🤑 CHIP IN TO OUR PATREON https://www.patreon.com/ARationalFear
📨 SUBSCRIBE TO OUR EMAIL LIST: http://www.arationalfear.com/
🎟️ SEE OUR LIVE SHOW: https://comedy.com.au/tour/a-rational-fear-live/
Jan Fran Has Issues…with Climate Change. We speak to Alex Dyson - an Independent candidate for Wannon and former triple j breakfast choon lord, and Anjali Sharma who sued the Environment Minister whilst still in high school.
Also, join Veronica Milsom, Mark Humphries, Gabbi Bolt, Lewis Hobba, Dan Ilic, Sami Shah and Paul McDermott for 10 Years* of A Rational Fear. June 4th Sydney Opera House. (*Runtime approx. 90min) We're 60% sold! So get in quick!
Produced by F+K media
🤑 CHIP INTO OUR PATREON https://www.patreon.com/ARationalFear
During the election, your support is more crucial than ever! Thank you FEARMONGERS!
If you enjoyed this please drop us a review on Apple podcasts:
Unknown Speaker 0:00
This episode is supported by the jib foundation. Melbourne locals are not impressed with Anthony Albanese this morning,
Unknown Speaker 0:10
this project will transform the way that Melbourne Ian's can get around the city.
Alex Dyson 0:16
It's a theme. I said, when he tried to speak to you, but you're a tool for Murdoch, and I'm not I'm an employee of Sky News. And I know Australians know that I can be a bit of a
Unknown Speaker 0:30
bulldozer. Scott Morrison is today said he's a bulldozer a bulldozer. Rex thinks I'm a builder.
Robbie McGreggor 0:37
Jam frat house issues breaking down the election one issue at a time brought to you by rational fear.
Jan Fran 0:49
Hello, and welcome to Gentran has issues. Yes, this is the podcast where we break down the election, one issue at a time and today's issue. My goodness, it's a very special issue. Because it's very close to Daniel's just heart.
Alex Dyson 1:05
It should be yours to Jen should be close to every one of y'all as your heart is in a place your heart is melting.
Jan Fran 1:13
What is the issue that we're going to be looking at on today's episode,
Alex Dyson 1:16
the issue we're gonna be talking about is climate change, which is actually a pretty big issue for this audience. Gen friend or have you know, the audience listens to you?
Jan Fran 1:25
I do not well, actually, climate change is a pretty big issue for quite a lot of Australians, the quiet Australians, the louder Australians, the rural Australians sitting Australians,
Alex Dyson 1:34
it's super interesting to see that climate change is at the top of the list of the ABC compassed issues yet it seems to be at the bottom list of any major party wanting to talk about it. Well,
Jan Fran 1:45
I think the thing that I like about you when it comes to climate change is you're all about using the power that you have to try and make a positive change around this issue, correct? Well, this
Alex Dyson 1:55
is it because we all need to do it. We all need to be working using our powers where we are with the communities we're in to try and make climate change an issue to try and get action on climate change. Because we've only got a few years left before we're all living in a sauna baby. And you know, some people, some people are excited about that, you know, some people love that I'm not a big fan of that myself, you know, it's gonna get it's gonna get hot, it's gonna get wet, it's gonna get dry, it's gonna get crusty, it's gonna get fiery, it's gonna get, oh, it's gonna get all the things all at once all the time. And we just need to try and mitigate that and fix that ASAP. So we're running out of time. So we all need to use our own powers where we are to do more for the climate to make climate and the election issue. And I made that commit to myself a couple of years ago. And I said, right, I'm going to kind of really focus a rational fear on climate. And I said, right, I'm gonna buy the biggest billboard in Times Square. And it's all up to everyone where they are in their own communities to do their little bit and run now in the next couple of weeks. Well, the next 10 days is going to be a really important time to kind of make those voices heard.
Jan Fran 2:58
Yeah, well, you're not the only one that's made that commitment. A little bit later in the show you guys gonna be hearing from two people who have also made a very big commitment to try and get some action on climate change. Albeit they've done it in two very different ways. We'll meet each of those people in just a little bit. Before we get to our main issue, though, as always, we'd like to take issue with something something that happened during the week Dan, what what be is floating around your bonnet?
Alex Dyson 3:24
Oh, this is really buzzing in my ears right now. I tell you what, there's a clip from sunrise. With Stuart Robert going on there to talk about it talk up a brand new program a brand new government scheme to do something that already exists? Well, the
Unknown Speaker 3:39
coalition has pledged $5 million to develop a new technology skills passport, it would provide a digital record of workers skills and qualifications and help people identify further training opportunities or credentials to progress their careers.
