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We told you so …

By Jane Salmon

“I Told You So” Isn’t That Much Fun in This Heat. But we DID.

It is so tempting to point out the facts, having been part of the small “alternative” and often science- educated chorus warning for 4 decades that if homeowners and businesses don’t convert to renewables, they are partly to blame for global warming.

First Australians have every right to be really, really pissed off. It’s their country we’ve wrecked.

Anyone who drives long distances in cities or invests in coal shares, is certainly culpable.

Big coal miners and campaigners against a “carbon tax” have been especially damaging. They usually hide their hefty profits offshore.

Where are Gina, Twiggy and Clive now? Not on the end of a fricking hose or even a rejected handshake, that’s for sure.

But it’s easy for ecologists to feel glum, angry, smug and self-righteous. We mainly vote Green. Some are not driving cars or investing in coal. We may rent only one dusty place to live instead of owning several. Some stick to public transport most of the time.

Many almost coped living off-grid in the 70s and 80s. Having immersed ourselves in favourite bush places for more than a fortnight, we’ve seen flood and fire before. We saw this coming decades ago.

We relinquished contact with most family members who put “progress” in the form of mindless “development” and a fast buck ahead of their planet, their childrens’ and grandchildrens’ futures, we prefer not to befriend/employ people who are LNP voting sheep.

Then again, no one is pure. Who knows where the super is invested? We use too much shower water, reuse too little grey water, have a large domestic footprint and STILL find it hard to resist cheap crap from China instead of sewing sustainably produced ethical fabrics ourselves. This is selfish too.

Even I remember Val Plumwood predicting climate doom at our family Christmas table in 2003 and thinking “Geez, lighten up, Val. Take the day off. The kids don’t want to hear this”.

I remain cross with those who own multiple roofs and put solar on none of them.

But maybe we should have focused on the more recent cuts (by the same short sighted LNP government outfits) to hazard control and firefighting resources.

The idea that trees create cooler micro-climates seems to escape bogans bent on blaming forests for also becoming “tinder” dry once they’ve endured logging or been otherwise interfered with. (“Boo hoo, the holiday home! I’m a climate refugee!” Puhlease! Ever heard of Maslow? Or Syria? Some of you are temporarily displaced, not homeless”).

Anyone who wants to blame ecologists for fires or greenies for bad park management is desperate to avoid self-examination.

And so, frankly, are the hordes who, alienated from nature, blindly drive to bush or beach in warm car convoys just as our drought-stricken country heats up each year. The signs of fire danger are there in crisp, brown scrub every August.

I understand, you’re in a tiny apartment all year … but regional Australia exists even when you’re not looking.

It’s also irresponsible to drain vital local water systems in periods of peak evaporation … so rich city folk can enjoy their summer coastal binge. (Yes, we know, the water can be crystal).

But you … you … you also voted for coal, you dicks.

You really need to own that.

Gondwanan beeches, bees, rare marsupials are gone because of you. It’s not like nobody told you. You just had to switch off your mindless “reality” tv and read a few factual articles. New Scientist is there online right next to Insta and Tinder.

And maybe after you’ve flagellated yourself a bit, you can interrogate Big Coal and the IPA about what they can do to mitigate the harm, about switching to renewables and reversing warming from here.

You owe it to the rest of us crusty eco-bores who saw all this coming and acted accordingly. Because, smug as we are, we’ve lost so much that we truly, truly love, too. Our hopes for the future were sacrificed first. You took that.

Thanks to Jackie French for pointing out the difference between short term fire reduction failures and those of coal huggers.

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  1. Phil

    great rant – absolutely justified and so downright bloody good to hear from a really cranky environmentalist with story and skin in the movement – damned well said.

  2. Michael Taylor

    Ah, me good mate is ‘ere.

  3. Keitha Granville


    Will people remember this in two and a half years ? Will this apocalypse persuade those rusted on to the LNP that they backed the wrong team ? I am doubtful.

    The same people are still saying it’s natural, it’s nothing to do with us, we can’t make any difference, blah blah blah.

    And the mega rich who have raped our land for their own profits are nowhere, conspicuous by their silence and their absence.

    People voted for you Clive, give something back.

    No-one can give back the animals lost, the native flora and fauna lost, the farm animals, the small businesses – some of this will never ever recover. Are we the last generation to see koalas in native bush ? I am ashamed for that possibility.

    Don’t anyone DARE to blame conservationists and Greens. Without us there would be so little of the natural environment left. And then what are we ?

  4. johno

    So bloody true, well said.

  5. RosemaryJ36

    If only it were possible to outlaw Murdoch lies and unlicense Sky News!

  6. New England Cocky

    Well done Jane Salmon!! Encapsulated the problem in one page!!

    “I understand, you’re in a tiny apartment all year … but regional Australia exists even when you’re not looking.”

    Why are we pushing people into overcrowded, congested, polluted metropolitan cities built on 1920s road networks having minimum maintenance when there are about 3 million square miles of Australia to inhabit?

    Where is the Gillard high speed Internet (destroyed by Turdball and RAbbott) linking regional communities providing commercial opportunities and medical practices so that Australian kids do not have to grow up in tiny metropolitan apartments breathing lead, diesel particulates and petrol fumes?

    A left field response would be to stop delivering food to the cities for a month and see how metropolitan cave dwellers enjoy the war zone conditions that would follow.

    The longer term solution would be to decentralise government jobs into relevant urban regional communities so that the about 3.5 multiplier effect creating accompanying private sector jibs could generate local regional economic booms as the new residents build their futures.

    @RosemaryJ36: It is possible because Fiji did it.

  7. paul walter

    About power, control and fossil fuels.

    And of course money.
    But the disaster shows what happens when peole deny reality

  8. Lambchop Simnel

    Interesting comment, Judith W.

  9. wam

    oh billy billy what could have been???
    Now check the effect of this rebuilding economic stimulus. It kills any expectation for a surplus. Just play with figures for an economic smoke screen.

  10. paul walter

    They will look for ways to wedge different groups in the community so they can avoid putting in their whack while people are diverted and quarrel over fck all.

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