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‘Global warming is not like a Batman dilemma’


8 December 2021 at 4:54 pm
David Ritter
We may be living out a whole-of-species cliffhanger, but we know what the solutions are, writes David Ritter, who shares Greenpeace Australia Pacific’s new platform, Climate Solutions by Greenpeace.


David Ritter | 8 December 2021 at 4:54 pm


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‘Global warming is not like a Batman dilemma’
8 December 2021 at 4:54 pm

We may be living out a whole-of-species cliffhanger, but we know what the solutions are, writes David Ritter, who shares Greenpeace Australia Pacific’s new platform, Climate Solutions by Greenpeace.

When I was a kid, the camp 1960s serialised version of Batman with the ear-worm theme tune was still regularly repeated on Australian TV screens. Key to the story structure were the cliff-hangers. Typically at the end of the first part of a story, either Batman or Robin or both, would be taken captive by the baddies and placed in some exotic deathtrap, with a cliff-hanger ending. Certain doom seemed inevitable; the solution to escape was non-obvious. Would anything save the dynamic duo? Tune in tomorrow – same Bat-time, same Bat-channel!!

Global warming is not like a Batman dilemma: it is true that the future of human civilisation and the ecosystems of our magnificent planet are in grave peril. We are living out a whole-of-species cliffhanger. But the difference is we know what the solutions are. The solutions are here, they are real and they come with enormous co-benefits.

Promoting solutions has long been a characteristic of the Greenpeace approach to campaigning. It’s not enough for us to point the finger; we develop, research and promote concrete steps towards a green and peaceful future for all of us. 

Most famously, in the early 1990s the development of Greenfreeze by Greenpeace was a major breakthrough in finding technological fixes to phasing out the refrigerants that were destroying the Ozone layer (and also a powerful greenhouse gas). What is more common than product development, is for Greenpeace to advocate for the solutions developed by others. Campaigns are designed to shift vested interests and decision-makers: solutions are the end result to be achieved from a campaign.

Our rigorous financial independence (we do not accept funding from governments or businesses) means that all we are interested in is the impact. Advocating for solutions is also inherently collaborative – an opportunity to value-add by showcasing the great work of others.

This week Greenpeace Australia Pacific has launched a new platform, Climate Solutions by Greenpeace, which showcases solutions developed by communities, businesses, individuals and social enterprises from all over Australia. 

Climate Solutions provides readers with practical answers for how we tackle the causes of the climate crisis, by breaking down common questions and providing tangible actions that everyone can take to effectively contribute to systemic change. 

Australians are deeply – and justifiably – worried about global warming. And an overwhelming majority of Australians want more ambitious climate action. One of the barriers to effective action is the misapprehension that the solutions don’t exist or are not possible at scale. It is unsurprising that this misunderstanding is widespread – federal politicians, major media outlets and senior business executives have all been culpable in spreading misinformation about solutions.

The truth is that Australia has all the technical and policy solutions that we need to deliver emissions reductions at speed and scale, to do our bit towards achieving the globally agreed goal of keeping temperature rise to less than 1.5 degrees.  

When you arrive on the Climate Solutions platform you are invited to take a climate impact quiz, after which you can generate a personal action plan. But the real point of Climate Solutions is the journey to how all of us can play a part in driving systemic change. 

Climate Solutions is structured around four crucial areas: renewable energy, climate-friendly homes and buildings, sustainable agriculture and greener transport, offering case studies and accessible explainers in each of these areas. The platform features great work pioneered by ClimateWorks, Beyond Zero Emissions, 2040, Odonata, Solar Citizens and many others.

One of the pillars of the Fossil Fuel Order is the pernicious myth that there is no alternative to the present, disastrous course of things. Climate Solutions shows that we have all that we need – all that is standing in the way of progress are the vested interests of the coal, oil and gas corporations and the system of power of which they are at the epicentre.

Time is short and the walls are closing in. The cliffhanger is real and we cannot come out of this unscathed. But we should be in no doubt that the Climate Solutions are real and ready to go. 


David Ritter  |  @ProBonoNews

David Ritter is the CEO of Greenpeace Australia Pacific.

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