27 May, 2010

Star Fish Tossing: the Bob Brown Greens party

PETER HARTCHER wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald on 22 May, 2010

Kevin Rudd is likely to be given a second term in power and if he is, he
will face a new phenomenon. He will be the first prime minister to confront
a Senate where the balance of power is controlled by the Greens, according
to the consensus of expert analysis.

The Rudd led, Federal Labor Government have stolen many of the policies from the former Howard Government (including climate inaction). The Abbott led coalition have moved beyond climate inaction to denial of the imperative to respond at all. The Australian Democrats appear to be extinct. Many people are turning to the Greens as an alternative choice for political representation.

Depending on who you talk to, and the circles of friends and colleagues you mix with, it seems that times couldn’t be better for the organic-sprout eating, hybrid-car driving, Fair-Trade wearing, Green politicians.

I am not currently a member of any political party. I am an ecologist. I am an environmental campaigner. I am an engineer without a border. The trouble with the Greens, moving to the mainstream and seeking popular support, they are destined to fail to achieve any real change.

As a political party, the Greens evoke the analogy of a small child, tossing star fish back into the sea. For every star fish thrown back, another 100 wash up.

When questioned about the futility of the excercise, the child gleaming, picks up a star fish, tosses it into the sea and says: "I made a difference for that one".

As a populations ecologist, observing a plague of star fish, I have to ask question at a systems level. What is the species? Are they native or translocated? What is the reason for the population explosion. What is the social, ecological and economic impacts of action (tossing) versus inaction?

My concern is that the policies that are necessary for inter and/or intra-generational equity will not be mainstream and they will not be popular.

A party who suggests a great big tax on gasoline, distilate and liquid petroleum gas is not likely to be elected. A party who suggests a phase out of the individual ownership of motor vehicles is not going to be popular. Prohibition of cows, cotton, cars and coal are not vote winners.

Is this Bohemia?
Is this the Bob Brown Greens?
Moving to the mainstream?
Has left me in redundancy
for better or worse,
Now the Human Resource is me

I'm Echinoderm
Asteriidae – my family
I’m happy here on the sand
Desiccating on dry land
How was I to know, oh?
Now I’ve been tossed back into the sea, the sea

Bummer, easy being green,
I was a stranger in strange lands
When I washed up on the sand,
Bummer, I'm too extreme,
and now I have been tossed back in the sea

Bummer, ooh
I was quite happy being dry,
Facilitating meaningful and lasting change,
Striving on, striving on: nurture culture and values..

Oh great, I’m out at sea,
Neural pulses down my plexus
Endoskeleton just flexes,
Main stream for Bob Brown's Greens,
Now I’ve been tossed
I have to learn to fly or sink or swim
Bummer, oooooooh (How was I to know?)
I don't want to fly,
Sometimes wish I'd never been spawn at all

Ocelli sense a change in touch, light and temperature
Pedicellariae, pedicellariae do you feel the current flow,
Floating in the ocean, vascular locomotion, me!
(Asterias) Asterias (Asterias) Asterias, Asterias amurensis
Eee eye, eee eye-o-o-o-o
I'm just the tossee being thrown out to sea
he's just the tossee from Asteriidae family
Spare his career from this redundancy

Easy toss, easy vote, easy being green?
Tosser! No, you are too damn extreme
being green
Tosser! No, you are too damn extreme
being green
Tosser! No, you are too damn extreme
Being green (are too extreme)
Being green (are too extreme) (ever, ever, ever, ever)
Being green, ee,ee,ee,een...
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
(Oh diarrhoea, diarrhoea) diarrhoea, being green
the QEC has a candidate for me, for me, for me!

So you think you can toss me back into the sea
So you think you can leave me in redundancy
Oh, Bob Brown Greens, can't do this to me, Bob Brown Greens
So much for policy? So much for ecology?

(Oooh yeah, Oooh yeah)

Populist policy
Not ecology,
Populist policy
Tossed away by for being extreme

How was I to know oh?....

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