Alex Dyson 3:56
Oh, from the guy that brought you the COVID cipher app and Robo debt comes Robo LinkedIn. Yes. Fantastic. I'm can't wait for the government to create LinkedIn for all of us. It already exists to it. Robert, LinkedIn, it's also it there's an offline version. It's called a resume. Sure. It's got a fancy French name, but a lot of people in English have a resume and people who will print them out and take them to job interviews. It exists it we don't need this
Jan Fran 4:25
hang on hang on. Let's just can we give the minister just a little bit of time to explain exactly what this thing is going to do get the look it might be different. Here he is. Employment. What do you got?
Unknown Speaker 4:36
So who's gonna benefit exactly who across Australia?
Unknown Speaker 4:39
Well imagine an Australian that's done one year university a few vocational courses they've done a private sector course. All of that reflected all of it covered by a common credit point if you like so can all be understood. And then you can simply see what if I did this one extra course I can get that qualification. If I upgraded that I can get that qualification ever Every Australian will benefit.
Jan Fran 5:04
Literally, no Australian is going to benefit from this. It is, as you say, very much LinkedIn with a sprinkle of Google, and quite possibly an offline paper resume. Like it's those three things put together. I don't know if we need this mic. Good, sir.
Alex Dyson 5:18
No, no, we definitely don't need and there is also something very similar that exists at a federal level to it's called a USI, which is a unique student identifier. And that is where you can actually attach all your qualifications to but you actually don't need this. And it totally baffles me as to who is going to get this contract. It's like, is it going to be one of Stuart Roberts's mates? Is it gonna be a donor? Is it going to be the guy who created hello world? Is it going to be a is it a fossil fuel company looking to kind of get out of fossil fuels to get into tech? Is this what's gonna happen? Is it just someone who is a donor to the Liberal Party is going to get this gig? Well keep
Jan Fran 5:53
a close eye because it's $5 million, and someone looks at to get it. And if it does go the way the COVID safe up, went? That'd be to one of the circles of hell, because costs get this it costs $9 million. And they'd identified just 17. close contacts. That's her a channel nine report.
Alex Dyson 6:15
Jam, but what price can you put on getting COVID? You can't, can you? I mean, you can't make everything free. You can't make become a rat test free Kenya.
Jan Fran 6:23
You know what I would not price 17 unique close contacts at $9 million. That's that's that I've done? I've crunched the numbers. They don't add up, Dan,
Alex Dyson 6:32
well, I'm going to start a brand new app myself, it's going to allow you to send 140 character message to anyone you have the phone number two, and it's going to be called message sender. And it's going to be funded by the federal government. I'm going to take $10 million for it. I'll take that. Thank you very much, Stuart Robert.
Robbie McGreggor 6:50
Jam frat house issues.
Jan Fran 6:53
Okay, on to our key issue of the episode. And I would say of the last few decades, climate change, a lot of Australians care about it, not making a huge dent on the campaign trail this year. And as we know, in the last well, decade and a half down, we haven't exactly covered ourselves in glory when it comes to tackling climate change now halfway.
Alex Dyson 7:15
Well, first of all, Jen, can I just say, if climate change is real, why am I wearing a jumper today?
Jan Fran 7:22
Let's talk no one's talking about global cooling.
Alex Dyson 7:25
Our colleagues? No, you're absolutely right over the last 20 years or 30 years. Well, really since Bob Hawke, every single Prime Minister has met the knife due to the nefarious activities of our fossil fuel industry. And that is a well stated fact, anytime there has been any kind of climate action implemented by the government. It's been undone by either the next government or with someone right faction within their own party. So it is it the both major parties basically have failed us and climate for a good three decades now.
Jan Fran 7:56
So here is what we are asking. If politics and politicking and our parliamentary system can get us into this hot mess. Can it also get us out? We haven't been very good at tackling climate change. Now have we? You know how we had six Prime Ministers in a decade and accomplishment that got us labeled the Q capital of the world? Yeah, that was over climate policy. We are consistently ranked among the lowest performing developed nations in the world when it comes to cutting carbon emissions or having a clear Climate Action Plan or weaning ourselves off fossil fuels. I mean, Australians want climate action poll after poll shows this the states want it heck New South Wales has already invested $32 billion in renewable energy. Big business wants action, the business councils on board with net zero emissions by 2050. Our biggest airline is on board. The bloody minerals Council is on board. So why has our government plural sucked so hard at tackling this issue? Well, the thing that has gotten in the way of federal politics is federal politics. A toxic combination of factional fighting personality clashes free collection results, rules that allow parties to just topple a PM, although the Labour Party did change that malleable media fossil fuel lobbies and attack dog opposition leaders, none more effective than Tony Abbott. Do you remember the carbon tax the thing that sunk the Gilad government? I mean, she did say
Unknown Speaker 9:27
there will be no Carbon Tax under the government I lead.
Jan Fran 9:31
But who could have predicted a hung parliament at the 2010 election. This is where neither party got a majority 76 low house seats. This would lead labour to negotiate with the crossbench and ultimately to this
Unknown Speaker 9:42
Prime Minister Julia Gilad today unveiled plans to introduce a fixed price on carbon emissions by June next year with a transition to an emissions trading scheme after that.
