• Hannah Phillips

The Greens Tell Us We're On the Road to Ruin

The Greens spend a lot of time trying to scare us. When it comes to scare campaigns they are the masters. Leadbeater’s Possum is bound for extinction along with the Koala, Carnaby’s Cockatoo and the Great Barrier Reef. Not only that, but the human race will probably go the same way this century unless Australia takes radical measures aimed at achieving 100% renewable energy by 2030, immediately. The Leader of the Greens, Senator Richard Di Natale told us this when he appeared at the National Press Club on Wednesday. He said that the Greens are about big ideas that are delivered with heart. In this vein, he said, the Greens had the only comprehensive, independently costed climate change policy. He also said that the Greens had held a rotten government to account. “We are living in the age of the Anthropocene: for the first time human activity is now the dominant influence on our climate and the environment. For the first time we humans have the capacity to alter all life on earth”, Dr Di Natale told the Press Club. According to the Greens leader homo sapiens are able to prevent the destruction of the planet and so far we are failing the test. He says neither Labor nor Liberals have policies to reduce emissions. Both parties intend to ramp up the production of fossil fuels. He says if you do not have a plan to transition away from fossil fuels you do not have a plan to avert disaster. The Greens think that the Labor climate change policy is a disaster because Kabor intends to open up the Beetaloo Basin and develop gas as a transition fuel to take over from coal. They argue that Labor has been corrupted by donations from the fossil fuel companies whose tentacles extend into both major parties. Despite this the Greens are prepared to enter into an agreement with Labor to get a decent climate policy. Unfortunately for Dr Di Natale his offer of an agreement was rejected by Mr Shorten even before the offer was made. It is obvious that the Greens would have wanted Labor to defy the unions and commit to phasing out coal and gas. When it comes to economic policy the Greens have a novel approach: they would abolish tax credits accumulated by major companies during their investment phases and demand that they pay up the tax foregone. Senator Di Natale says this would raise an additional $347 billion immediately and would fund all the Greens social policies including free education al the way through to TAFE and University. . This is only the start: the Greens will introduce a major tax review to raise more money from the corporate sector to ease the economic pain of wage earners. When it comes to raw politics Dr Di Natale said that if the Greens control the senate Labor will have to deal with them on climate if they are in government. This will mean that Labor will have to give up the purchase of international carbon credits to get its climate policy passed. On the other hand the Greens will not pass any part a Coalition government’s programme, presumably including the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Abuse of the Disabled. The Green’s leader said that he was confident that Sarah Hanson-Young will be re-elected to the Senate because she was instrumental in raising issues over the Murray Darling Basin and opposing oil drilling in the Great Australian Bight. He said that the Nationals were corrupt and owned by vested interests and that this needed to be rooted out. Questioned on why the Greens were doing so badly in the bush, the Greens leader said that support in regions was a work in progress and he was confident that the Greens would double its vote over the next ten years. Dr Di Natale is a crusader for immediate climate action in order to save the planet. Unfortunately all the predictions are that global emissions will continue to rise at least until 2030 and the Paris Agreement’s objectives are unachievable regardless of what Australia does. Notwithstanding the intentions of the Greens, if they are to be believed it appears we are headed for disaster.