Only polite disagreement recommended.
Keen to deepen his appreciation of multiculturalism and the hierarchies of identity that define the gorgeous mosaic of modern Melbourne, a friend of Quadrant Online several years ago asked the very large and stern Maori gentlemen turfing him under protest from a Footscray pub which members of the Australian-Bouncer community could possibly be up to the task of throwing him out, were he ever to become anti-social on licensed premises.
His one-word answer: “Samoans”.
The above briefing is provided in the interest of promoting only the most tactful and diplomatic response to demands by the island nation’s visiting Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele (above) that Australia slash carbon emissions in order to keep the rising tide of global warming from drowning his palm-fringed home. As Samoa’s highest points are more than 1800 metres above sea level, it seems the lingua franca of those distant islands is no longer English or the local variant of the Polynesian tongue but Catastropharian. Roughly translated with the aid of the Tim Flannery Joke and Phrase Book his plea amounts to this: send money and increase your intake of our climate refugees.
Sailele, a very large man indeed, has made this demand before, not least to elfin former foreign minister Julie Bishop, who looked rather like something plucked from the low-calorie section of the breakfast buffet when the pair posed for DFAT publicity pictures some years ago.
As pictures and headlines don’t seem to be turning back the tide of alarmist predictions, what can Australia do to ease the anxieties of our Pacific pals?
Well here is an idea — a couple of them, actually.
1/ Dismantle our wind-farm towers and turbines and re-erect them in Samoa. As in Australia, these symbols of green intent will inspire the locals to pay much more for their electricity while fostering a comforting sense of virtuous self-worth.
Would it not be unfair — racist, even — to deny Samoans the satisfaction of shredding their national wealth with the same efficiency those whirling blades are mincing Australia’s prospects and, for good measure, its birdlife as well?
2/ Lend Samoa all the professional prognosticators and careerist climateers currently tickling stats and temperature records in our Bureau of Meteorology, CSIRO, universities, lobbying outfits, super funds and newsrooms. True, they would do little to calm PM Sailele’s fears were they to continue pursuing their alarmist vocations, but that would not be the intent. Piled high and stacked end-to-end, our legions of Flannerians would for the first time in their professional lives perform useful service as a flood-defying seawall.
Should they prove noisy and expensive, as is their wont, not to worry. As that Footscray bouncer told QoL‘s unruly friend, the Samoans know a thing or two about chucking out pests, loudmouths and general nuisances. Just so long as they don’t toss them back here.
For more on those ‘sinking islands’ of the Pacific, which aren’t actually sinking, follow this link or the one below.
— roger franklin