Metaphors of outrage escape me. They aren’t just rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic — they are firing RPGs into the deck. Not just fiddling while their electorates burn (as they did in 2020), but throwing fossil fuels on the blaze! These are the people who will have to live through the worst of what my generation and the ones before it have created, and they are celebrating. They are celebrating their own miserable demise in fire, flood, and ash.
The Young Liberals of the Australian Capital Territory picked a date close to the release of the IPCC report to have a mid-winter ball. At this ball, they auctioned a lump of coal from Adani’s Carmichael mine. It sold for $2600. I wonder what the owner will do with it — an ornament on the mantelpiece perhaps.
The Carmichael mine, operated by Indian Energy giant Adani, has been mired in controversy and protests for a decade. It is slowly coming into operation in the Galilee Basin of Queensland, one of several mines in an area described as a carbon bomb. The Adani mine alone is expected to add approximately 20 million tons of carbon dioxide a year to the atmosphere.
ACT minister for energy and emissions reduction Shane Rattenbury said, “I can’t tell which I find more insulting — the fact that the organisers thought this was a good idea, or the purchaser who paid an average person’s fortnightly income for it.” Either way, the young Liberals (and their senior Liberal Party colleagues who attended) are not taking the climate crisis seriously. I guess we kind of knew that already.
Liberal Prime Minister Scott Morrison (ScoMo) set the example 3 years ago by bringing a lump of coal into federal parliament, caressing it, and extolling its virtues. “Don’t be afraid, don’t be scared, it won’t hurt you, it’s coal,” he said as he fondled the lacquered lump. He may not have got his hands dirty then, but they are getting dirtier as the years go by.
He set the example the young ones are following now.