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The Woes of Climate Change States

As Australia’s tattered yet new government, led by the increasingly oafish and amateurish Scott Morrison trundled into its post-climate phase, states which see their existence as dependent on the cutting of carbon emissions have been more than a touch concerned. Their reality remains divorced from the paper clip conspiracies of Canberra and the energy cliques obsessed with cutting prices.

Morrison’s ascension to power was yet another, existentially imposed headache in the aftermath of US President Donald J. Trump’s announcement that the United States would be making a dash from any obligations and aspirations associated with the Paris Climate Agreement. Pacific Island states were starting to write up their wills.

When the decision by Trump was made in the middle of last year, such states as Samoa and Fiji felt a shudder. “His decision,” came the press release from an assortment of Pacific Island Civil Society Organisations, “is a clear sign of his continued support of the fossil fuel industry which directly threatens the lives of communities living in the Pacific Islands.”

The Australian response, ever mindful of the wishes of its obese cousin and all-powerful defender, has reflected a certain bipolar conditioning on matters ecological and climactic. Canberra takes the position, when convenient to its neighbours, that climate change is genuine, dangerous and in need of serious consideration. When necessary, amnesia takes hold.

In the aftermath of Morrison’s replacement of sitting Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama sent a salutary reminder to the new Australian leader couched in a disarming note of congratulation. “I look forward to working with you across a broad front, including the global campaign for action on climate change, the greatest threat facing Australia and all of your neighbours in the Pacific.”

This, to a man who had coarsely brandished a lump of coal in the Australian parliament in February last year, supplied by the good offices of the Minerals Council of Australia. “This is coal,” he guffawed to his opponents, caressing the inert item in his hand with a fetishist’s resolve. “Don’t be afraid; don’t be scared.”

Morrison ought to be suffering jitters from such figures as Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele, who has made it clear how climate change laggards should be treated. “We all know the problem, we all know the solutions,” he explained to the Lowy Institute at the end of last month, “and all that is left would be some political courage, some political guts, to tell people of your country there is a certainty of disaster.”

Then came the delicious blow, landed between the gizzards. “So any leader of any country who believes that there is no climate change, I think he ought to be taken to mental confinement. He is utterly stupid. And I say the same thing to any leader here.”

Despite such cataclysmic promises, Australia’s politicians remain resilient before the inconveniences of reality and warm to the enticements of stupidity. The big god coal, and associate demigod fossil fuels, call the tune.

The new Foreign Minister, Marise Payne, made the necessary, paternalistic adjustments for her audience earlier this month ahead of the Pacific Islands Forum in Nauru. This line waxes and wanes along the issue of aid, the condescending drip aid designed to influence more than change. The angle on Australian generosity was pushed (daddy with deep pockets cares), as much to counter the phantom of Chinese influence in the region as anything else. “The largest development assistance in the region is overwhelmingly coming from Australia; in fact, it will hit the largest contribution ever during 2018-19 at $1.3 billion.”

Payne also busied herself bribing regional neighbours with such reassurances as employment, a tribute to an old legacy of enticing black labour to an economy short of staffing. Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, she said with soothing corruption, would be added to Australia’s Pacific Labour Scheme, nothing less than a traditional, extracting incentive for the Australian economy. As ever, the benefit would be for Australia more than anybody else: citizens from those countries would be able to fill the necessary jobs in rural and regional Australia. (Well and good – they might, in time, have no country to return to.)

Despite the issue of climate change making its inevitable appearance on the agenda, Payne preferred to see it as one of the items for discussion, rather than the main show. “We really recognise that our Pacific Island neighbours are particularly vulnerable to climate change.” Australia had been purportedly “working hard” towards climate change commitments, though Payne failed to spell out any coherent steps of late.

The internal politics of the governing coalition in Australia remains intimately related to the fossil fuel industries and climate change sceptics. The schismatic Tony Abbott remains convinced that Australia should go the way of Trump, and more than a sprinkling of his colleagues think the same. Central to this is not environmental degradation so much as cheaper energy prices, which has become the holy of holies, the El Dorado of policymakers. Such is the thinking that accompanies the short-term aspirations of shopkeeping types even as it dooms island states to watery oblivion.

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  1. Bronte ALLAN

    Great article Dr Kampmark! Yes ALL the bloody so-called “liberals” are sadly unable to accept any proof of climate change! Led by the biggest non believer of all. bloody Rabbott, they all seem to “worship” coal & fossil fuels. No thought, consideration or regard to what the vast percentage of world scientists have been saying now (for years!), that we will all be affected in some way way by climate changes. I feel sadness that the majority of these somewhat tiny islands etc in the Pacific region could realistically disappear with the rise in the ocean levels, caused by climate change. Yet, this rabble of obscenely over-paid, right wing, flat earth, lying, inept mob of liberals all think nothing is going to happen. WTF??

