‘We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion,’ Irish Murdoch. Sunset near Windorah, Western Queensland. Photo: ©Tony Neilson

Making the right choices is not optional

At the end of a recent round of golf with three people new to my acquaintance, I received ‘news’ that left me speechless and deeply troubled.

Within a few minutes of settling over post-game drinks, I had been told that Donald Trump was the only ‘good’ in a world of evil, and … that Barak Obama was homosexual, and his wife Michelle was transgender!

The bearers of these absurd revelations were hitherto seemingly normal, well-adjusted people. Yet all three shared an unshakeable belief that President Trump was the next Messiah, and that ‘Mr Google’ was the source of all truth.

Fake news smokescreen

It is our inalienable right to choose what we want to believe (although Australia’s increasingly autocratic Morrison government seems to think otherwise). But since Trump created the ‘fake news’ smokescreen to hide his nefarious activities, it has become more important to know the difference between truth and ignorance.

For the record, you can take it from me that Trump is not the Great Redeemer come to deliver the world from sickness and suffering. And if you care at all about the environment, he represents a clear and present danger.


But let’s turn to the outrageous suggestion that Mrs Obama – mother of those two beautiful young women – is a man.

‘It’s not fake news, Tony,’ said one of the golfers. ‘Ask Joan Rivers. It’s on Mr Google’.

Naturally, I had to check these apparently impeccable sources. And here’s a summary of what I found …

A notoriously outrageous comedian, Ms Rivers once joked at a public function that the Obamas had to be gay, because they were so attractive! In her defence, Rivers said her playfully malicious claim was actually a compliment, because ‘the most gorgeous women are transgender’.

The ensuing publicity did wonders for sales of the comedian’s book, ‘Diary of a Mad Diva’, and she died in 2014.

Canadian forest scene showing red conifers killed by the pine beetle
In Canada, global warming has allowed the mountain pine beetle to flourish – destroying (red trees) millions of ha of boreal forest since the early 1990s. Photo: Shutterstock

After-match chat

Meanwhile, back at the after-match chat, it was my turn. So, what do you guys think about climate change? Do you think it has anything to do with the deadly bushfires destroying forests, homes and lives on Australia’s east coast right now?

‘Climate change is a beat-up by the fake news media and the bloody scientists. The climate’s been changing for thousands of years. There’s nothing to worry about,’ said one, while the others nodded their rapid agreement.

This was not a debate I was going to win, so I finished my beer and took my leave. But I felt guilty afterwards. I should have stood up for my beliefs – especially when it comes to the state of our environment.

11,000 scientists agree

A few days after the above encounter, the ‘fake news’ (ABC News, Australia) reported that more than 11,000 international scientists had signed a scientific paper declaring that we have a climate change emergency that demands immediate action.

The paper says climate change is accelerating faster than expected, and that ‘scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat.’

In October, Australia’s Federal Government voted down an attempt to declare a climate emergency across the country, with the Emissions Reduction Minister (aka Minister of Denial), Angus Taylor, labelling it a ‘symbolic’ gesture.

(New Zealand is close to introducing environmental regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 50% below 1990 levels by 2050.)

Ignorance may deride the truth, but the truth is incontrovertible!

©Natural Images 2019


©2018 TONY NEILSON All Rights Reserved. All images are protected by Australian copyright law and cannot be downloaded or reproduced without my permission. Please contact me.


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