By Jerome Irwin
Another year has come and gone and Planet Earth’s climate continues to become ever more extreme, violent and unpredictable. The oceans of earth are heating up faster than the scientists even projected five years ago. Australia is currently the hottest place on earth with temperatures approaching 50 plus degree records. Now, whether the temp’s are 50 above in Australia, 50 below in some other country where they’ve never been known before, or a drought where once the rains were plentiful; the meaning and message are one and the same.
The rapidity of what is happening is dizzying. To the credit of Australian newspapers like the Sydney Morning Herald the reporting of what all is causing it Down Under is absolutely brilliant. But significant lasting changes seldom occur and all the fanfare and exposes, no matter how damning, in the long run never seem to amount to anything more than so much interesting band music being played on the Titanic’s slowly sinking fantail; while the sheer callousness and brutality of too many humans involved continues to impact upon the natural and human worlds.
Yet every day right-wing politicians whether in Australia or wherever else in the world seek to deny the notion of climate change. Those like U.S. President Donald Trump seldom if ever even utter the words Climate Change, while climate change deniers like newspaper mogul Rupert Murdoch – and a vast 2GB, Fox News network of industrialists, scientists, academicians and media naysayers – daily pollute and contaminate the air-waves and thoughts of the gullible and weak-minded with disbelief and denial of the shocking realities being perpetrated by humans against all the waters, lands, air and denizens of Planet Earth. They and so many others like them, confuse and befuddle the collective awareness among the masses to minimize what all is happening; especially to insanely-expanding cities like Sydney, Australia and the dystopian world view is currently projecting into the future at a fevered-pitch as if there was no other alternative for tomorrow.
Yet if there does exist one very real climate change above all that must be dramatically changed, if not wholly reversed at once if any hope exists in creating a future worth living for – it’s the existing oppressive climate of human greed and corruption that’s daily contaminating and killing the whole of Planet Earth. But too many so-called climate change experts seldom compute into their ‘climate science’ arguments the imperative need to radically reduce these oppressive behavioural elements of human climate change.
They refuse to call it Climate Crisis, Climate Disaster, Human Devastation or whatever is more descriptive of the drastic events rapidly occurring beyond the mere insipid Change being perpetrated against all forms of life by the world’s politico’s, corporate masters and their crony allies in the media. They all daily insult humanity’s basic intelligence when they attempt to tell so many colossal lies about how Australian cities like Sydney, and whole states like New South Wales, ruled by these corporate masters, allow ever-larger, ever-higher, denser housing and corporate development projects to morph according to whatever trumped-up so-called ‘environmental action plans’ that are moving faster and beyond what any sane, thoughtful building codes, regulations and standards can keep up with.
Yet, in spite of all this, many Aussie’s still hold to the belief that, in the end, everything will all ‘come good’, as they commonly like to say to put a positive spin on all the grim hardships they’ve had to endure over the past 200 plus years. For a number of reasons they still refer to themselves as ‘The Lucky Country’.
But this ‘Lucky’ spin on things flies in the face of certain realities that suggest this self-adulation might not now be or end up being quite so lucky or accurate. First there is the questionable long-term viability of Australia’s much-heralded superannuation economic/retirement scheme that many contend already is in serious jeopardy; what with the already tumultuous downward economic spiralling already coursing throughout the world and Australia in particular that are portents of worse things to come in the future; especially given Australia’s current questionable immigration policies that already have and will continue to radically change the demographics of its population base and face of its work force who hold to a far different ethos and world view than what existed among its original citizenry of the past. Then there are the constant Machiavellian corporate schemes and the madness of Sydney, New South Wales and Australia’s topsy-turvy political climate that forever fosters too much greed and corruption among its ultra-conservative elitist politicians, bankers and financial institutions. These crooked, self-serving elites creating everything from: bogus loans for the purchase of unaffordable homes; the condoning of bizarre concepts such as negative gearing that allow wealthy speculators to buy multiple homes and properties without having to pay income tax on them; to providing phony ‘student visas’ that allows hordes of people to jump the queue and invade the country without respect to whatever the proper immigration procedures Such skewed societal dynamics compounded by an over-riding anti-democratic, autocratic-style of political rule in Australia that allows for such things as: the unilateral removal of legally-elected city and town councils from public office and their amalgamation into larger political entities with little or no public debate or consultation. This autocratic style of government regularly selling off to developers, speculators and offshore interests iconic architectural heritage and historical sites; allowing them to be razed with little or no public dialogue; while also approving major development contracts, signed in secrecy, away from public scrutiny, without first tendering the contracts in fair and open competitions.