  2. New England Cocky

    I vote ALP because I want everybody to have enough.

  3. SteveFitz

    There are compelling arguments for and against the reasons for climate change. One based on cold hard scientific facts and the other based on planting your head up your own backside. Liberal governments notoriously cling to the status quo and notoriously embrace what big business, including the fossil fuel monsters, want. They have become blinkered.

    It’s not just the Pacific Island nations that are under threat here. Every coastal city on the planet will be impacted by rising sea levels. Increases in global temperature are running parallel to increases in atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Increased temperature equates to more energy which equates to extremes in climate, ocean expansion and glacial or polar ice melt. Exacerbated by fossil fuel burning.

    What happens to humanity if the “vested interest” climate change sceptics are wrong? The scientific predictions are for an escalation in catastrophic weather events, mass migration from flooded coastlines, starvation and conflict if we sit back and do nothing. The Liberal Party believes they can risk the future of human existence, on planet earth, without a second thought and, that frightening scenario sums them up.

    If you were sitting down having a pic-nic and you were warned that there was a flash flood or a stampede rapidly approaching. Would you move your family to safer ground? Apparently not, if you’re a pig headed member of the Liberal Party.

  4. Andrew Smith

    Agree, however

    ‘Central to this is not environmental degradation so much as cheaper energy prices, which has become the holy of holies, the El Dorado of policymakers. Such is the thinking that accompanies the short-term aspirations of shopkeeping types even as it dooms island states to watery oblivion.’

    Willing dupes or useful idiots?

    The underlying strategy seems more about preserving long term fossil fuel income streams at the expense of competitive threats e.g. renewable friendly and related environment or climate policies (and small business).

  5. SteveFitz

    Andrew – In support… “The underlying strategy is “most definitely” about preserving long term fossil fuel income streams at the expense of competitive alternatives”.

    New energy minister Angus Taylor has launched a new and extraordinary attack against wind and solar.

    Taylor launches extraordinary and ill-informed attack against wind and solar

    The comments came in an interview on Sky News on Sunday night, and little more than a week after Taylor told radio shock jock Alan Jones that there was already “too much” wind and solar in the grid.

    The fact that the right-wingers Jones and Kenny hold such extreme and ill-informed views about climate and energy is well known, and not of great consequence. But, the fact that the country’s energy minister goes on to their programs and agrees with them, despite all the evidence to the contrary, is deeply troubling.

  6. SteveFitz


    I’ve had an epiphany – Down through the ages of man there’s been this monumental battle between good and evil. Add an “o” to God and you have good. Add a “d” to evil and you have devil. Right v wrong, good v evil, God v the devil. So now we bring religion into the equation but, the fundamentals are the same.

    Life is a struggle for all of us but, it’s just part of being alive and, better than the alternative. It doesn’t matter how much we have or don’t have; The human condition suggests that fulfilment is impossible, so we need to overcome our discontent. By being more philosophical about life and its meaning rather than being saved by religion, for when we are dead.

    Religion focuses on the next world, the next life, and diminishes our celebration of being alive and robs us of the here and now – Religion encourages an unhealthy disengagement from the world. Look around, I don’t think God is particularly impressed by religion, or the men who run it, and I feel he may be open to a new approach.

    What the church doesn’t tell us is that our relationship with God is a two-way street. It’s not just about believing in God to buy absolution of our sins and a pathway to heaven. It’s also about being good enough for God to believe in us. You won’t find God in religion or the church. When you are good enough, God finds you.

    Religious doctrine gives us a set of binding moral rules for society to live by but diminishes us in other ways. Perhaps we need to forget religion and focus more on ourselves and our own personal spirituality. Be good enough for God to believe in us personally and, with God in our hearts, that then becomes the moral authority.

    This approach to God is satisfying and rewarding. It adds to us as human beings and takes nothing away. It drives us to being more human, more compassionate, more understanding and more reasonable. Thinking about what’s right and what’s wrong opens the door to morality, human logic and intellect and, gives us a renewed passion for life.

    We are part of something rare and precious and we need to see ourselves as adding to the wonderful process of life on planet earth. What makes that life worthwhile is art, music, philosophy, culture, exploration, life experience and the pursuit of our own humanity and higher ideals. The good things we do in life become a precious part of who we are.

