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Empathy. They have none.

Anne Ruston and Peter Dutton stand out among their Coalition colleagues, since both stand out as seeming to be supremely incapable of empathy. Their blindness to the fact that the majority of people forced to be dependent on Newstart are not drug addicts or malingerers and that the children – AND adults – who took part in the School Strike4Climate marches, are genuinely concerned about their future, is ignored in favour of vilifying fellow citizens less wealthy – or blind – than they themselves appear to be!.

I am one of many grandparents and great grandparents who accept the science on climate change. After all, the oil companies did their own research over 30 years ago and were well aware of the climate damage which would result from the escalating use of fossil fuels. And time has proved their predictions were spot on!

Needless to say, in a capitalist world, profits are the name of the game, and why publicise the long-term damage your mining and drilling and fracking is doing to the environment when you can keep your shareholders happy with healthy dividends?

The evidence from all round the world of the effect the changing environment is having – not least by the costly damage done by the increasingly frequent and severe weather events – cannot be wilfully ignored for much longer.

It is hard to know who most deserves our concern. Is it the older people, made redundant in their 50s and 60s, with little hope of finding meaningful work – ever – and forced to eke out an existence on Newstart? Or is it the young people, with their lives ahead of them, also struggling to enter the workforce, watching those who are expected to take responsibility for making serious decisions, turning a blind eye to the damage that they are encouraging and happily subsidising those doing the damage while collecting party donations in return.

If there is one thing worse than watching people damage the future for our youth, it is feeling helpless to do anything to change the situation.

The Opposition offers little hope. It seems more interested in searching its own soul, to find out where they went wrong, than it is in announcing realistic plans that might slow down global warming and reduce the probability of temperatures rising to unbearable levels.

To add to the frustration, it seems that a significant number of our governing politicians claim to have religious beliefs linked to Christianity – yet Christ’s message to put other’s needs before your own has clearly been drowned out by self-interest.

Hypocrites, the lot of them!

It is becoming more and more apparent that we need to go down the path of civil disobedience, following the example of the people of Hong Kong.

Before the recent election, the Coalition was asking Labor to say how much their policies on combating climate change would cost.

A ridiculous question in relation to policies which will have to be regularly adjusted because we are starting behind the 8-ball.

What is quite certain is that the costs involved in reducing emissions and moving away from dependence on fossil fuels will pale into insignificance when compared with the costs in re-building lives and property damaged by severe climate-related catastrophes!

“When will they ever learn?” is indeed the question to keep asking.

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  1. Jack Cade

    ‘They have no empathy.’
    And one of them is a childcare centre magnate.
    As the Yanks say – ‘Go figure.’

  2. Yes Minister

    I agree with almost all the previous post, although the problems with the LNP go much further than Ruston and stormtrooper Dutton . All political parties lost interest in constituents years ago and now their focus is on big business. I do not however see politicians of whatever persuasion waking up to the inevitability of catastrophic climate change. Intelligent thought will only prevail after a series of major disasters which force the sheeple to revolt. Recently we heard words of wisdom from a 16 year old girl, but almost all responses to her address to the United Nations were supportive of the status quo. If this is the best adults can do, it is high time we handed management of planet earth to the children. When its al said and done, climate change denialism is moronic, since renewable energy is both more environmentally friendly and more cost-effective than fossil fuels. My cost for home-generated (and stored) green electrons is around a quarter of what I’d pay the power barons for black electrons, and the running cost of my EV (fuelled by home-grown green electrons) is almost nothing. Despite this, all political parties promote fossil-fuelled grid power and dinosaur-juice fuelled cars …. cie la vie, I’ve become almost totally self sufficient and live in an area where the consequences of climate change are minimal, and since precious few want to get serious, why should I concern myself with their plight.

  3. Baby Jewels

    The time for revolution is nigh. The time has passed to expect the government to do the right thing. They won’t. We can’t afford to waste much more time. We have to act for the next generation. We have to act for ourselves. What other choice is there? Fascism cannot be allowed to take hold and it’s already here.

  4. Ill fares the land

    Aha. But Dutton is a “childcare magnate” (i have reservations about such a lofty description being appropriate for someone of limited intellectual means even more limited personality) solely because like many scumbags, they flood into sectors that are heavily funded by government money. The same is true of aged care and health and the outcomes are the same as well – gouging. As an aside, it staggers me that in all of the teeth gnashing, cauterwailing and hand wringing over the ills in the health system, no-one evers asks the obvious question – where is all that money going and how many are getting rich by gouging health funding? But I digress – back to Dutton the Impaler. Perhaps we should sympathise – he has many investment properties to finance. Perhaps though we should insist that when he is out looking for his next property that he do that on his own time and at his own expense.

    The lack of empathy in fact renders Dutton and Ruston eminently able to “perform their roles” (in the most loose of terms) and appeal to the self-centred, greedy and uncaring LNP supporter base who would, it seems, applaud the demonisation of those on some form of benefit (clearly bludgers, boozers, gamblers and drug takers to a “man”) and fall in behind the vile logic that people coming by boat are criminals.

    The measure of Dutton is that there a many, many more who come to Australia by plane and “queue jump” using visa fraud, but these genuine criminals never get any attention at all (“stop the planes” just doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?).

    And Ruston’s measure is that the big-end of town and other tax avoiders “cost” the economy, in terms of tax revenues not collected annually, many times the “cost” of welfare fraud. No drug testing for the wealthiest tax avoiders though. And never any mention of people like Fahour, who is about to make another $20.0 million or so out of his latest “bloated salary” CEO role, or asking them to make a greater contribution to society by paying more taxes.

