I apologise for this rant.; a rant that is probably jumbled and unintelligible, but that’s how my mind is functioning at the moment. I am upset at the fire catastrophe. I am upset at the loss of human life and of homes and livelihoods.
I am upset at the toll on dead animals and I am upset at the destruction of our beautiful forests and bushland.
But, most of all, I am upset and appalled by the inability of our so-called leaders to comprehend and act upon what has been obvious for many years.
We have listened to three-word slogans - and verbosity - and we think, ‘That’s okay’.
We don’t look behind the words.
We stop looking to see who – and what - is behind those ‘smart’ words.
When we, as citizens, leave many decisions to others, we neglect to check out WHO are these ‘others’. Are ‘the others’ trustworthy?
“The forest was shrinking, but the trees kept voting for the Axe, for the Axe was clever and convinced the Trees that because his handle was made of wood, he was one of them.” (Turkish Proverb).
I’ve quoted this proverb before. I like it. It’s a very appropriate ‘story’ to think about right now.
We are all influenced by ‘The Axe’ at times. We think that the Axe is one of us. We are sure it’s like us; we are sure it likes us. We think that The Axe has our best interests at heart.
Perhaps we are wrong.
We neglect to check on what is the BEST way and, instead, accept what sounds right at the time.
We forget that propaganda is easy to push and we forget to check the facts. But it is facts that matter.
It is only facts that matter.
Facts are facts, and facts = truth.
All this is certainly worth thinking about in these drastic times of climate change. Especially here in Australia, as fires rage throughout the country. People have died, millions of animals have perished and environments and ecosystems wrecked – sometimes beyond redemption.
It seems to me that it is way past time that WE (the ordinary ‘little’ people) spoke up.
We have to stop accepting our version of ‘The Axe’ proverb and start looking behind the false soothing words of ‘it will be okay’.
It will NOT be okay if our country continues to pander to the coal lobby. It is not okay for the Mineral Council of Australia to completely infiltrate our government, therefore controlling mining for the sole purpose of making gross amounts of money - totally neglecting the negative and horrific consequences.
It is time for us ordinary citizens, to stop believing the people who are like ‘The Axe’. They are not one of us.
Our future is at stake.
It doesn’t take much effort to check out facts.
Start with checking how much tax most of the coal mining companies pay. (Usually NONE).
Check out how many millions of $$ mining companies donate to political parties.
Check which current politicians have strong connections to the Mineral Council. (Most of them)
Then read the ‘fact checks’ done on what the PM has claimed. (mostly false).
Most of us are sleeping while dirty deeds are being done by people who are supposed to have our interests at heart.
Check them out. Don’t be complacent. Don’t accept the words and actions without question. It’s too dangerous!
Here are some facts to mull over:
“The Minerals Council of Australia has conceded it makes political donations and pays to attend fundraisers to gain access to members of parliament ...” (The Guardian, Jan ’18)
“We couldn’t possibly have anticipated the scale of what we discovered: a secretive network behind coal’s dirty power that has infiltrated Australia federal government to its core”. (Greenpeace, Jan . ‘20)
“Every year, Australian governments and their departments spend billions of dollars of your money to help more coal, gas and oil to be extracted and burned...” (Market Forces, Feb ’19)
“…71 fossil fuel companies, with a combined revenue of $89 billion in Australia in 2017/18, paid far less than their fair share! In most cases, the company tax paid is a big fat zero.” (Market Forces, Dec ’19)
“About one third of large companies have once again failed to pay a cent of tax, according to the Tax Office's latest corporate tax transparency report…” (ABC Jan ’20)
We are being fooled by slogans and mis-statements to keep us meek and ‘under the thumb’ of despicable politicians and the money men of this country.
“…how does a democratic nation like Australia get to a point where its leader would rather go on holiday and tweet about cricket, than address the unprecedented climate emergency facing its people?” (Greenpeace, Jan ’20)
Is the answer greed?
Is it selfishness?
Is it corruption?
IS IT ALL THREE?
And, meanwhile our country – and the planet - burns.
While the country burns, the Coalition is letting Australia's only renewable energy agency run out of money, and undermining our international obligations with dodgy accounting tricks.
Meanwhile, they continue to subsidise the fossil fuel industry to the tune of $29 billion dollars – effectively paying for the emergency they say they want to address.