Ok. I’m convinced. Terrorism is THE BIGGEST threat to Australia right now.
I have to confess that it’s taken me a while to get here.
A few months back, when Tony Abbott said:
Daesh is coming, if it can, for every person and every government…..
Then Julie Bishop said that terrorists pose the biggest threat to civilisation since World War II.
But still I was skeptical.
Even when sixty nine percent of Aussies said they believed terrorism is the single greatest threat to our country – from within our borders – I still remained unconvinced.
Then the latest Essential poll came out this week, showing that 61% of Aussies believe that the biggest or second biggest threat to the world right now is terrorism.
At first I jeered. But then I stopped and thought about it. And finally the penny dropped – I realised that they are right.
The trojan horse
I realised that terrorism is the biggest threat to Australia today. It is the trojan horse that is being used to distract us, so that the real enemy can creep up on us without anyone paying too much attention. The real enemy – who is poisoning the air we breathe and will soon be invading our land mass by eating away at our shore lines – climate change, is sneaking up on us while Abbott and his ministers talk to us in serious tones about the terrorists coming to get us.
While the vast majority of Aussies listen in horror to Abbott’s latest terror story, they ignore the fact that our government has introduced policies which are:
- poisoning the air we breathe with pollution – by increasing carbon emissions
- threatening our food and water supply – not only through changes to weather (such as increasing drought), but by allowing prime farming land to be used for mining while impacting our country’s clean water supplies
- defunding a key potential defense to the problem – the renewable sector; and
- investing money in propaganda to hide the truth about what is happening – by looking to fund climate deniers such as Bjorn Lomborg and funding positions like the Wind Commissioner.
The situation regarding climate change is so critical, that some have called game over. There is no doubt that in terms of it’s ability to kill, to seriously impact quality of life and to leave more and more people homeless globally, that the threat posed by climate change is unrivaled. Panicking right now about this is not only advisable, it would be downright stupid not to do so.
Tony Abbott has said many times:
The most important duty of government is to preserve the safety of our country and its citizens. That is the first duty of government, and I say to every Australian: this Government will never let you down. I say to every one of my fellow Australians: I will not rest until I am confident that you are as safe as any government can possibly make you. (December, 2014)
You have failed Mr Abbott. The safety and security of our nation is under serious threat from climate change. Your policies around climate change are arguably far more likely to contribute to more Australian deaths in the future than any terrorist group half way across the world.
We should be outraged. We should be demanding that a government that so flagrantly jeopardises the safety and security of it’s people for its own political purposes resign.
But instead of doing this, instead of demanding that the government cease and desist with their current policies and do something that might go towards fixing the problem rather than making it worse, the majority of Australians are focusing on terrorism. And they are doing that because this is what our government is talking about. Constantly.
The silence is deafening
When is the last time you heard one of Abbott’s ministers talk seriously about the huge threat that climate change poses to our nation? (And mentioning cutting the carbon tax, talking about coal being good for humanity and appointing wind commissioners don’t count. )
When have you ever heard anyone currently in government say, as President Obama did this week:
This is one of those rare issues, because of its magnitude, because of its scope, that if we don’t get it right, we may not be able to reverse, we may not be able to adapt sufficiently. There is such a thing as being too late when it comes to climate change….
The answer is – just in case there was any doubt – that you haven’t heard anything like this from our current government. The silence about real action on climate change has been deafening. This is because we have a prime minister who seems to believe in bogey men but not in scientifically proven climate change.
And that’s why I now believe that terrorism is THE biggest threat to the world right now. This is not because I believe Abbott’s rhetoric suggesting that terrorists are about to invade our shores, but because terrorism is successfully being used to distract us from what we should really be panicking about – the very real threat to our ability to live on this planet.
(The article was republished on The Australian Independent Media Network.)
Bloody EXCELLENT, Kate ! Like so many of your posts, I could wish I were still blogging and had written it myself.
Why don’t you start up again!!!
