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In a week when war raged, the climate denialists fumed. Just ask Tony Abbott.

Election diary No. 17: Wednesday, 9 March 2022

In their seemingly endless twists and turns, the Queensland floods found their way into New South Wales, reminding us of the frequency of such events.

Indifferent of science, our prime minister could only describe the two drenched states as “natural” disasters. The death toll is now climbing, and the clean-up cost is expected to run into the billions.

We are on the threshold of a catastrophic period on this planet we call Earth – the home for billions of her inhabitants.

In the same week, the world witnessed the beginnings of a conflict in Ukraine begun by President Putin, that would leave us in a state of disbelief if not petrified that a third world war would eventuate.

During the invasion, a Ukraine nuclear power station narrowly avoided melting down after being attacked by the Russians. It highlighted the need to wean ourselves off fossil fuels and put all else aside.

Not just because the cost of petrol is now sky high, but also that our dependence on them is helping fund an invasion.

Notwithstanding the hell that these issues invoke, it is the timing that our climate change denier opponents would choose to focus our attention again, claiming in some fanciful way that our focus on climate is the cause of the conflict in Ukraine.

It is not only a bizarre suggestion to make whilst misery surrounds us. It is also an insulting accusation. The curtain on a tragedy is being raised in the theatre of their backyards, but they are willing to turn the spotlight onto the subject of climate change yet again.

Now, let me take you through the sequence of events that prompted me to write this article. On Monday, 28 February, Daily Telegraph columnist Tim Blair wrote a piece, Woke War III: Wokens stay on message amid invasion (paywalled) using the conflict in Ukraine to highlight their “pet causes.” Yes, that’s what they had been doing all week.

Over at The Monthly, Rachael Withers wrote this sequence of events:

“Writing in The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday (and dutifully republished by The Australian), former PM Tony Abbott joined the raft of commentators trying to link Russia’s invasion to a “weakened” West’s obsession with social and environmental issues.”

Abbott wrote with all the knowledge that over 15 years of denialism presumably gives an acknowledged liar that “The West’s bigger surrender has been economical and cultural.”

Withers continued:

“He went on to criticise all three members of AUKUS for their focus on reducing emissions, implying that it was this that had emasculated the West (along with globalisation, “cultural Marxists”, COVID restrictions and the fact that you couldn’t even make Monty Python’s Life of Brian these days).”

Then Abbott’s former Chief of staff, Peta Credlin, yes, the one who confessed that Abbott had only ever treated climate change as a means to a political end, followed up the next day in The Australian with this load of crap. She suggested that Australians would be unlikely to stand and fight like Ukrainians and that the security crisis should prompt a “rethink” on climate change.

Writer Jeff Sparrow tweeted this response to Credlin’s premise:

 

 

Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt never to be left out of a bit of truth bashing, was not far behind them, arguing that:

“… the war in Ukraine has exposed the lethal danger of falling for green myths … Russian president Vladimir Putin would never have dared invade Ukraine if the green movement hadn’t first made Europe look helpless,” he added.

All Abbott ever does when he enters the realm of serious discussion is highlight the fact that he was grossly unsuitable for the office of Prime Minister of Australia. However, the most pressing matters regarding climate action came out of all this unworldly nonsense.

Billionaire climate activist Mike Cannon-Brookes did us all a favour with this tweet:

 

 

Witty but true. On top of that, the US climate envoy and former Presidential candidate John Kerry pointed out the “massive emissions” the war would likely cause and distract countries from achieving the net-zero goal.

Peta Credlin, on the other hand, rather nonsensically reminded us that failing to achieve those targets would be a threat to our very existence:

“As though future generations have a greater right to life than the children of Ukraine,”

The far-right denialists continue to complain about the West’s obsession with emissions reduction, even though we’re not making any progress on that front.

The Government has been reluctant to mention the IPCC report even though climate change is reflected in the floods occurring along the east coast.

And even though both parties were still internally fighting over their party’s 2050 emissions-reduction targets. (2050 for the Coalition and 2030 for Labor) both have yet to indicate how they will urgently do it and, at the same time, cut whatever it is that binds us to fossil fuels.

Vic Labor recently announced a plan for an offshore wind industry, which is a highly commendable project.

The Greens last week also announced a policy to help coal workers transition to clean energy.

However, the reality is that all we’ve got to show for the deal that the Liberals struck with the Nationals to speak the words “net-zero by 2050” is more money for the regions that have nothing to do with climate change.

We may not be part of this shambolic war in Eastern Europe, but it’s evident that we are on several fronts facing matters of the gravest concern. They are matters that involve the lives and livelihoods of working people.

Regrettably, that the climate change deniers used a week when war broke out in Europe to peddle their bullshit is distressing.

The week was also bursting with examples of why we need to do more on climate and not claim that we need to do less.

