Federal resources minister Matt Canavan was in a celebratory mood Tuesday after Indian mining giant Adani announced it would go ahead with its controversial Carmichael mega-mine. Canavan, an LNP senator from Queensland, fronted the press conference with state premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Adani executives, and was in good spirits.
"Now the time for waiting is over and the time for doing is beginning. That is a great thing for our state," Canavan said.
"A great message for north Queensland and a great future now that we can all get along and work on."
But within hours, Canavan's celebrations were dampened -- not only due to countless environmental groups scoffing at the "green light" announcement as a mere PR stunt from Adani, which is still yet to secure necessary financial backing for the project after every major Australian bank ruled out working on the enormous coal mine project, but after Canavan himself was thoroughly roasted online over a series of gloating social media posts.
I love the new bumper sticker I got in Townsville. Hugely popular up here! pic.twitter.com/pNzpPCTihA— Matthew Canavan (@mattjcan) June 6, 2017
Canavan's iPad sticker -- "don't take my coal job and I won't take your soy latte", seemingly a jab at the hipsters and greenies who conservative politicians love to rail against -- set off a long round of roasting. Aside from confusion over a minister equating a damaging, polluting industry with a beverage, most people seemed quite happy to give up coffee in exchange for climate change action.
As long as my soy latte doesn't give you emphysema 🙄— lucyham (@lucyham) June 6, 2017
Buddy, I can't drink a latte when the cafe is 8 meters under the ocean— Quadrant Kaczynski (@PitySexTour) June 6, 2017
No one's worried over a soy latte.— Psyberus (@Psyberus8) June 6, 2017
People are worried about the Great Barrier Reef.
You may have heard of it?
Hugely popular everywhere!
Alright, I'll give you my soy latte. Fair trade for the survival of our species.— Daniel Neumann (@danielneumann64) June 6, 2017
The tweet scored 130 retweets and 324 replies, as of publication time -- the sort of ratio which almost always signals a good roasting has occurred.
Hahahahaha it's funny because climate change is going to ruin everything I hold dear 😂— James Clark (@_spock) June 6, 2017
Hey Matt, there are more Baristas than coal miners...coffee also contributes more to the economy than mining profits that go offshore— Gippo (@gip1972) June 6, 2017
The joke is based on the suggestion that only soy-latte-loving inner-city hippy types care about the reef.— Psyberus (@Psyberus8) June 6, 2017
Don't take my hugely subsidized short-term coal job which helps bleach the reef and I won't take away whatever you're drinking now— Floyd the K (@floydthek) June 6, 2017
My soy latte isn't destroying others' lives, environment, jobs and economy.— Jack Bertolus (@jackcb1991) June 6, 2017
It kept going along those lines for another few hundred tweets. A little later, Canavan got back on Twitter to explicitly call out those "greenies", spruiking a screenshot of Adani's stock price:
To all those greenies saying Adani jobs announcement is a stunt: Adani share price up 6.5%. Some stunt! pic.twitter.com/0R3DxmvxWk— Matthew Canavan (@mattjcan) June 6, 2017
But again, just half an hour later, the minister had been shot down, as someone else also checked out the stock price but over a longer period:
Matt, you always got to look at the long term trend. Oh boy... pic.twitter.com/0JWwWMaaW5— Michael Mazengarb (@MichaelM_ACT) June 6, 2017
Actually, Canavan's troubles started just seconds after he started speaking at the press conference. The senator said "good things come to those who wait", and then added an interesting footnote to that old adage.
"I Googled it and found Abraham Lincoln had a modification. 'Things may come to those who wait, but those who hustle get what is left'," he said, a reference to working hard instead of just waiting around.
We thought it was odd that Abraham Lincoln would use the word "hustle" in this way, back in the 1800s, so we Googled it too. There is a quote commonly attributed to Lincoln which goes, "great things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle".
There is no evidence Lincoln actually said it. When we Googled the quote, the number one search result was this article, 9 Popular Quotes Commonly Misattributed to Abe Lincoln. According to the Abraham Lincoln Association, "Lincoln Never Said That".
"A search of The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln shows that Lincoln used the phrase "things may" only three times in all his writings. But he never used the phrases, "things may come," "things left," or the word hustle," the ALA said in a 2003 newsletter.
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