Yet the official Aussie spin of the ‘Lucky Country’ nevertheless remains where, in spite of all the growing political and economic ruthlessness in the modern world, everything will eventually ‘come good’ and, in the case of climate change, whatever future lofty target projections are to be set to realize such objectives as: significantly-reduced greenhouse gas emissions; lower the temperature of the Australian continent’s surrounding oceans, or; reduce the nearly 100 percent drought conditions in New South Wales. As many Aussie’s would bluntly put it, “That’s a crock of shit, Mate!” The more real probability is that whatever happens won’t either save the environment or improve the climatic conditions in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia or wherever else on Planet Earth where the same political and economic dynamics currently hold sway.
Yet Australia continues to remain one country in particular in the Western World that takes great pride in its tributary nickname being a place of good fortune. Its long-standing policies of strong unionism in the workplace and its generous progressive retirement scheme vigorously fought for over the years, means that Australians, when compared to the citizenry of other countries, do, for the moment, continue to enjoy a high rate of disposable income that is the envy of the world because it affords its citizens with many opportunities for world travel, leisure and extra-curricular activities, while Australia’s natural environment and climate serves as a magnet that draws the rest of the world to its shores in ever-greater numbers. Hence the image of the Lucky Country that Australia will do everything and anything in its means to preserve, even if, conversely, it means at a horrific cost to its natural world and widespread loss of so much iconic, time-honoured, architectural and human heritage; all of which more and more are deemed expendable and put on the chopping block by the corporate world’s ‘bottom line’.
To maintain this privileged image of itself means Australia’s successive governments have bought into what, to many, is an ever-downward death spiral of ‘Bigness’: bigger and bigger cruise ships; more and more tourism; ever-more lavish gambling casinos and entertainment centre’s; glitzy, massive housing, ever taller skyscrapers and corporate developments; ever-bigger agri-businesses and crops that are over-stressing and destroying the natural balance of the environment, as well as; all manner of self-indulgences leading to gross obesities of sundry kinds in its human and physical culture. All now rule the Aussie way of life as it does everywhere else in the world, under the guise of perpetual urban, cultural and human revitalization. Rampant Excess, Perpetual Over-Crowding & Autocratic Rule now are the deus-ex-machina of modern human civilization in Sydney and a hundred cities like it in the world hell-bent on the same trajectory.
Yet the fate of all this perpetual bigness-tallness-crowding in cities and states like Sydney and New South Wales urban, natural and human world’s means that instead of their mutually collective revitalization, they represent a mutually destructive, suicidal, downward spiralling where one world acts as mirrored image of the others.
For over forty years now that this writer has been travelling to Australia’s shores, he has noted how the once trimmer, slimmer, athletic physiques of the average Australian man and woman have appreciably deteriorated; becoming increasingly fatter and overweight, looking less physically active and unhealthy. As the decades have progressed, Australia’s natural world also has reflected the same ill-effects of those unhealthy mirrored human images. Much of it caused by the abominations of too much abusive human activity, like: the East Indian billionaire’s Adani Corporation and its negative impact upon the Great Barrier Reef; the bureaucratic idiocy of the Australian Government’s woefully incompetent Murray-Darling River Basin Authority Plan, and its subsequent tragic misuse and abuse of the Murray & Darling Rivers; the gross excessive use of Australia’s precious limited supply of water, stolen by big agri-businesses, like the cotton farmers lobby; while the plight of so many of its endangered wildlife species, such as the Koala Bear and Kangaroo.
