How to sell out your species while pretending to be the adults in the room

Whenever a narrative is detached from observable, tangible, bona-fide, actual real reality but widely believed anyway, staggeringly shitty things always happen. As the gulf between what is and what is believed grows larger, trauma, misery, oppression, and, in the worst cases, piles of gooey, smelly, otherwise-avoidable death inevitably follow. 

This is Humanity’s Misinformed Dickhead Conundrum, and thus far we have evolved no natural immunity to its encruddening effect on our species’ potential. Compounding this, our most concerted efforts to combat mass delusion’s mass harm, terrible inventions like journalism and the internet, have made these scenarios profoundly worse, dickheads having purchased both journalism and the internet. 

Us being us, there are endless examples of the dissonance between truth and a popular narrative being weaponised against our best interests. Think the January 6 riots on the US Capitol, an attempt to save democracy from elections. The masses of unvaccinated and unmasked quaffing on hydroxychloroquine and bleach during the coronavirus pandemic. The notion that more guns will keep Americans safe from all the guns piling up around the place. How religions convinced us that Cthulhu The All-Knowing Tentacle, or whoever, hates gay people and contraception. Or how seven million people spent actual real money on Puddle of Mudd CDs in the early 2000s. If there is a galaxy-spanning hall of fame for poorly informed choices, humanity deserves its own wing.

Seven million albums.

And just as there are endless examples, there are many reasons this occurs. Sometimes humanity has simply not yet grasped a crucial concept along its evolutionary line, concepts like evolution, whether the Earth revolves around the sun, or if wealthy Boomers should own all the houses or just most of them. Sometimes it’s innocuous; misinformation buried in a meme spreading from socials to schools to workplaces to pubs to cafes to subconscious acceptance. In newsrooms, it can be a symptom of path-of-no resistance acquiescence to the powerful i.e. journalists being cowardly little suckholes because that is easier and a better financial decision. 

(Journalism is fantastic at catching isolated “bad apples” while spending decades championing the deregulation of apple farms.)

More often than is ideal, though, it is more sinister. Mass delusion can occur because massive propaganda networks disguised as news services, mastheads like Fox News or Pravda, like The Herald Sun or Channel 7, benefit financially and ideologically by creating hordes of misinformed dickheads, this brain-worm cultivation disguised as a free and valuable “here’s what’s happening” entertainment service. 

Australia’s climate debate, not unlike my dad, exists in this space of wilful and deliberate self-delusion. A bullshit chasm, the foundations dug by mining companies and their representatives in the media and Parliament.


Clive Palmer, former politician, purchaser of forty trillion newspaper ads, owner of many large holes in the ground and a rubber dinosaur theme park – Coolum Beach’s second most popular tourist attraction behind the laser tag but ahead of the new massage parlour that hasn’t been reviewed yet – wanted another large hole. And in Australia men like Clive get their holes.

Record scratch. Except he didn’t. On February 8, Tanya Plibersek, Federal Environment Minister, blocked Palmer’s proposed central Queensland coal mine. According to the Government, this was because of the risk posed to the Great Barrier Reef and nearby groundwater supplies.

The Government was enthusiastic to talk about this, both directly and via articles fed to the mainstream press. And fair enough. The ALP probably felt like landing a nutshot on the man who had cost them a Bill Shorten Prime Ministership, the optics are great for the base because nobody likes Clive Palmer, and blocking this mine is an unequivocal good thing for the environment. 

But if you’re seeking your first glaring indicator of just far askew Australia’s climate discussion is with actual real reality: this is the first time EVER a coal mine has been blocked in Australia on environmental grounds. That should be surprising and upsetting given just how staggeringly awful mining coal is for the environment, and by extension human life on Earth, but it’s not, is it, because you live in Australia and we’ve all normalised a lot of nonsense. 

The ALP was far less keen to talk about the next relevant part. Quietly, at around 4.30pm on a Friday, in depressingly Morrisonian fashion, Plibersek’s office approved 116 new fossil fuel projects in Queensland, many of them fracking wells with lifespans until 2070. These gas wells will provide Santos with immense profits, they will power various things that could be otherwise powered via less destructive means, and they will contribute significant amounts of carbon to our atmosphere. That is never the story presented to Australians, though. This always is.

