences.

In terms of why I am getting involved in politics - it is not because I want to be a politician. It is because I believe that climate change is the biggest challenge facing us, and the major parties were failing to take action.

I don't intend to make a career out of this. I am making a significant sacrifice in doing this - for my family and for my salary. I'm committing my own funds to this election campaign and stand a good chance of seeing no return on this effort (at least in terms of an election victory). Even if I am elected, my salary as a Senator would be a fraction of my salary previously. It would see me returning to a life of frequent travel away from the family which will have an impact on my young family.

Anyway, that's enough from me. Thanks again for taking the time to comment. I do believe that we need to have an open and honest debate on this issue. I don't agree with those on both sides of the debate who cast aspersions on those on the other side of the debate.



Gary Warden

10/25/2018 9:30:19 AM

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