Sunday, September 28, 2014

Don't worry about taking heed, just be happy to be deceived by the speakers in tongues ...

Thanks to community television - get it while you can brothers and sisters before big Mal wreaks havoc - and this being a time of pestilence and war, the pond's text this Sunday morning is Luke 21:

And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass? 
And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.

Yea, verily, and there's Scott 'speaker in tongues' Morrison drinking champers with dictators and generals and devising Satanic schemes to punish innocents while claiming to be a Christian aware of the story of the good Samaritan ...

Does anyone need any more evidence that there will come ravenous wolves in sheep's clothing, dissemblers, fear mongers, power mongers who cultivate and foment confusion so that they might keep power?

Well yes, and let's put it another way:

Oh dear, that's a killer headline. Tony Abbott at the head of a pack of fundamentalist Islamic Wahhabists? Say it ain't so so ...

But if you read The Saudi Arabia of South Pacific at Slate, you'll be reminded how fundamentalists can use the language of fundamentalism to turn on science:

Abbott and his allies haven’t just turned the public against environmental regulations with threats of economic doom. They’ve also worked hard to shake the public’s trust in climate science. And they’ve done it in a way that would surprise most Americans: by comparing environmentalists to religious kooks. 
Green politicians, climate change activists, and even scientists have been painted as modern incarnations of a hated early-20th-century Australian archetype: the holier-than-thou, anti-gambling, anti-alcohol religious wowser. Someone who, according to professor Ken Inglis, “prayed on his knees on Sunday and preyed on his neighbours the rest of the week.”

The article doesn't stop there - it provides chapter and verse, with Abbott labelling the Ruddster theological and evangelical about climate science, his business advisor talking of church, papacy and global priesthood, and John Howard blathering on about substitute religions.

The piece also notes the role that the Murdochians have played in giving climate denialism heart and space and oxygen, while denigrating the science with negative coverage.

There's only one false note in the piece:

Let’s hope that the rapacious policies of the current government represent only a temporary bout of insanity. If the Australian people cannot recover some of their earlier regard for their environment, they may find in time that their great land is no longer merely apathetic toward their residence there, but openly hostile.

In your dreams, Slaters, because the thing about ravenous wolves is they have no problem, when it suits, of outright, barefaced lying.

This is best done by dissembling, and the way you make that work is to pretend that you actually give a fig about climate science, and are doing your level best.

Toiling away at the coal face, bringing the target down by 5%, and let's not wonder if that's enough, and if we miss the target, why, heck, we gave it a bloody good shot, what with all those yuffs wandering around taking direct action.

Of course your words and deeds might betray you at every point, and at every failure to attend a conference in New York, or take seriously the need to participate in an international approach, but all you do then is cheerfully and shamelessly continue to lie.

It doesn't matter if people call you out, or draw attention to the Emperor's lack of finery. You're the ones in power, you've got the Murdoch press at your back, and you can go on your merry way.

Now it might seem cheeky for Americans to start criticising Australia in the matter of climate science, given that country's own dismal record, but thanks to Tony Abbott and crew, even the Americans are starting to look like advanced thinkers.

You see, it's all part of the form for a second rate pugnacious boxing blue who's idea of how to deal with a pesky TV reporter is to glare at him endlessly in a sulky silence.

If the world gets uppity, given them the stare too, and never mind the consequences:

"The Chief of the US Navy's Pacific Command, Admiral Samuel Locklear, recently said that climate change is our single greatest security threat," said DiCaprio.  
"My friends, this body – perhaps more than any other gathering in human history – now faces that difficult task. You can make history, or be vilified by it." 
The speech was well given and well received, but it turned out that his prediction was not entirely correct. 
Australia did not have to wait for history, it was vilified for its stance on climate change on the spot. On Sunday the Foreign Affairs Minister, Julie Bishop, told members of the Major Economies Forum at a side meeting that Australia intended to stick with its low target of 5 per cent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. This, she said, was an ambitious target, and she noted that Australia was responsible for producing only 1.5 per cent of the world's greenhouse gasses. 
"I'm disappointed but not surprised with Australia," Pa Ousman Jarju, Gambia's Climate Change Minister, who represents the 54 least developed nations at UN climate talks, told the Responding to Climate Change analysis website later. "What the Foreign Minister said was as good as not coming. It's nothing … as good as not attending." (and more at Australia's climate stance savaged at UN summit)

Which is why Abbott sent Ms Asbestos to make the official explanations ...

