Every community and ethnic group has its own style of idiosyncrasy. They each display some strange inexplicable, even illogical habit or belief that makes an outsider shake their head in puzzlement. The Australian idiosyncrasy is the adulation and ownership of our tall poppies. In the same manner that football supporters talk of how “we” showed that other mob, we like to transfer dreams of power and affluence from the tall poppy to ourselves. “We could do that entrepreneurship ourselves if we really wanted to couldn’t we?”
As community members each of our households is required to pay a fee for dumping our rubbish in our local tips. This fee covers the costs of management, disposal and the retention of toxic runoff on site. Likewise industries wanting to dump their waste in landfill, and in some cases the ocean, are required to pay a fee.
Why then is getting our biggest polluters to pay for dumping their waste in the atmosphere such a difficult concept for us to accept? The simple answer is the big boys and girl want all of us to pay for their waste disposal and are prepared to spend a lot of money on buying political and media influence. Both of these groups set out to bamboozle us with misleading arguments and artful sophistry that suggests that such an impost on these demigods is an injustice equivalent to the crucifixion of Jesus. In fact we should be paying them some of our taxes to help them feel better about having to deal with emissions.
They are also able to enlist or buy the support of economically illiterate union leaders who are caught up in the mantra that a dumping levee will cost jobs. In some cases a union is given preferred access on a worksite because in this and many other matters its representatives are more compliant.
All of the above is understandable, after all Australian businesses are not known to be charitable or ecologically responsible, and they and our political parties have always preferred to have the community cater to their needs rather than the reverse.
What is difficult to understand is why so many in the community are lining up to support the polluters. Are Australian voters so irrational that they are not capable of understanding what is in their own best interest or is some other cause having them putting their hands in their pockets to pay for our billionaires waste management?
Air pollution costs us a fortune as it is causes more of us to die than car accidents as well as causing many to suffer from a chronic non fatal illness. In addition it poisons our waterways and our land, dropping agriculture yields by about four percent. Of course the costs of climate change in terms of lower rainfall in the South West of Australia and floods and cyclones in the North costs billions of dollars. Given the increasing loss of bio-diversity it could also end up wiping out the human race.
So come on Aussies come on, dip your hands in your pockets for Andrew and Gina and Clive. They need your help to resist the greedy government. Wouldn’t it be sad if they had to sell one of their holiday homes in Aspen or one or two of their Picasso’s? How could they be really important and iconic celebrities with such strictures placed on their lifestyles? We would all be diminished and embarrassed by such a circumstance.