This week, protests are being organised across Australia in response to the devastating bushfires and lack of government action on both climate change, and in response to the disaster across almost all Australian states.
This is crucial – as Australians we need to come together as a united body to show our country wants to see government action. Protests have long proven to move the hands of those who run countries, and everyone who is able to attend one should do so. I will be, for sure.
But something that concerns me is that the current events, spearheaded by Uni Students For Climate Justice, have this as their Facebook event cover:
Now, I fucking hate Scott Morrison as much as the next person (who isn’t, say, Gina Reinhart) and would love to see him booted from his PM position for being a useless, spin-machine piece of shit. Sure, he’s now pledged 2 billion dollars to bushfire recovery. But it took him a bloody long time to do so.
But booting Scott Morrison won’t solve anything. Here’s why.
1. If ScoMo Goes, It’ll Likely Just Bring Dutton To Power
As awful as Scott Morrison is as PM, Peter Dutton would be far, far worse. We’ve all seen his inhumane attitudes towards asylum seekers. If he had the top dog role, there’s every chance we could see some horrific policies put into place that impact people in crisis for the worse, big time.
Even if it’s not Dutton, it will just be someone else – this isn’t about Scott Morrison as a person (although lord knows he is still responsible for his own actions). This is about an entire government that doesn’t give a shit about climate change.
2. Albo Won’t Save Us, Either
We all cringed the moment Anthony Albanese showed his true, coal-loving colours didn’t we? While usually when one government is disappointing us, we can look to the other for potential reprieve, when it comes to climate change we simply won’t get the kind of full-on action our country needs from the Labor party.
So even if you’re saying “ok, let’s get rid of the Libs entirely” that won’t help. Because Labor have no strong climate action policies in the works, anyway.
3. Unified Outrage Only Works If It’s Clear
The issue with protests has always been that there is SO much to be angry about, to want change around. I also want to see the firies correctly funded by both the State and Federal governments. I want to see ScoMo gone, just because I think he’s a terrible leader in a time when we need good leaders. But MOST of all, what we – I think – all agree on is that we need to see climate action before it’s too late to do anything about it all.
When we march the streets en masse and start shouting everything from “fund the firies” to “bin ScoMo” to “climate action now”, we dilute our message. We are asking for too many things at once, and that gives the pollies the chance to blow it all off. We’re confused. We don’t know what we want. We want crazy things that can’t happen now.
The reason the Greta Thunberg-led climate rallies have been having such an impact is because her message is clear – climate action now. The end. Governments, corporations, individuals, do what you can to limit your carbon footprint and listen to the science, then act accordingly. That’s it.
4. Now That ScoMo Has Finally Pledged Financial Support, We Can Make It Clear
A huge part of our collective outrage around the bushfire crisis has been the fact that we as the general public have seemingly been lumped with the financial and physical burden when it comes to supporting volunteer firefighters, volunteers we have crucially needed to prevent mass devastation and damage.
We have rallied financially and found the support outside of our ineffective federal government. It’s been amazing to see Aussies donating whatever money they can to crucial services like the CFA, RFS, WIRES and Red Cross, even though, in my opinion, the money should have been coming from Scott Morrison.
Now, it has. ScoMo has finally thrown 2 billion at Australian volunteer fire services – it’s way too late to quell our outrage, and absolutely stinks of damage control. But still, the firies are getting funds, the victims are getting support. So now what? Nothing is solved long-term, because yes, this is about the devastating bushfires. But it’s about more than that. At the core of this issue is a planet that is dying, a drought that is caused by climate change and backburning that hasn’t been able to occur due to a premature fire season.
At the core is climate change. And we need to fight for action, now.