Independents may be our only chance to help the environment

Our governments should be ashamed of decades of negligence in reducing carbon and methane emissions. In the next Federal Election, 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 that we know they are lying. Still they lie.

Governments lie, religiously. So it means, contextually, that they don’t care that we know. What matters to them is: that we can’t do anything about it.

All governments rule by tyranny.

Our mortal home, the Earth, is effectively made up of three layers: the crust, the mantle, and its core. It is vulnerable, even to the human eye.

The Earth is not a solid immutable rock on a celestial canvas of permanence. It is an imperfect storm of thin-density rock, basalt and granite layered over hot rocks tempering over molten rocks, where in the center of the Earth, temperatures reach 50,000°C.

The government's web of lies about climate change

In 2018 I was invited to do a couple of presentations at the Melbourne Writers Festival. I spoke of two books that fed my awareness of our responsibilities and obligations to the common good.

Rachel Carson, an environmental scientist, wrote silent spring. It was published in the year of my birth: 1962. I read it when I was nine years old, after being inspired to learn more about our world after several readings of the Dr. Seuss booklet, The Lorax.

Carson documented the adverse effects on the environment and on humans from the use of synthetic pesticides. She was bombarded by fierce rebuttals from the chemical companies.

Carson would not live to see a US nationwide ban on DDT, the toxic chemical compound, dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane, originally developed as an insecticide. It would still be decades before DDT was effectively banned globally. Despite the US national ban, US chemical companies exported it to other nations.

Misinformation is a dangerous marketing tool that helps chemical companies make massive profits. I often argue that the ability to discover the truth is outweighed by the ability to manifest deception.

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

In the 1970s, there was a huge shock to the realization that our planet was getting warmer. There was as much basic understanding of this then as there is today, but for two decades on either side of this century, disinformation bombarded humanity as it did Carson and his followers. Meanwhile, the planet’s atmospheric temperature has risen by around 1°C.

The Earth’s surface is drying out, the seas are getting warmer and rising, and what we are doing to the lithosphere of the planet below us is not yet fully understood. But we know what we are doing to the Earth’s filament, its crustal surface and residual oceans, seas and rivers, and to its atmospheric threads.

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

“Divine” powers in the hands of humans have led to wars and abominations: Nagasaki and Hiroshima; the devastating destruction of 200,000 human lives in seconds. What lies ahead for our unborn will indict the sins of our generations just as we condemn the sins of the reprehensible and cowardly inactions of previous generations.

In our brief butterfly lifetimes, we have seen more species extinction than ever before in human existence. We ignore the warnings. We do not pay attention to the increase in temperatures, atmospheric and sea. We ignore the impacts of maddening deforestation on the planet. We pay no attention to the veils and layers of contaminating permanence created by man.

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Parliaments fail us: there is no science-based leadership. There is scum and slogans, but no proposed bills to address excess dangerous emissions, educate the nation, and arrive at warnings, protections, calibrations, balances, and legislation. We must protect ourselves through legislation and not walk in minefields of intentions, efforts and promises.

The Australian Senate should be ashamed of itself for the decades-long absence of proposed bills to reduce carbon and methane emissions. There should have been Bill after Bill, categorical to the middle of the broadcast types that were leading our unborn and all life on this planet into the darkest tumults and catastrophes.

Instead, the psychoeducational is not happening and the firmament of science has been reduced to signatures. Meanwhile, all of us remain hostage to a brutal public spectacle of obscene insults.

We need independents to break through in the Senate, and in the House of Representatives, to erode monopoly politics. The balance of power should never be under the control of the government. The cries of political parties (large and micro and any independent) begging voters for a “balance of power” suggest a lack of understanding of what democracy means. The call to 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, then hope is lost.

Methane is up to 100 times more toxic to the environment than carbon dioxide. Most people, parliamentarians, do not know. The shocking levels of animal exploitation agribusiness produce the equivalent of 7.5 gigatons of carbon dioxide per year, which represents 15 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the aggregate emissions of all motor vehicles, airplanes and other types of transportation.

The emissions generated by the animal agribusiness, if left unchallenged in the coming decades, are projected to produce half of the world’s greenhouse gases. We’re headed for an abyss, fast. Sixty billion of the world’s 80 billion farm animals are factory raised, most cruelly led to miserable lives.

It’s not where we start, but when? What really are the authentic clean energies? What are genuine renewable energies? What do we know about “all” greenhouse gases? We need to be informed and not uninformed.

A decade ago, coal-based emissions needed to be capped 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 get elected, and if they’ve understood the science and math.

Voter disillusionment has always run deep but, tragically, many drown. The current higher-than-usual number of independents suggests there may be more genuine candidates than usual. Voters can break the cyclical duopoly. “Polypoly” is a way forward: the rule of many.

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We need a government that serves the people and the planet, not presidential-type tyrannies created by factions bent on power and control. We need to move away from all kinds of power and control and dump reprehensible slogans about a “balance of power.” Anyone who calls for a balance of power does not understand the meaning of democracy. No one should hold the balance of power. It secures many as invisible and can lead to corruption.

Governments must reflect the nation they serve, not its divisions. They must be bastions of humility and service, built to help the nation, not to lead, but to serve all, marginalizing no one. The government must be a voice for education and collaboration.

Any politician or candidate who begs for your vote to ensure any form of balance of power (power and control), well…no government should ever be allowed to control both houses of parliament. This leads to disaster.

Inexperienced people, many of whom are lobbyists for divisive and harmful ideals and prejudices, and some who are agents of created groups with excessive self-interest, mostly understand the current duopoly. Voters can rebel, take the first steps towards a fairer and safer political system, and refuse to vote for the duopoly. They can vote to erode monopoly policy.

Our children and the unborn deserve a better inheritance than this failed stagnation 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 on manifestos and ideologues based on power and control.

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

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