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The misinformation campaign succeeds

By RosemaryJ36  

I despair!

A few days ago, I wrote the following, sending it to senior politicians at national and local level, and to my local (Murdoch) paper – in which it was published today:

“I am 83. I have had a good education and I have done my research on the climate emergency.

I am convinced that with every day that passes without initiating action we reduce the probability of capping and reducing emissions enough to avert disastrous global warming.

I’ve three great grandchildren who now face a grim future.

I think our current leaders are responsible for criminal negligence in preferring to support use of fossil fuels, thereby reaping party donations, rather than accepting the well documented scientific evidence of the certain disasters that will trigger. I think responsibility for the pending climate emergency must be shared by the media, particularly the Murdoch controlled media.

If any politician or media manager feels I have in any way defamed them, I have limited means but am happy to generate free publicity!

The Canberra Bubble is real but not quite in the way usually Implied. Our politicians seem blindly unaware of life in the real world. Not only do they lack the integrity to accept that the scientists know what they are talking about, they wrap the corporate world (ie generous donors) in cotton wool, while sadistically torturing offshore refugees (how long has that continued?) and illegally billing Robodebt victims and also making money with the cashless debit card.

IMHO we have gone about as low as we can. The one and only good action has been recognising the rainbow nature of human sexuality, and even that has opened a Pandora’s box of venom.

Efforts to ‘protect’ the right to practice religion (despite all that was revealed in the child sex abuse RC) requires no new laws. Indeed, those of us who, despite being agnostic or atheists, but still living with a moral compass, are ourselves at risk from those whose claim to follow a religion is not supported by their hypocritical and often cruel words and actions.

I for one have had enough of greed, lies, deceit and downright cruelty. How about you?”

One of my children, whose BA was obtained with majors in Social Science and Philosophy, and who turned down an invitation to study a further year for Honours in Philosophy, read the letter and emailed me the following:

“The study of History is a good way to understand how humans behave, the consequences of their behaviour and how well we predict the future. Most people behave with compassion but ideological behaviour treats an ideal as more important than individuals. Ideologies tend to end badly, eg communism, because they build on ideal principles rather than evidence. Our predictions can also be either realistic or wildly out, depending on the premises from which we start. There are many predictions in history about the end of humanity, including beliefs that we will run out of food from overpopulation, be wiped out by nuclear bombs or other man made catastrophes. What those predictions failed to take into account is humanity’s ability to find solutions to problems. History shows that Open societies that value the scientific method for creating knowledge are the best type of societies for finding solutions, as well as ensuring the welfare of citizens.

So while our society is not perfect (and such a society will never exist), I do not feel there are grounds for catastrophising about matters such as climate change, self-interested politicians, human rights and social justice. Now if I lived in Iran, Afghanistan, Russia, or many other countries, I would be much more concerned about local issues. I don’t know enough about China to feel confident it is currently acting in the interests of humanity. As well as being a repressive state, corruption is pretty high. I hope communism collapses there soon, to the benefit of its citizens and the world. India also suffers from corruption, as well as poverty which is itself a major cause of carbon emissions (I don’t think cooking fires are counted in the stats on emissions by countries?)

I think the climate emergency people are over simplifying the problem and solution, while at the same time catastrophising with insufficient evidence. I think they work from an unjust view of politicians and capitalist societies and an insufficient awareness of human ingenuity. I think they are pretty mixed up in their thinking, which makes them unlikely to be taken seriously. I don’t say this about all protest movements, as many have clear and just aims. I would prefer to see much more targeted pressure groups on matters such as research, transparency, climate adaptation. It would help of course if climate change was depoliticised. Unfortunately protest movements are the surest way to politicise an issue there is.”

Several issues spring to mind!

‘The Australian’ is subscribed to in this child’s household.

I appreciate that local issues are most certainly of greater importance than the menace of global warming in many war-torn countries, but that does not discount its significance as a universal menace.

As for catastrophising the issue – how else do we break the flow of misinformation?

It is not we who learned from the tobacco corporations’ campaign to prove that tobacco is harmless!

The fossil fuel industries and their shareholders have beaten them and Goebbels hands down when it comes to propaganda and misinformation!

Above all – we are running out of time!

My reply to the email was brief:

“I truly wish I could agree with you.”

I would be delighted beyond description if I were to be proved wrong!

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14 comments

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  1. Baby Jewels

    Thank you Rosemary. You said it so well.

  2. STAND UP

    DEATH
    OF
    TRUTH
    Only the blind cannot see Morrison and the other chap at the Nationals who immediately leap onto the Populist defensive demanding the ‘led by the nose consumer’ obey their commands, which tells them that discussing Climate Change is Reprehensible! when so many are suffering! Such a load of Hot KoK and the entrained consumer who is disciplined not to think is rightly expected to agree. And agree they do because of the Media machine, not excluding AIM, has been well briefed in keeping the conversation irrelevant and powerless. There is No Dissent possible in AUS, anywhere, except passive whinging.

  3. Phil Pryor

    The slimy liars and conservative scoundrels and ego fixated social climbers are going well, but truth, honesty, decency, common sense, foresight, all this is not. How is it that shitheads have triumphed, and that lies are the standard for judging decisions for us and the planet, Completely perverted political prickpolishers are doing well, backed by media maggots, press pigs, opinion operators, lie spreaders, careerist clowns, egomaniacs, the new and poxed class of would be controllers. They are our enemies, and of the planet.

  4. Keitha Granville

    Forgive me if my calculation is wrong, but your daughter must be late 50s? How very disappointing for you. I am 66 and i endorse your letter 100%. My 4 children, 26-36, have fortunately followed our politics and our green ideals.

