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Politicians should stop using the word “unprecedented” as an excuse for their lack of action

Parts of NSW and Queensland are suffering unprecedented floods. At the same time, they are experiencing an unprecedented pandemic.

Before that, they were dealing with unprecedented bushfires, following unprecedented heatwaves causing unprecedented drought.

The loss of biodiversity is being labelled an extinction event as we clear land and destroy habitats. More pandemics are inevitable as we further crowd the planet.

Despite decades of warning from every credible expert about the inevitable consequences of constant growth with no regard for the environment, our politicians assume surprise when their unbridled fetish for wealth and power wreaks havoc on the world.

We have to sell coal because it increases our GDP. Temporarily. Until the next unprecedented “natural” disaster comes along.

We have to have an arms industry to employ people to make weapons so young men can kill each other and destroy the homes and lives of the women and children caught in the middle of men’s power games.

We have to accumulate more wealth because that equates to success. For an increasingly few.

Knowledge has become private property and disinformation a tool to be used.

Politicians oppose what their opposition suggests purely for political purposes wasting decades, halting progress, and ignoring risk management and prevention planning.

Stop with the Fight Club, the Wolverines, and the Big Swinging Dicks. Stop with the fixation on GDP growth. Stop with the fossil fuel protection gang and the Make-Gina-Richer mentality.

Until you realise that it is going to take an all-hands-on-deck concerted effort to save this planet from the wanton destruction caused by “unprecedented” pollution, we will continue to suffer the unprecedented consequences of your hubris.


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  1. Michael Taylor

    Politicians oppose what their opposition suggests purely for political purposes wasting decades, halting progress, and ignoring risk management and prevention planning.


    Bingo to everything else in the post, too.

  2. Kate Ahearne

    Spot on, Kaye. Thanks.

    I can’t help thinking that we’re not going to change our ways until we absolutely must. Unfortunately, we mightn’t realize in time that the time has come – There seems to be quite a lag between the ‘unprecedented’ indications of cataclysmic problems, and our realisation that it is so. I just keep hoping that when we actually do realise the necessity, Necessity really will turn out to be the Mother of Invention.

  3. The AIM Network

    Sorry for repeating myself…

    I posted this yesterday under a different article, but I reckon it has a better fit here:

  4. Harry Lime

    Dom Perignon has bypassed the “unprecedented” schtick with “a 1 in a 1000 year event”..full marks to whoever came up with that, and it should carry through to the next”1 in a 1000 year” event next year.By the way,we have an unprecedented number of flat out morons occupying critical positions of authority..for example, the entire Federal government front bench.

  5. David Evans

    I wonder if it woud be unprecedented if the Australian public were to suddenly become aware of the warnings that have been given to howard, abbott, turnbull, morrison, hunt, dutton, joyce, canavan, christensen, taylor, ley, kelly, broadbent etc etc etc. over the last 20+ years. Every one of these clowns has been fully briefed about the increasing effects that their policies, or lack of policies, re. Climate Change was having, This disastrous flooding has been warned about for years, as with the recent bushfires, droughts etc, even the pandemic was forecast, it was just a matter of where and when. THEY HAVE CHOSEN to disregard the science over many years, and each one of them should be held personally partly responsible. How many of these willfully ignorant fools will dip into their own retirement “entitlements” to help with reconstruction of the damage they have each added to? Bit hard to do anything constructive when you’ve got water sloshing around your feet ey dutton?

  6. Kaye Lee

    Gillard also introduced a temporary flood levy which people didn’t have a hissy fit about. Labor should not make a commitment to the stage 3 tax cuts. It would be fiscally irresponsible. It would also give them an extra $15-30 billion a year for the next decade to help the recovery and to invest in prevention and mitigation – an easy sell right now one would hope,

  7. Phil Pryor

    The old class that gave the British its squires, nobles, lords, overseers, gave it its political representatives, people bought, sold, rented, bent, keen, takers, abusers, promoters, all with rellies in the church, army, civil service, finance and anything selfishly lucrative. Adversarial aggression partnered with naked bribery for imperial purposes in slavery, bullion hunts, bases, promotion, office for money. Principle was a word to bend for personal aggrandisement or selfish accumulation. Australia’s current conservative vultures are a cheaper, inferior version…Expect nothing good, decent, honest from a Peter Duckwit -Futton or a Joyce Morrison bacillus, except festering. All the observations here are very accurate. Sad.

  8. Kaye Lee


    Peter Dutton’s great, great grandfather was former Queensland lands minister Charles Boydell Dutton.

    The Queensland Figaro in 1884 described Charles Boydell Dutton as a “squatter of the squatters” and “an out and out Tory in the guise of a Liberal — a wolf in the guise of a lamb…”

    In 1887 they wrote “Charles Boydell Dutton is a man of sublime parts. If he isn’t an idiot himself, he must fancy that the average elector is a born fool, or he would not attempt to gull him with such transparent rot as that with which he dosed the people at the Ipswich Show banquet.”

    Again in 1887 “Dutton couldn’t get his back up about the Press, if the Press hadn’t first made that back smart with the lash of its telling criticism. He knew he had “no case” so he “abused the other side”. He is a fool for his pains. He has made his Press opponents laugh at his helpless rage, and he has made those pressmen who excused and shielded him turn angry at his base ingratitude.”

