Forcing Logic Back Into a Post-Truth World.
During the airing of Game of Thrones earlier this week, few would have been aware that it was ironically difficult to find ice at shooting locations where ice was traditionally plentiful, despite winter having arrived in Westeros.
Whilst global warming has been generally accepted amongst the reasonable majority of humankind, there are still some who deny it’s existence entirely, including the ‘leader’ of the free world.
I put these people in a similar category to flat-earthers, (non) moon-landing conspiracy theorists and straight-up loonies, utilising flawed arguments and often ridiculous stereotypes to cling onto their own beliefs. These are the kinds of people who will believe one insane article of conspiracy because it aligns with their own views rather than look at the 14,000,000 mountains of evidence that prove otherwise. Kinda like climate change deniers. Despite advances in technology and science, however, they seem to be inexplicably increasing in number as time goes on. Or perhaps they just found their voice again.
It’s not simply global warming that is the heart of the issue though - the age ‘post-truth’ is truly upon us, and the threat could not be more real. Whilst this is certainly not as pronounced in Australia (yet), it is vapidly prominent in the USA - and the influence of that has begun. Unstable leaders at the head of powerful nations regularly threaten to start World War 3 whenever one of them decides to have a particularly childish tantrum. Global markets are on the precipice of disaster as the largely unacknowledged introduction (nay; revolution) of cryptocurrency looms around the corner. Environmental calamity races ever closer, unanimously recognised amongst scientific (and common sense) communities, yet dismissed by global leaders as a hoax. At this stage it's questionable whether it’s too late to reverse the damage or not.
Social progress over the past decade was tremendous. The wage gap has been decreasing (though not nearly quickly enough), racial disparity is declining (again, not quickly enough), the LGBTQ community was welcoming prominent figures appearing more and more in mainstream society, gay marriage has become legal in the remaining states of the US, and we had our first female Prime-Minister in Australia and first black President in the USA. Whilst it certainly hasn't been an 'easy' decade, with the GFC crippling economies, the tragic continuance of war on ISIS and civil unrest in the Middle East, there was definitely progress.
Yet, over the past 12 months there appears to have been a stoic effort amongst conservatives to undo most of that undeniably positive, and logical progress.
Instead I see congress fighting over whether or not poor people in America should get access to health care or not. Whether the poorest people in Australia should become poorer or not. Whether Britain should exit EU or not. Whether climate change is real or not. And whilst these are all huge, important issues - albeit issues that should not require a f***ing congress to see what the logical choice is - It’s quite likely that we’re in a real-world Game of Thrones right now, squabbling over significant issues as winter draws nearer that threaten to make these very real first world problems... well, "First World Problems".
My utter disbelief at the ability of people to accept pure, infallible fact in the face of all logic and reason, preferring to stick to ones guns in their own prejudicial beliefs contrary to evidence, is an ongoing theme in this blog. However I try to rise above - and so despite a short arbitrary rant, I’ll proceed to this question: “What is the reality that needs to take place to destroy this beautiful bubble of ignorant bliss?”
I don’t know the answer - I'd run for office if I did - but an astonishing move carried out by the South Australian government last week with the partnership of Elon Musk and Tesla (and undisclosed others), should certainly be a step in the right direction. Last week, the South Australian government and Tesla reached a partnership whereby Tesla will build the world’s biggest battery (three times the size of any effort previously) within 100 days of contract signing. I wrote about this not too long ago here, and I'm delighted to know that the deal is going ahead, largely thanks to the support and fighting of Jay Weatherill.
Side note: I am a huge fan of the South Australian premier, Jay Weatherill. He's stood up for truth multiple times in the face of politically driven lies.
This isn’t simply a battery deal that's likely to hammer the final proverbial nail in the coal industry's coffin, despite desperate attempts by big-business tycoons to renew interest in some backwards-bound coal resurgence. This isn’t simply a power-providing deal in a state that needs it most. This is a deal where renewable energy has ‘Trump’ed (pun intended) a traditionally profitable methodology of major industry in favour of reality. This is a deal where, finally, there has been a demonstrable benefit beyond reasonable doubt of the power of renewable energy and it’s existence can no longer be eschewed by those folks I mentioned at the start of this article.
My hope is that it goes beyond simple energy production, and can be a transcendent milestone in a shift back to reality and common sense in a decade that has rapidly descended populous outcry and ill-informed social views. My hope is that it's the first sign in quite a while that supports the notion of humanitarian progress for the better of mankind over bowing to corporate greed. My hope is that it's a sign of further things to come, where governance by the informed is more important than populist notions.
My hope is we have more leaders like Jay Weatherill or Julia Bishop rising to (even) more prominent positions, governing for the people in a responsible manner that accounts for social issues, reason, the laws of physics, the future of humankind and the good of the planet. Leaders who listen to all parties, and aren't afraid to take a stand for the good of the people, even if that risks an unpopular decision in an upcoming election. Leaders who will act swift, and decisively in matters of national security yet retain a measured and proportionate perspective that is required in this time of relative economic and global tension. Leaders who won't simply pander to the already-wealthy.
Perhaps for now I'd settle for leaders who aren't up at 4am in the morning, tweeting whatever geriatric prejudicial hate-filled nonsense happens to coalesce in their petty infant-level frontal lobe whilst they're taking a shit.