Some unnamed fossil fuel industry evil-doers appear to be threatening to hurt Auspol politicians’ children if the politicians don’t do their bidding. It looks as though this is also happening to politicians around the world.
This claim is based on deduction in lieu of direct evidence: blackmail is the only logical explanation for why anyone with some power to avert the coming climate catastrophe, would hurl their own kids into the apocalyptic abyss in coming years, in order to save them from harm today.
There’s the slim possibility that some of the politicians remain willfully ignorant of climate threats but this doesn’t cut it. Even if the politicians thought there was only a 10% chance of a plane crashing, there’s no way they would put their kids on that plane. And our current chance of a ‘Global Climate Catastrophe’ is now way over 50%.
It’s worth considering that these politicians are all psychopaths; they don’t care what happens to their kids, or care more for money and power granted by the fossil fuel industry today. However, psychopaths reportedly care about their own fate and these politicians have signed up to a mutual suicide pact, perhaps it is the older ones who think the climate collpase will be beyond their end of life.
Mark Butler, former ALP shadow Minister for Climate Change (he apparently knew too much so was replaced) was asked, ‘Don’t you love your children?’ by campaigner, Tony Gleeson. Because why would anyone that knew so much about global warming and loved their children promote the suicidal target of Net zero by 2050?
In response to the question, Mark Butler immediately lost his measured cool (by all accounts for the first time ever), demonstrating that he does in fact love his kids, but more immediate threats than a global catastrophe hang over him and his children .
So how should we save a chamber full of MPs suffering under the most vicious blackmail imaginable? Easy: we vote them out. Then the blackmailers will leave them alone.
Just as with any spy blackmailed into being a double agent, we need to replace these MPs immediately with people who have not yet fallen under the black shadow of the fossil fuel industry.
By Adrian Whitehead
So sorry to hear about the floods in Europe. Best wishes to all those affected and condolences to those who lost loved ones and friends.
Similar floods in 2002 followed by the European heat wave in 200, triggered the start of my climate campaigning. What was obvious back in 2003 was if we didn't want these events to occur with increasing frequency and severity, we needed to cool the planet immediately. Our slogan back then was Zero Emissions Now.
Eighteen years later the world is planning for 30-50+ years of increasing devastation through the adoption of the suicidal target of net zero emissions by 2050. Net Zero won't even stop the heating because of the degradation of natural systems that are also now heating the planet (loss of carbon from soil, forests, methane from former permafrost, loss of the summer Arctic ice etc).
This 2050 target is immoral, unethical, and to be blunt, a crime against humanity.
Society as we know it will collapse if we do not do better. What we need now is an emergency speed program with three key foci:
Our ecology is already collapsing, the collapse of our societies has started, global food production will be pushed to the point where there is not enough food to feed the world. The world's poor will starve and suffer first.
This future is not set in stone, but to avoid it we must take on our existing politicians and their corporate backers. Our current politicians have shown again and again they are not mentally equipped to deal effectively with the climate emergency.
If you are in Australia and want to play a part in saving us all please join us at voteplanet.net and help us at the next federal election - this election is one of our last chances to make a real difference and avoid the warming levels that will push us to collapse.
By Andrea Otto
I want to talk about habitat and in particular our native animals and their reliance on trees.
Many of our birds and most of our tree dwelling animals rely strongly on hollows. I think we need an education campaign around hollows because so many people don’t know or understand the interconnection between our birds and animals and hollow trees.
It takes around 80 years for our trees to produce a hollow for our smallest inhabitant. As the tree grows so do the hollows. The home is then too big for that smaller critter and so it moves out and that hollow is then used by something bigger. Even hollows on the ground are important as they provide habitat for many small mammals, reptiles and invertebrates along with fungi’s and other plants.
When we understand this, it isn’t hard to see that the loss of old trees is one of the main reasons that Australia extinction rate is so high.
Protection of our old trees is paramount to native species survival including our own. Australia is one of the worst developed countries in the world for broad scale deforestation; an MCG area of forest or woodland is cleared every two minutes, killing countless native birds and animals.
Vote Planet land use policy includes ceasing land clearing, instead subsidising land owners to regrow and maintain forest, and ceasing logging native forests. Please read more on our policies page.
By Jane Edwards
When a government signs up to net zero by 2050 it’s portrayed as audacious goal, rather than a delay tactic. Really? They need 29 years to get to zero emissions? These same governments have already been on notice for over 30 years! Whereas, the Australian Energy Market Operator, who we assume knows something about the grid, wants the grid to manage 100% renewables by 2025!
Governments around world have signed us all up to a suicide pact: animals, plants, you, your children. Yet we are
expected to give a standing ovation when any government takes a small step in the right cdirection, as inadequate as it may be.
Many pro-climate action voices have bought into the idea that change must occur within our current business-as-usual, don’t-scare-the-horses, neoliberal frame. Concepts such as protecting nature, quality jobs, affordable housing, education, only get occasional lip service with the ludicrous suggestion that ‘trickle down economics will take care of it’.
But business-as-usual frame (in beige below) tweaked to provide some green subsidy is far from the emergency frame (in green) we need to be in if we want a chance at a future for ourselves and our kids.
For a chance at a future, we need to be acting like the house is on fire. Governments have been promising incremental change for three decades, over which time greenhouse gas concentrations have dramatically increased, increasing warming impacts and setting off all the major feedback loops (tipping points) that were theoretical when governments first started promising incremental change.
We need to be reducing greenhouse gas concentrations and reaching huge net negative emissions. It’s all doable and can only be good for us in by any measure, though not so good for the balance sheets of people emitting obscene amounts of greenhouse gases and mining coal and gas.
