We did not reckon with the power that coal has upon Australian hearts

I’m still so depressed about the Australian election result. It’s Donald Trump all over again only worse because this time it’s the country I grew up in and the people I know voting for tax cuts in favour of clean air; tax cuts in favour of halting the warming planet; tax cuts in favour of my children’s future … their children’s future. It’s a vote for more coal mines and a vote to abandon the Great Barrier Reef.

In everything I do I try to reduce my impact on the environment and my carbon emissions and it’s a like a kick in the teeth to then have the majority vote for coal mines and personal tax cuts. Why do I bother? Perhaps I should give up?

I investigated relinquishing my Australian citizenship. Instead I opted for something less drastic and changed my blog tagline:


Apparently there’s a surge in Australians considering moving to New Zealand. Culturally New Zealand is very similar but there is a subtle difference concerning environmental matters. New Zealanders on the whole are much more aware of the environment and the importance of protecting the natural world. You won’t get the same climate change denial in New Zealand like there is in Australia – perhaps because they don’t have large coal deposits like Australia has. As Tolkien said in the Hobbit, “Bilbo did not reckon with the power that gold has upon Dwarvish hearts“. Even when conservative governments have been in power in New Zealand, as was the case for much of the time I lived there, they were reasonable and evidence-based.

The funny thing is that suddenly Theresa May is looking very reasonable. I have been quite critical of her but it’s all relative and compared to what Australia is stuck with she’s brilliant. Admittedly the bar is low: she doesn’t base policy on prayer or pretend coal is good. Maybe one day I’ll become a British citizen and get rid of the Australian citizenship. I am a New Zealand citizen so I don’t really need it and no one will want to live in Australia when the world is 4°C warmer than it is now.

6 thoughts on “We did not reckon with the power that coal has upon Australian hearts”

    1. You’re lucky to have such a great PM! Arden is admired the world over. I guess bad PMs come and go and Morrison won’t be there forever. It’s just that before him (if we skip Turnbull) there was Tony Abbott and he was worse. They keep voting for these pro-coal, anti-science politicians.

  1. Yeah there’s something really horrible and depressing when you think about people from your own country voting for something so unreasonable. I feel that a little bit with the overwhelming vote for the Brexit party in my local area, when they could have been voting for something meaningful like the Greens – they do well in my town but not in the wider countryside area.

    1. Yes, I can imagine. A majority in Scotland voted in favour of remain, thankfully. There are many election results around the world that are disturbing but it hurts more when it’s a place you grew up.

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