    The really sad part is that only our grandchildren will know that our leaders were so very culpable, criminally negligent and so full of hubris – we will be long gone, and our planet will be dead. They will be facing catastrophe and there will be absolutely nothing they can do about it.

  5. Winifred Jeavons

    Thankfully, my children agree with my understanding of climate concerns . 1 , in fact, works with fire management, and is a CFA member. She has often told me how planned burns have had to be cancelled, on account of changed conditions , or failed to take, because it was unseasonably cool. I do not fully tell them all my worries, as they will have to live with them. I too have great grandchildren., and fear for their future. What I do say, is to expect that even the next 10 years will be full of surprises, many nasty .I also am over 80, and despair of selfish conservatism, knowing that civilisations have collapsed before, never pleasantly. Never before, though has this been global, or threatened earth’s ability to sustain us.

  6. RosemaryJ36

    Keitha: Very close! My sons are 56 and 52 and my daughter is 55. While happily married,to an older man with an existing family, she has by choice and agreement remained childless. I suspect this alters her perception of life!

  7. Rosemary J36

    In preparing the document above, I initially duplicated 2 short paragrahs and deleted too much in editing.
    There should be a paragraph 6 reading:

    “I recently joined Extinction Rebellion Darwin and am prepared to undertake action that might constitute civil disobedience.”

  8. Kaye Lee

    Rosemary,

    The interaction between intelligent mothers and intellgent daughters is always tricky. They think they know more than us and we should be proud we have bred confident women.

    Her email says “I would prefer to see much more targeted pressure groups on matters such as research, transparency, climate adaptation. It would help of course if climate change was depoliticised. Unfortunately protest movements are the surest way to politicise an issue there is.”

    It is the scientists that have done/are doing the research who are telling us we are facing a catastrophe. Unless we devote ourselves to mitigation, adaptation won’t be an option. We already must adapt…unless we change the trajectory, we’re fucked.

    So we don’t listen to scientists, we don’t want politics involved, and we sure as hell don’t want to hear from the people via any form of protest about government inaction/ineptitude/corruption.

    Your daughter is eloquent Rosemary. She needs better information than what she will find in The Australian to make informed comment.

  9. RosemaryJ36

    KL: Spot on! When she was about 16, she told me “you only learn from your own experience.” I do not entirely agree with that statement as your own experience may be limited. She might understand the concept of the scientific method but she does not get information about science from the right sources!
    It’s a bit like looking for love in all the wrong places!

  10. corvus boreus

    Rosemary,
    Re your daughters statement about validation through personal experience.
    It is true that actually touching a glowing hotplate can give a stronger message than any words of warning, and that on-ground proving is necessary to move a theory from abstract to solid (eg I understand the role of canopy vegetation in storing and releasing weather-generating water all the better for having watched visible wisps of moisture being drawn from treetops up into the clouds).
    However, there is only so much that we can directly experience and understand, especially regarding complicated scientific abstracts (eg the effect of different compositional quantities of invisible ‘greenhouse’ gases in trapping radiant heat), so in such matters it is best to listen to the qualified and experienced.
    On a similar but more personal level, when I have ‘diversified as part of the gig economy’ and ‘undertaken fresh employment challenges’, my relative incompetence at the newly allotted tasks has often been rapidly abated by listening to a few words from the wise (‘you might not want to do it that way, young fella’), which seems a more efficient method of progression than tentative exploration of already well-mapped ground, as well as a good way of avoiding the experimental touching of hotplates.

  11. Miriam English

    Thankfully there is some good news. The corrupt politicians are now struggling against the tide. Almost everybody (except them) see the danger of destabilising the climate. Even if our foolish politicians drag their feet and resist change all the way, we will still have almost entirely renewable energy in a couple of decades — maybe even sooner.

    But they won’t resist all the way. At some point it will become obvious even to them that if they don’t take appropriate steps they won’t get any votes. Soon, anti-renewable scare campaigns and Murdoch propaganda will cease to work as the consequences of climate change will be far too clear for even the most corrupted to deny. We are nearing that point.

    Imagine what we could achieve if the politicians helped instead of hindering.

  12. Terence Mills

    When it comes to misinformation and fake news, Facebook have stated that they will not take down fake tweets and false information posted on Facebook as they claim that they (Facebook) are not publishers and that this relieves them from having to verify authenticity and they claim that they are not the arbiters of truth :

    Screenshots of the fake tweets, one from [Sally]McManus saying the Labor conference had endorsed an inheritance tax, and another from Shorten saying “immigration of people from the Middle East is the future Australia needs”, were posted on the Facebook pages by right-wing conservative groups prior to the last election.

    The fake McManus tweet declaring Labor’s support for an inheritance tax first appeared on 21 April, and the ACTU secretary disavowed it immediately but Facebook refused to remove and it took off as hearsay. As we now know, this had a significant influence on the way some older Australians voted.

  13. Lambchop Simnel

    It has heart, the posting.

  14. nick

    Rosemary with respect, I agree with your daughter and I don’t read the Australian. Like her, I feel nature will deal with us as it always has done since day one. Publicly flogging her thoughts may grant you solace from likeminded souls such as KL et al, though in reality I think you know your child has a valid point – as she probably always does and not afraid to share! BA is not always a bugger all achievement, sometimes I wish I had taken that pathway rather than law and business.

    Your mail should be commended quite rightly so, and you do indeed have every right to voice your repugnance at our politicians. It’s just that I find it difficult to take seriously your viewpoint given its tainted somewhat with your disappointment with your daughter’s past, current status quo.

    Moot to this day, whether Shakespeare is right or Tennyson was drunk, still we know that love is blind and it’s better to have loved and lost… As a parent, I was disappointed with my kids choices but I just do what feels right for me. I don’t see them until they correct themselves. Simple and to the point. You sound like a lovable and caring mother. Your daughter is lucky.

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