The slow-witted Federal resources minister Matthew Canavan has appropriately attracted an enormous amount of criticism for his idiotic tweet, in which he said: “Instead of trying to save the planet in 2050 the QLD labor should just concentrate on saving jobs today!” This fat-fingered buffoonery was in reaction to the Queensland Government announcing it would aim to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. Poor Canavan must be foaming at the mouth as the dominoes topple in the face of inaction on climate change from his federal Government, as New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory have announced identical targets to that of Queensland. Why is it that state governments of both persuasions have a vastly greater understanding of the urgency of dealing with climate change, than their federal Coalition counterparts? Is it solely down to the lack of ability of these federal counterparts, or is it because they have been bribed to do nothing?
You will often hear climate change deniers stating that we are such a small part of the world’s population, that whatever we do will have little effect, as if that was a valid reason to do nothing. It may have escaped their notice, but the world is made of many small parts; nearly 200 of them that we call nations, and if we are going to avoid the worst depredations of climate change we all have to pull together. The Adani coal mine, which will employ maybe 1500 people, a minuscule number compared to those employed directly and indirectly by tourism on the probably doomed Great Barrier Reef2. This is estimated to be well over 100,000 employees and they make nearly $6 billion per annum for the nation3. I expect that tourism on the northern parts of the reef is now not as popular as it used to be before those parts suffered extensive bleaching. Why Canavan demonstrates so much enthusiasm for the Adani mine is anyone’s guess, but I suspect it has something to do with donations to his party during election campaigns.
Canavan is a good catholic boy who is against same-sex marriage and is also a climate change denier. One suspects that being a goodly religious lad, he assumes that humanity has ‘dominion … over all the earth’ (Genesis 1:26). Many people who plant their bums on church pews at least once a week, assume that this means the earth is there for us to exploit, and in their ignorance, they assume that this can continue indefinitely. Anybody with a modicum of intelligence will realise that, as we live on a little finite planet orbiting the sun, everything you dig up from it is finite. This includes coal, oil, natural gas, uranium, thorium, lithium, lead, zinc, gold or any other commodity, and being finite they will eventually run out. Presumably, Canavan knows this, or has been informed of it by his brighter sidekicks (if they exist). The problem is that this means nothing to him, because his only concern is to be re-elected.
Canavan and his ilk should realise that, as former US Senator Gaylord Nelson said: “The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, not the other way around”. If they do not realise it and indulge in continued intergenerational theft of a decent planet on which to live, their names should be recorded in perpetuity as committing crimes against humanity.