By Mac McClungIt is one of those rare occasions when you can actually feel yourself becoming more depressed.
Mac McClister, the man known to his friends as “Macca”, is one such person.
The 37-year-old from Sydney is a regular on the NSW government payroll, having been a deputy minister for energy and climate change for eight years.
“I’m getting a little bit cranky,” he said.
“I’ve got a couple of friends who are just so tired and so stressed out.”
It’s a common problem for many people, but for Mac, it is a symptom of a bigger problem.
The NSW Labor Party has long accused the federal government of ignoring the health risks of climate change and has repeatedly raised questions about whether it has complied with the country’s obligations under the Paris climate agreement.
Mac, a retired accountant who works from home, said his experience had taught him about the importance of not getting depressed.
“If you get a little depressed, you’re probably not going to do anything about it,” he told ABC Radio Sydney’s AM program.
Macca’s experience is not uncommon.
In an interview with the ABC, a senior official with the federal climate change agency, Professor Mark Jaccard, said that many people had “lost their sense of humour” because of the seriousness of climate issues.
“There are some people that get a lot of depressed and there are some that have actually lost their sense and lost their appetite,” he wrote.
But Mac has managed to make some of those losses disappear.
In September, the Federal Government announced it would increase the maximum fine for people who fail to report a peak water temperature of more than 40 degrees Celsius (104.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
It also introduced a carbon tax, a measure that is expected to raise up to $30 billion a year by 2020.
Mac said he knew he had to be more careful with his behaviour.
He said he had learned to stop worrying about whether he was getting depressed, and instead focus on the future.
“It’s going to be a lot harder in the next couple of years, because the world is going to get much warmer and we’re going to have to adapt to it,” Mac said.
More on the weather:Climate change could see Australia face a severe droughtThe ABC’s climate reporter, Andrew White, reports from Sydney on the heatwave gripping the state.
Topics:climate-change,weather,climate-sciences,climate,government-and-politics,government—politics,australia,sydney-2000More stories from New South Wales