Jordan King Lacroix

About Jordan King Lacroix

Jordan King-Lacroix was born in Montreal, Canada but moved to Sydney, Australia when he was 8 years old. He has achieved a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Sydney and McGill University, Canada, as well as a Masters of Creative Writing from the University of Sydney.

In bashing Thunberg, Canberra (and the media) are just shooting the messenger

The institutions of this country have slammed Greta Thunberg, but in doing so, have only illuminated their juvenility.

 

 

The Sydney Morning Herald published an opinion article critiquing Greta Thunberg, walking along the line that is familiar to any activist who’s ever fought for anything, ever: “I agree with their message but I just don’t like the way they’re delivering it”.

Overall, it was a pointless joke of an article that maligns an outspoken teenage girl who is trying for her life to shake our useless politicians and powerbrokers into action on climate change before it’s too late. And, to be clear, it will be ‘too late’ mostly for non-white populations in non-Western nations; although the UK and Northern Europe should be very concerned about rising sea levels too.

It’s a joke that one of our national news outlets published an article like this after Australia has been decried by the UN as “climate denialist”, David Attenborough has expressed his smooth-voiced disappointment in us, and our PM is obsessed more with coal and “smart Drive-Thru” machines than looking after our environment or listening to the anxieties of younger generations.

We actively have a government that ignores the established climate science because coal makes money and Australia wants those sweet mining dollars. Rather than investing money in renewable energy like wind and solar – Australia is, after all, about three kilometres from the sun, a giant fusion reactor of endless energy – our PM wants more fracking.

The fact of the matter is just 100 companies are responsible for 71% of greenhouse gas emissions. Tess Riley wrote for The Guardian in 2017: ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and Chevron are identified as among the highest emitting investor-owned companies since 1988.

If fossil fuels continue to be extracted at the same rate as they were between 1988 and 2017, says the report, global average temperatures would be on course to rise by 4C by the end of the century. This is likely to have catastrophic consequences including substantial species extinction and global food scarcity risks.

 

It’s a joke that one of our national news outlets published an article like this after Australia has been decried by the UN as “climate denialist”, David Attenborough has expressed his smooth-voiced disappointment in us, and our PM is obsessed more with coal and “smart Drive-Thru” machines than looking after our environment or listening to the anxieties of younger generations.

 

Now is the time for a wild and drastic change. We cannot rely on coal jobs any longer.

We can’t continue to farm cattle in the same way. We can’t keep on sweeping the ocean clean of life. We can’t keep using plastic as we have been. We can’t keep using oil and gasoline as much as we have been.

The government needs to take hardline action. Some suggestions: pass cattle farming reform; invest in building large wind and solar farms and phasing out coal as quickly as possible; institute a gasoline car buyback system that includes receiving an electric car for either free or a substantially reduced price. That’s not even going into social programs that will help people retrain into new jobs that will be needed in a newer, greener economy, or infrastructure to help maintain greener communities.

We possess a large bounty of resources, but until we know how to use them more cleanly, some of those resources have to stay in the ground. We need farmable land. We need to capture more water. We need cleaner energy. We need clean transport.

These things are all achievable if our government had the political will. If instead of focusing on denying entry to refugees we turned our attention to building a better and cleaner society that won’t become an arid desert in the next 100 years, Greta Thunberg wouldn’t feel the need to scold the UN assembly for its inaction and 300,000 Australians wouldn’t have attended country-wide climate rallies.

If we were doing better, Thunberg could be just a normal sixteen-year-old girl living a normal life, not eternally anxious about the destruction of her future. In fact, we could all breathe easier if that’s what we were doing.

But we aren’t.

 

 

 

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