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Power without glory

I was amazed today to discover that Rupert Murdoch is only 5 years older than I am! Nothing to do with age and everything to do with mental outlook.

He is one of a group of wealthy individuals whose use of power has been incredibly damaging.

Since the 1990s, if not earlier, the knowledge has been available to establish that our profligate use of fossil fuels could not continue without severe damage to the planet on which we live.

I know that Australia had various restrictions and forms of rationing during WWII, although, given that England had to import a major part of its food, I suspect that the UK had more extreme shortages. European countries, on whose soil the fighting took place, suffered even more and far more civilian lives were lost than is appreciated in later years.

Concentrating on the ‘war effort’ was accepted as necessary and if we did not have enough food coupons to invite friends for a meal, we still did not die from starvation! In fact, we learned to avoid waste – a lesson needs to be re-learned in today’s world of wanton waste!

So where is all this rambling going?

Greed for wealth and power has pushed our planet to the edge, with many species already extinct and many more on the verge of that fate.

The attraction of convenience means we are using, but not recycling, enormous quantities of plastic and other materials with a significant proportion of the discarded materials fouling up our oceans and damaging marine life.

Because the powerful coterie (with its enthusiastic lobby group making donations to political parties) which benefits from continued exploitation of fossil fuels has denied the need for change, we have pushed ourselves so close to the tipping point that it will be touch and go for our youngest generation to have a viable future.

Every day that we fail to reduce emissions and pollution results in a far harder job to claw our way back to a world where plants can grow and we can breathe.

And where does Rupert Murdoch come into this?

Well, you may ask!

His craze for power and influence has enabled him to surround himself with people whose desire for personal wealth and power prevents them from developing any sense of moral responsibility for the destruction that their actions and policies are causing.

Individuals all around the world are working to reduce the amount of waste they send to landfill, to avoid polluting water and generally doing their bit to help fight climate change.

But that is not, and never will be, enough!

Without government leadership – as occurred when there was a war effort to support – individuals will make too small a move towards the necessary outcomes.

We have had, worldwide, several School Strikes 4 Climate, which have not galvanised any serious action at government level.

Maybe we need to really go over the top.

I have 4 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren and my concern is for them to be able to have a life as good as the one I have had – and I am neither wealthy nor important.

I think everyone over 70 – particularly if they also have grandchildren – should be out there, in a coordinated way, to make sure the government is in no doubt that we demand immediate and effective action. This must be designed to reduce emissions and pollution, create effective carbon sinks on a massive scale and develop policies which ensure that everyone is required to play their part.

And an essential early step would be to make it a punishable offence to continue to publish lies from the climate change deniers – like Rupert Murdoch!

The science has been done, the evidence has been provided and yet our governments are still hesitating because, in large part, they are held back by vested interests.

Already many people who truly understand the situation are saying it is too late. As an eternal optimist, I refuse to accept that, but urgent and immediate action is called for.

Greta Thunberg shows a wisdom way beyond her years and far greater than most of the candidates for election to high office.

We cannot afford to delay!

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  1. RomeoCharlie29

    Well said RJ36. If there is just one reason to change the government in two days, it is the continuing failure of the LNP to recognise beyond lip service that the problem you enunciate exists. Even Labor equivocates because it will not take the necessary, essential step to stop the mining and export of coal. Our coal, and to a lesser extent gas, is being exported to countries which make massive contributions to the pollution problem yet we talk about our own consumption of coal being reduced and, eventually, phased out. If the scientists are right, we have 11 years to turn global warming around. We cannot afford to listen to the deniers promoted by Murdoch and his sycophant arsewipes, we have to work to that deadline, using it as the marker to eliminate our own coal use and phase out the mining and export of this product completely. It means we need to find alternative work for the workers in the industry, but we cannot use the loss of 5heir jobs as an argument for inaction. There is the matter of the greater good, and it applies not just to Australia. For these reasons I am voting, and urging others, to Vote Green first, then Labor.

  2. guest

    The Climate denier propaganda in the Murdoch media continues today (16/5/19) when Ian Plimer says some strange things about the “real” science of CO2. It is a falsehood basic to his denial which claims that CO2 has nothing to do with Climate Change.