  5. Keith

    The matter needs to be turned around, what are the bloody LNP doing in relation to creating new jobs? The population is increasing through immigration, a job creating enterprise, but still many people are still left out in the cold. It’s the same story from years ago, divert the lack of job creation, by victimising those without jobs. With their adhockery in relation to the drought and attacking the unemployed they are creating an environment where people begin to contemplate suicide.

  6. Keitha Granville

    I have just had an interesting discussion with one of my sons, I was apologising for ruining the planet for his future and the future of his children. He said “It’s ok, when we reach catastrophic level of climate change there will be revolution, and will people will be FORCED to find ways of managing what they have left. Pity we are too greedy to work out what to do now”

    At least the next generation KNOWS the science is real, and will be geared up to do what they can when their chance comes.

  7. ajogrady

    “there are none so blind as those who will not see”. This government is not blissfully ignorant they are blatantly and wilfully corrupt. The mismanagement of the Australian economy is purposeful and systematic.This blatant mismanagement takes skill and its outcome is to bring down the Australian dollar to $A0.50 or less. This will benefit the L/NP’s donors but will cost the Australian consumer hugely. Petrol and diesel will go up so therefore all goods will go up as they are transported. Needless to say all imported goods will also rise in cost. As the cost of goods and services rises so will the GST hitting consumers with a double hit to their back pocket. It would be naive to think that what is occurring to the economy is not being orchestrated and manipulated by the L/NP and cheered on by their donors.Ordinary Australians and their economic health are merely collateral damage in the race to appease shareholders and the L/NP’s only intention is to hang onto power.

  8. Perkin Warbeck

    I learned today that the Australian agricultural produce is only 2% of our GDP. All that stolen water being used to produce crops that shouldn’t be here – cotton and rice are the foxes and cats of the agribusiness, but nobody thinks of them as pests.
    And the thought struck me today that the US government is the kind that Uncle Sam usually suggests warrant invasion.
    And on the matter of the member for Dickson:@Ill fares the land’: the member for Dickson got an increased majority in the federal election. Queenslanders really ARE the bottom feeders of Australia. 30 seats, and 25 of them held by bell ends and scumbags, utterly amoral and mendacious.
    As a final note; isn’t it delicious that Menzies deliberately deceptive use of the word Liberal as the title of his party should cause acute embarrassment to the Cromagnon Man, that net stockinged twat ‘born to rule’ Downer?

  9. Dave G.

    I feel the problems facing the planet & this country are far too great for this bunch of intellectual lightweights to even comprehend let alone attempt solutions.Just acknowledging that there is a problem would be a start but I’m not holding my breath.

  10. Paul Davis

    The universe, momma nature, the angels, whoever, gave us paradise and we willingly put the demons in charge and said to them “do your absolute best to ravage, pillage, murder, destroy and trash the place while we sit by and watch you,” knowing full well that we are committing suicide in so doing.

    Humanity is doomed. Sad, but good riddance. It is going to be a long drawn out miserable and agonising demise for most of us. There will be no happy resolution like in The Good Place finale.

  11. Wat Tyler

    @Paul Davis

    I look at my grandchildren and think how their future is very likely to be the current times steadily degrading to the stage where ALL the earths resources have been depleted. And while I, as a Briton living in Australia, think I would have voted for Brexit (probably for all the wrong reasons) I think the EEC was not only a good idea, but it also reduced the enmity between nations and the idea of one European Community country fighting another was gone forever. Brexit puts the lie to that.
    The peoples of the world, in the last half-decade, have put power into the hands of the most greedy and brutal people. The robber barons and philistines of history are still here, and we’ve give them power. Trump, Bolsanaro, Johnson, Putin, even a pissweak pipsqueak Bible basher in Australia. I now believe that the golden years ended in about 1985, forty years after the wall to end wars, and we will not see their like again.

  12. Cool Pete

    To paraphrase Winston Churchill, “Dutton, is a bloodthirsty guttersnipe.”

  13. Josephus

    My pennyworth. having read the article and comments so far :
    Revolution as the only hope? Yes, in many countries people are out in force on the streets: eg Tunisia, Argentina, Lebanon, the Horn of Africa, Zimbabwe. I fear though that the future may be less revolutions for justice, food, health, jobs and so forth than brutal wars over water and food on a despoiled planet that continues to be raped by companies out to grab the last fossil fuel reserves, despoil forests and kill the last species within them, etc.

    The EU is seen by some on the Left as part of this despoiling process, but is more accurately (with all its faults) a bastion of protection of human rights, environmental respect, fairness, non predatory medicine and labour conditions, to name a few. That said, I admit that the 1990s type EU (self styled ‘Climate Europe’) has since then partially given way in eg Germany and Poland to the coal companies and to neo-liberal lobbying of all sorts.
    In the UK a report warns that Brexit will lead to an Americanisation of social policy and environmental protection, as US companies move in to further emasculate the Labour founded NHS for example. Brexit cannot therefore serve the interests of those undereducated and resentful Brits trapped in their high rise hell holes. Quite the contrary. Yet these are manipulated by Eton and Oxford educated populists such as Farage and Johnson and the media that pander to them. If you repeat a lie often enough… Goebbels.

    Finally, I cannot understand how one contributor can claim against the evidence that all parties in Australia and beyond are in favour of and promote fossil fuel companies, encourage exploiters of the poor and vulnerable, are corrupted by huge corporate donations, use primitive and misleading slogans to gain the votes of those already confused by the tabloids they read. Has this commentator never heard of the Greens? These campaign for social housing, protection of the poor or sick, the urgency of the energy transition, respect for species and their habitats, the end of donations to political parties, a federal ICAC etc. The Greens have made inroads in some countries recently, yet this is rarely mentioned in the cowed media, including the ABC. Pie in the sky? That depends on all of us I think. Revolution, then? Or are we too glued to the footy to care?

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