Don’t Let This Man Near Your Children!

This man – Clive HamiltonClive Hamilton is an Australian author and public intellectual. In June 2008 he was appointed Professor of Public Ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, a joint centre of the Australian National University, Charles Sturt University and the University of Melbourne.

For 14 years, until February 2008, he was the executive director of The Australia Institute, a progressive think tank he founded. He holds an arts degree from the Australian National University (majoring in history, psychology and pure mathematics) and an economics degree from the University of Sydney (majoring in economics and government, with first class honours in the former). He completed a doctorate at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex with a thesis titled ‘Capitalist Industrialisation in Korea’.  (Extract from The Drum Unleashed’s description of Clive Hamilton.)

This man posted the following article on “The Drum Unleashed”, which claims as its by-line “Robust Community Debate”.

Hi there,

There’s something you need to know about your father.

Your dad’s job is to try to stop the government making laws to reduce Australia’s carbon pollution. He is paid a lot of money to do that by big companies who do not want to own up to the fact that their pollution is changing the world’s climate in very harmful ways.

Because of their pollution, lots of people, mostly poor people, are likely to die. They will die from floods, from diseases like dengue fever, and from starvation when their crops won’t grow anymore.

The big companies are putting their profits before the lives of people. And your dad is helping them.

Your life is going to be worse too because of what your dad is doing when he goes to work each morning. By the time you are as old as your parents, Australia will be having a lot more heat waves, like the one in Melbourne earlier this year, and there will be more bush fires too.

Droughts will be worse, and you won’t be able to have fun exploring the Great Barrier Reef because it won’t be there anymore.

Deep down your dad knows all this, although he probably pretends he doesn’t. If you’ve asked him about it he probably said that the scientists are not sure what’s going to happen, or that Australia’s carbon pollution is not very big, or that business is business.

He has to tell himself these things because otherwise he would feel too guilty and could not sleep very well at night.

So your dad is not really a bad person. He is not deliberately making the world a worse place for you and all the other kids. But he is telling lies to himself so he does not have to face up to the truth about what he does at work.

The thing is, though, that what your dad is doing is wrecking the future for my children too, and that makes me feel upset. Many Australians feel the same way; they think that what your father does is just plain wrong, and that he should stop.

I am sure it’s hard for you to hear these words, but there is something you can do to help. Why not sit your dad down and have a good talk to him. Tell him you want him to stop helping the big companies that are spoiling the future for you and all the other kids at school. Tell him that the family would rather have less money if he had a different job, one you could be proud of.

Tell him that you know he will feel much happier inside if he is doing something to make Australia and the world a better place, instead of going to work every day to make it a worse one.

Your dad has lost his way, and you might be the only person in the world who can help him find it again. So talk to him.

Yours sincerely

This ‘open letter’ was not addressed to anyone in particular and was not ‘signed’ by anyone in particular – a sort of letter to no-one by no-one. Of course the problem is that was obviously not Clive Hamiltons’ intent. Quite obviously Mr Hamilton addressed this to children and was talking to them about their Dads. It was not about their Mum’s’, I suppose because Mr Hamilton doesn’t believe that Mum’s have an opinion worthwhile on the subject, of course he is wrong on that score alone. To the innocent child reader, this letter plainly says that their Dad is helping business to kill lots of people. It also quite plainly says the their Dad does not have the moral fibre or strength of character to stand up for what he believes, that their Dad is a coward, that they should not be proud of their Dad until he gets a new job.

This letter is from a (supposed) Professor of Public Ethics to the kids of the world, not just Australia where he resides. This letter is an insult to any thinking person. I for one, am deeply ashamed to live in the same country as anyone who could sit down and compose such an abominable piece of writing, and think it ethical.

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