    In order to present this position, he must refuse to admit that in the past 10 000 years at least CO2, even at only 0.04% (pre-industrial 280ppm of the Earth’s atmosphere), has been able to maintain an average temperature of approx. 14 degrees. This warming capacity of CO – as a “greenhouse” gas – has been known since about 1820.

    CO2 is now at approx. 410ppm and rising – and so is the temperature.

    Plimer supports the mining industry which would make our planet a hell on Earth if it does hold back.

    Murdoch is doing his part, too. He and other US wealthies have invested in Genie energy which proposes to frack the Golan Heights taken from Syria in 1967 and supposedly annexed in 1981. by Israel.

    Murdoch is highly delighted by this venture because it challenges Arab oil and this, he claims, is ‘great news’ for democracy, capitalism and prosperity.

    The basis of the Murdoch propaganda is a falsehood and muddying of the “debate” and prime example of greed in action.

  3. Kerri

    Well said Rosemary.
    For the life of me I cannot understand the selfish elderly who do not want a better life for their descendants. I applaud your focus on the future that you, as I, are unlikely to see.

  4. David Bruce

    Recently I have learned that even if Australia reduces emissions to (0) zero, we will have about 1% effect on climate change. If we stop selling coal and other resources, the markets will be filled by other suppliers.

    Without co-ordinated support from China, India, USA and Europe the world population is expected to decline.

    I have also learned recently from the ANU research that parts of the planet will experience rising temperature and droughts, while other parts will freeze and ice up. This will be due partly by changes to the jet stream in the Northern Hemisphere.


    nice try David Bruce, but you can take the quackery elsewhere. If everyone had that attitude, nobody would be paying taxes cause ” my taxes are so small…”
    As for the rest, if you only look at 5% of the picture, your going to get a distorted idea of the big picture. Scientists aren’t interested in 5% of the picture, they leave it for fools to draw the wrong conclusions.

  6. DrakeN

    Just found that out Bruce?
    Some of us have known that for decades.
    We also know that there are quite a lot of 1% ers like us.
    Now – if they all do nothing…

  7. paul walter

    Pretty much exemplified in the form of yet another biased Telegraph headline against Labor today.

  8. wam

    Words are important and 100% of scientists say climate change is natural. Who can argue with that?

    Some ascribe the changes to god not man? Can Christians argue with that??

    Global warming,however, has evidence in sea level rising, island, disappearing, glaciers melting, sea ice disappearing. Global warming is visible now?

    But talk to the conservatives and not the loonies to see where climate change lies. I hope bill claims a few quid off the loonies with his push.
    Tthe narrow nose and shy are hell bent on stealing as many labor dollars as possible.
    I read one loonie carefully pointing out that you can protest against shorten by voting 1 greens( 2 labor. Neglecting to point out taking the cash.

  9. corvus boreus

    Yet another tedious repetition on your usual stale formula of pedantic quibbling (CC vs GW) and bigoted sledging (LOONIES!!!).
    Demented drivel.

  10. Adrianne Haddow

    An excellent call to arms and minds, Rosemary.

    The terms climate change and global warming do not reflect the true urgency of the state of our planet. I believe they are euphemisms that enable our reluctant leaders, with their eyes on the prize of more power, continued donations from the fuel barons and a continuation of their noses in the trough, to shirk responsibility in addressing the losses we face in terms of biodiversity.
    They allow the average person to rail more against the loss of their ‘utes’ and their weekends bush bashing in their SUVs, than they do about the dire circumstances their children and grandchildren will have to live in.

    We are facing an extinction crisis, identified and reported on by those scientists who observe, collect and record data, not by some pseudo-journalist parroting the lies of the megalomaniac for whom they work, and whose insatiable greed and wealth accumulation is at risk.
    The diversity of life on this planet is what forms the web of life. Each species adding to the health of our planet, and providing the means by which we produce our food, clean our air of carbon, purify our water and allow us to collect that water to sustain our own petty lives.

    We are facing more extinctions through the destruction of habitats of those species, wrought by the extractive industries that degrade our environment for the profit of their shareholders. At the same time, drowning in the rubbish we consume to make our lives more entertaining, our household chores easier and less time consuming.

