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How greed and selfishness will doom the future for our grandchildren

I have enjoyed an enormously lucky life. It has not been without traumas, but, at 85, I am ashamed that I am so comfortably off when so many are denied any pleasure or joy in life.

My then husband’s career brought us to Australia, to Darwin in the NT, just over 50 years ago on 1/1/71. I am still here.

Within my first 6 months, I knew I was born to live in the tropics, and I have no desire to leave, even though I am fully aware that climate change will increase the frequency and severity of severe weather events.

Having been here for Cyclone Tracy, and remembering how, in its wake, the city looked as though it had been bombed, I have no illusions about what we might look forward to.

Along with many of my generation, I was late in coming to a realisation that mankind’s actions needed to be re-directed if our grandchildren’s children are going to have a habitable world.

Extra free time in retirement has enabled me to understand the science – and the sordid venality of those who put profits before people.

I grew up in a Christian household and country, and have no quarrel with an ethical system which asks us to do as we would be done by.

But our so-called democracy does not share those values.

To see a need to help others is to be scorned as a so-called leftie.

We have statistics praising the billionaires and their assets, but less well advertised are our poor and under-privileged.

Even less well advertised is how badly we treat them.

Hardly surprising then, particularly in Australia, is the refusal by so many of a vaccination designed to protect lives. After all, given how little the current government really cares about the poor and their needs, who would think they were genuinely trying to help?

The COP26 has just ended – badly.

Australia is a developed country which has contributed more than most, on a per capita basis, to the emissions which are – ever more rapidly – destroying the world as we have known it.

Yet we are one of several, totally selfishly governed, countries which are demanding to be able to continue to mine, sell or burn coal – source of one of the most damaging greenhouse gases.

In fact all fossil fuels should be left in the ground until we have stabilised the greenhouse gas situation.

In fairness to some countries, their leaders lack the power to legislate necessary changes, despite their certainty that they are vitally important.

I do not believe in causing harm and loss to others, but I deeply sympathise with those who feel driven to violence in their disgust with governments which refuse to acknowledge the fact of climate change and its dangers.

Since 5/02/20, when COVID-19 really reared it head, I have sat outside the NT Parliament House every Wednesday afternoon for 2 hours ( I have missed a few through rain and health issues) to remind anyone who stops to chat of the urgency of action on climate change.

I shall continue doing so until all Australian governments have recognised that failing to take action is dooming our descendants to a world which will be increasingly destructive of life as we have known it.

Many Australians – probably more than 50% – would largely share my view.

Sadly we have elected politicians, a majority of whom do not.

We have an election coming soon.

There is only one issue of importance.

Are the candidates prepared to take serious and appropriate action on climate change?

We still have time – just – to change the future.

Another 3 years of Coalition government will be pretty certain to seal an unfortunate fate for life on Earth.

I do not trust Labor, either, although I think their actions will be less damaging than those of the Coalition.

And please remember that the Coalition, with help from Clive Palmer, has already made it crystal clear that they will happily lie and distort the truth if it helps them discourage people from voting for the ALP.

So please use your preferences with extraordinary care!

Our best outcome would be a sufficient number of climate conscious independents on the cross bench!

This next election will be more important than many people realise.


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  1. Andrew J. Smith

    As Plato noted more than 2000 years ago, ‘one of the greatest dangers for democracy is that ordinary people are all too easily swayed by the emotional and deceptive rhetoric of ambitious politicians’.

    Good read and one could add, from parsing through the title, that this nuevo ‘greed and selfishness’ is the outcome of now ageing electorates being encouraged to adopt neoliberalism, over decades, to support a small minority of powerful using the populist ‘collective narcissism’ aka Brexit, Hungary etc.; Australian values?

    We have witnessed Australia, under the leadership of the LNP since Howard (and lesser extent Labor), adopt or fall under the influence of imported radical right libertarian socio-economic ideology or Kochonomics (informed by Buchanan, Hayek et al.) via IPA, CIS, NewsCorp, legacy media, finance, fossil fuels etc.. Like in the US, it’s joined at the hip with nativism or alt right aka SPA blaming immigration or population growth ie. the ‘great replacement’, evangelical Christianity and/or conspiracy beliefs, promoting pseudoscience, denigration of education, then observing the quiet resurgence in eugenics of social class and autocratic order.