Jan Fran 9:54
Yeah. Just listen, though, to the way that Julia Gillard talks about climate change and intermissions.
Unknown Speaker 10:01
I'm determined to do it. Because climate change is real. We have never before lived with so many people on the planet emitting so much carbon pollution. If you put a price on something, then people will use less of
Jan Fran 10:15
it. Well, we didn't put a price on carbon because, Oh, what's this?
Unknown Speaker 10:20
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott described the announcement as an utter betrayal of Labour's election commitment, not to introduce a carbon tax and vowed to fight it every second of every day.
Jan Fran 10:33
And that he did, my friends at
Unknown Speaker 10:37
the trial of the Australian people left the Australian people could not trust the prime minister on this. They can't trust on anything. But the shattered and she will be judged by it. This is a labour green carbon tax, and it's gonna drive up prices, threaten jobs and do nothing at all. For the environment, any carbon tax regime, everyone will pay a great big new tax that just for starters, will drive your power bill up by $300 a year. We're not talking about changing it. We're talking about scrapping it. Can I make that crystal clear, was political desperation. It was political panic, which led her to make a bare face like this Prime Minister is not Frank, she is a fraud. This tax is all about making the essentials of modern life more expensive, we won't be able to turn on our air conditioner or our heater.
Jan Fran 11:47
Yeah. Tony went hard on the carbon tax, especially about it driving up the cost of living. Let me tell you the reason, though, that I'm bringing all of this up. It's because years later, his chief of staff Peter Cridland made the most extraordinary admission about that time. He she is on Sky in 2017.
Peta Credlin 12:10
Along comes a carbon tax. It wasn't a carbon tax. As you know, it was many other things in the in the military terms. We made it a carbon tax.
Jan Fran 12:19
We made it a fight about the hip pocket and not about the environment. I'm sorry, what? It wasn't a carbon tax, you just made it up. So all that shit about not being able to turn on your air conditioner and petrol prices. That was brutal retail politics. Wow. Imagine if we curbed our carbon emissions 11 years ago, instead of having the same conversation over and over again. Thanks, politics. Here's the question though. If politics can fuck things up, can politics fix things? The so called tail independent seem to think so. They are a loosely affiliated bunch of candidates that are running on a strong climate action platform in a bid to unseat moderate liberals, they are posing a real threat in some inner city seats such as Denise Wentworth or Melbournes. Goldstein, their aim is to stack the crossbench and hold a united voice when it comes to climate policy. In the event of a hung parliament, for example, the crossbench very powerful, nothing gets done without them, as we've seen. So is this the answer to getting the strong climate action we need from our federal government? Yes, is it the answer indeed, well, at least one person thinks that it might be the answer. And that person is a gentleman by the name of Alex Dyson, who you might have heard. If you're cheeky enough like me. on Triple J.
Alex Dyson 13:57
Tom and Alex, if you're a boomer, you may have heard of Alex dice.
From the times when radio broadcasting was a thing. Or if you're a great grandfather, you may have heard from your grandchildren and a guy today at the pre polling voted for me after his whole life voting for labour is gonna crack sasta Great. Well done congratulate
Jan Fran 14:22
Alex dice and welcome to you running as an independent for the Victorian seat of one and how's that? How's the campaign going? You're running as an independent? Yeah, give us a bit of a of an update as to how the last few weeks have been foyer.
Alex Dyson 14:36
Look, it's been pretty intense tonight is the six candidates forum that I will have been to Portland is the venue. It's about four hours west of Melbourne. But the vibe is good. Like people are really getting around it like it is interesting. The problem with getting bigger because I got 10% In the last election I have running as an independent. This time around we're sort of gunning for more
10% And you weren't even really trying last election. I did it with my eyes closed last time.
It was it was a good attempt. But it was a very short, like, I got my forms in eight minutes before the EAC cut off, and it was a bit of a surprise candidate.