My thought for the day

Perhaps a greater understanding of what I am saying might be obtained by exercising a greater willingness to think more deeply.

 

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16 comments

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  1. Andrew J. Smith

    Anglo, i.e. UK, US and local media or ‘usual suspects’, are struggling to re-adjust their long standing political agitprop and narratives on refugees, immigrants, fossil fuels, EU, liberal democracy, Christian identitarianism, Trump, Bannon, Londongrad etc.; they seemed to segue with Putin’s views and modus operandi? But China, the supposed ‘partner’ with Putin to keep Biden/Dems, and locally Labor as ‘weak’ and/or ‘Manchurian’.

    However, outside of much Anglo media (running cover), China started last week to introduce (non Western) sanctions e.g. the AIIB in Beijing reviewing/freezing investments in Russia and Belarus; others have followed.

    Meanwhile while the media focus is upon Ukraine via US/Biden (doing fair enough vs. Fox), UK Govt. (worried about refugees, with Downer in town?) and Morrison, but others from PRC, Germany & France:

    Reuters ‘March 8, 2022 3:02 PM GMT+1

    ‘China’s Xi supports efforts for diplomatic solution to Ukraine conflict – Germany. BERLIN, March 8 (Reuters) – German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed on Tuesday to support all negotiations aimed at a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine conflict, a German government spokesperson said.’

  2. Michael Anderson

    I thought we had the market cornered in apocalyptic rhetoric here in the U.S, being that our “system” (S/) here now is a techno-feudalist dystopia. Guess I’m wrong. These filthy creatures (from all nation-states) apparently believe that burning the world down to rule over ashes, rather than give up one iota of their power, is an “option”. A Quote from “A Canticle For Leibowitz”:

    “Listen, are we helpless? Are we doomed to do it again and again and again? Have we no choice but to play the Phoenix in an unending sequence of rise and fall? Assyria, Babylon, Egypt, Greece, Carthage, Rome, the Empires of Charlemagne and the Turk: Ground to dust and plowed with salt. Spain, France, Britain, America — burned into the oblivion of the centuries. And again and again and again. Are we doomed to it, Lord, chained to the pendulum of our own mad clockwork, helpless to halt its swing? This time, it will swing us clean to oblivion, he thought.”

  3. Terence Mills

    A man posing as our prime minister set back the adoption of electric vehicles in Australia when he said (and subsequently denied) that :

    “[An electric vehicle] won’t tow your trailer. It’s not going to tow your boat. It’s not going to get you out to your favourite camping spot with your family.”

    Mike Cannon-Brookes speaks for many of us in pointing out that our political resistance to the adoption of electric vehicles is costing us as individuals and holding back the country.

    It’s not just the cost of petrol at the pump that is impacting us in this country, it is being passed through to every consumer item on our supermarket shelves and this should be an election issue for all of us.

  4. Phil Pryor

    It is right and timely that this article, again, outlines the immensely childish regressive idiocy of the Murdoch menagerie of scribblers, whiners, self fixated juveniles and dwarfish fascist freaks and frauds who aim to spout garbage, murderous and misguided garbage, in the image of the treacherous yankee proprietor. Murdoch is a warty word weasel, a misfit with a sick relationship to family background, grudges against anyone thwarting his egotistical self inflation and a total menace to civilised discourse. World troubles now in climate, in poxes and plagues, in war and disputes, can only be settled by discourse, negotiation, discussion, diplomacy, statesmanlike attitude. Yet we see fat fascist loudmouths like Pompeo at it, boofheads like Johnson, Trump, Morrison, well out of touch and under the base level of acceptance, mouthing and posing. As for the Manly Masturbator and Cretinous the creepess, who could believe one bent word?? Meanwhile carbon polluters are keen to start fresh murderous ventures and warmongers are making heaps. Can ordinary people, many now dehoused, flooded, refugees, reduced and poor, stop supporting the basically wrong courses and promoters!! Only negotiation, discussion, consensus, can hope to save us all.

  5. GL

    I was going to mention, not very nicely, The Rupert but (waves fist in the air) Phil beat me to it. I was going to blow a big raspberry at him but being the cultured and urbane person that I am will settle for sticking my thumbs in my ears and poking my tongue at him from behind his back. I shall now console myself by having a very good coffee with a touch of hazelnut flavouring.

  6. wam

    Another sad read, lord, no warming today.
    How can the religious maniac ex-PM bob up with any credibility?
    His flirting with shirt fronting putin and his membership of Poroshenko’s advisory group(photo is hilarious but it is on fb, I have just sent it to you).confirms his status as the second worst ex-leader in the world. With trump swinging as the most inept with his plan to put a red star on US planes to bomb russia and the sit back and watch russia and china fight it out.

  7. Albos Elbow

    If dickbrain Abbott had shirtfronted Putin, there wouldn’t be a war in Ukraine.
    Maybe Crossdresser Credlin has the balls to do it.