    That brings us to the ravages by mindless greed and everything that’s wrong in the world. A world where unscrupulous corporations corrupt our elected representatives and a world where conservatives have the hide to say they believe in God. Have the hide to say they believe in what’s good and what’s right.

    The bullshit and the hypocrisy beggar belief and Scott Morrison, with the Cheshire Cat grin, we see straight through you and we feel sorry for you along with the rest of the shallow insignificant turds that drive you and your pathetic self-serving energy ministers. Not very Godly, I know, but appropriate.

  7. DrakeN

    So, folks, put your money where your mouths are.

    Donate, significantly, to the Climate Council, give GetUp more support, encourage the Labor Party to create its own publishing media, help to pubicise every “green” effort and to personally harangue everyone you know with the truth about the determined efforts of the COALition to keep their fossil fuel mates in business.

    We must all step up to the plate.

  8. Kronomex

    If it interferes with profit and the almighty dollar then the LNP is the party to pay to keep it all going the corporate way.

  9. Zathras

    I saw a poster once that suggested this as a movie plot –

    “97% of the worlds scientists contrive an international environmental disaster but are exposed by a plucky band of billionaires and Oil Company Executives”.

    Politics in Australia is broken. It’s incapable of looking further than the next election and implementing long term strategies and things will need to get much, much worse before anything will change. Eventually we may be looking at economic tariffs used against us and a frantic game of “catch-up” to meet our obligations.


    Hi! New here! I like what you wrote Doctor (and your style), and have a few words in response, going to climate change and how we must – I suggest – work to rebalance the planet.

    (Does anyone else get tired of having to learn anew each new webpage’s systems of how to post, etc? I do.)

    I’ll post it to my Google Plus pages, with it’s link for others to go to, as I don’t for now see how to post it here. (A bit lazy, but old and tired too.)

    Her’s the link;

  11. guest


    I apologise straight up, but I have to say that I am greatly confused by claims of knowing what God thinks and how God can be in out hearts with deliverance from sin and how we can make ourselves good and be found by God with a pathway to heaven, church or no church.

    I will leave that to religious people to work out – but you say “religion encourages an unhealthy disengagement with the world”. So what is the value of religion? How do we make ourselves “good enough for God”? Would it not be a whole lot easier if we forgot about God altogether?

    Perhaps we could be “more human, more compassionate, more understanding and more reasonable”. As it is, I find so much of religion in lacking humanity, compassion, understanding and reason. Yes, there are some lovely religious people, but there are also lovely non-religious people.

    Sometimes I think religion is just a social club where like-minded people engage in a cargo cult mentality where they will be rewarded in some kind of everlasting life in “heaven”. Where is that, exactly?

    Meanwhile, some of the worst events in history have been perpetrated by so-called Christians against other humans.

  12. SteveFitz

    I apologise for high jacking the climate debate. Something that, if left unchecked, will no doubt impact more of humanity than religion ever has. I was talking more about the human condition and what’s the right thing to do by future generations and what’s the wrong thing to do by protecting and encouraging those driving climate change.

    We have an obligation and our politicians just don’t get it. They have no comprehension of what’s right and what’s wrong.

  13. corvus boreus

    Climate change is nothing but a deliberate hoax designed by so-called ‘ environmentalists’ as a trojan horse to implement UN aganda 21 as part of a nativist eugenicist and Gaiaist pagan conspiracy on behalf of both the Rockefellers and the Club of Rome.
    Here is the truth (for those who dare); http://www.green-agenda.com/science.html

  14. corvus boreus

    Steve Fitz,
    So, despite decrying religion, you still choose to call your ‘god’ a ‘he’.
    Is there any reason (apart from dominant religious doctrines) why you choose to define deity as exclusive to the male gender?

  15. SteveFitz


    Just following 2000 years of religious convention. He or She, God remains about what’s “good” and what’s the right thing to do. When we are packing our bags to move to mountain tops and the tropical south pole, in their usual inimitable form, the Liberal leadership will say “Oh, we got it wrong”.

    Just like they did with the banking royal commission. As they snicker behind their hands and whisper “God the electorate are a bunch of morons”.

  16. SteveFitz


    As pointed out, there are compelling arguments for and against the reasons for increased global mean temperature. One thing we can’t argue is the ever-increasing levels of atmospheric CO2 as a result of burning fossil fuels. Global mean temperature increase is running parallel to increased atmospheric concentrations of CO2. Google it.

    Since the beginning of the industrial revolution CO2 levels have risen from 280ppm to 412ppm and rising at the rate of 2ppm per year. Regardless of what the sceptics say, we have an obligation to future generations to contain atmospheric CO2 levels. Or, do you think we should just let it go through the roof and stuff the consequenses.

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