Which Side of the Climate Change Debate is More Deranged?
Ooooooeeeeee did I ruffle some feathers last week.
I too, was caught up in the traffic as protesters blocked the streets with their arms locked in plastic tubes…and their butts glued to the ground.
Nonetheless, when I finally made it into the office, I decided to write about how the day’s protest — rightly or wrongly — was celebration of Australia’s freedoms…something that’s becoming rarer.
And boy did I pick a loaded topic…
Aren’t the protesters just making it worse?
My thoughts on climate change — as I wrote last week — don’t matter.
I was hoping to convey that Australians have the right to engage in non-violent civil disobedience without fear of persecution from the government.
The second point I was trying to make, is that public sentiment about a protest can go a long way to turn a bunch of activists into a cause or a movement.
If 100 or so activists can get the public to support or believe them, it becomes a movement that may genuinely challenge the government.
If they can’t win over public support, then they’re just a bunch of nutbags with their butts glued to the road, slowing you down for work.
The thing I discovered when I was reading the many, many emails I received, is that we are deeply divided on separating the right to protest from what they were protesting about.
Few people saw it as a reason to celebrate democratic freedoms.
They were mostly just pissed off their day was interrupted.
I can’t help but wonder too, if that’s because how the climate change subject has been pushed onto people…
Hysteria from both sides
At no point has science and the public had a chance to have an informed, rational discussion on climate change and how countries should approach the matter.
From early on, climate change has been a UN agenda thrust onto people with ‘their’ solution for how the world should handle it.
The global solution proposed by the UN is generally increased taxation for well-developed economies (pretty much everyone in the West)…and exemptions for the largest polluters like China and India. Emerging markets barely get a look in.
Not only that, the UN angle has continued to push only one side of the conversation.
That is, increased taxation and individuals taking responsibility for their actions for the good of the planet. Which has a dangerous global socialist bent to it.
Essentially the climate change conversation has been an imposed UN view without leaving room for genuine debate.
It’s no wonder there has been an incredible backlash to the subject when the ‘solution’ is more taxes to pollies and reducing a country’s ability to make decisions for their own economy.
And if you even point this out, you get whacked with the label ‘climate change denier’ and then you’re howled down by almost every latte-sipping greenie with the latest iPhone…
All this is resulting in, is a shouting match between two opposing sides.
One group of people scream they found web holes that confirm climate change data is fake.
Then you’ve got the other side screaming the Earth will be dead by Christmas.
Leaving the rest of us caught in the middle — you know, as we leave our poorly insulated houses and high energy consuming heating and cooling devices, following maps on mobile phones that require extensive resources from the Earth, all while driving to work in our petrol-guzzling cars — wondering which side is more deranged.
The hysteria around the topic and the utter white noise coming from both sides has eroded the ability to have a genuine discussion about the issues.
Threaten increased taxation and coercion of global governments, and damn right libertarians are going to fire up.
Threaten that we’re all going to die in a month and disrupt six million trying to get work, and damn right people are going to denounce the protests.
The actions, slogans, and chest-beating aren’t getting anyone anywhere…and it’s leaving the rest of us damn angry.
Over to you — warts and all
Like all good he said, she said stories, I suspect the truth is somewhere in the middle.
So to wrap up today’s Daily Reckoning Australia, I thought I’d share some of the feedback I received last week.
Some people pointed out that protesters aren’t above the law.
And this is true.
Everyone that was physically removed by police has likely been charged, given a fine, and will get a special visit to the Magistrates’ Court in the next two months.
Remember the right to protest only means that you are free to express your views without persecution from the government for holding those views.
Activism does not put you above the law.
Other readers pointed out the utter irony of the climate protesters blocking traffic and causing people to be stuck in their cars for three times as long…
Some people argued they don’t want to be preached to by kids on Centrelink benefits…
Some people understood that we have the right to protest regardless of whether the public support it…
A couple pointed out that I’ve clearly lost touch with the mainstream if I support the movement.
And to that, I’d like to say thank you…I’d hate to ever be considered mainstream.
But at no point did I ever suggest I supported anything other than the right to protest.
Nonetheless, the emails I’ve been reading go to show how everyone is sick at being shouted out from the sidelines.
The issue is divisive and the tactics aren’t helping…they’re making it worse.
