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An Open Letter to Greg Hunt

Dear Greg Hunt,

It’s funny how sometimes we get to see the worst of people and the best of people all in the same day. The best of people is not you, in case you are wondering. Tim Flannery and his new Climate Council colleagues are the best of people. They could have sulked when you fired them last week, from the most important jobs in Australia. But they didn’t. They’re too busy working for free, setting up the Climate Council. They have no time for sulking.

I want to make it clear, the founding members of the Climate Council are not working on something they ‘believe in’, like someone who works for a church because they believe in God. They are working on the important cause of educating our community about the devastating effects of climate change, which we are already experiencing, and which are going to get worse as people like you make it your life’s work to reduce action which could save millions of lives. I don’t know how many temperature records you need to see broken to take this situation seriously.

Although I suspect we already know all we need to know about your strength of character in this situation. Having titled your university honours thesis ‘A Tax to Make the Polluter Pay’, it does seem a bit odd that you are now Abbott’s chief ‘kill the carbon tax’ environmental vandal. I mean, minister. I guess power is more important to you than doing the right thing for the community. Even if that means completely changing your view of the world on a subject you won an award for researching. Perhaps you don’t think carbon emissions are pollution? If this is the case, I guess the one blessing is that you’re not Abbott’s science minister. Oh, that’s right, your government has no science minister. Funny that.

So since people like Tim Flannery are the best of people, you are quite obviously a perfect example of the very worst of people. In response to the news that Flannery and his colleagues are courageously keeping the catastrophic effects of climate change in the public eye by working pro-bono to set up the community funded Climate Council, you said this news vindicated your decision to scrap the taxpayer funded Climate Commission, with this explanation:

“That’s how democracy should work,” … “If people want to invest in those with a particular view, they have a right and a freedom to do that, and our job is to make sure that we deal with the core scientific agencies, that we protect the taxpayers’ funds. The fact that this can be done at the private level shows that taxpayers’ funds were not required from the outset.”

Wow. I was lost for words for a moment. It is 2013 and Australia’s environment minister is calling a group of world-renowned climate scientists ‘those with a particular view’. That’s like saying all those people who think the sky is blue shouldn’t be supported in this particular view as this is a belief, not a fact. Do you want to make your climate change denial any more obvious? What a complete and utter disgrace!

I was similarly lost for words when I read ‘protect the taxpayers’ funds’. How about you worry less about money, just for a moment, and start to worry about the environment where this money is being earned and spent? It’s called earth and it’s where we all live and where we all keep our stuff which we buy with money. How will your government coffers look after climate catastrophe strikes? Or are you hoping not to be environment minister by then? How about worrying about the protection of our communities (ie the people in them) rather than the protection of taxpayer funds? Thanks for letting us know where your priorities lie. Very helpful.

So I guess since you think it’s great news that Australians who are scared about climate change are democratically reaching into our pockets to fund the Climate Council, this should now set new precedents for ‘user pays’. We all know your government loves nothing more than the concept of ‘user pays’. Maybe every road and footpath should have a toll at the end of it, so only those drivers and pedestrians using that particular strip should be the ones who pay for it? How about sewerage – should we drop a dollar in a pot every time we flush? Maybe parents should pay for their children to go to school and if they can’t afford the fees, their child shouldn’t be educated? How about medical bills – only those who can afford to have a heart operation should be in a position to save their own lives? Your version of our society sounds pretty depressing actually.

But what’s extra depressing is that you’re happy for a small number of passionate, community-minded people to fund an organisation which is trying to protect all Australians from the effects of climate change. Why the f*ck, should only those with a conscience be responsible for the fate of our entire community? I think you’ll find we’re all ‘users’ of this planet and we’re all going to ‘pay’ when it comes to the destruction caused by climate change.

The selfish people like you and Tony Abbott and all those voters who think it’s a great idea to stop action to reduce the effects of climate change would never put your hand in your pocket to help. Those who are small minded and hell-bent on denial at all costs, who have different ‘beliefs’ from good people like Tim Flannery, are going to be affected by climate change too, just as much as those funding the Climate Council.

But you’re happy to leave this financial burden to good people, while your government wastes millions buying Indonesian fishing boats and paying millionaires $75,000 to have a baby. While your government builds more infrastructure for cars but cuts funding for scientific research into renewable energies.

