An Open Letter to Greg HuntPosted: September 24, 2013
It’s funny how sometimes we get to see the worst of people and the best of people all in the same day. The best of people is not you, in case you are wondering. Tim Flannery and his new Climate Council colleagues are the best of people. They could have sulked when you fired them last week, from the most important jobs in Australia. But they didn’t. They’re too busy working for free, setting up the Climate Council. They have no time for sulking.
I want to make it clear, the founding members of the Climate Council are not working on something they ‘believe in’, like someone who works for a church because they believe in God. They are working on the important cause of educating our community about the devastating effects of climate change, which we are already experiencing, and which are going to get worse as people like you make it your life’s work to reduce action which could save millions of lives. I don’t know how many temperature records you need to see broken to take this situation seriously. Although I suspect we already know all we need to know about your strength of character in this situation. Having titled your university honors thesis ‘A Tax to Make the Polluter Pay’, it does seem a bit odd that you are now Abbott’s chief ‘kill the carbon tax’ environmental vandal. I mean, minister. I guess power is more important to you than doing the right thing for the community. Even if that means completely changing your view of the world on a subject you won an award for researching. Perhaps you don’t think carbon emissions are pollution? If this is the case, I guess the one blessing is that you’re not Abbott’s science minister. Oh, that’s right, your government has no science minister. Funny that.
So since people like Tim Flannery are the best of people, you are quite obviously a perfect example of the very worst of people. In response to the news that Flannery and his colleagues are courageously keeping the catastrophic effects of climate change in the public eye by working pro-bono to set up the community funded Climate Council, you said this news vindicated your decision to scrap the tax payer funded Climate Commission, with this explanation:
“That’s how democracy should work,” … “If people want to invest in those with a particular view, they have a right and a freedom to do that, and our job is to make sure that we deal with the core scientific agencies, that we protect the taxpayers’ funds. The fact that this can be done at the private level shows that taxpayers’ funds were not required from the outset.”
Wow. I was lost for words for a moment. It is 2013 and Australia’s environment minister is calling a group of world-renowned climate scientists ‘those with a particular view’. That’s like saying all those people who think the sky is blue shouldn’t be supported in this particular view as this is a belief, not a fact. Do you want to make your climate change denial any more obvious? What a complete and utter disgrace!
I was similarly lost for words when I read ‘protect the taxpayers’ funds’. How about you worry less about money, just for a moment, and start to worry about the environment where this money is being earned and spent? It’s called earth and it’s where we all live and we all keep our stuff which we buy with money. How will your government coffers look after climate catastrophe strikes? Or are you hoping not to be environment minister by then? How about worrying about the protection of our communities (ie the people in them) rather than the protection of taxpayer funds? Thanks for letting us know where your priorities lie. Very helpful.
So I guess since you think it’s great news that Australians who are scared about climate change are democratically reaching into our pockets to fund the climate council, this should now set new precedents for ‘user pays’. We all know your government loves nothing more than the concept of ‘user pays’. Maybe every road and footpath should have a toll at the end of it, so only those drivers and pedestrians using that particular strip should be the ones who pay for it? How about sewerage – should we drop a dollar in a pot every time we flush? Maybe parents should pay for their children to go to school and if they can’t afford the fees, their child shouldn’t be educated? How about medical bills – only those who can afford to have a heart operation should be in a position to save their own lives? Your version of our society sounds pretty depressing actually.
But what’s extra depressing is that you’re happy for a small number of passionate, community-minded people to fund an organisation which is trying to protect all Australians from the effects of climate change. Why the fuck should only those with a conscience be responsible for the fate of our entire community? I think you’ll find we’re all ‘users’ of this planet and we’re all going to ‘pay’ when it comes to the destruction caused by climate change.
The selfish people like you and Tony Abbott and all those voters who think it’s a great idea to stop action to reduce the effects of climate change, would never put your hand in your pocket to help. Those who are small minded and hell-bent on denial at all costs, who have different ‘beliefs’ from good people like Tim Flannery, are going to be affected by climate change too, just as much as those funding the Climate Council.
But you’re happy to leave this financial burden to good people, while your government wastes millions buying Indonesian fishing boats and paying millionaires $75,000 to have a baby. While your government builds more infrastructure for cars, but cuts funding for scientific research into renewable energies.
That makes you the worst kind of person, Greg Hunt. Petty, short-sighted and frankly just not very bright. How someone like you can be put in charge of Australia’s environmental protection is beyond me. You should try to spend some time with Tim Flannery. You would be a better person ten-fold just by breathing the same air as him.