• The Chief

What Wood The Side Effects Be?



It’s a contentious topic and I resisted the temptation for as long as I could to get the Restump involved. But if half a dozen or so citizens feel entitled to put pen to paper and demand the Fremantle Dockers adhere to their moralistic ideals… then why can’t we adopt the ‘more the merrier’ routine and enter the chat in any way we see fit. At the end of the day, I’d defend to the death anyone’s right to express their opinion on any and every topic, regardless if I am in agreeance or not. So why can't we have our overinflated 10 cents worth?


Speaking on the renewable energies and social governance topics, depending on your view, you’re quickly labelled a 'left-wing nutjob' or a 'far right white supremacist' or 'climate denier', all idiotic braindead terms designed to politicise everything. You’re now not allowed to sit in the middle where you can objectively see reasoning and merit in a range of conflicting views.

For the record I despise almost all politicians and government, full stop. If you haven’t worked out by now it’s one gigantic club where all sides have their snouts in the same trough, hopefully you haven’t suffered a recent conspicuous case of Guillain-Bare syndrome, because you’ve got some eye opening to do.


I’m not a climate alarmist. I’ve been lied to too many times by politicians on all sides of the political spectrum, their handpicked supposed experts, the loophole exploiting for-profit philanthropists, the politically and financially charged scientists and the catastrophically wrong computer modelling. However, being justifiably and deeply distrustful of the establishment and corporate media, not being an alarmist and yet advocating for minimal pollution, can all co-exist. Climate disaster or not, by taking care of the environment, the worst-case scenario is you’re not going to make it worse.


That been said, surely, you’ve seen the masses lose their absolute minds when their tiktoks and twitters go off the air for five minutes? Sadly, society is beyond the point of coping with even slight inconvenient outages or blatant insignificant inconvenience alone. So there has to be an immediate viable and stable energy solution to switch to.


I apologise, as I often tend to do, I am wandering off track. Thankfully I’m not in Victoria because, believe it or not, that is now something you can be fined for. Politicians… God love em!


Back to the actual topic at hand which is placing demands on and trying to strong arm your sporting club into aligning with your, more often than not, hypocritical ideals.

As I mentioned at the top, I’ll defend to the death anyone, including athletes, being able to have their opinions. But there is a difference between opinions and actions. If your moral actions jeopardise the financial well-being of a sport or your teammates and future generations, then maybe your actions should be individual ones. Personally, I’m a practice what you preach, lead by example, be the change you want to see, type of person.


As an individual and an employee of a sporting franchise, you don’t get to set the terms of a corporate sponsorship deal, and neither should you. Why should sport hold the bag for personal preference in this ridiculous saga? It’s the idiocy and often self-righteousness of individuals unaware of the impact their own immediate decisions have on others. And yes, the obvious and predictable response from alarmists would be “the world is burning so Woodside’s actions are affecting others!” I understand and appreciate the ironic ideologic hypocrisy.


However, if you’re comfortable enough to sit in a fossil fuel powered stadium enjoying the light show at night football games, or even watching from home on your greenhouse gas emitting television, you probably should think twice about your personal actions before picking up your slave wage manufactured mobile phone to tweet your outrage.


What is that saying about those who have a net zero carbon footprint, casting the first renewable energy generated mined stone?


I’ve even seen the emergence of those indulging in hypocrisy suggesting that being labelled a hypocrite by someone is lazy and due to not having a valid alternate argumentative point. One, validity is subjective and two, trying to divert hypocrisy in such a manner is self-serving, enabling the hypocrite to avoid making meaningful, possibly difficult and/or inconvenient personal life changes.


The fact is, if we’re being honest, there is no alternate capable realistic energy solution yet. Where do people actually think the power for their Teslas is coming from? Where do they think the rare earth metals that are in the phones they’re ironically using to voice their outrage come from, and how do they think they’re extracted from the earth? Does Popeye have them believing you can grow spinach to produce the iron required to build wind turbines?


The “end fossil fuels now” brigade are very well intentioned and I admire that. But the problem is there is no middle ground with them and it reflects the self-righteous unrealistic instant gratification society we have become.


For example, the US has taken measures to reduce their dependence on domestic oil and they’re now not only begging OPEC to increase supply but they have depleted their emergency oil reserves to the lowest level since 1984.


It is like my water displacement rising sea levels solution. If it turns out sea levels do actually rise to concerning levels, you give the Japanese the green light to increase whaling. Start pulling a bunch of those mammoth marine mammals out of the ocean.... hey presto.... seas subside. It's a short-sighted counterproductive solution, so sure... it needs some tinkering with... but you get my point?