So yeah, this time around, we've been doing it for six months, so many meetings, hundreds of people. So the getting the face and the name out there for people who didn't like to get up and go and hard listening to Triple J every morning. It's it's really, it's been really nice. And someone who you know, is your friend and say, has seen you kind of go through this bit of a trajectory. You seem to be working so hard at it, and it is so admirable. My question is like, Are you exhausted? Did you think it was gonna be this hard second time round? Like I think it's a similarly exhausting to last time. But the more momentum you get, and the more conversation you have, the more people are voting for you. You're like, Oh, my goodness, this is excellent. And your spirits get buoyed. But then, as the other candidates and parties start noticing, there's also more things to attack. And there's more interesting comments, and there's more people who know your name and then want to, you know, bring down the campaign or what kind of attacks if they've been going back into the Triple J archive from like, 2009. And putting out something obscure that you and Tom Ballard might have made a joke about? Well, they time that I turned off the Vengaboys. We like to party halfway through getting me the nickname rat dog has not been brought up by many of the candidates so far. But I was even on Facebook last night and the United Australia party were calling me a stooge, because I'd accepted $30,000, and then another $30,000, from climate 200 to help me run on an integrity and climate and respect for women basis. And, yeah, you're just sort of like, write out a response and then delete it and go now there's no point of even getting into it. But it takes up the mental, the mental space of trying to say, Yeah, well, we all like even just go okay, I am a stooge. Are you also a stooge are the other party's stages? Yeah, you just find it very difficult you start having these semantic conversations with, with people rather than how do we make Australia better together kind of conversations? Yeah, I remember having a chat with you about this, Alex Dyson some years ago. And you actually flight you said, Ah, this, this is sort of like idea floating around have, you know, any citizen, how would you feel about this gen of, you know, potentially, like running as I tried to get you to run?
Jan Fran 17:44
And I think I said that the short answer was no. And the long answer was Fuck no. Do that. Yeah. You know, this idea has been kicking around for some time. And you actually went and did it. You did it. You've done it two years in a row. You're doing it again, in the lead up to this election. So why why? Why are you running? And does that make you a fundamentally better human being than me? No, absolutely
Alex Dyson 18:09
not. I just I found it very hard to know people don't listen to you. Like they just don't listen to. I mean, you've been policy hasn't been changed because of the France. You know, Greta Thunberg has made a lot of noise and has got a great following. Nothing gets done. Oh, you know, it's Jan's won a Walkley. And before she won that Walkley, they had she had a swinging door that couldn't be held open. But thanks. So that Walkley, that has changed the position of that door, that door, no longer swing open willy nilly in the wind? Yeah. My friend watching the politicians say to school children, walking out of school and begging them to do something about climate change, have better targets, you know, invest more heavily. They say, well, they really shouldn't be learning in school, they don't get listened to. So I'm saying I'm running as independent. You can vote for me on these particular things. I feel more comfortable doing that, or even some of the videos putting out just saying do your research and vote for someone who represent it because just not voting in our own interest or voting through political inertia? I find extremely frustrating.
Jan Fran 19:18
And so on some level, you must feel like the the frame of politics, our the way our political system is, is still the best way to bring about change for Australia.
Alex Dyson 19:29
Is it the best way? That's interesting? I think it is. Yeah, that was probably the quickest way to actually make change because I've been using my keep cup. I've been trying to have shorter showers. You know, I've been recycling for many years. But unless we have an actual target and we hit the source of our biggest emissions, we're not going to get there and unfortunately, the private sector is doing the stuff like I was having. I was out on a beef farm The other day and talking with someone who's been working with the Beef Council and they've got a net zero target for 2030.
They would have Surprise, surprise. Government doesn't even have that. Yeah. And so they're getting dragged along. And it's like, yeah, what did you do to do that? I mean, it's a great project. You've been out of the bloody games, arcades while we've been doing the work, you come back and take credit for the project. It's unbelievable.
Jan Fran 20:27
Those who are listening who are concerned about climate change, like can we just go through? I know, Dan, you are like, somehow the the store of all climate information, I don't think I've met anyone who knows more. Who is more of a climate generalists than Danny Leach, like, you have facts and figures, my dude that people do not have, or maybe I've not met
Alex Dyson 20:48
him to meet a few more people that
Jan Fran 20:51
I need to get out more. That's what you're saying. Okay, that's fair. But Can Can we just go like quickly through what the Labour Party is proposing what the what the coalition is proposing or the greens are proposing? And then Alex, where you fit into all of this as an independent? Okay,
Alex Dyson 21:05
let's take a quick look, there's a couple things to think about here. There's net zero, and then there's the targets to get to net zero. So Liberal Party, the coalition promising net zero by 2050, they have no interim target, there's no 2030 Target or no 2035 Target, their emissions reduction target is 26% 26 to 28%, on 2005 levels, for around 2030. But that's a really old target. To put it in perspective, the government is saying that they've reduced emissions by 20%. But in fact, actual emissions have gone up by 4%. Their way of reducing emissions for this netzero is through hypothetical drawdown technologies like carbon capture storage, and ways to suck carbon out of the sky, which haven't been invented yet. The actual emissions created a home should go down. But what's caught our scope three emissions emissions that we export are actually going to expand because according to their 2050, net zero by 2050, Target, the export emissions are gonna go up for some reason. So it's this weird thing where they're like, no, no, no, no, we're going to export more fossil fuels. But somehow we're going to take all the carbon out of the sky and put it in a little can and put it underground. They have this slogan called technology, not taxes. But in the latest budget, they cut nearly a billion dollars over the next three years for arena and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. That is the renewable energy technology agencies responsible for renewable technology. So that is that is the coalition Okay, once labor doing alright, and labor labor have a plan, they've got an interesting plan, net zero by 2050. There 2030 target is 43% on 2005 levels, that is pretty good. A lot of scientists say we actually need to be around 70%. But that is better than what liberals have actually got, which is currently zero. They've got this strategy called powering Australia, which is basically electrifying everything. They've got a national Evie electric vehicle strategy, they're going to do a whole bunch of grid upgrades to grid. So it makes it easy for renewable technology and renewables to kind of enter the grid. And they've they're promising 60 and 40,000 jobs to do that will align up with the Paris Agreement. Maybe but probably not in Australian still leads to a lot more.