Always remember, the actions of protesters — and the associated media commentary — will sway public sentiment.
That’s a how activists shift a protest to a movement.
If you can’t win over the public, then you’ll never be able to challenge the government’s authority…
The recent protests seemed to do nothing more than fire up a bunch of Aussies…and in the process they may have damaged the public’s view of them.
In saying that, I hope they’ve managed to pick all the glue off their skin.
Now it’s over to you. Here’s what your fellow Daily Reckoning Australia readers had to say.
Please note I’ve removed all names, however all other feedback text appears exactly as it was received.
‘GOOD FOR YOU SHAE
‘These politicians seem to forget that we do have freedoms. Perhaps they
have forgotten the many wars
that Australians have died at.
‘These days they want to restrict our economic, medical freedoms as well.
What else do they want to steal from the people?
‘Their goal is TOTAL CONTROL. This is not a democratic society but a
If I was in a position I would be there physically too.’
‘Thank you for your article ??? Telling the Government to Stick It!??? I agree entirely with your sentiments.
‘I am 75 years of age and have never known a time in my short history to experience such divisiveness in our society on all fronts (climate change, humanitarian issues, economic and political ) and then to introduce draconian laws to bludgeon our voice into silence is just one bridge too far.
‘The protesters have my total support in their right to protest and telling ???them??? to stick it.
‘Proud Australian against excessive authoritarian governments of all persuasion.’
‘Thank you. An important piece! I was only this morning thinking of the irony and
hypocrisy of Tim “they will steal your super” Wilson. He recently flitted into Hong Kong to say “ain’t it great to protest”. What a glimpse of newsworthy solidarity. I am sure the protesters were rapt.
‘Meanwhile back at the farm our awesome Government(s) is speedily shutting it down in what can only be described as dumb police state overreach.
‘Oh well back to gathering more gold…….’
‘I am sorry to say that after having read the below simpering and pandering comments that essentially condone behaviour that is completely contrary to normal day to day societal behaviour by a handful of morons, I can no longer accept receiving messages from this author.
‘Anyone who can find themselves capable of condoning that sort of major disruptive behaviour for a totally bankrupt and specious form of virtue signalling that is for the most spurious of causes has a real problem in my view and is completely out of touch and step with mainstream views.’
‘I respectfully disagree.
‘The protesters have the right to protest. No argument about that.
‘But they do not have the right to inconvenience other people simply going about their daily lives.The point is that these 100 or so group are hell bent on disrupting our lives, in my humble opinion, to do nothing more than give themselves notoriety among their peers. They are part of the outrage society who are hell bent on forcing their ill conceived views on others.
‘If they are serious, let them protest regularly, peacefully in a park somewhere and try to convince the rest of us that they have something useful to say.
‘Otherwise they should wake up to themselves.
‘You would not be so smug in your support of this group who disrespect of the rest of us going about our lives peacefully if you were on your way to hospital, or you missed an urgent meeting that eventually cost you a job opportunity- or any other important matter.
‘Life is tough enough.
‘Convict them of a crime , so they have a criminal record.
‘Let???s see if they are still that keen on their cause that they are prepared to have a criminal record in support of their views.
‘I???ll bet they are not.’
‘You have got to be kidding. You have lost me. You are lucky to be able to arrive at work any time you like but others are supposed to be there on time. You may think it is OK if someone misses their plane trip to the UK because of the road to the airport being blocked but it is not your money that they have to fork out for another ticket. How about an ambulance that is held up bringing a dying road accident victim to the hospital and it gets there too late and the patient dies. You seem to be a self-entitled person looking down on the rabble below without any concern for their welfare. Pleas do not send me any more emails.’
‘Have you considered the fact that these people were protesting about
climate change and the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere yet
the holding up of multiple cars idling in multiple locations simply ensured
much more carbon went into the atmosphere!
‘I cannot therefore agree with your comments and although I support your
right to utter them, I
do not have to agree with them and therefore I will be cancelling my
subscriptions to Agora.’
‘Just read your article, and do get your point. Ironically just seen tv report where guy videotaping the protest was led away by police because he was identified as a critic if the ??? climate change alarmists and dubbed in by them. Not so proud of those aussies mate.
