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Conservatives and Progressives

By definition, a conservative is someone who chooses to retain traditional values and is averse to change, whereas a progressive is a supporter of social reform and believes in adapting to change.

There is a rapidly growing consensus among those who believe in basing their actions and policies on evidence, that global warming has been – and continues to be – affected adversely by mankind’s activities.

Since the Industrial Revolution and the development of manufacturing and sophisticated means of transport, dependent on fossil fuel-based energy, emissions of carbon dioxide and other so-called greenhouse gases have been increasing. Simultaneously, massive areas of forest and jungle (an essential carbon sink) have been cleared for profit-making agricultural production.

Also, on an on-going basis, oceans have been taking over as carbon sinks, putting at risk not only marvels like the Great Barrier Reef, but also marine life, on which human life depends.

In addition to the Industrial Revolution, we have had a growth in activities which are dedicated to the acquisition and retention of wealth, with little or no regard to the well-being of other inhabitants of the planet, or, indeed, the planet itself.

I am sure that Greta Thunberg has little interest in being nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, but is totally dedicated to persuading, as rapidly as possible, people and governments across the world to develop the necessary policies to combat global warming.

Increasingly people are beginning to accept that the issue is real, but are then consumed with pessimism that we have left it too late so why bother to attempt to change!

We have a diminishing window of opportunity for progressive policies to be established.

During WWII, we accepted food rationing and a wide range of restrictions on daily life in order to concentrate on the war effort.

We are now conducting a climate war, which is a global issue – we are not fighting other nations but nature itself!

The first question to ask any candidate for the 18 May 2019 Australian federal election is “What are your plans for stopping and reversing global warming?”

No other issue is important, because, without viable action, we do not have a future!

Conservative politics has resulted in a small minority becoming very rich, a large number of people left desperately clinging on to life in a world which is staring into the abyss and a planet which is being starved of oxygen!

Time for discussing climate change by philosophers is over. We just have time to set up panels of experts to prioritise the actions we must take to save our future.

We also do not have time to argue that we are a minnow in a big pond whose actions would be futile in the larger picture. We have to make a start and, believe me, if you take the trouble to research what is happening in Europe and many States in the USA, you will realise that we will not be alone!

The important issues now are not tax breaks, profits, dividends etc, but – will a child, now 15, be able to have a viable existence as an adult?

The consensus is – climate change, global warming – call it what you will – IS for real and if we act fast and immediately, we just might save our future on this planet.

This IS the Climate Change Election.

WE are the ones whose votes will determine our future!

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11 comments

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  1. Alcibiades

    Easily argued so called ‘Conservatives’ haven’t been for at least 40 odd years. The riven rabid ranting disunited COALition of powerless adman/conman Morrison certainly aren’t. If failure Turnbull was lipstick on the pig of policies, then Morrison is a band-aid on the smeared lipstick, sans policies.

    To my mind the ‘Conservative’ label has been worn only as a taudry ragged cape for some time now. When Cori Bernadi defected from the Libs & took his Senate seat with him, why was he not hunted down & destroyed as for all past such ‘traitors’. Oh, yes, IPA member, and creating yet another in the outer-ring of the Coalition’s minor/micro parties to (desperately?) try catch disaffected primary votes as preferences. Sorry, forgot.

    Vote Compass finds voters are split on economy and environment as most important issue – ABC

    Yet the ones that count, unlike Dutton, that will make the difference this election are not the rump of the absolutely rusted-on COALition voters, but the remaining ‘undecided’ voters.

    The environment is rated as the number one issue by 29 per cent of Vote Compass respondents, a massive shift from just 9 per cent in 2016.

    The environment is the number one issue for those yet to decide how to vote.

  2. Kaye Lee

    Our government must take urgent action on reducing emissions to address the existential threat posed by climate change. This is not a choice. Talking about jobs or cost or energy reliability are all secondary issues. The cost of inaction is the only relevant consideration and, as that is extinction, it must take precedence over everything else .

    It is ridiculous to speak about new coal mines and power stations or water buyback schemes or gas pipelines without considering climate change in the calculation.

    Sustainability must be the main consideration in every decision we make.

  3. Judith w

    I think it’s curious how the people who hide behind the excuse “you can’t stop progress” are called conservative and its those who promote innovation & change who are called progressive.

  4. RosemaryJ36

    Ironically, the two nations who are most influential in damaging the climate are currently engaged in a trade war! Will the USA and China wake up in time or will they guarantee the end of the world as we now know it?

  5. wam

    immigration and the economy are the deciders if billy slips on either of these the @#^&$&@#^@ unthinkable could happen.

    The climate sounds like it is important but whilst global warming has some purchase the climate change debate is undeniably natural with 100% science.

    Stick to KISS, bill and take the trifecta:
    go for the loonies,
    the water wasting boys
    nothing to show for doubling the debt.

  6. Miriam English

    As Alcibiades said, those politicians calling themselves “conservative” these days are truly not. A genuine conservative dislikes change, preferring stability. The fake conservatives in power are crazy radicals trying to produce drastic and scary change, messing with the climate, damaging the social and economic structure of our society, and undermining education. The true conservatives traditionally were the ones who favored the creation of national parks and reserves. The fake conservatives hate anything to do with nature that they can’t rape or disembowel for profit.

