In Australia we like to think that ordinary people have rights. We live in a democracy, which means that everyone has the right to have a voice and vote in elections. However, the power of the media and our leaders to sway and influence the minds of the people is huge. Over the last 20 years we have been constantly told, to the level of brainwashing, that the application of free-market principles and a focus on the economy is the most important thing. All of them from the Tonys to the Julias and Anna Blighs have said we have to have a budget surplus and sell off whatever’s left in the cupboard to make it happen.
We’ve been told over and over again that the policies of economic rationalism are valid and that market forces can be relied on to maintain the life that we know. Climate change isn’t happening and CSG mining is completely harmless. Just like the tobacco industry said, it doesn’t cause any harm. ‘Trust us.’ That is what we are doing at the moment, trusting the media and big business to tell us the truth – but are they?
What I do know is, that for the sake of my children and grandchildren, we have to stop causing damage to the environment. We are creating their future right now by the decisions that we make. If we refuse to see what is happening, we could give our children a damaged and polluted environment that will not be safe for us to live in. Climate change is happening and happening fast. We cannot continue to deny it. It’s not going to go away. Extreme weather events around the world happen every week now. Floods in Fiji today, high winter temperatures of 30 degrees in South Dakota, US, last week.
The Greens are the only party who want to protect us from the environmental disasters we are facing. The Greens have had so much negative attention and influence directed against them because they can’t be bought. It is time for ordinary people to stand up and say that we want our environment to be considered and cared about. The way to do that is to get involved in the movements that are happening, from Lock the Gate, to Big Solar, GetUp, and all the other environmental groups. Most important of all, you have to vote Greens if you want to protect the environment.
Beth Shelley, Booerie Creek