You’ve had a pretty tough time lately. Your numbers are diminishing and you’ve lost a total of $700 billion of your $8 trillion in the past year. More importantly, you are no longer seen as maverick winners but are demonised for your planet-trashing lifestyles and rampant entitlement (sorry if this is the first you’re hearing of this).
There’s even growing pressure on you with your untold wealth to save the planet - like you should finance the roll out of a 100% zero emissions grid for some fossil fuel laden country. Technically your combined wealth could probably afford such a grid rollout across 27 Earths, but you’d have to liquidate all your shares and so violate tons of laws with respect to your collective shareholders.
The good news is, you don’t have to bankroll saving the planet by yourselves What if I told you there's a country where for every single dollar invested, the venture of your choice receives over $15,000 of taxpayer dollars? That’s right! In Australia, an ‘above-the-counter’ lobbying investment of only $1.9 million AUD (that’s 2018-19 figures) resulted in $29 billion (that’s 2.3% of GDP!) in public subsidies directed to the lobbyists' industry of choice (in this example, the fossil fuel industry). Best estimates for the US, based on a quick google search are not as favourable, so Australia is a no-brainer to start, but I’m sure you are already aware of which country provides the best returns.
You could just use whatever cash you can scrape together from your collective billionaire petty cash boxes to outbid fossil fuel lobbyists at the Australian government’s back door.
Here’s an example of what your combined $3 million outlay would be purchasing (topping the the fossil fuel lobby's figure by $1 million):
- An immediate end to fossil fuel extraction licenses.
- Commitments to phase out fossil fuel extraction within 2 years - actually, make that immediately; those scumbags have been on notice for the past 30 years.
- To implement ClimateWorks Australia or Beyond Zero Emissions transition plans to a zero carbon Australia within 10 years.
- An immediate end to land clearing and forest logging.
- Growing industries involved in sequestering carbon dioxide (excluding carbon capture and storage from coal and gas plants, naturally).
For the list of demands above, you would probably have to surpass the going fossil fuel bid by a million or so to get past some ideological challenges, particularly among the ‘bring on the apocalypse’/‘coal is good for us’/'I hate pinko-greenies' LNP. The ALP will be simpler - you’ll just need to distract them from their fracking overlords.
Forbes says that out of the 15 richest billionaires, only a couple built their wealth on fossil fuels so chances are this won’t be bad for your business (Richard you might take a hit - but your planes rank 83rd on the Atmosfair Airline index so go suck an 747-9 Dreamliner tailpipe). Surprisingly, these odds are similar among Australian billionaires, where only a couple of our 14 or so of our plutocrats stand nose-deep in open cut mines filled with fracking sludge, dead koala and shredded Native-Title.
Unless you are heavily invested in industries relevant to saving the planet, you might not see a direct monetary kickback for your handiwork, so get busy! We want to pile on the wins for you. Another win is that your kids may just have a future that doesn’t involve trading homemade crossbows bolts for dried Jerusalem artichokes and way out-of-date Ventolins.
The $3 million above excludes below-the-counter contributions. But very quietly, one extremely common (and apparently effective) covert lobbying tactic is offering the rancid MPs cushy jobs for when they retire from politics (we are urging immediate retirement). Imagine an additional $500 million worth of salary packages over a few years for 100 odd MPs we need to buy off. Scott Morrison, our PM, would cost more to compensate for his Messiah complex, but this could all be taken care of with shady corporate accounting and be spread among your many corporations. The beauty with the joint effort is you collectively represent many more corporations than there are MPs, so the chances of your staff having to suffer a meeting with both Barbaby Joyce and Peter Dutton are controlled.
We would like to provide you more support on the dark arts of bribery and blackmail but this is an above board proposition, and we assume that getting to where you are means you have the necessary expertise for dealing in the shadows.
While a 200 of you might focus on Australia, the remainder can tackle the US, UK, Canada, and, perhaps with the right Linkdin connections, the EU, Russia and China.
We're deeply sorry to put you in this position, but climate criminals hold the wheels of all of the worst climate-offending nations and their media (ie Rupert Murdoch). Democracy is broken. The will of the people is a currently a pipe dream.
Please take this opportunity to make up for the climate, environmental, and human rights havoc many of you have wrought (Jeff, Alice). If you need more inspiration, imagine France in 1789 or have someone explain to you.
Unfortunately, you may be our only hope.
The Australian people
Some hard facts -
- Two thirds of Australians want a wartime mobilisation response to climate change.
- New analysis commissioned by the International Monetary Fund has shown that global fossil fuel subsidies continue to grow, despite the growing urgency of the need to decarbonise the global economy.
- In 2017, global fossil fuel subsidies grew to $5.2 trillion, representing 6.5 per cent of combined global GDP.
- China leads all countries in the level of subsidies provided to fossil fuels, which the IMF report estimated to total $1.4 trillion in 2015. The United States followed with $649 billion in subsidies, Russia with $551 billion and the EU with $289 billion.
- The IMF estimates that annual energy subsidies in Australia total $29 billion, representing 2.3 per cent of Australian GDP. On a per capita basis, Australian fossil fuel subsidies amount to $1,198 per person.
- Australia ranked below most countries for mortality rate from pollution related illnesses, with the IMF attributing 2.6 deaths per 1,000 in Australia to local air pollution associated with fossil fuels.
- This is less than half the rate observed in China (5.3 deaths per 1,000) and significantly below Russia (10.0 deaths per 1,000) and the Ukraine (16.0 deaths per 1,000), where little by way of regulation exists to protect people from air pollution.
- The IMF found that the removal of fossil fuel subsidies would have significant economic benefits, including improved budget bottom-lines for governments. The net benefits of eliminating fossil fuel subsidies would amount to 1.7 per cent of global GDP.