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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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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