A variation on:

Misdirection that can work in any number of contortions.

There are some key facts that matter more than anyone’s interpretation or favourite political football teams winning an election at this point. The UN has on multiple occasions, and in an increasingly exasperated tone, begged Australia not to build any more fossil fuel projects. They do this because they’d rather life on Earth be a smidge less miserable for our grandchildren and their grandchildren onwards and onwards until the end of eternity. The Greens’ position is in line with this. The ALP’s and LNP’s are not. 


{Stupid fucking idiot voice}: “But it’s The Greens that are being unreasonable.”

What is this impulse to venerate concession and compromise to horrible people with horrible ideas to horrible ends while they fuck everything up for everyone else? On a longer timeline measured in millenia and tracked as species rise and fall, this is NOT a virtue. It is a weakness and one that is making human life on this planet more miserable. No future human will thank us for all the reasonable compromise along the path to climate apocalypse.

The foundation of this stupid discussion is four decades of terrible reporting leading to the casual acceptance of nonsense, restricted boundaries of thought, a skewed perspective of who is actually helping us, and endless false binaries (“we could save the planet but you don’t get utes or weekends anymore”, etc.) presented as the serious big boy talk. All of this is alarmingly dumb and all of it will end up causing immense harm. 

I do understand that The Greens are annoying. Believe me, I do. Even The Greens don’t like The Greens.

But everyone that is right about a horrible truth you’d rather not think about is annoying. That’s how it always works. 

Yes, Labor Guy, it is true that in 2009 the Greens opposed a terrible piece of legislation, largely because it was terrible. I understand you have become fixated on this moment from 14 years ago, but I do not understand why you’ve simultaneously forgotten the period shortly afterwards when Prime Minister Gillard, who was actually willing to negotiate with the Greens, passed a piece of legislation that was so effective at cutting emissions Tony Abott immediately ripped it up upon taking office. 

And yes, it is kind of happening again!! The Greens have correctly identified that the Albanese Government’s “safeguard mechanism” is designed to ensure the continued survival of fossil fuel companies, not the continued survival of life on Earth. And because of that they don’t like it. Which makes them the unreasonable ones?

Making this whole stage even more absurd is the fact that reality is extremely fucking obvious for all to see if you do not collect large sums of money from the mining industry, aren’t beholden to people that collect large sums of money from the mining industry, or don’t work for Channel 7, a large media company owned by an even larger mining company.

The depressingly predictable final piece of the puzzle is always money. In 2022 alone, fossil fuel companies pushing for new gas projects specifically donated $392k to the ALP. This is unequivocally less than the $506k donated to the Liberal Party last year, but, still, ya fucking know, right? You do get SOMETHING for that sort of donation, and this is obvious because The Greens, the only party that does not accept fossil fuel money, stands alone as the dissenting voice in favour of not fucking everything up further for some fucking reason.

Whenever mass delusions like Australia’s climate debate occur, it is meant to be journalism’s mission to peel back the layers of crud, these conditioned false truisms, and drag democracies closer to a state of informed decision making. But here’s the fucking thing: as the dust settles on this age, what emerges is the largest media voices – particularly Murdoch, but on this topic almost everyone in Australia, from the ABC to Channel 7 – helped spread and proliferate mass delusion more effectively than any other force, bar the Church, on the fucking planet. 

These same voices now and forever tell us The Greens, the only party with a position conducive with humanity’s continued tenancy on Earth, are the unreasonable ones? 

Inhumanely wealthy individuals in mining have purchased the support of both major parties. And the extreme propaganda end of the “news” spectrum has enabled this by claiming the climate crisis is nonsense, for decades, while the more “reasonable” press allows that stupidity to survive by telling us to consider both sides as the fires and floods keep getting worse.

If The Labor Party are indeed the adults in this room, as they like to insist, they’re fucking shithouse parents.

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