    Today, the progressives are on the same side as true conservatives. Unfortunately there are almost no true conservatives or true progressives in politics. Labor has gone right-wing (though not as far-right as the crazy LNP), betraying workers, the middle class, and students, by pandering to the same ultra-wealthy upper class as the LNP for the sake of campaign funds. Think Labor really wants to do something about climate change? Nope. They’ve promised $1.5 billion to some of the wealthiest corporations to help them in opening up vast areas of Queensland and NT to fracking. This would create a carbon bomb 4 to 7 times greater than the horrifying Adani Carmichael coal mine. I’m sure there are plenty of Labor candidates who are genuinely progressive, but they have to toe the party line, which has become increasingly neoliberal, so they sadly remain bound, gagged, and ineffective.

    Only some small parties like the Greens and the Reason Party, and a few independents are genuinely progressive.

  7. andy56

    I completely disagree, Its not about progressives vs conservatives at all. Its about progressives vs incumbents hell bent on retaining their relevance. Just look at the policy positions. The progressives are constantly analysing data and proposing solutions to problems. What are the incumbants’ reactions? Denial of problems and resentment at having to deal with said problems. Much easier to say cut taxes, small government. That way , they dont have to deal with problems, the economy will sort it all out. Reminds me of the old saying,” fck you jack, I’m alright”.
    Unless they have changed the meaning of the word, they are not conservative at all. Nor is calling them right wingers correct either. They are just reactionaries with no solutions. Denial of problems and wilful intransigence to find solutions. for example, climate change is happening they say then they want to open up more coal. Its not a disonance in their minds, its 3 monkeys stuff. People like Abbott fit the bill perfectly, legends in their own minds.

  8. andy56

    Miriam, dont mistake purity of action for progress. Thats what set up the tony abbott cycle. If the greens played ball with labor all those years ago, we could have been a lot further down the road to renewables.
    Lets kick the shitheads out first and get then we can started. Once people see that the sky has not fallen in, it will be much easier to get more serious. Its small steps forward that get real results. The first step is to clean the cupboard.
    I aint saying labor is pure in this but its a long long way from the reactionaries in charge now.

  9. Miriam English

    andy56 you’re mistaken in characterising the problem with Labor as being progress vs purity of action, and to say Abbott got his power from the Greens is to completely misstate what happened. That’s a Labor myth. It certainly wasn’t that the Greens didn’t want to “play ball” with Labor. It’s on Labor for pissing off their own voters. But mostly, Abbott was created by Murdoch.

    If Labor want to spend $1.5 billion on some of the wealthiest, most profitable corporations, helping them frack more of Australia and creating a climate warming catastrophe 4 to 7 times worse than the Adani Carmichael mine (which, astonishingly, they are still trying to get built), then how is that progress?

    I would love to see Labor become responsible and progressive again, but they appear to have swung too far to the Right for that to happen yet. I’ll be voting for Greens with preferences for any small progressive parties and independents, and yeah, I’ll preference for Labor too, because they are far less evil than the corrupt bunch of stupid morons currently in power. Sadly though, Labor’s policy makers are still evil even if most of their representatives are not. However there is some remote chance that they might move leftward again. The quickest way for that to happen is to boost Greens numbers, forcing Labor back toward sanity.

  10. Ken Fabian

    Just as the climate responsibility deniers need people to believe the issue is led and dominated by extremist left ideology seeking power rather than decades of top level expert advice about the consequences of the world’s number one waste product – more CO2 than all other waste put together, rivalling any other substance humanity makes, except perhaps crushed rocks (which doesn’t leave us with more rock than we began with. Solutions are not innately leftish (eg carbon pricing) and government supported R&D enables innovative entrepreneurs to develop and make profits from solutions. The responsibility deniers need people to believe climate responsibility is incompatible – antithetical even – with free market democracy and the rule of law. Like pretty much all their rhetoric, it is not true.

    People and companies (the institutional shareholders having the greater part) taking responsibility for their actions is supposed to be a fundamental element of free market democratic ideals. And isn’t the heart of their intransigence an unethical willingness to use misinformation and lies for convenience and self-interest – ie a willingness to cheat? The idea that the climate issue is driven by an extremist left power play – a threat to freedom and democracy – becomes the justification in turn for going unethical and lying and cheating; if it is framed as a war then the rules don’t apply and the truth can be set aside.

  11. Miriam English

    Ken Fabian, you’re so right. Most of the faux conservatives today don’t even realise that one of the first politicians, perhaps the first politician to ring the alarm about climate change was a Conservative politician: Maggie Thatcher.

    As you say, climate change should not be a politically aligned problem. But the morons in power have been suckered to dance to the pleasure of their fossil fuel corporate string-pulling masters. For them all the lies are justified by a whatever-it-takes-to-win attitude. What of the Australian people? The next generation? The wildlife? Screw that! Winning the next election is the only thing that matters.

    Do they really believe their own lies? Maybe somewhere deep in the murky depths of their reptilian brains they have some dim misgivings, but they’re so deeply submerged, they’re never consciously acknowledged… at least, not in company.

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