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The super-rich are getting away with murder

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The planet's wealthiest people are putting Earth on a countdown to extinction (Image by Dan Jensen)

Wealth inequality is a global crisis and taxing the super-rich is a pathway to saving the planet from environmental catastrophe, writes Robert Gordon.

WE ARE LIVING in the highest temperature of 120,000 years.

In the 40-year class war, we have been led by fools in thrall to the super-rich fossilised donors to both sides.

Leaders are supposed to have a vision of the future and actually lead. Leadership requires change and taking a risk.

Leaders in the seventies and since could have taxed fossil fuels and removed the subsidies. 

In all fairness, former PM Julia Gillard’s price on carbon was working; carbon pollution was falling, too little too late, but that was scrapped in 2013 by Tony Abbott of the L-NP, who famously referred to climate change as crap.

In his 1975 book, Confronting the Future: Australia and the World: the Next Hundred Years, the late Professor Charles Birch said unless we cut pollution immediately the soils, air and water will be ruined beyond repair in 1990. 

He said we are like kids at a never-ending party with a Christmas tree lit up 24/7.

Australians are among the worst polluters in the developed world.

Climate scientist James Hansen gave a testament to the U.S. Senate in 1988 about global heating, a mere two years before the 1990 deadline. Nothing’s changed since then in Australia or the U.S., as red and blue in both places are owned by the same super-rich fossilised donors to both sides.

You would have to eat around eight oranges today to get the nutrition your grandparents got out of one.

In 1979, the World Climate Conference of 340 scientists was held in Geneva and declared an emergency, calling for an immediate cut to pollution. That was 44 years ago.

The natural world of 1975 will never be seen again.

The natural world of today will never be seen again.

We have irreversible global heating here today, getting worse day by day. 

According to Food or War by Julian Cribb, there will be crop failures and water shortages in five to ten years.

All buildings should be built to withstand the horrendous and growing heat of future centuries (white roofs and 80% permeable surfaces and trees, not 80% hardcover and black roofs).

We can save the small remaining part of nature which can be saved and make Australia egalitarian again, by taxing the rich according to Northern European norms (inheritance and wealth taxes) and raising welfare support by 60% to the OECD average.

Furthermore, the tax-free threshold should be raised from $18,200 to $60,000, giving most employees $11,171 every year paid for by great big new taxes on the super rich and petrol tax.

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Red meat production is causing environmental pollution and global warming. Over-consumption is a serious health hazard. It is subsidised by taxpayers to 100% and these should be wound down which would double retail prices.

Responsible governments could bring back the price on carbon which was working very well to reduce pollution. 

Please give our kids a chance to survive. Our brains have not evolved to save innocent planets undergoing infestation and ruination by a bunch of primates.

Let’s change that today.

Stop flying, driving fossilised vehicles and eating red meat. 

The richest 20% cause 70% of the pollution. The 80% must stand up right now and control the guilty slothful and entitled 20%. 

We need serious wealth and inheritance taxes to not only stop but reverse their growing share of our finite assets, now being hoovered up from all the lower 90%. 

The richest 10% own 52% of all assets, up 2% in ten years due to minimal taxation. The poorer half own 9% of all assets, down 1% in ten years due to increased taxation.

Don’t put up with it.

Contact your friendly neighbourhood politician today.

We can have anything we want simply by imposing fair and reasonable taxes on the super-rich. Great big new wealth and inheritance taxes. 

We can have the extra $3.1 trillion we need to spend before 2030 to hopefully meet our target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by half by 2030. 

That’s our pathway towards a maximum global increase of 1.5 degrees by mid-century which seems unlikely, but let’s give it our best shot. It’s already 1.2 degrees.

Some say we had to see it to believe it. How idiotic is that?

I say that would only apply to selfish or small-minded persons who didn’t give a hoot about the Earth’s children. 

Intelligent, humane people would plan for the planet to thrive for a few more million years. 

Labor and the Liberal/National parties are the greedy, lying, guilty parties who have sat on their hands in the 40 years of class war preaching neoliberalism, privatisation and flat tax for the benefit of the super-rich donors to both sides. 

They have abdicated the responsibility of governing and handed it to the “market”, the overseas investment bankers. 

We are one, but we are many.

And from all the lands on Earth, we come.

We’ll share a dream and sing with one voice: “I am, you are, we are Australian.”

Let’s get serious, mates.

Robert Gordon has been a passionate environmentalist for 48 years. He is a former estate agent and served as a Mitchell Shire councillor for nine years.

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