Jan Fran 23:15
Okay, the greens, you think the Greens have a much more progressive climate strategy, what is it?
Alex Dyson 23:19
It's in the name, so they've got net zero by 2035, very, very aggressive, clean energy generation, rapid transition from coal and gas by 2030. And a huge, a huge campaign to move workers through a just transition through pensions. So that is interesting, like labour doesn't really even talk about just transition. But greens are the greens are kind of got this huge plan to kind of move workers out of these industries, either on pensions or retraining for renewables. They are also proposing something strange 100 million tonnes of negative emissions by 2040. But there's no actual way to do it yet. So they are also kind of playing in the funny funny, we hope thoughts and prayers space the Liberals are, but they are promising 100 millions tons of negative emissions, that is Australia will be in charge of sucking out 100 billion tons out of the sky of carbon that to do that 800,000 jobs and it will meet the Paris targets.
Jan Fran 24:19
Okay, so they're the major minor parties. Alex, where are you? Where do you fit into this equation?
Alex Dyson 24:25
I come at it from a talkback background. Okay, being in radio, I get on there and I say, What song would you like to request? Or how are we going to transition to renewables as quickly as possible? And so what I've been doing is trying to talk to people like Danny Lee, I called a an energy expert from AMU and talked through it's like, how are we going to do that and just, they were so knowledgeable. It's one of my favorite conversations of the campaign. We're talking about green hydrogen, brown, hydrogen, gray hydrogen, there's blue hydrogen. Okay, at the end of it, I just Wow, do you get calls all the time from politicians like to, to, you know, ask how we should do this. And then like, no. One one time, someone from Zaarly Steggles office called the independent for robbery and got one time that called and I was like, oh my goodness, I hope that I can campaign and I can win so that I don't have to come up and tell everyone what we should do. I'll just say listen to this person. Well, I think you've made the first mistake there that is listening to experts. Alex. No one in Parliament listens to experts. They always do a report and a review and they put their report somewhere sacred, like the bottom drawer, or the shredder and never look at it again. Yeah. Yeah.
Jan Fran 25:42
Thank you for your time. But good luck with the rest of the campaign. And, look, we might see you running again in 2025, baby.
Alex Dyson 25:50
Ah, well, I think it could be the day after if I was giving birth, like yourself, Jad. The very next day, it'd be like never again. Maybe. Maybe in a few years, I'll get politically lucky.
Sod myself back up for this absolute roller coaster. Who knows? That's the way. Well, thank you very much, Tim. Good to keep up the good work. And yeah, we'll talk to you after May 21. I might have to go buy a suit.
Jan Fran 26:14
Wow. Now we're talking commitment. I don't think I've ever seen you in a suit. Damn. This episode
Alex Dyson 26:20
of Jen Fran has issues is brought to you by Lowe's
Jan Fran 26:23
and Tara cash.
Alex Dyson 26:25
He's caught he's got a parliament.
Robbie McGreggor 26:29
Jam frat house issue.
Alex Dyson 26:32
Jen, it was so great to talk with Alex there. I really feel like that's a really great example of somebody who cares about climate and is working with in their own community to make change. And our next guest Anjali Sharma is doing that inside her community, but her community is young people.
Jan Fran 26:52
Ah, Anjali, thanks so much for joining us on Jan. Fran has issues I can't help but notice that you are in your school uniform.
Anjali Sharma 26:59
I am I got her that 10 minutes ago played with the dog. And now I'm here did not have time to change. But you know, the dog got a nice game of fetch, so that we go.
Alex Dyson 27:10
I mean, I didn't I can't imagine the stress around that not only year 12 but also taking on the Commonwealth of Australia. Where do you find time in your life can to do this? That is that is that is a very big task you've taken upon yourself, Anjali.
Anjali Sharma 27:24
Oh, look, I mean, when you're passionate enough about selling and all fits in, right? I have one of the one of the things that I value the most is my mother, she always encourages me to just you know, say stuff you'd love and do the things that I actually care about. I got invited to Sydney for the things that I think you're part of Jan the some debate thing and it's the day before our English sack. I'm almost like oh, just just go you know, just just just girls know, the day before. But um, yeah, we find we find time.
