Our Deputy Prime Minister Reckons “Fruit-Picking” Will Save Pacific Islands From Climate Change

Oh, okay.

Michael McCormack

It has become astoundingly clear that climate change will hurt the countries that have the least responsibility for it long before it affects the major producers of global carbon emissions.

After all, rising water levels are already affecting the Pacific Islands. In 2016, scientists reported that five islands had already been claimed by climate change, with more to follow. Since then, even those island nations that have escaped total erosion thanks to rising water levels are struggling to produce sustainable crops.

Land is growing scarce, and of poorer quality. For many of these island nations, climate change is not some looming threat — it is a problem right now.

Well, turns out nobody needs to worry, because Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack reckons that Pacific Island nations will be just fine. Why? Well, McCormack says that “fruit-picking” will solve the problem.

Yep, in an attempt to smooth over the tense talks at the Pacific Islands Forum that saw Australia’s reliance on coal and fossil fuels criticised, McCormack outlined his vision for how the brunt of climate change will be avoided.

As The Guardian reports, McCormack reckons that Pacific Island nations will “continue to survive” thanks to Australia’s fruit reserves.

“They will continue to survive,” he said. “There’s no question they’ll continue to survive and they’ll continue to survive on large aid assistance from Australia. They’ll continue to survive because many of their workers come here and pick our fruit.”

Our generous Deputy Prime Minister also assured citizens of the Pacific Islands that Australia will continue to “welcome” those coming here, presumably as long as they’re doing so in order to pick a bunch of raspberries.

In some ways, McCormack’s comments are unsurprising. The Coalition have long taken the opinion that climate change will be, at worst, a little bit inconvenient.

Of course, that’s not what even moderate scientists are predicting. According to most estimates, Australia will struggle to produce its own crops, let alone have enough fruit to support the economy of an entire other set of nations.

But sure Michael, let’s all imagine a future where climate change is about as disruptive as a bumped toe.

Lead image: Wikimedia Commons