Environment

Neocons Around The World: Introducing Australia´s Leader

We suddenly feel very sorry for our Aussie friends...not to mention our planet

In case you missed it the first time round, here is a clip which first appeared on John Oliver´s Last Week Tonight, gently poking fun at the USA´s reputation for having no idea about what´s happening outside the States: “Did you know that there are other countries that are not America, and each of them has a leader of its very own?” The focus is on Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who might remind you a little of George W Bush for his radical conservative beliefs (and his somewhat conflicting belief in Jesus). This video is very, very funny…just wait for the old guy in the supermarket´s response when Abbott says hello to him.

Yep, Abbott is far from popular, for his anti-immigration stance (“Jesus knew there was a place for everyone, but that place isn´t necessarily Australia”), his reaction to a soldier´s death (“Shit happens”), and his blatantly sexist comments (“What the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing…”)

It´s a funny compilation of gaffes and cringe worthy comments, but despite Abbott´s clownish reputation, what he is doing in Australia is far from amusing. This month marks Abbott´s one-year anniversary in power, and polls show (as does one old man and a few little kids in the above video) that most Australians hate the guy. Abbott is the least popular Prime Minister for 25 years and has a satisfaction rating of MINUS 19. Why? Well, in addition to his extremist neo-con policies on women´s rights, indigenous communities, the poor and vulnerable, Abbott is hell-bent on destroying the environment.

This man has abolished the Climate Commission, repealed a law on carbon tax, kept fossil fuel subsidies, frozen the country´s renewable energy target, and tried to petition the UN to de-list Tasmania’s 74,000 hectares of World Heritage listed forest (luckily, the UN refused, saying it would set an unacceptable precedent). He also wants to weaken Australia´s network of marine reserves, and worst of all Abbott´s crimes, he has approved the expansion of a coal terminal near the Great Barrier Reef. This wonder of the natural world, so big it can be seen from space, is slowly dying. The Great Barrier Reef is a living, breathing organism. It is the source of shelter and food for thousand of marine and plant life. Once it´s gone, we can wave goodbye to any hope of protecting aquatic wildlife – not to mention much of our everyday food.

To sign a petition to save the Great Barrier Reef, click here to access Greenpeace´s campaign and find out more about this vital marine World Heritage Area.

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