Jan Fran 27:55
What a legend doing the complete opposite of what the federal government is doing, which is saying stay in school, caring about climate change so much
Anjali Sharma 28:04
that now I'm giving them more ammo. To school, I'm very much in school.
Alex Dyson 28:10
Jen, staying in school is a delay tactic for climate. We can't afford to have these kids in school. They're gonna be out on the streets. That's true. Maybe
Anjali Sharma 28:17
I should run maybe I should run for parliament.
Dan Ilic 28:19
Yeah, hey, girl,
Jan Fran 28:22
I'm not gonna stand in your way. That's for sure.
Alex Dyson 28:25
This is what we're talking about. This is the kind of action we're talking about. We just spoke with Alex Dyson, who's running in his community of women. And Anjali, you have done something absolutely extraordinary. For people who don't know your story. Can you give us a cliff notes, quick summary of what the last couple of years has been like for you?
Anjali Sharma 28:42
Yeah, so in 2020, I became the lead litigant in a class action against the Federal Environment Minister Susan Lee. And basically, it was me and few of my friends. And we took the federal government to court to argue that they have a duty of care to all Australian children under the age of 18, to protect us from the impacts of climate change. It's no case groundbreaking case, because it wasn't argued under environmental law as such, but under a common law, like a duty of care, which in my mind seems pretty, you know, like seems pretty straightforward. Yes, she's a politician, she should care about us. Unfortunately, the Federal Court of Appeal did not see it that way. And a few months ago, she was found to not have this duty of care. And so that's it the cases shut now. But I guess that has been my journey over the last two years and now I'm just doing activism yelling at the government whenever I whenever I can.
Jan Fran 29:38
Yeah, what a roller coaster of emotions because as you say, Susan Lee was found to actually have a duty of care initially, when what was that moment like for you? And I should say that this was you and I think there was maybe seven, seven other young people every time I use the word young people. Very old. I'm just gonna use it. It was you and seven others that that took Susan Lee to court and she was bound to have a duty of care towards you. When that verdict was handed down. What was that moment like for you?
Anjali Sharma 30:10
Okay, you'll love this verdict was handed down. I was not in court. I was not fronting the media. I was in my economics class. I tested daily stuff, you federal government, I do stay in school. But yeah, so I was in my economics class, admittedly not listening, because I didn't have the federal court live stream up on my laptop did not have because the amount of legal jargon in these places like I had no idea it was going on, did not know that we want until about an hour later, when the lawyers finally, you know, got to their phones. And we're like, by the way, you're down there in Melbourne, though, we won. So that's, you know, kind of an hour later, I was like, Oh, we weren't super, super cool. It was, uh, it just knowing that the studio of care could have set a precedent for, I guess, the approval of all new fossil fuel projects as part of this in this portfolio, because it would have required her to take into account the fact that she then could be pursued with further legal action for breaching this duty of care. That would have been monumental in the course of Australian law, because it could have stopped her from approving certain really, really big fossil fuel projects. And, you know, knowing that that was the case at that point that made me so sort of hopeful and just served so happy. Like, I found out I was, I was, it was the period after and I was just like, telling my friends, I was like, we won, we won, we won, and everybody was so excited, because it means so much to us, you know, like you look at your future, and you're like, it could, it could be so terrible steps like this aren't taken. So it was a huge, huge monumental moment.
Jan Fran 31:50
Hmm. But then it kind of all, it all turned around it all sort of like turned around for the worse really, with, as you say, the Court of Appeal rejecting the fact that the that the environment minister had a duty of care to you guys. So then what was that? Like? What was that crash? Like?
Anjali Sharma 32:05
Yeah, well, here's the thing it happened about if I remember, right, if I remember correctly, it happened about two days after like the sheet decided to appeal about two days after we won. So I really only got to ride that high. And we won for two days, I made the most of it there. That's for sure. I can't say that I did it. But when I found out that we were being taken back to court, I was honestly disappointed but not surprised. Like when you when it's someone who has that much that much money that they have any resources at their disposal, and they believe that they can overturn this duty of care, and then just proceed with approving new fossil fuel projects every second day. And then yeah, why wouldn't you?
Dan Ilic 32:45
Julie, I'm so sorry. Because as an Australian taxpayer, I helped to defeat you. I feel so complicit in this defeat. I wish there was a way I didn't
Anjali Sharma 32:56
stop paying taxes. I don't know is that what is that?