‘On a lighter note though, the protesting seems to be reaping dividends, we are experiencing record low temperatures for this period, hopefully they will come back during a heatwave. All the best’
‘Please understand that in Queensland we have laws that allow people to protest and
voice their opinion. Extinction Rebellion refuse to comply with those laws.
‘Consequently on a survey today 94% of the people surveyed are of the opinion that Extinction Rebellion by their actions are damaging the cause for Climate Change!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
‘The populace are also of the opinion that by causing so many people to spend so
much time in their vehicle on the way to work they are in fact worsening the climate
‘We ( working taxpayers) also don’t like being told by the protestors that they are “professional activists” on centrelink benefits.’
‘Hi Shae, yes that is one of the problems, give the Government a good half reason and they will stifle our freedoms, just like with the “war on terror”. But also the protesters also make it easy for them to do so, nobody has a problem with people protesting, but when it goes on and on day after day and week after week it’s just too much.
‘This is not a protest where people make their point and gather outside parliament house etc, these people are determined to keep disrupting our cities until they get their own way. Even if the protest was based on facts it would be bad enough, but as anybody who can be bothered to look up the facts knows, that what they are claiming is just bullshit. Also I don’t think the government is going to stop our right to protest, they just want to make sure a bunch of thickheads can still protest but not chain themselves together to stop traffic etc.’
‘I like Shae. Most of the time she is a good read. This about prot= esters, their part of democratic rights and the aim of the government to co= ntrol us, is a very ordinary writing. I do not mind anybody protesting abou= t anything, but am I suposed to assist a protester to clime on my back so s= -he can be more clearly seen, or his/her yelling can be heard further?
‘If a protester has the right to protest, because his/her democratic ri= ghts allow for it, could I not claim the same right and demand the freedom = from these people, not to impede, inconvenience and prevent me ge= tting to my chosen destination?
‘How much effort does Shae think these protesting individuals have put = towards ‘saving the Planet’? I am honestly affraid that most of the= m do not think of those on the farms, when they turn their taps ‘on’=;. Or show up on the Clean Australia Day. Have we not too much of the Lefti= es who do not understand, or are not willing to, how to bring bread and bac= on onthe table but claim that only they can devide it fairly. Give me a br= ake!’
‘Hi Shea, I don???t know if you read these emails, but , I disagree with
your comments about those grubs who go about disrupting innocent people???s
lives ,, I agree with you that there is a place for peaceful protest and I
for one will defend that ,
but what these GRUBS are doing is down right WRONG , it is socialistic left
TERRORISM , ,
‘I do love and appreciate you work, but I differ on this one , kind regards’
‘Hi Shae, you’ve touched a nerve with
some of your statements today ,
As an older Aussie I’m angered at how governments
and authorities tread softly softly and
make excuses for The behaviour of minority groups
demonstrating and having no regard for the general public
trying to Get to work, to doctors to appointments to airports
etc, no their inconsiderate actions don’t
affect me as I’m retired but it makes my blood boil when I think of commuters being
held to ransom by these Idiots who don’t
stop to think they could cause the death of someone being transported by ambulance that has to detour to get to
‘The Police , Fire services etc are already in short supply and
could be doing more useful things than
Wasting hours tip toeing around these lunatics.
‘Everyone has the right to demonstrate and be able to speak
without being vilified, they should not have the right to disrupt
people going about their daily business ,
‘Life for most people is difficult enough with out these disruptions
‘If you want to demonstrate or march do it
In a park and probably at the weekend , they aren???t interested
in this because they go unnoticed
‘Unchecked these demonstrations will only
get more daring and less caring
‘The slap on the wrist punishment for people who disrupt a community
Is a joke.
‘Sorry Shae , had to vent my spleen, few things annoy me but
inconsiderate people do.
‘I think I’ll go to the club for lunch and have a beer!!’
I don’t want to join the climate change noise hole.
That’s not the purpose of the Daily Reckoning Australia.
Nonetheless, we abhor the idea of increased taxation and global socialist leaning political agendas that would drive more dollars into the hands of our pollies…but no matter what, we always support the right for people to challenge government authority.
From there, it’s up to the public to support or denounce the activists…and as you can see, people are quickly making up their own mind on the validity of last week’s protesters.
Thanks to everyone for writing in.
Have a fantastic weekend!
Until next time,