Barnaby Joyce (the Beetrooter) posted a video on Twitter, presumably taken on his phone and said:
“Well, you probably wonder what politicians do on Christmas Eve well (sic) when it’s drought [pans to cattle]; feed cattle. Now, you don’t have to convince me that the climate’s not changing. It is changing. My problem has always been whether you believe a new tax is gunna change it back. I just don’t want the government anymore in my life. I’m sick of the government being in my life. You know, and the other thing is I think we’ve gotta acknowledge is, you know, there’s a higher authority that’s beyond our comprehension and, right up there in the sky [pans to sky]. Unless we understand, ah, that’s gotta be respected, then we’re just fools; we’re gunna get nailed.”1
Whether Barnaby Joyce had knocked over a few cans before going out to feed his cattle is unclear, as he quite often rambles this incoherently while apparently completely sober. Despite this, many of the replies to Barnaby’s idiotic video tweet, suggested that he’d been on the turps again. While some time ago, he stated that climate change was unlikely to exist, last month he stated that it was the Sun’s magnetic field which caused climate change2. Now, it seems it is his god, or at least some higher power up in the sky (Gina Rinehart? Rupert Murdoch?). I wonder what it will be next month. Perhaps, like the gullible muppets on Sky News, he will conclude that it is the star Vega, which is some 25 light years away (i.e. 236 trillion kilometres), or perhaps the magnetic field of Jupiter3. Climate Change deniers like Joyce, and those in government with him, will say and do anything to avoid admitting that the scientists have got it right and that we are headed for an apocalyptic future.
The disturbing thing about this video is that this buffoon was leader of the National Party and for a time, was deputy Prime Minister and occasionally acted as Prime Minister. The government, of which he was a part, decided that it was much more important to keep donations flowing to the Liberal Party coffers from the fossil fuel industry, than to do anything to mitigate the effects of climate change. Australia has now become a pariah state who allied itself with Saudi Arabia and Russia to sink the Madrid Climate Conference. In addition to this, it is probably too late to limit the warming of the planet to 2 degrees C, let alone the 1.5 degrees C wished for at the Paris meeting. We are likely to go well beyond 2 degrees C and at that temperature increase, it is estimated up to 99% of tropical corals will die. That will do a power of good for the tourism industry in Queensland, and sooner rather than later, as it has been estimated that we will reach 1.5 degrees C within the next decade4. To make it abundantly clear, this austral summer, Australia is the hottest place on the planet, by some distance. Among the continents, it may be Australia which feels the brunt of climate change. Politicians like Joyce almost constantly talk about ‘the drought’ as if it will eventually end when the rains come. However, the rains may not come. This may be the new normal, as indicated by the drop in farm profitability of 22% over the last two decades as a result of climate change5. If this does prove to be the new normal, then this is not a drought, but the desertification of large tracts of inland Australia.
Joyce’s refrain of getting the government ‘out of my life’ is almost Trumpian in its absurdity. He is actually part of the government, albeit as a backbencher. I too would like it if the government got out of Barnaby Joyce’s life too, mostly by him not being in it. But then, there are many of Joyce’s ilk who, like him, are unsuited to have any influence over anyone, let alone the direction of the nation. Many of them are simply and clearly corrupt.
It will take years for the nation to recover any part of the reputation it used to have, and we can never recover the climate we used to have, as harsh as it was. Joyce uses the old furphy that a tax cannot take the climate back to what it was. This, like most of what he says is just talking point drivel he has regurgitated and it is based on a lie. What was called the carbon tax was exceptionally effective in decreasing our greenhouse gas emissions, but that tool was jettisoned by the Coalition government, and as a consequence, our emissions have been rising ever since6, notwithstanding the constant lying about it by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and sundry other ministers7,8.
While it is true that Australia cannot stop climate change by itself, I do wonder if we had taken the lead in climate negotiations decades ago, long before these venal bastards took office, what could have been achieved. However, now it is likely too late, and it is buffoons like Barnaby Joyce who have exacerbated the problem. Scientists have been telling politicians of the risks from climate change for 30 years, so they cannot say they were not told. They should pay for their sabotaging climate action. It is a crime against humanity.