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Tuesday, October 07, 2014

from Professor Tim Flannery re: First Year of the independent Climate Coucil

One year ago, I was out of a job.
The Climate Commission was established to communicate climate change impacts, science and solutions to the public - to provide an expert, independent and trustworthy voice on climate change. Yet the incoming Abbott Government evidently felt we were no longer needed when, in the Government's first act, we were abolished.
Apparently, you did not agree with them.
After we were axed, I was stunned when 20,000 Australians like you dug into their pockets to personally ensure we could continue our work. The successful seed funding of the new Climate Council became the largest crowdfunding campaign in Australian history.

We’ve made a special video to share what we’ve achieved together and say thank you: watch the highlights of our first year below, and donate today to help us continue for another year.
In one remarkable year, we’ve:
  • put 14,000 major climate change stories in the news – many responding to harmful misinformation campaigns – reaching a total of more than 135 million people;  
  • published 16 landmark scientific reports on vital information: from the important progress being made on renewable energy to the grave risks bushfires and sea level rise pose to our communities;
  • busted myths and exposed dangerous misinformation in the public debate, like when the government’s top business advisor Maurice Newman bizarrely claimed the world was cooling... at least three times; and
  • put the people who are on the front line in front of the cameras, like health expert Fiona Stanley, firefighter Jim Casey, and farmer Jane Vincent.
From a groundswell of 20,000 Founding Friends, the Climate Council has grown to a supporter community of more than 130,000 people. I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved, but I don’t imagine for a minute that we can afford to rest on our laurels. Which is why I’m asking for your help to keep going.
It was your generosity and sheer belief in the importance of this work that got us this far. And we have some big plans for our future: to really ramp up our communication of information about the best solutions we can and must implement. We want to bring out high-profile international speakers and keep providing opportunities for other prominent and trusted leaders to speak out (which, believe me, can be daunting in this highly-politicised environment). And we plan to keep being the most vocal non-government group, playing an essential role in leading the public discussion.
The way I see it, our founding story is so unlikely, and our calling so urgent – that frankly we have everything to give and nothing to lose.
We all want to see a common sense, science-based debate responding to the huge risks we face from climate change. Whether you’ve donated, shared information with friends or marched on the streets - you’ve helped us succeed against some pretty remarkable odds so far. With your continued commitment to this work, we will continue to offer the strongest, most authoritative independent voice on climate change in Australia.
Thank you,
Prof. Tim Flannery
Chief Councillor
PS: What independent government funded body gets axed only to re-launch itself from public support, funded in increments of $20, $50 or $100 donations? I will never forget our founding story – your commitment and sheer audacity in ensuring a strong, independent and authoritative voice on climate change isn’t lost in our debate. Make sure our work can continue.

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