We save the planet not via suggestive ‘economic signals’ but by hands on steering down the right path:
We achieve a safe future by dropping the ponzi scheme of perpetual GDP growth. Instead we adopt a model such as Doughnut Economics (image on right). The idea that we shape society to live within the limiting boundaries of climate change, pollution, ocean acidification, biodiversity loss etc. while maximising societal wellbeing measures across housing, equity, education, political voice, etc.
So simple, so far removed from what we are doing. What the hell are we waiting for?
Naturally, feel free to facebook like articles on a government taking an incremental step in the correct climate direction, but point out how far they are from where we need to be.
Read more on Vote Planet's policy page.
FIRST PUBLISHED BY SAVE THE PLANET 4/4/2020
Just months ago in Australia pre COVID-19, it would have been unthinkable that:
We are seeing both use of ‘command and control’ (centralising powers to deal with an emergency) alongside massive public spending focused on the common good with funds that were not supposed to exist. Both are an anathema to a neoliberal government. The curtain has dropped, and we can see what governments are actually capable of doing if they want to.
It’s from a crisis that opportunities arise and that long term change is most likely to occur. We can’t blow this opportunity. It’s not enough to just say the standard operating model is wrong - what are the concrete ideas we have to replace the neoliberal operating system that puts corporate profits ahead of the common good?
The LNP’s 'stimulus' package for coming out of COVID-19 will most likely focus on pumping more public funds into corporations and sectors that donate to the party in the name of jobs, including mining and fossil fuels. There is evidence that mining firms are taking the COVID-19 opportunity to increase automation - there go the jobs. Fossil fuel extraction is a dying sector and we would only be investing Australia’s future in stranded assets.
We are also seeing environmental destruction ramp up under the cover of COVID-19. In Victoria alone we’ve seen the extension of agreements that exempt the logging industry from conservation laws for 10 years and the onshore gas moratorium rolled back.
But what should the government’s response look like, understanding that the impact of COVID-19 will likely take years to recover from and could be more serious than the Great Depression when unemployment reached 30%?
Once isolation is over, a massive fiscal stimulus will be required. Where would the funds come from? Our government, with the support of Parliament, can create those funds digitally. Yes, federal governments with floating sovereign currencies can do this and all they need is approval of Parliament/Congress. The Australian $80 billion-plus released so far for COVID-19 was created this way but the amount was then traded in government bonds. Federal bonds don’t raise capital - they are not a loan to the government. At the federal level, the government creates the dollars required and then gets investors to accept the liability of those dollars for the promise of a financial return.
Adding money to the economy this way should not cause inflation unless the economy is approaching full employment, and in the context of a stimulus post COVID-19 there would be plenty for that money to do - this is at least the premise of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). Links below provide relevant background to MMT. The risk of inflation is irrelevant when contrasted with the risk of no fiscal stimulus - and inflation is easily controlled for using taxes and interest rates.
As radical as this may sound, the stimulus should put the wider common good at the centre. As such, the response should be a climate emergency investment package because the climate emergency is the ultimate crisis we face, and the climate emergency requires a ‘wartime’ mobilisation effort.
And there would also be likely support for such a response. The Australia Institute recently found that two thirds of Australians (66%) agree that Australia is facing a climate change emergency and should take emergency action, as was taken during the world wars.
A true climate emergency response if implemented globally is one that could stop and then reverse global warming to ultimately restore a safe climate. Such an effort at a national level would create:
What should the climate emergency response and stimulus look like?
As to the details - these have been worked on and modelled by groups such as Beyond Zero Emissions, Zero Carbon Britain and others. Plans exist. A ‘negative carbon Australia’ is possible.
The climate emergency package can also look however we want it to - based on our priorities and the key performance indicators we put in place to guide our society. For example, how central is equity? Education? Etc.
And why would Australia go out on a limb to do this when it can’t save the planet alone? Because Australia has vetoed stronger action on climate for over 20 years. Previously we stood in veto with the US and now stand in proud veto with Russia and Saudi Arabia. If Australian coal and gas exports were taken into account, we would be in the ranks of the top emitters globally, and we have the equal highest per capita emissions. Australia now needs to lead.
Yes, the likelihood of the proposed climate emergency action under the current government is next to laughable, but the alternative is giving up on a safe planet. We can’t let the Aus government use this opportunity to further entrench neoliberalism and prioritisation of corporate profits, corruption, and authoritarian lawmaking. We have to be louder than the lobbyists and loud in the media via letters to the editor, op eds etc. We need to contact our MPs and share this vision with them.
Are you lucky enough to be able to sit at home in isolation? Use at least some of your time in isolation to give our future a chance.
Modern Monetary Theory, COVID-10 and the economy. Dr Steven Hail
We're in 'emergency mode' for coronavirus — we can do the same thing for climate. Margaret Klein Salamon,
Things we can learn from COVID-19 to help with the climate emergency, The Fifth Estate
A Green Stimulus to Rebuild Our Economy: An Open Letter and Call to Action to Members of Congress
VIDEO - Prof Stephanie Kelton - The Deficit Myth - 2020 Harcourt Lecture - 15 Jan 2020
Australians Want Gov. to Mobilise Against Climate Change Like a ‘World War’, the Australia Institute
If the government was serious about energy policy for the country as a whole and the need to cut emissions then Climate Emergency Action Alliance–Vote Planet has the following suggestions for how to spend $600 million:
By David Lughermo
Authors on this page are members of Vote Planet's executive committee and associates.