As 16-year-old Greta Thunberg mobilised a generation, Trump and Morrison bonded over their shared climate denialism, writes executive editor Michelle Pini.
THERE IS NOTHING more telling than a “leader” who chooses to take a tour of a box factory owned by a billionaire political donor instead of listening, standing up and maybe, even, governing, alongside other world leaders.
But, true to form, Prime Minister Scott Morrison skipped the United Nations Climate Change Summit in New York, demonstrating his lack of interest in anything as trivial as the future of the Earth. He chose, instead, to support President Trump on the U.S. election trail, attending such momentous events as the aforementioned tour of Anthony Pratt’s paper plant. He also inspected an interactive menu at a Chicago McDonald’s. If the latter was an American practical joke – given the way things turned out at the Engadine Maccas – it likely went over our PM’s head.
As well as snubbing the Summit, Morrison, also invested $150 million towards a plan “B" — hitching a ride to Mars with Trump.
At the Summit in New York, at least one true world leader was present: a teenager who speaks for a generation, Greta Thunberg.
Thunberg’s address to the Summit was moving, it was shame-inducing and it was – simply – true:
"People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are at the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!"
Thunberg represents a generation who will likely inherit a desolate planet and she is not standing idly by — she is mobilising the world’s youth, who are also inspiring their previously apathetic parents to act, or at the very least, to pay attention.
In Australia, an estimated 300,000 people turned up to the September 20 rallies, protesting climate inaction around the country. A recent Roy Morgan poll has also shown that a staggering 78 per cent of Australians are now deeply concerned about global warming.
LABOR'S CHINA'S FAULT
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, on the other hand, has demonstrated his complete disdain for the climate emergency in every way possible, but he has refused to admit it. And his hypocrisy shows the skill and dedication of a true master. For Morrison, it’s not enough simply to lie and say you care and are acting, while your behaviour demonstrates the opposite. No, the way you convince people is by repeating an empty mantra, incessantly, while simultaneously pointing the finger at others.
Domestically, this stance has usually found its scapegoat in the Labor Opposition. On the world stage, however, Morrison surpassed himself. It isn’t my fault, he said, It’s China’s! And then launched into a patronising sermon on what the Chinese Government – as opposed to his own dismally climate-denying Cabinet – should be doing to mitigate the effects of climate change. His point? Surely a climate denier wouldn’t tell the big boys what to do about global warming?
Perhaps overseas onlookers aren’t quite as gullible as domestic mainstream media, however, since the Morrison Government is increasingly being reported abroad as a “denialist” administration.
SPACE CADET PALS
Trump, meanwhile, has pulled out of the Paris Agreement and worked consistently to ensure all the environmental measures that were brought in by the Obama Administration – plus any that may have been established prior – will soon see dust (literally). Trump does, however, have one point in his “favour” with regard to the climate emergency. The POTUS is an unapologetic climate denier and he doesn’t care who knows it. Not for Trump the exorbitant lengths to cover up his ignorance to which Morrison resorts.
Like Trump, our PM is an international embarrassment on climate action (and many other areas). He has also systematically gone about dismantling any environmental policy that may have contributed to the global effort on the climate emergency, even going as far as ramping up Australia's coal sales around the globe.
Morrison admits, after all, that he and the U.S. President"share a lot of the same views” and he has gone to great lengths to get a pat on the head from Trump, with whom he traded compliments on the U.S. campaign trail.
BUFFOONS CONQUER SPACE
The question is, why are such climate-denying, theatrical buffoons, callously indifferent to others’ suffering, running things? Because they work for and represent the super-elite. The “one per cent” of the population who own all the assets that keep things moving on the same road to self-destruction. This mega-rich elite needs the rest of us to keep on our merry path of consumerism, to keep burning fossil fuels and continue making them heaps of money. These people are, for the most part, old. An older generation of super-wealthy, notably white men, their children and assorted disciples — people like Morrison and Trump and Boris Johnson – who worship at the altar of greed.
This, then, is why Greta Thunberg and the children of the masses who are finally waking up, pose such a threat. To protect their assets, this older clique are intent on denying the irrefutable science of climate change until it is no longer possible to do so. And when the ravages of this emergency can no longer be denied, they will likely just say, We can no longer fight the effects of climate change, so we just have to "adapt". Or go to Mars, if all else fails, perhaps.
And greed also breeds fear. The power-brokers at the top fear that our youth, which they continue to denigrate, plus all of the hitherto anaesthetised people of varying ages in the middle, will start to use the free energy of the sun and the wind. What if we refuse to burn coal, or fight needless wars over oil? If we begin to turn our backs on accumulating unnecessary stuff and if we render their money worthless?
The answer, of course, is that we will take away their power. That, then, is what Morrison and Trump and their billionaire donors are fighting against, and sparing no expense. Even going as far as sending a mission to Mars — for the point when the Earth is no longer habitable, or the point when the masses actually rise up and rebel, whichever comes first.
Climate denialism is no coincidence. This is the game plan of those in charge.
The real question is, will we continue to countenance this affront on our freedom and the future of our children? Or will we wake up and say, like Greta Thunberg, “How dare you!”?
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