Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Cuddling coal and people: does Scott Morrison think that Australians are that stupid about climate change?

Scott Morrison and the big lie about climate change: does he think we’re that stupid? Guardian, Richard Flanagan, 25 Nov 19, Australians everywhere are ready to get on with the job of dealing with the climate crisis. We just need a prime minister to lead us

Of all the horrors that might befall the burnt out, the flooded, the cyclone ravaged and the drought stricken Australian this summer, perhaps none could be viewed with more dread than turning from their devastated home to see advancing on them a bubble of media in which enwombed is our prime minister, Scott Morrison, arriving, as ever, too late with a cuddle….

In Australia we are all now being treated as children, quietened Australians, most especially on the climate crisis. While the climate crisis has become Australians’ number one concern, both major parties play determinedly deaf and dumb on the issue while action and protest about the climate crisis is increasingly subject to prosecution and heavy sentencing.

In Tasmania, the Liberal government intends to legislate sentences of up to 21 years – more than many get for murder – for environmental protest, legislation typical of the new climate of authoritarianism that has flourished under Morrison. As Australia burns, what we are witnessing nationally is no more or less than the criminalisation of democracy in defence of the coal and gas industries.

n this regard, the climate crisis is a war between the voice of coal and the voice of the people. And that war is in Australia being won hands down by the fossil fuel industry.

Which brings us back to that industry’s number one salesman, the prime minister, standing there in the ash in the manner of Humphrey B. Bear on MDMA, as, mollied up, he pulls another victim in the early stages of PTSD into his shirt, his odour, his aura – such as it is – and holds them there perhaps just a little too long. Sometimes, at his most perplexing, he lets that overly large head loll on the victim’s shoulder and leaves it there. Prayers and thoughts naturally follow.

Perhaps it is just his way. Certainly, the prime minister is an unusual issue of two stock types frequently derided in broader Australian culture: the marketing man and the happy-clappy. But in fairness to both tribes, he seems to draw on the worst in both traditions and make of them something at once insincere, sinister and vaguely threatening…..

All this theatre hides a deeply cynical calculation: that Australians will keep on buying the big lie, a lie given historic expression last Thursday morning when on national radio the prime minister declared that Australia’s unprecedented bushfires were unconnected to climate change…….

Two days before saw the release of a major UN report that forecast Australia to be the sixth largest producer of fossil fuels by 2030. Between 2005 and 2030 Australia’s extraction-based emissions from fossil fuel production will have increased by 95%. By 2040, according to the report, on current projections the world’s annual carbon emissions will be 41 gigatonnes, four times more than the maximum amount of 10 gigatonnes required to keep global heating below 1.5 C.

According to the Economist: “The report lays much blame on governments’ generosity to fossil-fuel industries.” The report details at length how Australia supports its fossil fuel industries.

Actively working through legislation, subsidy, and criminalisation of opposition to enable Australia to become one of the world’s seven major producers of fossil fuels makes Australia’s actions directly and heavily responsible for the growing climate catastrophe we are now witnessing in Australia. It gives the lie to the nonsense that we will make our Paris commitments “in a canter”.

It cannot be explained away. It cannot be excused. Australia is actively working hard to become a major driver of the global climate crisis. That is what we have become.

The same day Morrison went to the Gabba, got photographed with cricketers and tweeted: “Going to be a great summer of cricket, and for our firefighters and fire-impacted communities, I’m sure our boys will give them something to cheer for.”

To the question does he think we are that stupid, the answer was implicit in an interview the same day when the prime minister justified not meeting with 23 former fire chiefs and emergency services leaders calling for a climate emergency declaration in April, claiming the government had the advice it needed.

He went on to say that: “We’re getting on with the job, preparing for what has already been a very devastating fire season.”

Only he’s not.

Getting on with the job would be calling a moratorium on new thermal coalmines and gas fracking. Getting on with the job would be announcing a subsidised transition to electric vehicles by 2030. Getting on with the job would be working to close down all coal-fired powered stations as a matter of urgency. Getting on with the job would be calling a summit of the renewable energy industry and asking how the government can help make the transition one that happens now and one that creates jobs in the old fossil fuel energy communities.

And getting on with the job would be going to the world with these initiatives and arguing powerfully, strongly, courageously for other countries to follow as we once led the way on the secret ballot, women’s suffrage, Antarctic protection, the charter of human rights.

We are not a superpower, but nor are we a micronation. We have an economy the size of Russia’s. Our stand on issues whether good or bad is noted and quoted and used as an example. And one only has to look at the global standing of New Zealand to see the power of setting a moral and practical example, and the good that flows from it for a nation and its people. Australians everywhere are ready to get on with the job of dealing with climate change. We just need a prime minister to lead us. In the meantime though we are left with a mollied-up Humphrey B. Bear……

The man who brandished a lump of coal and told us not to be scared, the man who last October told farmers to pray for rain, the man who says there is no link between the climate emergency and bushfires, the man whose party has for 30 years consistently and effectively sought to prevent any action on carbon emissions nationally and internationally will finally have to answer for the growing gap between his party’s ideological rhetoric and the reality of a dried out, heating, burning Australia. And as the climate heats up ever quicker, and as the immense costs to us all become daily more apparent, that day draws ever closer. …..https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/nov/25/scott-morrison-and-the-big-lie-about-climate-change-does-he-think-were-that-stupid

 

November 25, 2019 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics

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