Just watched a TED Talk by Greg Stone about oceanic biodiversity. He speaks about his efforts to study benthic ecology in Kiribati, I think—it was raining pretty hard as I sat in my office, so I couldn’t hear most of the talk.

But it reminded me of my friend Trent, who I haven’t kept up with nearly enough over the past few years. He’s seriously one of the nicest, most decent people you’ll ever meet. His mother (who, last I heard, was going through a rough patch, and I really do hope she’s recovered in the interim) hails from the Gilbert Islands, which form part of Kiribati, hence the connection.

Reflect, for a moment, on the raw deal that Pacific Islanders and their ancestors have gotten the past couple of hundred years. As a people, they deserve a lot better. From John Frum to guano mining, they’ve been royally screwed around. Their fishstocks are dying and their homes are disappearing beneath the waves. And nobody seems to give a rat’s arse.

Over the last decade, the White Australia Policy has reared its butt-ugly head again, and even the Greens—who pride themselves as being some sort of latter-day socialist movement—are using half-baked ecology to justify keeping the world’s assorted, undesirably brown people at bay. Australia, the populists tell us, can’t support net immigration.

Fine, then, I’ve got a suggestion.

Go to the people of the Pacific and say, “We’re sorry for what we’ve done to you. We can’t fix it, but we’ve got a big island where you can build a new life. It ain’t your homeland, but it’s better than drowning.”

Then take all the bogans and the second-generation Euro-trash who vote for that racist bullshit and drop them in the ocean. Sit back with our new Islander neighbours over a nice meal and laugh at the ignorant pigfuckers as they thrash and lament and slip beneath the waves.

(At the end of Stone’s talk, incidentally, there’s an ad for IBM. It begins: “Twenty-five percent of the world’s food supply is lost to spoilage. That’s $458 billion worth every year.” My heart bleeds every time I think of all those poor, starving fucking dollar bills.)

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