The Koala and Kangaroo continue to be decimated by those humans in power who refuse to accept the basic premise that they, and other non-human species in the world, like: the bison in North America; the elephant and rhino in Africa, and; the Tiger in India; have the same inherent and innate right as human beings to the enjoyment of life and fulfilment of their birthright. The Australian government and Corporate Australia, as well as a vast number of Australia’s ordinary farmers, continue to refuse to co-exist with the Koala and Kangaroo as they continue to decimate their habitats through massive deforestation, poisoning, agri-businesses, mining and housing projects.
A variant on this theme could be recounted for every city and country in the world, but especially in the New World. This theme of corporate bigness in all things has created a veritable ‘Wild West’ reality in places like Australia. It’s as if the New and Old World’s have once more been thrust back in time two hundred or more years ago to the moment of first contact between the two original opposing world philosophies of the indigenous and the colonizer mentality; when early Australian life once was ruled and dictated to by the MacArthur’s of the time and their corrupt ‘Rum Corp’ form of rule; where everything – land, resources, sovereignty, hegemony, and growing mobs of Asian, Indian, Aboriginal, Middle Eastern and Anglo-European peoples – once again have been thrown pell-mell together in another feeding frenzy for survival, where the stakes are ever-higher and all the ever more finite marbles up for grabs.
Australia simply happens to be one country as well as a whole continent that has been blessed with a veritable treasure trove of minerals and natural resources; where all the drama continues with the exhaustive mining and extraction of its natural resources by an ever-hungrier corporate world that can never get enough of everything. All this Lust for Bigness comes at a heavy cost to the natural and human environment that is accumulative.
Australia’s political and corporate leaders, like their global counterparts, have always been prepared, with or without the approval of their own people, to potentially kill the goose that laid the golden egg and do whatever to ensure that no matter what the detriment may be to a stable-state natural world, human culture, and climate, 21st century life must and will continue as a perpetual wrecking ball proposition.
Hence, the crashing din heard upon the shores of Australia means that when push comes to shove Corporate Australia, as a prime example of Corporate Planet Earth, essentially are traitors to the preservation of the earth and any kind of lasting traditional human way of life. The bottom-line is that it’s all but impossible to give equal allegiance to both. One or the other ultimately must take pre-eminence. The world’s arrogant corporate forces simply never will willingly give up whatever constitutes their own ‘lucky favoured status’, even if it means totally destroying the balance of nature and allow however much of the planet’s native species and flora and fauna in all the oceans and lands to ultimately disappear.
But in Australia, there exists a real unofficially-declared ‘shoot em up’ war between the people and these corporate masters; with the people anonymously ‘leaking’ one damning confidential time-bomb report after another to whatever true-blue Aussie source in the press will listen,, hoping they will help them blow the whistle and turn things around.
Like the planetary-wide crash of the same angry waves pounding against every shore, this din is as constant and deafening as it is mind-numbing. A current mass media commercial by BHP, Australia’s global resource company, succinctly sums up what all is behind the struggle and resistance to so much corporate arrogance that ruthlessly declares, “When the world’s cities grow, Australia grows too. THINK BIG!” ‘Think Big’ is the mantra of a dark future!
Of course it’s all complete and utter madness but this mounting din could be taken as a veritable template of the out-of-control patterns endemic to humankind’s modern civilization that seemingly only ever knows how to do is create greater disrupting excesses of all that continues to destroy the biosphere’s precious, finite substances and life processes.