It doesn't matter how many others pick up on the government's behaviour or the Slate story, as in Australia Called 'Worst Polluter' In The World.

Abbott's had his carbon tax victory. It might have been a hollow one, built on meretricious arguments with the assistance of fraudulent supporters - as outlined in Glenn Dyer's Brickworks wasn't hurt by carbon tax - in fact, it thrived (behind the Crikey paywall).

It worked, power was gained on the back of a scare campaign, and now Abbott's setting the tone for the rest of the world, as noted in the NY Times in President's Drive for Carbon Pricing Fails to Win at Home:

...a major new declaration calling for a global price on carbon — signed by 74 countries and more than 1,000 businesses and investors — is missing a key signatory: the United States. 

The declaration, released by the World Bank the day before Mr. Obama’s speech at the United Nations Climate Summit, has been signed by China, Shell, Dow Chemical and Coca-Cola. It calls on all nations to enact laws forcing industries to pay for the carbon emissions that scientists say are the leading cause of global warming. 
The United States, which is under growing international pressure to price carbon, is missing from the declaration for a key reason: conservative opposition to Mr. Obama’s climate change proposals, specifically a carbon tax. The opposition will only intensify if Republicans win control of the Senate in November and the new majority leader is Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, where coal — the world’s largest source of carbon pollution — is the lifeblood of the state’s economy. 
“It’s time for the global elites to face facts,” Mr. McConnell said in a statement. “President Obama’s war on coal won’t have any meaningful impact on global carbon emissions. What it will do is ship American jobs overseas, raise the cost of living substantially for middle and working-class families and throw thousands more Kentuckians out of work.”

Note the language of the snapping turtle, which is straight out of the Abbott/Murdoch playbook.

"Global elites", it's coal, coal coal for Kentucky, and why should the United States do anything when it's everyone else's fault, that's assuming there's a problem in the first place ...

It simply doesn't matter how many people, like Gareth Hutchens, scribble pieces like A tip for Tony Abbott: decarbonising the economy to tackle climate change will create more jobs, though it has to be said that Hutchens tickled the pond's history funny bone big time with his opener:

In 1914, a radical labour union started a newspaper in Sydney to educate the working class and promote the cause of socialism in Australia. 
The union was an offshoot of the US-based Industrial Workers of the World, which hated the wage-labour system, and it used its paper to try to convince Sydneysiders that they had "nothing in common" with their employers. 
"Get wise, and organise for your own emancipation," its first edition instructed. "The few who make up the employing class have all the good things of life." 
You know what the newspaper was called? Direct Action. 
Whether the Abbott government knows it or not, it has been trumpeting an old socialist slogan to promote one of its main environmental policies. I like that. 
It's like the decision by the German bank Sparkasse Chemnitz to put a picture of Karl Marx on its new credit card in 2012.

Indeed, and the irony perfectly suits a government with centralist socialist inclinations, if the fig leaf Abbott was offering was in any way going to be remotely meaningful and effective.

It's actually designed to work like that earlier direct action plan:

Oh dear, click to enlarge, and that's from the Portland Guardian 18th June 1919, thanks to Trove.

It doesn't matter what Hutchens says in favour of a post-carbon world economy and how it and Australia's economy might be made to work to advantage.

