Australian Prime Minister Will Return From Vacation to a Camp of Pissed Off People

Police tried to intimidate this young protestor Thursday, and she handled it like a goddamn queen.
Police tried to intimidate this young protestor Thursday, and she handled it like a goddamn queen.
Photo: Getty

Australia has been left scarred by heat and flames and choked by smoke. Australians are understandably pissed the crisis has reached this point while the government peddles in climate denial. Many are so pissed, in fact, that they set up camp outside Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s home Thursday. The plan is to stay there until he’s back from wherever the hell he is. Morrison has been on holiday since Monday, but his administration isn’t sharing details on where he is though rumor has it he was in Hawaii.

Advertisement

Everyone’s entitled to some downtime, but a leader should not abandon his people during a climate emergency when major cities are drowning in toxic air and volunteer firefighters are dying attempting to battle the massive bushfires that have been raging for months. But that’s what Morrison, Australia’s conservative leader who once lovingly brought a lump of coal to the parliament, has done. And now plenty of people will be waiting to greet him at Kirribilli House when he returns.

Advertisement

The protestors include teens, doctors, and politicians. Some wore koala hats; others wore face masks. Both are symbols of the emergency the country faces. These accessories haven’t made the police any friendlier, though. No matter the country, you can always count on the police to treat protestors like shit—and that doesn’t exclude children, unfortunately.

Reporter and journalism student River McCrossen captured the moment a police officer told a young girl that she and her father needed to evacuate the premises or “force may be used.” She was fighting tears and looked distraught during the interaction. Even as she walked away, the child held up her sign in defiance, which read “Look at what you’ve left us, watch us fight it, watch us win.”

She wasn’t arrested, but New South Wales Member of Parliament David Shoebridge was along with nine others (including a child), per the Australian Associated Press. What’s pissing off a lot of people is not only the prime minister’s absence during this immediate crisis; it’s also his lack of action on the crisis at large that is climate change.

Advertisement

In order to prevent these awful heat waves and bush fires from becoming more common, the world needs to dramatically reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Australia, however, is set to increase its coal exports at a time when they need to end. Even though the country is seeing more solar panel installations, half of its energy generation comes from coal.

Australia was also a major impediment to action at the climate talks that just concluded in Madrid. It pushed for weaken key rules that ultimately led a pretty pathetic outcome.

Advertisement

Meanwhile, the country continues to cook under a record-setting heat wave and bushfires may rage for months longer. And Aboriginal leaders in central Australia are worried the region could be becoming too hot for humans to survive.

None of this is acceptable, and the people won’t stand for it any longer. And Morrison can expect to hear from them when he gets back from wherever the hell he snuck off to.

Advertisement
Damn right.
Damn right.
Photo: Getty
This dude deserved better.
This dude deserved better.
Photo: Getty
Advertisement
Drag him, sis!
Drag him, sis!
Photo: Getty
Sigh. Indeed.
Sigh. Indeed.
Photo: Getty
Advertisement
Deadass, fuck coal!
Deadass, fuck coal!
Photo: Getty

Yessenia Funes is climate editor at Atmos Magazine. She loves Earther forever.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

rvincent1960
Times up, time to leave!

Australia has a major problem, we just have sooooo much coal in easy to get to locations and its just way too tempting to be left alone. Of course its not just coal, mining in general accounts for a major part of our economy, iron ore, nickle, gold, aluminium, uranium, lithium, titanium, hell its probably quicker to list what we don’t mine here!

Digging shit outta the ground to make money is so entrenched as part of the culture that I really think it makes people kinda skewed in their thinking. So many people are either directly or indirectly employed in the mining sector that their sympathies voting wise have a big impact on what happens when it comes time to vote. And when it comes to supporting fellow miners their influence matters.

Now while some mines are run in the more traditional way, workers living in a nearby town, a lot of Aussie mines are “Fly in, fly out” or FIFO workers meaning they live all over the place but mostly in cities and so their city votes swing those city electorates. And that’s why I think this cretin Scomo got in, because of the distributed power of the mining vote.

But their thinking is short sighted in more ways than the obvious climate impact. Their jobs are slowly but surely being taken over by automation. Big operators like Rio Tinto are moving so far ahead on this they have now got fully automated locomotives running the longest unmanned trains in the world. They also have numerous fully and semi autonomous mine sites that employ less than 10% of the people a traditional mine does. The impact of automation isn’t just reducing jobs its also reducing the income those with jobs in automation make. As a FIFO working onsite drivers and operators can make $150-200k but when they work as a remote operator for a semi-autonomous site they make under $100k. A lot of the money made onsite is part danger, part remote, part hard fucking work and long hours. When working at a city based RO centre that all changes, its more like an office job playing a video game. Sure you still need skill but “hard” factors are gone hence the lower pay rate. They’re a dying breed but they aren’t ready to abandon their trade just yet.

We send ship loads of coal and iron to China and India and they send us truck loads of cash in return. They need the iron and coal to make steel so its a neat package, and one that despite our country quite literally going to hell enough people think is still worth it. Of course it doesn’t help all the politicians that matter have been fully bought by the mining lobby so will never do anything to upset their masters. On top of that we have what is perhaps Australia’s most toxic export to the world, Rupert Murdoch and his boundless Fox empire making up the news as they see fit so all the general sheep think everything is fine and dandy. In fact I’m sure they’ll find a way to tie the fires to illegal Muslim immigrants or the dreaded “boat people”. Fuck, fuck, fuck!

Sorry kinda got on a bit of rant but this is BAD and I really don’t see it changing anytime soon, assholes like Scomo and his vile henchmen are scum of the lowest order who will fight tooth and nail to keep the coal industry not only alive but thriving.

We really are boned...