Carlo's Corner: Wouldn't it be funny if we destroyed the planet, but there were still no jobs?

April 5, 2013
Shell's plan to sell its refinery in Geelong puts more than 400 jobs at risk.

“The future is uncertain for more than 400 Shell employees,” said on April 4, “after the company announced it is selling its refinery in Geelong in Victoria.”

Shell's Clyde refinery in NSW and Caltex's Lytton refinery in Queensland are both closing, at a cost of 1080 jobs.

An Australian Workers Union (AWU) representative was quoted saying: “The Australian oil industry is obviously going through a rationalisation, that's a polite way of saying they're closing refineries and sacking employees.”

Sure, the oil giants are threatening jobs. But as we all know, as any major party politician or AWU rep will tell you, there is one simple reason we must allow these fossil fuel corporations to continue their practices that are destroying the planet: jobs.

Just look at all the jobs they create. I mean, aside from all the ones they shed at a moment’s notice, throwing hundreds of people on the scrap heap and destroying whole towns using the same ruthless “profits-first” rationale that sees them continue activities that are calling into question the capacity of the planet to sustain modern human civilisation.

That would be ironic, wouldn't it? If we allow these corporations to destroy the planet and it turns out, at the end of it all, there were still no jobs? Christ, how stupid would defenders of these destructive industries owned and controlled by a tiny elite enriching itself at the expense of the rest of society feel?

It would be quite hilarious really. They'd be kicking themselves for sure, letting the rich oligarchs kill the planet for nothing, when we could have listened to research carried out by groups such as Beyond Zero Emissions who created a detailed plan for coordinating a rapid transition away from fossil fuels to a jobs-rich economy based on 100% renewable energy.

“Oh if only we'd had a public-investment driven emergency plan to rapidly re-gear towards a sustainable economy, simultaneously creating many thousands of green jobs to stimulate the economy when the climate scientists warned us that global warming was going to drastically worsen the extreme weather hitting Australia.”

Oh well, we all make mistakes, I suppose. Should we fail to act, we can always take heart in the fact that at least the corporate rich used their wealth generated from highly destructive practices in a socially useful fashion. Such as mining billionaire Clive Palmer's plans for a giant robotic dinosaur theme park on the Gold Coast.

In other news, have you heard the Labor government is engaging in class warfare? Everyone, from top businesspeople to the corporate media to opposition spokespeople to recently resigned government ministers have all spoken out against this terrible assault on the rich, which includes — and I can barely type these words my hands are shaking with such rage — mild tinkering with the tax system to make the wealthy pay slightly more.

Sure, Labor backed down on minor reforms to tax those at the very top end of the superannuation system, just like it backed down on the proposal for a mild resource rent tax on the mining oligarchs.

But that Labor even dared propose such things when the Labor government has only cut payments to single parents by a mere $140 a fortnight just shows how dangerous these pseudo-Bolsheviks truly are.

Though I really don't know why the rich are so worried. If you must have a class war waged against you, surely you could want for no better opponent than the modern Australian Labor Party. They have all the fight and stability of the Australian Test team's top order. They collapse at the first bit of corporate spin they face.

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