By Brent Heber
This week past something quite profound shifted in the fight for climate change to be treated seriously by the right wing of politics. The head of the Catholic church, one of the most dominant religions in the Australian Liberal Party, released an “encyclical” specifically dealing with the moral issue that global warming represents. Pope Francis rightly asserts, as the Greens have done for years, that the poorest nations on the planet will be most affected by the increasing weather instability caused by the richest nations carbon emissions.
This of course doesn’t mean Liberal politicians will be rolling over and joining the Greens any time soon. Policies around a woman’s right to abortion and marriage equality are still massive distinctions between the religious right wing and the staunchly secular position of the Greens – that Australia is founded on the separation of church and state and the freedom of religious expression, so the dictates of a specific religion which run contrary to personal liberties have no place in our legislation.
The question at the heart of this week is not will Catholics join the Greens en masse, but rather, how will the Liberal party members such as Cory Bernardi, who have constantly tried to reframe Australia as a white Christian country in order to defend their ultra-conservative views, now avoid appearing completely hypocritical in selectively fighting for their Pope’s directives?
Hopefully voters will increasingly wake up and realise that our federal government is not morally equipped to lead our country. Whether it be their reprehensible off shore detention policies or their refusal to accept and act on climate change, they continue to embarrass us on the world stage, putting lives deliberately at risk now and into the future and show how out of touch with the average Australian they are.
*Opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSW Greens or St George Greens.