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A site on its way. I don’t want to enter again into that likes thing, because my erstwhile ramblings were never as thoughtful and pointed as these. Going to use it just to try for some more oxygen for my book.
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Another cut and paste extravaganza in response to this article
…and in 2016 what do you think would be an appropriate vote from the 70% or so who believe climate change is a serious problem that our politicians should be addressing? It is clear you have no faith in the Coalition. Fair enough under the Coalition’s Direct Action figleaf our actual emissions from now until 2020, according to modelling done by Reputex, are forecast to go up by 4% (and by 6% on today’s levels).. Perhaps Labor? Labor has promised to almost double the Coalition’s goal of cutting 2005-level emissions by 45 per cent by 2030. It would introduce two emissions trading systems to cut overall carbon emissions and also drive out the dirtiest coal-fired power plants. Bill Shorten, said a future Labor Government would not place a moratorium on new coal mines but Labor, like the Greens committed to the Places You Love Alliance Environmental Laws in addition to restoring funding for Environmental Defenders Offices and the CSIRO. If elected, Labor said it would create a “climate trigger” in Commonwealth environmental legislation to allow Federal Government intervention to “ensure proper and rigorous investigation of broad-scale land clearing impact on Australia’s ability to meet its agreed climate change commitment to keeping global warming well below two degrees Celsius.” However despite Shorten’s fine sounding rhetoric (and there is no reason not to believe that Labor has finally seen the light on renewables) Labor and the Coalition are running a unity ticket on coal mining. Undeterred by estimates that around 90 per cent of Australia’s coal reserves need to stay in the ground, or recent mining moratoriums announced by the US and China, the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the leader of the opposition, Bill Shorten, remain unequivocal in their support for Australian coal mining. Both Coalition and Labor in these times of (highly selective) belt tightening plan to retain the six or seven billion dollars annually gifted to the mining industry in subsidies and tax breaks. Labor trying to walk both sides of the street as usual?
What about the Greens? The Australian Greens would seek to go further than Labor, including setting a 90 per cent renewable energy target for 2030, compared with Labor’s 50 per cent. The Greens would block new coal mines and coal seam gas fields, as well as taxing coal exports, under a policy that would channel funds into restoring health to the Great Barrier Reef.
The plan includes placing a $3-a-tonne level tax on all exports of thermal coal used to generate electricity to raise $700 million a year. The Greens would also put a carbon price on coal and gas exporters – including for fugitive emissions that leak from operations – that would reflect the “full cost” to the environment. With the “billions” raised from the taxes, and an end to miners’ subsidies that give them tax-free fuel, the Greens would increase funding for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Australian Institute for Marine Science. The party would also boost support for water quality to cut pollution reaching the Reef.
The money raised from the taxes would also contribute to a $1 billion fund to help workers exit the fossil fuel industry as the ban on new coal and coal seam gas projects kicks in. Mines supplying coal used in steel making would not be covered by the ban on new ventures.
Plainly the Greens have the most ambitious policies but perhaps we don’t need to go to such extremes? Maybe the ALP represents the ‘sensible centre’ in this matter? Time for a few facts as those scientists who know what they are talking about see them. For years now it has been known that to halt global warming at the 2ºC threshold (which only offers a 50/50 chance of avoiding runaway warming anyway) global agreement is necessary. Global agreement is impossible without an equitable sharing of the emissions reduction burden. This has been calculated and widely published. The task for the first world (including us) if global emissions have ceased rising by around now (they haven’t) is a very rapid transition to a 9% p.a. emissions reduction which will need to be maintained until mid century. This is already rated by many as economically and politically unfeasible. Whether this is so or not, what is certain is that the longer we wait the more difficult and expensive will become the task of saving the planet. If around 70% of Australians truly believed that global warming was a serious problem as polls seem to show they would all vote Greens and be putting pressure on for more ambitious policies. They won’t. The penny has not yet dropped. The panic has not yet set in. But it won’t take long.