Mug, coffee plunger, steam and my morning ritual of The Signal on the ABC. It’s called “Surviving a poor, dangerous, disorderly world”. There’s an image of two military aircraft flying over a mountainous landscape. I plug in my ear buds and press play. The PM’s voice pipes through talking about future-proofing our safety in a changing world by beefing up our military power. He sounds serious. I listen to maybe 5 of the 15 minutes of podcast and switch it off. Unlike last night, it’s not anger in my blood. It’s grief.
What world have we brought our children into?
A world where you spend money on preparing for war, not on encouraging equity and good will. Imagine if our PM thought to give $270 billion to poorer nations? Or to poorer citizens? What if our PM thought to invest in industries that would promote a greener, safer, more secure future instead of one filled with cyber-suspicion, military might and fear? What if he worried about growing food instead of about defending borders?
China is way bigger than us. Pretending we can go to war with them seems pretty unrealistic to me. I don’t even know if it’s likely to happen. But wouldn’t it be better to be friendly with them, value them as trading partners, value them as near neighbours, have good diplomatic relations? Isn’t that a more hopeful future than an arms race that we’ve already lost? Shouldn’t we be making allies who might ACTUALLY help us? We have gone to war under British and American flags so many times. But I have no faith that they will come to rescue their little antipodean ally, their little Twitter follower. And honestly, the way things are going, are either of them going to be the huge powerful allies we thought they were once?
The thing is, that Signal Episode title should be about Climate Change, not about military power. This pandemic is a fly in the ointment. Seriously, compared to Climate Change, COVID19 is just a sad dip in global well-being. It’s not forever. And it’s really only humans and certainly won’t be all humans. Climate Change is everything we know.
It’s like saying: “Oh no! The window is broken! Fix the window! Get that person who broke the window! Put up screens to prevent more broken windows!” And yet, not far down the road, a huge bushfire is raging and likely to consume the whole damn home.
Our children deserve more hope. We are f*ing them over. And the rivers are running out of tears.