An unsigned editorial by a frustrated ALERT member:
Only in an upside-down country like Australia would the term “Liberal” actually mean far-right conservative.
Australia’s "Liberal Party" showed its true colors last week by toppling the country's conservative but mainstream Prime Minister — in an effort to install their own right-wing hero. A hero that nobody liked.
Thankfully, the attempt failed, miserably.
And in advancing this ill-fated coup, Australia’s hard-core conservatives haven't just failed themselves.
They’ve failed and embarrassed all Australians. And the Earth as well.
For right-wingers in Australia, there seems to be only One True God: The god of mining and fossil-fuels — especially coal, the dirtiest of all energy sources, which Australia burns and exports massively.
The god of mining generously feeds and rewards Australia’s right-wingers – with a heady diet of tens of millions of dollars each year – mostly from foreign-owned corporations.
In turn, the right-wingers fall all over themselves telling Australians that coal is good — and how efforts to slow global warming and promote renewable energy are ill-considered and economically bad.
But no matter what else might happen, the far-right conservatives have been looking to help themselves.
The latest political disaster — resulting in Australia’s seventh Prime Minister in just the past decade — shows just how bad things Down Under have become.
And Australia can thank its far-right extremists.
For this resounding humiliation.
For the growing comparisons of Australia to unstable, tin-pot dictatorships.
For the election of Australia to the annals of environmental shame.
It almost sounds like Trump’s America.
Australians have never hesitated to wag their fingers at the environmental sinners of the world. Don’t destroy Indonesia’s rainforests. Stop the illegal logging of New Guinea.
Stop global warming before it kills off our Great Barrier Reef.
But those arguments are ringing hollow now.
Just a decade ago, things seemed different. In 2007, Australia named global-warming Icon Tim Flannery as Australian of the Year.
It seemed to herald a view that Australians saw the environment — and their role in protecting it — as a major priority.
But since then, good will has flown out the window, along with an unnervingly long list of national leaders.
The conservatives killed off Australia’s carbon-pricing scheme – making Australia the first developed nation ever to do so.
In Queensland, rapid broad-scale land clearing has roared back.
Heat-waves and droughts recently caused the largest dieoff of mangrove forests ever documented in Australia.
And Australia’s higher-altitude species — specialized for cool, cloudy conditions — are increasingly taking it in the neck as the thermometer rises.
The list of eco-calamities keeps growing. And the politicians from Australia's hard right — and their all-powerful mining god — can be thanked for much of it.
Stop the Damage
With their clumsy, bully-boy tactics, the Australian far-right is not just hurting the country's environment and its booming outdoor-based tourism, lifestyles, and industries.
It's ravaging Australia’s credibility as an international leader — as a nation with enviable principles and conscience.
It surely isn’t worth it.
In the land Down Under, it’s time to stop upside-down thinking and give the right-wingers in the Liberal Party a great big boot into political obscurity.