    Brexit and Trump are both warnings and lines in the sand, not just ageing electorates and ‘pensioner populism’ with ‘short term horizons’ to avoid constraints on big business, fossils fuels etc., but reinforce citizens’ own ‘freedom & liberty’ from personal responsibility, ethics, morals, society, environment and future generations e.g. Voter ID laws; long game and the libertarian trap rewarded by demographically skewed electorates.

  2. Arnd

    Our best outcome would be a sufficient number of climate conscious independents on the cross bench!

    But would that suffice? None of even the most climate conscious independents have the understanding of economics, politics, jurisprudence and sociology that I believe is required to understand and effect the huge changes that we really need.

    And if they did, nobody would vote for them.

    Consequently, my prediction is that things will unravel big-time, accompanied by a perpetual over-excited “too little, too late” kind of political activism that lacks any relevant traction.

  3. Terence Mills

    It seems that we have signed up to phase down the use of coal rather than phase out.

    To our conservative politicians this appears to mean business as usual and they don’t want to talk about climate change anymore.

    Phase down means to grow less in scope or intensity so it doesn’t mean that we open up new coal mines or coalfired power stations and inevitably it means that our exports of coal will decrease as our customers ‘phase down’ their consumption.

    I fear that the coalition see this as a win for their short term political ambitions; I hope I am wrong and that they conscientiously see this as a step towards phasing out coal which inevitably will be the next move.

  4. Kate Ahearne

    Thanks, Rosemary. Good for you!

    Sitting outside the halls of power seems to be a very powerful thing to do – You and Greta both. The elderly and the very young. Lovely.

  5. Ken Robinson

    I totally agree, we have a choice at the next election of voting for the worst or the least worst, what sort of democracy is that?

  6. Ken

    Excellent and well said Rosemary and I totally agree with your article heading and last sentence.

  7. LOVO

    Anyone that votes for an Right Wing Candidate is complicit in the MURDER of our children and grandchildren.

  8. Keitha Granville

    I am beginning to regret having children, although I cherish them dearly and my grandchildren. I have grave fears for their future, sooner rather than later. My generation has squandered and plundered the resources of the planet with total abandon.
    Shame on them, a pox on both the houses !

  9. New England Cocky

    Hmmm … Listen to the words of wisdom and take appropriate action at every election:
    and Australian voters may still have a chance of recovering their Australia.

  10. Michael Taylor

    Rosemary, you’re a true warrior. You’re an inspiration to us all.

  11. Max Gross

    What did the previous 25 COPs achieve? Exactly the same as the 26th. Blah blah blah! Yes, folks, the end is very fucking nigh! And all because of useless nasty idjuts like Morrison.

  12. Keith

    Thank you Rosemary I have posted your article on Media Watch (ABC Australia) with comment:

    Undermining climate science has been a factor in bringing us close to the brink of no return, it is a factor stemming from greed. The lives of young people are of less importance than the profits made by large fossil fuel corporations. That includes the lives of politician’s children.

    Lying and cheating through third party organisations such as the Cato “Institute”, Heartland “Institute” et al have been factors in fossil fuel corporations successfully creating doubt in science and maintaining their profits.
    We are now paying for the lying and cheating through extreme events amplified by climate change.

  13. Keith


    A word that I have not seen until recently is “neocide” meaning killing young people. With all the knowledge coming from science it is disgusting that politicians are doing f..kall.


    Economists are complicit in the state we are experiencing … the don’t deal with externalising factors, there are exceptions such as Nicholas Stern and Willian Nordhaus important in reporting on climate matters.

    It is the Federal Government that is letting us down, they are not creating policies which are of much benefit to citizens, they only operate for the large fossil fuel corporations and large businesses. What happens to young people just doesn’t matter is an underlying theme.

    If a LNP politician can look their children in the eye and say they are doing everything possible about climate change they are either lying or ignorant.

  14. GL

    As long as political parties are more than willing to bend the knee and hold out an empty bag to the corporations, etc. nothing will change. The words and promises spoken at the little people will change as the situation warrants but, as always, remain meaningless.

  15. David Stakes

    I agree I am a tropical animal as well, almost moved to Darwin in the 70s. but the Logistics and work situation then was not as good. Very much a Government town then. Lets just hope we can settle the climate down a bit, blowing a gale and cold in Sydney, roaring forties too far north. November is all over the place.

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