  9. Colin Newbury

    “Unprecedented” or as Jeff Sparrow says ” this isn’t extinction it’s extermination the people killing nature know what they are doing “

  10. Phil Pryor

    Kaye, thanks for your offerring, black humour larded with sharp analysis. I sometimes gag at seeking Dr. Google and Prof. Wiki’s findings. Some investigation offers us insights always. Having shared classes with Jack Howard and knowing the festering mediocrity would swell and threaten, this research is unsettling and evacuating.

  11. Kaye Lee

    I shared lectures and overlapping social circles with Tony Abbott. As others have rightly observed, he was a ‘second-grade footballer, third-rate academic and fourth-class politician.’ Tony always had an inflated opinion of his capabilities but I don’t think he has ever had an original thought…..maybe eating a raw onion with the skin on?

    Have a look at the people he admires – George Pell, Dyson Heydon, John Nester. As with Morrison’s admiration for Brian Houston, it begs the question of their judgement of character.

  12. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, I hear that he was a prickly person even back then.

  13. Henry Rodrigues

    What would truly be unprecedented was if coalition politicians listened and acted upon the science and common sense, not the donors or the carpetbaggers.

    As for P ‘dirtbag’ Dutton, a classic case of faulty genes. Darwin predicted it in his Origins of the Species.

    Kaye lee …keep a bag of berley handy when jugears goes wetting himself at Manly Beach. He’d never be rated higher than 5 as a human.

  14. New England Cocky

    @MT: A classic example of vested backward thinking was the 1994 shut down and destruction of the electric car plant in America. The only beneficiaries of this ”wonderful forward thinking” were the multinational oil corporations.

  15. Kaye Lee

    I suppose he tried to be prickly Michael – he loved an audience and travelled with a pack – but most people regarded him as an anachronistic inconsequential inadequate wannabe. He was very ordinary at rugby – got dropped at Oxford after one game. Those singing his praises were more in hope than reality – a Catholic confirmation circle who thought Tony’s confidence must have some substance. He disappointed them too.

  16. margcal

    The real problem is that there “are” enough stupid, foolish, gullible people who vote – people who believe the lies and bullshit, who don’t care about politics, who will vote as the MSM tell them to do in their headlines on polling day.
    It’s more unusual for election results to be not as bad as could have been, than the other way around.

  17. wam

    “so young men can kill each other…” In russia and georgia: ‘women are able to fly combat aircraft, serve in artillery units, staff missile emplacements, serve as combat medics, and fill various other roles that involve potential combat exposure.’ america first woman sniper Senior Airman Jennifer Donaldson 2001 russia Lyudmila Pavlichenko 309 confirmed kills in WW2. ps My darling got it right “Georgians look like us”
    Would we give a rat’s arse, if they were not white christians?????

  18. B Sullivan

    margcal : “The real problem is that there “are” enough stupid, foolish, gullible people who vote…”

    The real problem is that there are enough stupid/foolish/gullible people who live in regional electorates that under Australia’s voting system are given greater representation in the parliament than their actual number of votes should reasonably entitle them to.

    We have inaction on climate change in Australia because the No Action National Party, with just 5% of the electors supporting them can win ten seats in parliament, while the No Action National Liberals in Queensland with less than 10% support can expect to win more than twenty seats allowing the 30+% who support the No Action Liberals to elect into office yet another minority government whose lack of democratic support is hidden from the public’s attention by compulsory preferencing of candidates which obliges voters to endorse candidates who may actually oppose rather than represent their interests, or else have their vote invalidated. Even though more than 10% of Australians support the Pro Action Greens they are fortunate if they win even a single voice in parliament to argue against doing nothing on climate change.

    To put it another way, Australia’s status as a democracy is a sham. And if that information ever gets out to the rest of the world then Australia can justifiably look forward to being treated as a pariah state not just for its inaction on climate change but also for its hypocrisy for claiming the high moral ground as a defender of democracy when it denies ten per cent of all eligible voters a fair go of fair representation in parliament.

    Still, at least those flood victims who have steadfastly supported the No Action Parties over the decades can take comfort that since this is a “1 in a 1000 years event” they wont have to worry that anything like it will ever happen again till the next millennium. With faith, hope and a bit of relief charity, she’ll be right.

  19. Consume Less

    Well said Kaye. Planet Earth lest we forget, we have turned this beautiful blue green globe into a cesspit concoction of plastic and chemicals.
    On Tony, he even said a bit of warming is good. Nice one Tony, NOT.

  20. Terence Mills

    A classic case of this political cynicism bordering on nihilism is the refusal by the coalition to acknowledge that negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions on residential dwellings is distorting the housing market and fuelling housing prices across the nation.

    Labor have (temporarily) given up on a policy to introduce change in this area as they know that the coalition will once again flood the electorate with misinformation and conspiracies about adverse impacts on home prices and rentals.

    The only way I can see of correcting this politically driven market distortion is for Labor, when in office, to initiate a Royal Commission into housing costs in Australia and inevitably this RC will expose the adverse impacts on the community of negative gearing and associated CGT concessions to investors. Only then can progress be made on the intransigence of the coalition.

    Any thoughts ?

  21. Kaye Lee

    I am in the middle of writing an article on that very topic Terence.

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