From Watts Up With That?
Essay by Eric Worrall
Is the increasing climate activist shunning of Australia a blessing or a curse?
Star teenage British athlete won’t fly to Australia over climate concerns
By Rob Harris
January 26, 2023 — 8.27am
Runner Innes FitzGerald, 16, is a rising star in UK athletics, having set a national under-17 record for 3000m and finished fourth in the 4000m race at the under-20s European Cross Country Championships in Turin last month against athletes three years older.
The teenager, whom the British press has dubbed the “Greta Thunberg of sport”, wrote to the sport’s governing body this week to say she was not available for selection because she could not in good conscience make the trip to the championships in Bathurst, NSW, in February.
“To have the opportunity to compete for Great Britain in Australia is a privilege,” she wrote. “When I started running, the prospect of me competing in the World Cross Country Championships would have seemed merely a dream. However, the reality of the travel fills me with deep concern.
“I was just nine when the COP21 Paris Climate agreement was signed. Now, eight years on, and global emissions have been steadily increasing, sending us on a path to climate catastrophe.”
…Read more: https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/star-teenage-british-athlete-won-t-fly-to-australia-over-climate-concerns-20230126-p5cfk8.html
Despite the lack of personal visits from leading climate influencers, their message is still getting through. We have our own home grown batch of Greta wannabes.
June 1, 20215:40 PM GMT+10
“Australia’s Greta Thunberg” steps up climate change activism
SYDNEY, June 1 (Reuters) – Leading thousands of protest marchers through central Sydney and joining a landmark class action lawsuit aren’t the usual activities for most 14-year-olds.
But Australian student Izzy Raj-Seppings has abandoned more frivolous extracurricular activities in favour of stepping up pressure on the country’s leadership to battle climate change.
…Read more: https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/australias-greta-thunberg-steps-up-climate-change-activism-2021-06-01/
On balance I think the isolation is harmful to the political health of Australia.
There was a time Australia’s isolation helped mute contact with the 20th century insanity which ripped through much of the Northern Hemisphere. Sure we had homegrown communists and fascists, and our contribution to WW1 and WW2 had a significant impact on Australia, many Australian heroes lost their lives fighting Japan and Germany. My great uncle once used some very Aussie slang phrases when speaking to the nurses on an allied medical ship – they hadn’t tended his wounds, because they thought he was German. The Aussie city of Darwin in the far North was bombed by Japan in WW2.
But the most exciting thing which happened to my family during the wars and upheavals of the 20th century, other than those who served, was one time when a light aircraft apparently got too close to an American warship docked in Melbourne. My grandpa told me many times about dragging my Grandma and the kids into their air raid shelter, as pieces of flak rained over Melbourne, and punched holes through people’s roofs.
Those days of isolation and relative safety are long gone. Nowadays, for good or ill, the internet invites global influencers and all the worlds troubles into homes and schools everywhere.
Given access via the internet, does it make a difference whether foreign climate fanatics visit Australia in person to spread their poison?
I believe the lack of in person contact likely makes things worse. If Australian greens could see their climate heroes up close, they would have more of an opportunity to notice they don’t walk on water, that they are human beings with human failings.
I believe Aussie obsession with climate activism is likely made worse, because our homegrown Gretas and Innes FitzGeralds are trying to live up to mythical ideals, rather than interacting with flawed human leaders whom they have met in person.
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