The spring 2019 bushfire emergency in Australia has been a revelation to many people.
Questions that had seemed in doubt have been clarified, and things that had been ill-defined have now been shown in their true light.
The first and most obvious is climate change.
Vast efforts have been made in Australia (as they have all over the world) to cast doubt over the science of climate change. Those with huge commercial interests in fossil fuels have invested fortunes in protecting their status quo, working simultaneously from many directions. They have sponsored the promotion of alternative views, arguing that climate change isn’t real, or that it is an unavoidable result of natural processes or that if it is real it might be beneficial.
Confusion, distortion and suppression
The transnational fossil fuel corporations – among the most powerful commercial and political entities on Earth – have allied with their mostly unseen financiers and the media-propaganda empires that those financiers control, to confuse, distort and suppress facts. They have bought outright political parties and politicians and they have waged a relentless war against renewable energy, seeking to delay the time when popular demand forces changes that will harm their profits.
Until now, many people in Australia have simply refused to look at the mountain of evidence proving that their political parties and their parliaments have become utterly cowed into submission by these corporations. Again and again, the corporations have proved that – with their allies in the media running relentless misleading propaganda campaigns – they can make and break governments. So long as the corporations, the media and governments have marched in lockstep, their narratives covering everything from climate change to privatisation and the destruction of the welfare state have seemed invincible.
The bushfire emergency has thrown this corrupt triumvirate into the spotlight and burnt a gaping hole in its armour of plausibility. State and federal governments of both political persuasions have been exposed as spineless in everything but service to their masters. They have been so determined to ignore decades of warnings about climate change that they were willing to strip resources from fire-fighting organisations, hand over enormous amounts of incredibly precious fresh water to mining companies, sacrifice extremely limited arable land to mining interests and provide incredible cash subsidies to miners.
The bushfires have helped many Australians truly understand, at last, the extent and depth of this corruption. The political response has only made things clearer.
Despite the fact that wildfire emergencies are obviously a global phenomenon, the political response in Australia has been to blame environmentalists. The nation’s media near-monopoly has thrown its full weight behind this idiotic argument and no doubt it has swayed a percentage of its propaganda consumers. But it is clear that many have been unable to swallow the nonsense this time, and some of these people are perhaps now beginning to realise that the rest of the alleged facts served up by the near-monopoly are equally suspect.
Meme-factories and troll-farms
The corporate-government-media triumvirate’s tactics are the same as usual. It is creating division, trying to start fights between young Australians and older Australians, between “left” and “right”, between “greenies” and “quiet Australians”, between people with jobs and people without jobs, between rural Australians and urban Australians. They are using their traditional “news” media, their political foghorns and their newer channels of meme-factories, troll-farms and network exploitation on social media to try to regain control of the narrative.
But this time it isn’t working so well. More and more people are starting to point and stare and realise at last that the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes.
More people are seeing the truth and it is making them angry.
And so they should be.