The Politics of Climate Change


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Climate change has long been stymied in politics but this panel discussion asks our politicians for leadership and action.

Former leader of the Federal Opposition Malcolm Turnbull, Labor MP Mark Dreyfus, leader of the Tasmanian Greens Nick McKim and the UK’s High Commissioner to Australia Baroness Valerie Amos look at how we can translate talk into action.



13 Jun 2010

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12 Jun 2010


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5 comments so far:

Very disappointing from all three politicians. Grandstanding and little substance from any of them. Lib/Lab and Flannery all continuing flog the dead horse that is the failed CPRS (see:, while not committing to any serious action. McKim also lacking in substance.
Baroness was very refreshing, just like James Cameron earlier in the week. Two UK speakers who actually have experience of *doing something* to significantly reduce emissions. Both quick to point out that no, a carbon price is not the magical silver bullet that will solve all our problems, it is just one of many policies that has varied effectiveness. Also good are: regulation, government programs, support for commercialising innovative technology, taxes.
Time for govt to wake up and catch up with the rest of the world, who are leaving us for dead on energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy like baseload solar thermal with molten salt storage - that's right, 24 hour solar power.

14 June at 10:32PM

I thought it was interesting how Malcolm claimed to support climate action, but rejected the Resources Super Profits Tax. They seem linked in my view, as any tax hike on the mining industry can be seen as a down-payment on the environmental and climate costs of the industry, which are so far unaccounted for in the debate. I had a Twitter exchange with Malcolm on this topic following the presentation, and today The Age published my letter on the topic:

Darren Lewin-Hill
15 June at 09:29PM

I could not believe how Turnbull seemed incapable of understanding the intellectual format of the forum! His venom and manner were toxic, and detracted from any serious message he may have had. Top that off with him standing to serve himself water and offer it to the speakers on his right, turning his back on the person then speaking! Then he slouched back in his chair, staring at the ceiling! He seemed to forget he was not in parliament.
Grow up, Malcolm!

Myra Mitchell
17 June at 05:03PM

Absolute waste of time, except to confirm our worst fears about political inaction on climate change. The ambassador was good but she had an easy gig. It would have been good to have a political scientist in there to actually enlighten us about the political dynamics behind it all. The Greens have good policy on climate change but I didn't think Nick McKim got it across very strongly. And I'm sick of hearing politicians tell us that we should consider climate change when we vote, and that our vote matters. It's a bit patronising - I think the voters can work it out!

Raili Simojoki
22 June at 01:56PM

Hi, (Fiona McCuaig - Australian Wildlife Activist)
I think this was a great discussion. The environmental situation seems overwhelming but it's solvable if we act NOW... it's about two issues:
1. Biodiversity Loss- humans have made more species extinct in 60 years than have been made in 6 billion years and humans now realise we need biodiversity to survive. Stopping the Japanese from Whaling in our backyard is a great start! If we can't stop the most popular wild animal from being killed, what hope do we have for saving the smaller creatures?
2. Global Warming- We need a 5 POINT GLOBAL SURVIVAL PLAN.. it starts with this:
One: Only Electric and air-pressured cars manufactured by 2015 Globally
Two: Strict Commercial and Residential Green Initiatives embodied in LAW etc etc
Fiona McCuaig, Australian Wildlife Activist, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife

Fiona McCuaig
14 July at 06:04AM

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