    So we start a nuclear WW3 with Russia, China and Iran because of all the solar panels and wind turbines, the world is destroyed and unlivable (apart from the cockroaches) and our civilisation is destroyed forever.

    This is the best plan those Murdoch brain dead mouthpieces could think of?

  8. Ian lister

    John asks the readers to think more deeply.to my understanding we (readers of John’s ) do .it’s the bloody climate deniers that don’t and l doubt that they ever will

  9. Ross

    Well you can’t say Morrison doesn’t listen to the great unwashed.
    The people want government “out of our lives” intones Scotty.

    Then you wonder if the residents of coastal Northern NSW and Southern Queensland are the ones who still want government “out of their lives” during the current catastrophic flooding event.
    You might even hazard a guess the answer would be an emphatic NO.

    The rest of Australia watching this tragedy unfold could be asking themselves if government is “out of our lives” who do we turn too when catastrophe strikes?

  10. James O'Neill

    You say that “during the invasion a nuclear power plant narrowly avoided melting down after being attacked by the Russians.” Unfortunately there is not a word of truth in that sentence. There was a small fire in an administration building that was apparently started by the Ukrainians. The nuclear plant was unaffected. It is this loose attention to facts that helps the Ukrainian propaganda war.

  11. Terence Mills

    The government won’t want to discuss this in the lead-up to the election. In fact I may be breaking national security laws by mentioning it now.

    In his 2019-20 budget, Mr Frydenberg expected the government to pay $15.7 billion in interest in the 2022-23 financial year. But this month’s budget, for 2022-23, will have the national interest bill at more than $18 billion. Within two years, it is on track to go beyond $22 billion and continue growing. Independent economist Stephen Koukoulas said interest could easily reach $30 billion or more a year.

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/close-to-30b-a-year-interest-bill-to-climb-as-rates-lift-on-record-budget-debt-20220308-p5a2qt.html

    If Labor do win the election they have a massive and thankless job ahead of them to get the economy back on track and they will still have to confront coalition tax cuts, the ones we know about and the ones they may try to slip in with their next budget announcement.

  12. GL

    Just when I thought that firetrucking faeces for brain Scummo couldn’t be any more disgusting and glass jawed.

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/i-do-apologise-pm-morrison-promises-more-flood-support-to-victims-20220309-p5a37x.html

    Strangely enough the Costello media didn’t mention the thing that got me pissed off, but the Rupert media however –

    https://www.news.com.au/national/politics/prime-minister-scott-morrison-bans-media-from-visit-to-floodaffected-nsw/news-story/b66fc7cf80a0b68eee029c94eea20e05

    He only did it to respect the privacy of the people he visited and besides his official photographer didn’t take any photos…suurree he didn’t. Why wait until the end of the year for the final judges decision about who will win Annual Effing Coward and Thin Skin Award for 2022 because Scummo has no competition at all to go up against him. His lowness is now at 3 kilometres beneath the upper mantle and he’s still digging down.

  13. GL

    Well, it seems I was wrong about his lowness getting any deeper. That fucking prick Scummo is playing favourites with electorates again and literally avoiding any contact with the general population and then Bananababy’s gut churning performance on the 7.30 Report just makes you want to vomit blood.

    “Mr Morrison avoided public interactions during his highly anticipated visit to Lismore on Wednesday, which was delayed while he was in COVID-19 isolation. He visited businesses and home-owners during the morning, although media were not told about the appearances or invited to attend.” He slinked into and of the Norco factory via the back entrance…it’s just not worth going on anymore about the vileness, cowardice and just plain shitfuckery of these two disgusting objects.

    https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/fury-amid-calls-for-pm-to-extend-flood-assistance-in-northern-nsw/news-story/18ab29aa2a3cfb23d93cc4d0fc5e9398

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/marcus-wanted-five-minutes-with-scott-morrison-the-flood-victim-was-told-the-pm-had-no-time-20220309-p5a38z.html

  14. Canguro

    With both Scummo & Spudolini demurring in regard to the ADF’s core role and its arguable status as a first responder in disasters; deflecting, promulgating ambiguity, excusing tardiness, excuse-making – ‘it’s not the Army’s role etc etc.’ – I asked my partner how it’s done in China.

    She said the army, the PLF, is the first responder for any national emergency, of which China has more than its fair share, floods & earthquakes. She said the response is immediate, and massive. She said that Chinese soldiers take an oath to protect their country, and to put their lives on the line to do so. She said that the PLF has enormous respect amongst the Chinese people for their willingness to do whatever is necessary, to put their lives on the line, in order to help the citizens in times of emergency.

    Contrast that, if you will, with Spudolini’s comment that it was too dangerous for the army to initially move into flood-affected areas.

    These Australian politicians strike me as rank amateurs, way out of their depth, in contrast to their Chinese counterparts, when it comes to understanding core responsibilities.

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