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Do We All Need a White Feather?

In 2002 we took our 15 year old son and his best friend up to see the Great Barrier Reef.  I’m so glad we did.  Like the experience of standing on the beach catching whiting for dinner it might well end up being one of those “priceless” experiences that Mastercard can’t buy.

I get it that people voted against a Labor party that seems full of wankers with inflated egos and sense of entitlement.  I get it that spending the taxes of the person trying to make a living running a pizza shop on propping up a giant car manufacturer is government favouritism, and that there are very good arguments for low taxes and small government and leave free enterprise to work it out.  I get it that bureaucratic regulation and red tape is often ludicrously over the top, so wasteful of time and energy and creativity that it is head-bangingly frustrating.  I get it that there is a human spirit of competitiveness that can lead to amazing feats of triumph and creativity and ingenuity if it is let run. I get right wing politics.

But trashing the Barrier Reef to speed up the rate of mining, as if that coal is going to vaporise and lose all its value unless we get it out now….

Trashing the Barrier Reef to make mining magnates rich, in their lifetime, when it will all be gone into private jets and Dom Perignon baths by the time their kids get to amuse the gossip mags….

Trashing the Barrier Reef to fire up local coal fired power stations and save a couple of hundred dollars in power bills while it lasts…

Trashing the Barrier Reef and giving the finger to the world community trying to pull together some kind of alliance to fight the (very, very real) threat of whole nations going underwater, millions of desperate refugees.  Us, the nation that stepped up in two world wars…

We all deserve white feathers.

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Elaine coolowl September 12, 2013, 5:13 pm

    Well said, Linda. The greed is so mind-bogglingly apparent and the environmentally-uncaring attitude of our State Govt and now the Federal Govt beggars belief. The next 3 years are not going to be dull. And if the Ashbygate court case goes ahead and implicates current MPs, it may be even less dull than it might have been.

  • Lisa the Gourmet Wog September 12, 2013, 8:19 pm

    Great post Linda. I just hope my grand children and great grandchildren will get to enjoy the most spectacular of the world heritage sites.

  • Jude wright September 13, 2013, 7:39 am

    To combat climate change (and the destruction of the reef) how about we make it law that all politicians live on coral protrusions far out in the reef. That way the threat of going underwater due to rising oceans or having their home destroyed by mining operations is very very real and personal. People only believe and act on what is personal to them in general. We need to find a way to make the health of the planet a priority for those in charge.

  • Linda September 13, 2013, 8:27 am

    It is interesting to consider that line – people only believe and act on what is personal to them. It does seem this is true at the moment. Relatively little rises in electricity bills, (even though most of the rises are not even related to carbon price but to the terms of privatisation of electicity companies) have generated such rage. I know it is easy for me to say – I don’t have electricity bills – but I do think prior generations have been better than this. Willing to make huge self sacrifices for future generations.

  • Jude wright September 13, 2013, 12:23 pm

    Are we getting old?? I am having a ‘when I was a girl’ moment.
    Some people are still willing to sacrifice for the good of future generations, but sadly not enough. Also it still seems to be generally the generation X ers who are taking the good of the environment into consideration and it is the Baby Boomers who are in charge. Will there be anything to save when generation Z holds the power?

  • kim September 13, 2013, 2:03 pm

    I get it too. I once wrote to a state politician and asked him to come and live on my farm for a weekend and then tell me that it was okay to rip land apart and destroy water tables. He never replied.
    Before farm stay visitors come , I have to wipe coal dust off my window sills and off the out door tables.
    Last week I had bronchitis because the pollution levels in the valley were so high that the government website on pollution told us it might be better to stay indoors. This is the same state government that gave permission for the local coal mines here to pump water in times of drought , without a water licence and whenever they want while a farmer must abide by all the rules . Coal seam gas companies are now requesting the same law for them.

    Yes I get it. I voted for a change too . It didn’t happen.
    I have been talking to my kids about great people to vote for when they grow up.

  • shakti September 13, 2013, 4:38 pm

    Yes, well said Linda. Is nothing sacred when it comes to coal? no, nothing.

  • Kate September 13, 2013, 9:28 pm

    I’ve sat here trying to think of something to say but I’m speechless. As Shakti says, well said Linda.

  • Jane Robinson September 16, 2013, 4:49 pm

    I cannot understand the mindset that wants to exploit every ounce of available resource and bugger the consequences. We are first and foremost a society, not just an economy. And, I don’t understand why even the powerful and rich would want to destroy so much of what sustains us. Surely, they must realise that their futures are also at stake.

  • kim September 19, 2013, 7:44 am

    I kept thinking about this post Linda. It just rings so true . I wonder if the reason politicians don’t do anything is people only think about the course of their own lifetime . A selfish way to think,but I think what Jude is saying is correct …that until people experience what is happening it doesn’t seem real. Sadly I think that this could mean that things have to get really bad before they can get really good.
    I am so glad that there are so many people who do think about future generations like the people who read your blog.

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