Independents may be our only chance to help the environment

Our governments should be ashamed of decades of neglect in cutting carbon and methane emissions. In the upcoming federal elections, we must vote to erode monopoly politics, writes Gerry Georgatos.

To expand on Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn, author of The Gulag Archipelago 1918-56 – governments lie. They know we know they’re lying. Yet they continue to lie.

Governments lie, religiously. So, contextually, they don’t care that we know. What matters to them is that there is nothing we can do about it.

All governments rule by tyranny.

Our mortal home – the Earth – is actually made up of three layers: the crust, the mantle and the core. It is fragile, even to the human eye.

The earth is not an unchanging solid rock in a celestial canvas of permanence. It is an imperfect storm of thin-density rocks, basalt and granite, layered over hot rocks that temper over molten rocks, where temperatures reach 50,000°C in the Earth’s core.

The government's web of lies about climate change

In 2018 I was invited to give a number of presentations at the Melbourne Writers Festival. I spoke of two books that fueled my awareness of our responsibilities and obligations for the common good.

Rachel Carson, an environmental scientist, wrote: Silent Spring† It was published the year I was born: 1962. I read it when I was nine, after being inspired to learn more about our world after reading the Dr. Seuss booklet, The Lorax several times.

Carson documented adverse environmental and human effects from the use of synthetic pesticides. She was fired upon by fierce rebuttals from chemical companies.

Carson would not live to see the US nationwide ban on DDT – the toxic chemical compound, dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane, originally developed as an insecticide. It would be decades later before DDT was actually banned worldwide. Despite the US nationwide ban, US chemical companies exported it to other countries.

Disinformation is a dangerous marketing tool that helps make huge profits for chemical companies. I often argue that the ability to discover the truth is surpassed by the ability to display deceit.

Carson’s posthumous legacy was to inspire an environmental movement, leading to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In the 1970s, there was the sulfur shock of realizing that our planet was warming. There was as much understanding about this then as it is now, but for two decades on either side of this century, disinformation has plundered humanity as Carson and her supporters have. Meanwhile, the planet’s atmospheric temperature has risen by about 1°C.

The Earth’s surface is drying up, the seas are getting warmer and rising, and what we do with the planet’s lithosphere below us has yet to be fully understood. But we do know what we’re doing to Earth’s filament — the surface of its crust and leftover oceans, seas, and rivers — and its atmospheric strands.

How can we trust each other? Who will lead the way?

“Divine” forces in the hands of humans have led to wars and horrors – Nagasaki and Hiroshima; the destruction of 200,000 human lives in seconds. What lies ahead for our unborn will indict the sins of our generations as we damn the sins of reprehensible and cowardly passivity of previous generations.

In our short butterfly lives, we have seen more species go extinct than ever before in human existence. We don’t listen to warnings. We do not take into account rising temperatures – atmospheric and from the seas. We don’t listen to the consequences of the maddening deforestation of the planet. We don’t listen to the veils and layers of man-made polluting sustainability.

Corporate spin: meat industry denies accelerated climate change

Parliaments are failing us – there is no science-based leadership. There are swear words and slogans, but no bills to address excessive hazardous emissions, educate the nation and push through reservations, protections, calibrations, balances and legislation. We must protect by law and not walk into minefields of intentions, commitments and promises.

The Australian Senate should be ashamed of decades of absence of bills to cut carbon and methane emissions. There should have been Bill after Bill, categorically for the half-score emission types that lead us unborn and all life on this planet to the darkest tumults and catastrophes.

Instead, the psychoeducational is not happening and the firmament of science has been reduced to bylines. Meanwhile, we are all held hostage by a brutal public spectacle of obscene name-calling.

We need independents to score their way into the Senate – and the House of Representatives – to erode monopoly politics. The balance of power should never be under the control of the government. Calling out political parties – large and small and independent parties – begging voters for a “balance of power” indicate a lack of understanding of what democracy means. The vocation to a political life should never be about power and control, but about voice and education.

We need leaders who understand the premise, “First, do no harm.” If our senators – our legislators – don’t understand this, hope is lost.

Methane is anywhere up to 100 times more toxic to the environment than carbon dioxide. Most people – parliamentarians – do not know this. Horrible levels of exploitative farms produce the equivalent of 7.5 gigatons of carbon dioxide per year – accounting for 15 percent of greenhouse gas emissions – more than the total emissions from all motor vehicles, aircraft and other modes of transportation.

Emissions generated by livestock farming, if not challenged in the coming decades, are expected to produce half of the world’s greenhouse gases. We are quickly entering an abyss. Sixty billion of the world’s 80 billion farm animals are farmed – the majority cruelly led to miserable lives.

It’s not where do we start, but when? What exactly are authentic clean energies? What are true renewable energy sources? What do we know about “all” greenhouse gases? We need to be informed rather than misinformed.

Ten years ago, coal emissions had to be curtailed by 2050 to stay within the prospect of a 2°C temperature rise by the end of the century. Independent Senate candidates may be our only chance to help the environment — if they can be elected — and if they understand science and math.

Voters’ disillusionment has always been sea-deep, but tragically many are drowning. The current higher-than-normal number of Independents suggests there may be more genuine candidates than usual. Voters can break the cyclical duopoly. “Polypoly” is a way forward – government by many.

KERRYN PHELPS: Why Independents are the teal deal

We need a government serving the people and the planet, not presidential-type tyrannies created by factions bent on power and control. We need to get rid of all forms of power and control and ditch reprehensible slogans about a “balance of power”. Anyone who advocates a balance of power does not understand the meaning of democracy. No one should maintain the balance of power. It makes many invisible and can lead to corruption.

Governments should reflect the nation they serve, not its divisions. They must be bastions of humility and service, made to help the nation – not leading, but rather in the service of all, marginalizing no one. Government should be a voice for education and cooperation.

Any politician or candidate begging for your vote to ensure any kind of balance of power (power and control), well… no government should ever be allowed to control both parliamentary chambers. This leads to disaster.

Incompetent individuals — many who are lobbyists for prejudice and divisive harmful ideologies and some who are agents of established excessive self-interest groups — make up the bulk of the current duopoly. Voters can revolt, take the first steps towards a fairer and more secure political system and refuse to vote for the duopoly. They can vote to erode monopoly politics.

Our children and the unborn deserve a better inheritance than this blind stalemate of a cyclical duopoly. Power and control survive by eroding universal rights and civil liberties – they cannot coexist. Human rights and social justice will never thrive in power- and control-based manifestos and ideologues.

Gerry Georgatos is a suicide prevention and poverty researcher with an experiential focus. He is national coordinator of the National Suicide Prevention & Trauma Recovery Project (NSPTRP). You can follow Gerry on Twitter @GerryGeorgatos

Related articles

Support independent journalism Subscribe to IA.

Leave a Comment