    If concern for the planet and the life existing here makes me a ‘loonie’, then I welcome the epithet, and feel nothing but scorn for those to foolish or too myopic to care.

  11. Paul Davis

    Thank you Rosemary for your interesting take on this, thought provoking. Cheers

  12. Josephus

    wam your comment does not make sense! If future comments are similar, let them be weeded out .

    Note that some elderly with or without descendants oppose the greedy and selfish who are voted for by many who don’t think, or who want to remain privileged. These elderly remember the 1960s!

    Labor is equivocal about refugee policy.

    Finally, while Labor does promise ‘climate friendly’ initiatives, it is rather weak on Adani (and nearby future coal mines ), and never mentions the coal gas and shale gas applications Labor has in advance approved if it wins. These plans cover an area many times the size of the UK, nearly 40% of our land mass. Together coal, coal gas and shale gas mines ( add seawater mining in the Bight) will further impact our food and water resources. The farmers are waking up. For the first time this country is importing wheat . Labor is wanting to win this election of course, but its fence sitting is not courageous.

    If others have more information on this last concern, please send it in.

  13. guest

    Murdoch pretends that his scribblers write for an “informed reader”, but on close examination one finds the real audience is the one rusted on to Murdoch-speak and in the case of Climate Change , in the collected denier collections compiled by Graham Lloyd. It is obvious even in the vocabulary, the repeated phrases and the overall tone – so that wonders how much is written by the named author and how much by the guiding editor.

    Take John Anderson writing today about drought and division in the land: “Further magnification of policy clumsiness and uncertainty we have seen during the past decade will result in more of our industries, including agricultural production and food processing, going offshore.
    “Just as in the case with industries such as smelting and cement production, the perverse result will be that Australia contributes not to lowering global emissions but increasing them. Pumping up global emissions in other countries and then importing products we should be producing ourselves hardly makes environmental sense.”

    Yet Anderson knows very well that shipping coal overseas to be burnt in order to “lift the poor out of poverty” is very much the policy of the Coalition. What that policy ignores is the fact that so many countries overseas are working on renewable energy, including solar, wind and hydro – and China is at the top of the production of these renewables. And so many Australians are taking it upon themselves to install renewables despite what the present government attitude.

    Anderson asks for transparency in policy but takes no notice of the clear evidence of the effects of Climate Change. He makes some attempt to compare the present drought and those at the beginning of the C20th and mid-century, yet The Converstion (May, 2018) tells us that the present drought is 400 – 800 times worse than those earlier droughts.

    It is interesting to see what is happening in farming in Australia. What is Anderson’s attitude towards the rise of regenerative farming espoused by Charles Massy in his book “Call of the Reed Warbler” (2017) In the Griffith Review #63 Massy writes a short essay which summarises his findings about regenerative farming as opposed to big-industrial farming:

    “Today, thanks to this massive shift [since the 1950s], industrial farming is becoming increasingly dominant across many of the globe’s landscapes. It is driven by the world’s largest and most powerful transnational organisations in the fields of chemicals, pharmaceuticals, genetic engineering and hybrid see =d production, food manufacturing, global commodity trading, transport, trade and finance…By any measure…humanity is consuming each year over 50% more resources than the Earth can replenish…
    “The outcomes of damage to major Earth systems by industrial agriculture include biodiversity loss, connected changes in land use and water freshwater use, and destablisation of the biogeochemical flow involving the interconnected nitrogen and phosphorous cycles. Industrial Agriculture also plays a key role in climate change (via the release of CO2 through such land practices as land-clearing, for example, but also via use of fossil fuels and derived chemicals) and ocean acidification)…
    “massive volumes of human-made products such as pesticides and herbicides…
    “massive rise of modern human diseases in industrial societies…” (pp 257-8)

    Not many of these matters seem to get much airing in the MSM, where so much of the concern is more about “my tax is less than your tax” and “my surplus is bigger than your surplus”.

    Imagine the chaos of politicians were more transparent about the really big issues and really listened to what was being said.

    Listen to Anderson who is asking for modelling about Climate Change so we know what to do to counter it. He said what?

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