With Australia and the Middle East ablaze, 2020 is showing nothing exposes lies better than time.
Australia on Fire
Australia is on fire. With months of summer still to run, more than two percent of all homes in the country are thought to have already been destroyed and more than half a billion animals are also thought to be dead.
There are and have been other climate catastrophies around the world, but Australia is rich and made up of mostly white people. So western media (and thus populations and politicians) can’t help but be gripped in ways that just doesn’t happen when floods in Indonesia make half a million poor and brown people homeless.
So the Western World is noticing the stark effects of climate change catastrophe right now.
Australian Climate Change Denial
This is problematic for Australia’s climate change denier in chief – Prime Minister Scott Morrison (Liberal Party).
The approach to countering the climate change denial lie can be quite ineffective. The public finds science incomprehensible, it finds data dry, and presenting both often just legitimises those lies in ways we would not do with other nefarious lies like holocaust denial or twin tower conspiracies.
But right now Australian heroes (notably experienced Australian bushfire experts and Australian Fire Chiefs) are very clear this is a climate change issue.
So Scott Morrison and other climate change deniers now look like twits as they try hard to not label Australian heroes liars, while still wanting people to believe those heroes are lying. And because the public cares right now, the stupidity of climate change denial is something that can be got across right now.
Middle East on Fire
At the same time, events in the Middle East have taken a similar turn thanks to US Commander in Chief (Donald Trump – Republican Party) and his strong man idiocy.
The USA pulled out of its treaty with Iran – a treaty that led to some easing of tensions, that produced a scaling back (if not halting) of Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and that even saw Iran and the USA on the same side against ISIL (albeit among many other odd bedfellows in that fight).
The idea was that being “tough” was the best path to getting what the USA wanted, though in truth it wasn’t clear what it wanted that it didn’t already have. The USA already had hegemony in the Middle East, already had the support of Iraq’s government, and had already managed to bring most troops home at last.
The Strong Man Lie
The strong man lie is now in tatters. The assassination of a high ranking Iranian has turned the Iraqi parliament against the USA, has united a highly diverse number of worried countries in the region against US actions, and has even seen usually compliant allies like the UK oppose rather than support new US threats to destroy Iran’s heritage centres.
With Russia now embedded in the region thanks to its Syrian involvement, Turkey increasingly looking East rather than West, and with China engaged in the Persian Gulf for the first time, US hegemony is at best at risk, if not gone, as forces unite against this action.
Closure of the Gulf is still highly unlikely (because China doesn’t want its oil cut off), but Iran has publicly resumed it’s nuclear efforts and the USA has unhappily had to send yet more soldiers to the Middle East again, expecting they will be attacked.
All of which is more compelling a case of failure than the mere prediction of such outcomes ever was.
Lesson to be Learned
All of this should be a lesson for the world, and to a divided Britain in particular. Lies can be appealing to the public. They can also be hard to refute by conventional means of debate because debate casts lies as competing opinion, not simply deceit.
One might know, thanks to science, experience, and history, that a given lie is a lie. One might also thus predict the predictable outcomes and want to warn people.
But nothing really proves a lie is a lie better than time. Because time simply doesn’t notice the lie and delivers reality regardless. And that can open eyes.