Genuine sustainable change needs some initial middle ground to flourish on, preferably oil and rare earth element enriched ground, but middle ground none the less. You cannot flick the switch overnight and simply rejoice, ignoring the fact you’ve exported the problem to countries far less likely to make inroads into a renewable energy model.


For the second time in this ranticle, I apologise for wandering off topic.


Sporting clubs simply have to run their businesses within the current operating and governmental framework. It is difficult enough to survive in any economic climate but at this particular point in time the vital sponsorship dollar is beyond gold.


And that leads us to the question of why should the burden fall upon the sporting franchise shoulders in the free market? Doesn’t government set the rules and derive taxes accordingly?

Accuse me of being stereotypical here but I would suggest that almost all the people lobbying / blackmailing their clubs to abandon certain sponsorship clientele, would collectively vote for the left political faction. Right now, Labor holds power federally and in five of seven states and territories. The voters have who they wanted in power and yet they still need to enter the arena and put unfair pressure on sporting clubs. Political snouts in the same trough ring a bell?


“The forest was shrinking but the trees kept voting for the axe, for the axe was clever and convinced the trees that because his handle was made of wood, he was one of them.” I don’t know who the quote is directly attributed to but it’s appropriate.

I’d be willing to bet that the majority of everyday citizens would opt to not have this topic infiltrate and be fought in their sporting arena. They may agree with the stance of the on-field and off-field ideologues but they’re realists and appreciate that sport is a time out for them. It is momentary escapism they need and deserve from these world issues and their personal life problems.


Granted, I understand the influence sport has and that it operates in the free world, but club leaders and CEO’s first responsibility is to the ongoing financial viability of the club. So, it’s their right and duty to stand up to these unrealistic requests, coincidentally that always seem to come without an attached viable solution.


Maybe if you’re doing your level best to destroy a multimillion-dollar life blood sponsorship contract, your open letter should accompany a viable opportunity to secure a comparable company sponsorship from the likes of the $15 billion-dollar Acciona SA ‘better planet designing corporation’ or the $24 billion dollar Risen Energy company, or any of the numerous multibillion dollar ‘green’ ventures that satisfy your moral dilemmas.


Quite frankly, if I’m Dale Alcock or Peter Bell or anyone dealing with the administrative side of a sporting business and I get a letter like the one they received from Carman Laurence and crew... I’m reading it and then looking for page two that should have a said realistically viable and immediate alternate solution.


If there is one attached, I’m saying ‘hey, come in and let’s discuss this and the alternate opportunity you have brought to the table.’ If page two doesn’t exist then the respectful reply to the letter would be a public ‘thanks but no thanks,’ similar to the one Dale Alcock diplomatically delivered.


Given the fact these apparent fans still somehow have the audacity to enjoy the spoils the fossil fuel industry delivers, it shows the club they’re not going to suffer any meaningful membership losses if they take a strong definitive supporting stance of their current sponsorship contributors…. especially as in this case where just a few of them were paid up members anyway.


To be fair though I will grant Carmen Lawrence some slack if she is one of the seven. She had memory problems 30 years ago so they’ve probably deteriorated and she may have simply forgot she put the membership renewal form in her cabinet.


Oh, and while we’re on the topic of the open letter writers, Dr. Ken Withers, club doctor for 25 years, suggested “Fossil fuel companies aren’t evil but they’re not altruistic either. They sponsor clubs to buy a social licence and make themselves acceptable. Recently it’s also apparent that they’ll withdraw sponsorship to punish dissenters as well.”


So, Dr. Ken, who is a GP, thinks fossil fuel companies punish dissent? That may well be true or it may well be they simply don't wish to deal with the controversy. However, I’d personally be keen to know what he, as a GP, thinks of AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) silencing conscientious doctors who don’t share the overseeing body’s opinion?

Let’s not call a spade a pointy diggy thing. The reality is that you can moralise however you wish, you can twist the 'who benefits more' however you can. But at the end of every single day in this country, until these green world saving corporations step up to the plate, you're deceiving yourself and others if you suggest sporting clubs need the Woodside Petroleums and the Hancock Prospecting companies more than the Woodside Petroleums and the Hancock Prospecting companies need the sporting clubs.


Above and beyond the theatrical rhetoric, I am all in favour of fighting for a cause you feel strongly about and I am an advocate for standing up for what you truly believe in. So, believe it or not, I am on the same page as those desiring a cleaner environment. But there is an enormous difference between eco-activism and ego-activism.


If you want to mount your methane emitting high horse and hike down the hypocritical high road, all credit to you. However, you have to be prepared to fall on your green hydrogen processed iron sword.





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