Cummins puts cricket ahead of the pack on climate

When I was a kid, the cricket was sponsored by a tobacco company.

While controversial at the time, the Australian government banned tobacco sponsorship of sporting events 30 years ago. Cricket was the last code to quit in April 1996.

In climate change, we face an environmental crisis that threatens the existence of some nations and the liveability of most.

Global temperatures have already risen 1.2 degrees since pre-industrial times, sea levels by almost a foot and we are seeing more catastrophic weather events, here and around the world.

The uncomfortable truth is that whenever we burn gas, we increase the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Not as much as if we were burning coal, but we are still adding to the problem.

Some energy companies commendably take responsibility for their emissions and have a credible plan to get to net zero, as they support the transition to renewables. These companies should be celebrated, and their sponsorship welcomed.

But, companies that can’t explain how they are part of the solution, should expect increased scrutiny and pushback, as our climate deteriorates going forward.  This isn’t about all resources companies, it’s about the energy companies the community perceives as not doing the right thing by people and planet.

Yes, fast food and gambling ads are bad. And each of us could have done more on climate to date. But these are not reasons to discourage climate action now.

Our current crop of sporting heroes are from Generations Z and Alpha, who have more to worry about than those of us who have created the climate crisis.

When they and their kids are grappling with droughts, storms, floods and mass migration in 30 years’ time, I reckon those that took a stand on climate when they had the platform to do so, will be proud of their efforts.

Raise your bat, Pat Cummins. This time, cricket is ahead of the pack.


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