An environmental catastrophe is unfolding in South America. As the Guardian has reported, “International pressure may be the only way to stop the Brazilian government from taking a ‘suicide’ path in the Amazon, one of the country’s most respected scientists has said, as the world’s biggest rainforest continues to be ravaged by thousands of deliberate fires … Scientists say the ongoing destruction will have dire consequences for Brazil and the world”. International concern is growing.
We are, after all, talking about what that article calls “the destruction of an essential carbon sink”. It might be thought that no-one would argue that this is anything other than A Very Bad Thing. But, to mark the death of his benefactor David Koch, Brendan O’Neill of Spiked, so called because it should have been long ago, has stepped up to the plate.
Starting as he means to go on, Bren opens with the headline “Why shouldn’t Brazilians burn down trees? The Western hysteria over the rainforest fires is riddled with colonial arrogance” and sneers “Every now and then the environmentalist mask slips. And we get a glimpse of the elitist and authoritarian movement that lurks beneath the hippyish green facade. The hysteria over the rainforest fires in Brazil is one of those moments”. It is?
Bren has decided that it is. “As well-off, privileged Westerners rage against Brazil for having the temerity to use its resources as it sees fit, and as they even flirt with the idea of sending outside forces to take charge of the Amazon, we can see the borderline imperialist mindset that motors so much green thinking. In the space of a few days, greens have gone from saying ‘We care about the planet!’ to ‘How dare these spics defy our diktats?’. And it is a truly clarifying moment”. It is a truly clarifying pack of lies, that’s what it is.
Greens, and indeed those less green, have done no such thing, but before he proceeds to knock it down, O’Neil needs to build one hell of a straw man. The lying reaches an early crescendo with “Observers claim the Amazon is experiencing its highest number of fires since records began. That those records only began in 2013 should give the Western hysterics pause for thought”. Those records began many years earlier.
But that is not the point: O’Neill is duty bound not merely to push libertarianism beyond any rational level, he has to remember who is paying the bills. As Zelo Street told recently, Spiked has been bunged $300,000 by the Koch Foundation. Bren gets a regular bung from the Murdoch mafiosi. He is rumoured to be on Gina Rinehart’s payroll.
So green-bashing and climate change denial come as standard, no matter how indefensible the cause, and especially when O’Neill has the death of David Koch to mark. And with the ridicule at O’Neill’s indefensible contrarianism - typified by James Doleman’s “What is Brendan planning on breathing?” … “Ordinary white working class people don't share the virtue signalling elite's obsession with so called ‘oxygen’” - has come disgust at the depths to which he is prepared to sink in order to suck up to his paymasters.
Alex Tiffin mused “If Jeremy Corbyn argued for tougher sentences for paedophiles, Brendan O'Neill would be straight out with an argument to legalise it”, and Emily Atkin told “I wrote this, because letting you know what [David Koch] did to fuck the climate is in my personal interest. It's in yours, too”. Brendan O’Neill spouts his climate change denial garbage because those who have fucked the climate pay him to do so. End of story.
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This incident has again underlined the U.K.’s need to be part of a strong alliance with its nearest neighbours.
Whilst European leaders immediately set out measures to force Bolsonaro into action to combat the fires, we saw Johnson try and say the right things whilst also attempting to appease Trump. A foretaste of the future with this government.
Presumably*, then, O'Neill will be at the front of the queue telling the USA to abandon the Monroe Doctrine, stop bribery and corruption of Central and South American politicians (like, oh I dunno, Bolsinaro, Pinochet and the Argentine junta for starters), training and organising mass murder of dissidents, stop occasionally invading and mass killing, and generally threatening or economically attacking any nation with the courage to tell them to go fuck themselves.
*No. Not really. O'Neill is too far gone in his Uriah Heep role. Morally corrupt enough to get on TV "press previews", though.
O'Neill ignores the fact the fires have spread to Bolivia although their president is actually doing something about them while being far poorer and less resourced than Brazil.
I suppose at another time he'd say the annual Australian bushfires that often kill many people and burn dozens of homes should be let run rampant.
Has it occurred to O'Neill that burning trees no longer become a resource to be mined?. Not even the climate denying Bolsonaro can turn a profit on burnt wood. O'Neill must be the only person on the planet who would not bother calling a fire engine if he saw a house on fire. Probably thinks those dreadful Greenies are the ones hyperventilating over Grenfell Tower.
Re: "rumoured to be on Gina Rinehart's payroll". Both Rinehart and Murdoch among others fund the extreme right wing Oz "think tank" the IPA which heavily influences the ruling LNP party and would like every known asset to be sold off, all pensions and social security stopped, US style health care introduced etc etc and as the IPA regular pays for O'Neill to visit Australia - it's no longer a rumour.
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