The house on fire

By Greg Spearritt

Queensland’s Parliament House has recently been the scene of a protest, for which action those protesting have been hauled before a court. (There’s some doubt about the validity of the alleged offence, however.)

These are not, by and large, 20-something pink-haired radicals. They are in their 20s to their 80s, and the group includes current and retired teachers, and Lee Coaldrake, the wife of Peter Coaldrake, former Vice-Chancellor of QUT.

They ask the entirely valid question: who are the criminals here?

With unequivocal evidence from scientists worldwide, including eminent Australians and august bodies like the CSIRO, the Australian Academy of Science and the BoM, that we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions, our governments and any large corporations continue to increase pollution. Unprecedented fires, floods and heatwaves afflict us at home and abroad, yet Australian governments continue to subsidise fossil fuel industries to the tune of over $10 billion annually. They continue to approve new coal and gas projects.

It’s an odd situation, given that even economically-rationalist politicians threw everything at the COVID crisis. They’re willing to spend up to $368 billion on the AUKUS nuclear submarines, presumably because they’re worried about Australia’s future security. And yet? The benefits of any ‘green’, renewable initiatives will be swamped by the new fossil fuel projects now being approved and the many in the ‘pipeline’ for approval.

The house, on many fronts (including biodiversity and food security) truly is on fire (even literally at present, in many states and the NT).

Does this not amount to criminal neglect of current and future Australians?

Disclaimer: views represented in SOFiA blog posts are entirely the view of the respective authors and in no way represent an official SOFiA position. They are intended to stimulate thought, rather than present a final word on any topic.

Photo by Matt Palmer on Unsplash