by Bryony Edwards
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):
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 -
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Bloggers on this page include Adrian Whitehead, Philip Sutton, Bryony Edwards, Andrea Otto, David Lughermo.