Jan Fran 33:02
I don't think that was necessarily the point of that. But yeah, that's
Anjali Sharma 33:07
what I got from it. Yeah, you, Jan, you said that it was it took a turn for the worse. And you know, while this was while we were struck down in court, I would argue that there were some really, really amazing things that came out of it, which was that at both instances, you know, the trial when she was found to have a duty of care, and did the appeal when she wasn't the federal court and Federal Court of Appeal, fully accepted, or the climate science that was put to them by our amazing barristers. Even Susan Lee's legal team did not once try and debate the climate science, they did not call anywhere expert witnesses on the stand, they did not cross examine. The thing that was in question was never the science. So both times, the Federal Court fully accepted and wrote in their judgments that climate change is an issue. It is a pressing issue is an ever relevant issue. And that could be used in further cases. And I hope that when further cases worked out how to argue this duty of care in a way that allows the federal court to you know, come to terms with it, that they'll be able to build on that acceptance of science.
Jan Fran 34:13
How did all of this come about? Like how did how did you decide right? I'm going to sue the Federal Environment Minister, that's what I'm going to do. How did the idea pop into your head or the the heads of the others that did it with you?
Anjali Sharma 34:29
Honestly, we were all we will be an activist for ages. Right? So we all organize climate strikes we still do. You'll see us on the streets every you know, because we love skipping school. Right? So we're just what?
Dan Ilic 34:45
This is why you're so inarticulate and can't string words together because you missed so much school on July.
Anjali Sharma 34:51
Well, yes, so
Jan Fran 34:54
we like people aren't gonna find you smoking behind the shed. No, they're gonna find you taking these Federal Environment Minister to court. Yeah, it's different. Yeah, everyone's
Anjali Sharma 35:03
everyone's everyone's got their ways. We've all got the common objective just getting out of school, we just find ways to do it, I guess. Yeah. So we were actually approached by one of our fellow school strikers who had since graduated from the network and was working as a paralegal, working as a paralegal at equity generation lawyers. And she was just very fresh on the activism space, we were, we were all very close. And we kind of, I guess, came up with this idea together. And then we, you know, with her connections to equity generation lawyers, that's how we got in contact with the lawyers. With the barristers. It was a long process. So many legal documents, again, I talked about the legal jargon, you just it's on a different level, like, I got sent these huge documents, I was like, please like point to one word that I've ever used in like my daily life, like it was, it was crazy. But yeah, again, crazy experience
Alex Dyson 36:00
financially, this speaks to the power that you have, as a young person connecting with other young people to do what you think must be done. And it speaks to the power of people listening as well to work in their own communities to do the same.
Anjali Sharma 36:14
For sure. Like, if you would, if you were told me there is like, the case was filed in September 2020. If you told me and like the start of 2020, that I was, you know, three years later, I was going to be coming home from a day of YouTube and sitting on a podcast with Amgen, and I would have laughed in your face like I I've always cared about climate change, it's very, it's a very, it's an issue that's very close to my heart. Because India, the place that I come from, is very badly affected by climate change. And we're seeing that right now with horrible heat waves. But I never thought that I would have this much of an impact. And sometimes I just see my name, you know, pop up on all the Monash law schools running a forum on Sharma and the future of climate litigation. And I'm like Sharma sham that that's me. And it's not just it's not just called Sharma for the sake of Sharma. It's called shallow because that's me. It never gets, you never get used to it. But everyone has the opportunity to just like, use what is what is available to them and push for change if they care enough.
Jan Fran 37:16
Yeah, I love that. I love that that's such a great message. But I feel as well that there's a lot of disenfranchisement with our system, particularly by people who I mean, if you're under the age of 30, in this country, the only Prime Minister you will have voted for that has served a full term is Scott Morrison. Right? Isn't that nice? That's insane. So I can understand why there would be young people who are disenfranchised with the political process for sure. You've kind of taken it a little bit of a roundabout way and gone through the courts. I mean, where does your faith lie in terms of how we can address climate change as a nation? Like what do you think is the best way to get that done?
Anjali Sharma 38:02
That's a loaded question. Um, first thing
Jan Fran 38:05
you're gonna have, you're gonna be cleaning up the mess. When the boomers are gone, and they're going, it's you. It's left to me. Yeah.
Anjali Sharma 38:15
Yeah. No, well, firstly, you're you're so right. Like the, the disenfranchisement that I see like, among even my friends is it's on another level. Like, I think that with our current political system, you kind of steal young people down, you know, two separate routes, either they become completely radicalized, and they know exactly what they want. And they know exactly what matters to them, and they push for change, or they know what matters to them. Like everyone knows that climate change is an issue, you'll find no one, almost no one around my age, who doesn't believe that climate change exists. They just don't know what to do about it. Right? Um, I think that for a lot of people in Australia, the thing is that climate change has never affected their lives, right. Like for me currently, I, I talk to my family every day and they are suffering through a brutal heatwave. And I'm like, Yeah, I'm so concerned for some of my cousins and my grandma, my these people who've raised me, my family from birth, and it's so it's such a, it's such an issue that's so close to my heart. But for some people, they never actually seen climate change impact their daily lives. But that's becoming less and less prevalent now. Because we've seen the images coming out of Lismore where people sit on their roofs for hours waiting for the SES to rescue them. We've seen you know, even though we weren't affected that badly down in Melbourne, we saw the smoke roll even the 20 in the in the black summer bushfires. And so now that we're all seeing people be affected, it's hitting close to home and that is what's needed. Unfortunately, I guess, to take real climate action like we now know how real of an issue this is. We're seeing even like insurance or something. I don't know. I don't I don't care about insurance right now, but apparently prices going up. Yep, it's Yeah, that's what's needed. People need to, you know, Wes, people need to look at these stories, tell these stories, see these images? And then and then vote based on that.
