Why vote GREEN?
One of the things that is patently obvious in modern Australian elections is that neither of the main political parties has either the will or the interest in making any substantial inroads into our carbon emissions.
The Coalition is in bed with business
The Coalition is wanting to drag our country back to the slash and burn mentality of the 1980s via giving big business, in particular mining interests, a free run. Tony Abbot recently announced a rollback of the restrictions imposed on the fishing industry as if there were no depletion of fish stocks in the oceans. Makes you wonder who is buttering his bread to make such a silly assertion, as he is not stupid.
The nuclear industry also gets a free run even though any intelligent discussion of nuclear power always comes down to five inescapable main points. See these points at bottom of this article.
Labour no friend to environment
Labour is also not a friend to the environment, as its priorities will always be jobs. Jobs in mining, in forestry, in building power plants, roads and factories will always take precedence over the environment. And, as we have seen with the mining tax backdown, Labour is also unable to fight and win against big business, especially big mining. In actual fact, in my opinion, the logical partner of the Greens is the National Party, representing, as they are supposed to do, the farmers. This is somewhat muddied as the National Party also represents the mining industry which has positioned itself as being anti-Green and chooses not to care nor want to pay for caring for the environment once they have extracted their goodies.
Labour's backdown on a carbon trading mechanism when it clearly had a mandate from the 2007 election where one of its key policies was such a scheme, is also a black mark, although that can be justified by the failure of the Copenhagen conference where an internationally agreed framework was meant to have been worked out but wasn't.
Read Labour and Greens Enemies? for more on this.
Greens only real choice
The Greens are the only viable party that has an interest in putting human values ahead of profits. Human values such as community, as clean air, clean food, clean water and accessible public transport while at the same time supporting sustainable industry. It will not govern (unfortunately), but will provide the necessary and rightful checks and balances in our government if they hold the balance of power in the senate. See Why are Greens so Unfashionable for more on this.
But why vote Green in my electorate if they cannot win?
Well, in Richmond, which includes the Byron Bay area, Joe Ebono can actually win if he gets enough support, so maybe contact his office. Joe, or Giovanni as he is mostly known in the Byron area, has been a strong community presence since he moved up here from Sydney years ago. Locals will remember his BAY FM radio show, The Generator, as well as the Ebony Institute.
Get behind Joe Ebono, drop into his office at 105 Stuart St Mullumbimby or call 6684 6202. Or visit Joe's site if you just want to donate.
In other electorates it is good to vote 1 Green simply to send a message, and then vote for whoever else you want. Use your vote to be heard - if you simply vote for one of the major parties then your vote is taken for granted. Use the preferential voting system.
In the senate, please vote Green to give them the balance of power, so that whoever is on government has to consider the environment, both human and non human, before any law gets enacted. The Greens are the only party who stands for humanism.
- Uranium mining is not sustainable. Once dug up and pulverised there is no putting the radiative materials back in the bottle. Dust storms that have hit the east coast over the last year may or may not have included radioactive dust from the Olympic Dam uranium mine.
- The mining dust need to be watered down constantly (using water from the Great Artesian wells, which is being further depleted daily and is being used at no cost to the minion company) to prevent this dust from entering the atmosphere, which may or may not be done while the mine is operational, but will certainly not occur once the mine is closed, so while for the next 20 years it may be 'under control', there is no mention of the next 50 years, the next 200 years, the next 1000 years. The Olympic Dam uranium mine in South Australia uses 25% of that state's water supply to keep the mine running, and by 2015 will produce 50% of the state's carbon emissions. See for how to buy Hard Rain, David Bradbury's telling movie about uranium mining.
- There is an indisputable (not by anyone sane enough to add 2 and 2) connection between uranium mining and nuclear weapons proliferation, regardless of what China or India say. If we supply uranium for peaceful purposes, the uranium slated for such will then be freed up to make bombs.
- There is no answer to the waste issue, regardless of the purpose built railway that has suddenly appeared from Darwin to Alice Springs which happens to be managed by a UK company whose only specialty is running nuclear waste trains. The site in the NT slated as a waste dump is at the confluence of 3 major rivers, and anyway, who is going to be responsible for this waste in 100 years, or 1000, or 10,000? See
- Nuclear power is not a greenhouse solution. It is actually dirtier from a carbon perspective than gasfired power, and 25 times as dirty as wind or solar. And even if it was safe, due to there being a shortage of uranium supplies it can only ever be a marginal energy source.
Related to - Australian Politics
By Mark O'Brien