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 … “
… I scoffed.
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 words like this 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 was 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:
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.
This article was first published on Progressive Conversation.
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