Jan Fran 40:12
Yeah. Well, that's on that on voting, obviously, the election, the 21st of May. What do you reckon that people who really care about climate change should be thinking about if there was one thing you could counsel them to have at the top of their mind before they head to the voting booth? What would it be?
Anjali Sharma 40:30
Climate change? Just the whole thing? Yeah, I think the fact that Brits really both major parties at this point that are the problem, I would call it a people pleasing problem, actually, the fact that they take both major parties take these huge donations from fossil fuel companies, and then they have to carry this baggage. They have the vested interests of fossil fuel companies when they are in the party rooms. And when they are making decisions on how to vote. They both major parties are taking targets to the next election that aren't backed by science. Yeah. But like the science is saying that we need 75% emissions reduction targets. The Liberals have 26 to 28%, I
Jan Fran 41:14
think by 2030 on 2005 levels. Yeah, very convoluted number. Yeah.
Anjali Sharma 41:19
Yeah. And liberals have, sorry, labor has 43%. It's just, you know, it's not in line with the science. And it's, you know, again, you said it's convoluted number, many people won't be able to say that statistic off the top of their heads. And me too, I was a bit I was a bit rusty. But it's so clear to see that when you actually look into it, they don't have the interests of the people at heart, the people in Lismore who have just suffered the most, you know, some of the most terrible moments of their lives and the people in Sydney who are bracing for another, another summer, like the black summer, they when they vote, they vote with the interest of the fossil fuel companies. And it's just what we need now is people who don't have the interest of fossil fuel companies, when they go to vote.
Alex Dyson 42:06
Anjali, thank you so much. I feel like as a young person, you're able to crystallize everything so succinctly. Because you don't come with the years of baggage that people like Chad and I have.
Jan Fran 42:18
Excuse me, I grew up myself among the younger people of Australia. I'll have you know,
Alex Dyson 42:24
I've got some news for you.
Anjali Sharma 42:27
Know, we welcome you with.
Jan Fran 42:31
Well, thank you, mate. And thank you for doing this chat with us. And, you know, thank you for taking it all the way to the courts. And I'm sure this is not the last that we'll hear about. We'll hear from you on climate change. And I thoroughly hope it isn't. And look, hey, 2020 fives around the corner. You know what? You'll be out of high school then.
Anjali Sharma 42:51
No more exams, right? Oh, me.
Alex Dyson 42:56
Like, what electorate Are you in?
Anjali Sharma 42:58
I'm in Chisholm. I started just front and back side while walking home. So he's a bit he's a bit lost.
Alex Dyson 43:06
Right, we need to hit the streets, you know?
Anjali Sharma 43:10
Yeah. Well, I mean, like I said, you never know where life takes you like, again, three years ago, I wouldn't have thought that I was really litigating this case. So one thing to be sure on that said, I'll always be finding opportunities to yell at the government, no matter who's in government. And I guess we'll see where that takes me. Because I know that I know that climate change really, really matters. And I'll be making my voice heard on that for a long time to come. Thank
Jan Fran 43:33
you so much for chatting to
Alex Dyson 43:34
us. Thanks so much. That was so good. A real privilege to chat with you.
Unknown Speaker 43:38
Yeah, you guys too. Thank you. Jan, when
Alex Dyson 43:41
I hear people like Angela, I think the future is gonna be okay.
Jan Fran 43:46
Yeah. And when I hear people like Angela, I think, wow, the past was wasted, at least for me. Because I was skipping schools smoking behind the shed,
Alex Dyson 43:56
skipping school and going to the movies wasted my time.
Jan Fran 43:59
I was not suing any minister anywhere. But man. Yeah. What am I? Not the last we'll hear from her I'm sure. Absolutely not.
Robbie McGreggor 44:09
Jam Fran has issues.
Alex Dyson 44:13
Well, Jen, you know, we can't make a podcast without sponsors, as Barack Obama says, which ideals are we going to betray today? Unfortunately, we've had to take some money for some pretty dirty actors. At the Australian government, we know that coal powered electricity plants are running out of time. On one hand, they're old, expensive, and make climate change worse every minute they run. But on the other hand, the coal industry also provides critical baseload donations to the LNP. So that's why we're launching coal keeper. We're spending $7 billion a year to keep coal powered, polluting clunkers running way past their use by date. That way the LNP can get more donations from the c…