It doesn't even matter that Peter Hartcher - routinely caught at Fairfax infatuated by the sight of the Emperor's clothes - recently decided to express doubts in Trouble comes in threes as Lucky Country reaches a crossroads:

The boom started to fade gradually a couple of years ago, but now it is in full retreat. This week the speed of the fall in commodity prices created new alarm. 
The price of Australia's biggest export, iron ore, hit its lowest in five years this week. China's slowdown is adding new pressures. Dozens or iron ore mining firms are suddenly uneconomic. Two years ago iron ore peaked at $US149 a tonne. This week it traded at under $US80 a tonne. Even the third biggest of the Australian miners, Fortescue Metals, has only about $US2 a tonne margin remaining between profit and loss, according to analysts. 
The other big ingredient for China's steel furnaces, coking coal, is also in trouble. Coal's situation is exacerbated by the fact that it is becoming a dirty word among some in the investment community. Because coal burnt for energy emits high levels of carbon and dirty particulates, it's falling out of fashion with the climate change community as well as with China's air pollution regulators. 
The bank HSBC early this year estimated that the market value of coal assets owned by major Australian firms could be cut by about half, or $20 billion, because of the rising risk that they will become "stranded assets." Coal is Australia's second biggest export.

Meanwhile, childishly, petulantly, Abbott clings to his pet entitlement project, a wildly generous PPL scheme, and other entitlement schemes, such as a medical research fund designed to cement his legacy as some sort of science research visionary and guru.

But all of these things have pointed out before. Everyone in recent days noted Rockefeller family to sell oil investments to reinvest in renewables, one of a number of symbolic shifts away from fossil fuel assets that's been occurring in recent times ...

South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, an anti-Apartheid figure who has been a strong voice on the need for economic divestments, will call for a freeze on all new fossil fuel exploration leading up to the UN summit. 
"We can no longer continue feeding our addiction to fossil fuels as if there is no tomorrow, for there will be no tomorrow," he said. 
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that August 2014 was the warmest on record, 0.75 degrees Celsius above the 20th century global average of 15.6 degrees.

But that doesn't matter. It's all water off a ravenous wolf's back. You see when you're a religious fundamentalist who believes in pie in the sky bye and bye, you always have a plan B, and never mind that the plan postulates an imaginary heaven, populated, according to some by virgins waiting to be of service, or alleged by others to contain the world's top one hundred golf courses ...

Meanwhile, Abbott will go on demonising Islamic fundamentalists, having already reduced the country to a nervous wreck where airports are shut down, ordinary Muslims cower in their homes and schools in fear, and paranoid Australians worry about attending a football match or catching public transport.

It's the perfect storm of confusion and chaos, and if Abbott has his way it will reach apocalyptic levels.

And the same scheme is at work in dealing with the alleged terrorist threat as it has been with climate science. Just as you nod and smile at the climate scientist and assure you're taking his religious convictions seriously, tell everyone to be calm and not to panic and to get along, and to be multicultural, while every breath you take and every dog whistle you make is designed to produce the opposite result. In dissembling lies political salvation, in fear lies the path to remaining in power ...

Is there any saving grace to all this?

Well yes, it means the pond can run the Mitch McConnell turtle meme.

One small step for the pond, one giant step for memes, and humanity can just get lost in the Saudi Arabian wilderness with Tony Abbott ....


  1. Meanwhile China has emerged as a world leader in renewable energy. Google pics of new housing developments in China and see the solar panels atop every dwelling. It is happening at a much faster rate than once predicted.
    Abbott can talk dirty coal all he likes but I suspect those wanting to dig giant holes are going to find it harder to get funding. The ALP's position on carbon may have been timid but it was a start to help transform Australian industry. Has Abbott ever seen images of Chinese cities with their visible, chewable air? People who have become middle-class and who now travel the world freely and breathe in sweet air in Zurich and other places, are not going to be happy donning masks upon return.
    We are not in a happy place.

    1. Elect luddites, expect a peculiar form of neo-luddism ...

    2. Dot I think you are being too generous with your 'neo' handle. I think this mob are pre-Luddite.

  2. Our Farther, who art in Space
    Hallowed be thy name;
    Thy kingdom come,
    Thy sweat of brow and pang of childbirth Will be done,
    on New Earths as it is in Old.
    Give us this day our daily fossil fuels,
    and forgive us our trespasses,
    as we forgive insurrection cults who trespass against us;
    and lead us not into war temptation,
    but deliver us from pure evil. Amen.


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