As Australia burns amid record-breaking temperatures and ongoing drought, and report after report confirms the dire consequences of global warming, it is obvious what we must urgently do: ban climate protests.
It is what the Quiet Australians in parliament and Sky News studios are clamouring for. And fair enough, as Quiet Australian-In-Chief Scott Morrison has pointed out, it’s not like Australia can do anything about climate change anyway, seeing as we only export about a third of the world’s coal.
That’s why, when my boss yelled at me for sleeping at my desk today, I calmly pointed out that I’m just a minority of the workforce so it makes no difference. The bastard sacked me!
Worse, it turns out he was actually yelling at me because the cigar I was smoking when I fell asleep started the fire that burned the building down. That and the fact that they couldn’t put it out as I’d flogged the fire extinguishers for cash and diverted the office water supply to my mate’s swimming pool.
I did point out to him that Jenny in finance had died in the blaze and this was no time to politicise a tragedy and start playing the blame game.
Anyway, it was the Greens’ fault. I’m not sure how, but I’ll think of something before my manslaughter trial. After all, we all know the unprecedented bushfires devastating huge swaths of the continent are the fault of the Greens for stopping backburning, even if that’s not actual Greens policy and they don’t control a single parliament in the country.
It is the same logic by which I blame Joey Connors, a six-year-old from Minnesota, for the Western Sydney Wanderers tragic 2-3 loss to Melbourne City in the A-League the other day. I mean, come on Joey, how the fuck was that a penalty?
Luckily for those of us depressed by the government’s pro-fossil fuel policies, we have a clear-cut alternative in the Labor Party. This can be seen in Queensland, where the state Labor government is merely cracking down on climate protests. Or Victoria, where the state Labor government merely cheers on cops as they bash climate protesters.
No doubt some consider it flippant to imply the two major parties are essentially the same on this issue. Labor, after all, says it accepts climate science while the Coalition treats “science” like it’s a Communist plot to destroy Christian family values.
Fair enough. At least Labor can declare with pride that it is the only major party willing to propose minor measures that fall far short of what the science demands and that it will jettison after the first hostile Murdoch op-ed. This is the sort of backbone this nation needs, because when agriculture becomes unsustainable in the near future, jelly could become a valuable food source.
The real issue here, though, is not a lack of understanding of the science or a lack of political courage. It is that both parties are directly tied to — and unwilling to challenge — corporate power. This is the same reality that allows Westpac to repeatedly breach anti-money laundering laws with impunity.
Well, OK, I say “repeatedly”, it was actually only 23 million times. We all make mistakes and, as they say, those in glasshouses shouldn’t throw 23 million stones. Personally, I just fantasise about being rich enough to make 23 million financial transactions in my lifetime, legal or not.
And it’s not like it was without any consequences. Westpac CEO Brian Hartzer has resigned with a $2.7 million payout. Some critics say this is flogging him with warm lettuce, but that’s not really true. It is more like flogging him with cold hard cash as he leaps out of a plummeting plane with his golden parachute.
And it’s not just the same logic enabling corporate crimes in the financial world and the fossil fuel industry. It’s actually the exact same interests, with a recent report showing Westpac, along with the other Big Four banks, raised its level of funding of fossil fuel projects last year.
So we face a choice. We can continue to let the Hartzer’s of the world pour petrol on the fires of Hell that are devouring our future (and you only have to look out your window to see that point is actually pretty literal), or we can seek to destroy their power and that of their political agents.
I’ll admit, I don’t have the exact answers on how to break their power and build an alternative. I mean if I did, I’d flog it to you at an extortionate price because that’s how capitalism works.