- Date published:
10:48 am, August 18th, 2019 - 54 comments
Categories: australian politics, climate change, making shit up, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, uncategorized, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: scomo, scott morrison
The Pacific Leaders’ Forum has occurred this week.
The area is the first to feel the effects of climate change. Increased intensity of storms and storm surges and rising sea levels are already making Pacific life hard. The writing is on the wall for many low lying islands such as Tuvalu.
Their Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga has done an outstanding job at recent UN Conferences and has persuaded most of the world to sign up to working to stop global temperatures increasing by no more than 1.5 degrees. Although the Americans showed up at the latest conference arguing the benefits of coal.
You may have a sense of puzzlement about why Pacific leaders are still having to debate how climate change is an existential threat to their nations. Because it is. They can see their fisheries wilt, their coral reefs die and their islands disappear before their eyes.
But Australia still wants to argue the toss. And caused the normally peaceful Pacific Leader’s forum to descend into chaos.
From the Guardian:
Critical talks at the Pacific Islands Forum almost collapsed twice amid “fierce” clashes between the Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, and Tuvalu’s prime minister, Enele Sopoaga, over Australia’s “red lines” on climate change.
Ralph Regenvanu, Vanuatu’s foreign minister, who was part of the drafting committee of the forum communique and observed the leaders’ retreat, said there was heated discussion over the Australian delegation’s insistence on the removal of references to coal, setting a target of limiting global warming to below 1.5C and announcing a strategy for zero emissions by 2050.
He described the discussions as “frank, fierce at times, [with] very strong positions being held”.
“Negotiations almost broke down twice, [with leaders] saying ‘this is not going to happen, we’re not going to have a collective decision’,” he said. Leaders had to take a break from proceedings, which started about 9.30am local time and lasted for almost 12 hours.
“That’s why it took so long,” Regenvanu said. “When things break down, you know there’s a huge amount of frustration, luckily it didn’t break all the way down and the leaders were able to bring it back.”
Things became that bad that the Tongan leader shed tears.
Jacinda Ardern was praised for her role in trying to resolve tensions:
“[Jacinda Ardern] was much more compromising. She was really good yesterday. She said the right things about climate change and Morrison did not,” said Bainimarama.
Then former rugby coach and stale male and pale shock jock Alan Jones took things to a new height by calling Ardern a clown and suggesting Morrison “shove a sock down her throat”. Banimarana responded firmly.
This tweet has support from unusual sources.
But wait there was more.
Jones doubled down on his comments and said that Ardern “has no idea what she’s talking about”. Then a number of people responded in the best way to oppose this click bait manufactured controversy. They attacked his funding by contacting his show’s sponsors. After ME Bank pulled out the writing is on the wall. Jones has been issued with a final warning and any further comments will see his contract cancelled.
Please note. The best way to deal with misogynist shock jocks is to attack their funding. Let their sponsors know that what they are saying is deeply offensive as well as being wrong.
But you do have to wonder how many chances Jones will get. He previously said that Julia Gillard’s father would have been ashamed of her shortly after his death. Jones seems to have a thing about younger intelligent and articulate progressive women.
Then deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack went all hold my beer on it and said the Pacific Islands will survive because they pick Australia’s fruit. Yep. You read this right.
His reported comments are:
“I also get a little bit annoyed when we have people in those sorts of countries pointing the finger at Australia and say we should be shutting down all our resources sector so that, you know, they will continue to survive,” he said.
“They will continue to survive, there’s no question they’ll continue to survive and they’ll continue to survive on large aid assistance from Australia.
“They’ll continue to survive because many of their workers come here and pick our fruit, pick our fruit grown with hard Australian enterprise and endeavour and we welcome them and we always will.
“But the fact is we’re not going to be hijacked into doing something that will shut down an industry that provides tens of thousands of jobs, that provides two-thirds of our energy needs … and I’m only talking coal, let alone all of our other resources.”
I still do not get the right’s infatuation with coal. The only reason that I can see its support is that it is a vital weapon in the culture wars, and is able to turn some workers away from the left through fear of losing their jobs masked with an anti intellectualism veneer. Because it’s use makes no environmental sense and increasingly no financial sense.