We'll all be extincted!
You know, there are times when I'm thiiiss close to really considering the Australian Greens as the party that could fill the void on the centre-left left by the Labor party, but then I see stuff like the 3rd Annual Green Oration and I go back to wondering whether we'll ever fill that niche again.
The Oration itself is an annual event setup by Bob Brown with the following focus:
"The Green Oration is the idea of Australian Greens Leader, Senator Bob Brown, who has always recognised the global importance of Tasmania producing the world’s first Green political party.
Senator Brown wanted to stage an annual oration that would bring the world’s brightest green minds back to the birthplace of the political movement."
Now in its third year, previous Orators have included former Columbian Senator and FARC hostage Ingrid Betancourt and noted environmentalist Dr David Suzuki.
This time around it was Bobs turn to give the Oration.
Bobs speech had a decidedly galactic feel to it, opening with "Fellow Earthians" he launched into an impassioned description of the "collective human intelligence" as an unfurling flower never before seen in the universe (as far as we know). He then moves on to possit a theory as to why humanity has never been contacted by other civilisations.
"Surely some people-like animals have evolved elsewhere. Surely we are not, in this crowded reality of countless other similar planets, the only thinking beings to have turned up. Most unlikely! So why isn't life out there contacting us? Why aren't the intergalactic phones ringing?
Here is one sobering possibility for our isolation: maybe life has often evolved to intelligence on other planets with biospheres and every time that intelligence, when it became able to alter its environment, did so with catastrophic consequences. Maybe we have had many predecessors in the Cosmos but all have brought about their own downfall.
That's why they are not communicating with Earth. They have extincted themselves. They have come and gone. And now it's our turn."
Yes. He said "Extincted". I shall leave that there for you to ponder as we move on.
So Bobs theory is that there might very well have been earlier alien civilisations in the universe, but that they all fell to the same problems of biosphere destruction, and we're next.
However, luckily Bob has a solution. Global Democracy. Bob wants a world parliament, based on the premise of one person, one vote.
"In his Gettysburg address of 1859, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed: 'We here highly resolve... that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.'
153 years later, let us here in Hobart, and around the world, highly resolve that through global democracy we shall save the Earth from perishing.
For those who oppose global democracy the challenge is clear: how else would you manage human affairs in this new century of global community, global communications and shared global destiny?
Recently, when I got back to bed at Liffey after ruminating under the stars for hours on this question, Paul enquired, 'did you see a comet?' 'Yes', I replied, 'and it is called 'Global Democracy'.
A molten rock from space destroyed most life on the planet those sixty-five million years ago. Let us have the comet of global democracy save life on Earth this time."
Leaving aside the fact that Bob has just compared his idea of a world saving global democracy with the event that killed nearly everything on the planet, let's see how Bob thinks this World Government would work:
So let us resolve
that there should be established
for the prevalence and happiness of humankind
a representative assembly
a global parliament
for the people of the Earth
based on the principle of
one person one vote one value;
and to enable this outcome
that it should be a bicameral parliament
with its house of review
having equal representation
elected from every nation.
Right, so it's a westminster system for the world.
Look, read the whole thing, you may agree with Bob and you may not. Personally I think it puts the Greens back in the "nice to have in the senate balancing out the nationals" category rather than any serious contender for government. But that's just me.