The same dynamics are in play everywhere: unlimited wealth dispensed to but a select few; unchecked population explosion that over-taxes every aspect of modern human life; rampant corruption of time-honoured democratic laws and principles of society regularly flouted, with every ‘not for profit’ aspect of life considered expendable; burgeoning numbers of immigrants and refugees invading every region whose ways are incompatible with the established traditions and natural ways of whatever their new-found host’s; mounting human populations demanding ever more supplies of foods, medicines and the basic means for survival from the land and seas that can’t keep up with the rising demand, thereby escalating the wholesale extinction of species; the on-going release of untold numbers and amounts of pollutants, contaminants and toxins into all the waters, earth and air; unchecked densification and ever-widening sprawl of human developments that over-burden and threaten to collapse urban infrastructures stretched far beyond their normal limits; the sweeping, widespread destructive loss of precious, time-honoured human heritage and cultural heritage considered expendable by the ‘bottom line’; a malaise of so-called multi-cultural diversity that simply dilutes and dissipates the societies that have come before them and whatever effort they’ve assiduously made over the centuries to preserve their ways of life. Taken together, these dynamics continue to be projected forward, pell-mell, holus-bolus, into an ever more unknown and uncertain future that is strip-mining the hopes and dreams of the generations of youth yet to come.
Short of humankind suddenly doing an out-of-character about face from what it otherwise has been doing for centuries, no other conceivable, dramatically different future is possible other than the eventuality of whatever type of massive Easter Island disaster that already can be read in the tarot cards of the future.
Yet many undaunted critics – like Ralph Nader, a former candidate for the office of the U.S. Presidency – stoically persist in their efforts to call the world’s attention to the sick and cruel use of the tepid, insidious term Climate Change that doesn’t remotely begin to describe what all is going on; thoughtlessly and mindlessly flogged as this term is by so many pundits in denial of what should be a self-evident truth of the cataclysmic Water Crisis, Air Crisis, Land & Soil Crisis of epic proportions already well underway. Too many in their smug seats of power would rather forever evade and avoid the Easter Island dilemma that is the elephant in the room, staring them smack dab in their faces, that underlies the critical realities upon which the fate of humankind and all other species of life tetter, so precipitously.
Yet the other equally-ignored elephant in the room to which their seemingly blinded is what to ultimately do about the world’s crisis of unchecked population explosion. Obviously, unless and until this over-arching crisis also is seriously addressed, especially when the current immigration policies in every country in the world are in such confusion and disarray, this worldwide crisis will only continue to escalate and compound all the other aforementioned dynamics that together will only push every culture and society that much closer to the brink of whatever as yet unimaginably-dreadful Easter Island scenario.
So this is why those like: Ralph Nadar in America; Dick Smith in Australia (www.DickSmithfairgo.com.au) and; climate activist Greta Thunberg in Sweden (Youth Strike 4 Climate Movement), who has sparked a protest of students worldwide to protest the fallacies of climate change; and so many others who unceasingly strive to drive home the simple point that it’s foolish to place such emphasis on so-called “climate change”; that, in truth, should simply be reserved for matters normally beyond human control that pertain to local, variable meteorological conditions or ordinary cyclical changes of the seasons, from winter to spring and summer to fall.
So here’s a suggested new resolution for the human race to take up in 2019 and beyond. Whenever another dissembling politico, corporate CEO, news editor or talking head ‘Charley McCarthy’ on TV uses the brainwashing term “climate change”, every concerned citizen on earth should at once call, write, or tweet the protest ”I’m Mad as Hell and I’m Not Going To Take All the Lies Anymore! Let’s Just Stop All the Bullshit and Get Down to some Real Truth Telling About it All!”
Perhaps such a new planetary resolution will have the desired effect and, collectively, the common citizenry of the planet may be able to minimize the impending biosphere tragedy being perpetrated against us all as One People, One Race, One Planet.
Jerome Irwin is a freelance writer and founding president of the Lower Capilano Residents Association in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Irwin has for decades sought to call attention to problems of sustainability caused by excessive mega-developments, traffic gridlock, loss of single family neighbourhoods and a host of related environmental-ecological-spiritual issues and concerns that exist between the conflicting philosophies of indigenous and non-indigenous peoples.