That makes you the worst kind of person, Greg Hunt. Petty, short-sighted and frankly just not very bright. How someone like you can be put in charge of Australia’s environmental protection is beyond me. You should try to spend some time with Tim Flannery. You would be a better person ten-fold just by breathing the same air as him.

Yours Sincerely
Victoria Rollison

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72 comments

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  1. olddavey

    Spot on!
    Hunt’s a gutless little turd. Always has been, always will be. Let’s hope he reads your letter and feels a little bit smaller than he must already feel.
    His democracy comment was one of the most pathetic I’ve heard in a long time.

  2. Fed up

    What amazes me, is the continuous complaint that Flannery is not a scientist. It is not his job to research climate change. It is his job to research and gather what the scientist are saying and doing.

    Mr. Hunt, would know he is lying, when he said the work that Flannery was doing is also being done by the CSIRO, Weather Bureau and other scientific bodies.

    This is not true. They are scientist doing research. It is Flannery’s jab to compile this research and make sense of it.

  3. richo

    Greg not hunt but rhymes with hunt and starts with the 2nd consonant ….

    Thank Victoria again for your tireless efforts.
    THanks to you I am a new member of the ALP.

  4. Lynda Gordon-Squire

    I agree though I
    prefer sick but starting with the third consonant thanks

  5. Shane Forwood

    I can believe they will take us back to just after horrible Howard left off, as Abbott has never got over loosing him. He has most of his ministers, and the, as we will find out all in good time, same thinking as back then. What do they call a government that controls what is released to the media and has the backing of the majority of media owners, no Australian government in our history, maybe third world ?

  6. Clodagh Guildea

    This is fantastic, and a perfect illustration of the _unt we have as Australia’s Environment Minister.
    Australians are chipping in their own money to the establishment of a Climate Council because it is so vitally important, and they understand that without such a body much of the science will not be accessible to the public. This does not prove that it need not be a government-funded body, as you suggest Mr Hunt. It proves exactly the opposite! He has been corrupted by politics, and seems to have lost his way. A morally conscious individual is what is required of an Environmental Minister, it’s time to step up and find your soul again, Mr Hunt.

  7. cornlegend

    You said it all Victoria,
    another great article

  8. PeterF

    Keep in mind that he was selected on merit: He is apparently the best man (MAN) for the job. Says a lot about the team and the selector.

  9. helenmarg

    Wonderful Victoria as usual.This so called government would not know what day it is.Thank you again..

  10. cowper133

    Hunt is the absolute worst of people.Sells his soul to highest bidder.Is there a process for stripping him of his Doctorate?Why should he be able to continue using qualifications gained by research that he now deliberately maligns? Great work Victoria and more power to the Tim Flannerys of this world!

  11. Brian

    Takes a particularly perverse mindset to take credit for peoples efforts to overcome what you yourself have inflicted upon them. I feel nothing but loathing for this for very ordinary person, one of a group of very ordinary people. All male and all very, very dull.

  12. rossleighbrisbane

    It’s Turnbull amuses me. He’s obviously not in Parliament for the money. As “inventor of the Internet in Australia” he has plenty. So he joins the Party that thwarted him on the Republic. This enables him to be totally gagged on Climate Change and same sex marriage. I suppose he also supports the “Stop the Boats” policy. And, of course, he knows how far-sighted the NBN Policy is. But it’s always good to have principles! Even if one keeps them to oneself.

  13. Jason

    Wow, rhymes with hunt but with the 2nd consonant, rhymes with dick but with the 3rd consonant, this is truly the stuff of reasoned debate!

    Can I point something out to all the squawking Liberal haters. Among all this hand wringing about Australia’s diabolical actions about to tip the world over the brink, please remember that Australia is a piffle in the scheme of things. China ADDS an Australia’s worth of emissions every 9 months. Even if Australia COMPLETELY STOPPED 100% of all emissions tomorrow, China would have added it back in 9 months. Chillax peeps, climate apocalypse is coming and nothing Australia does will make one single iota of difference.

  14. Terry2

    Greg Hunt,

    Prior to and since the election several experts on climate change have been asked to compare and contrast the competing policies of Labor and the Coalition, accepting that both are committed to the same level of reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020.

    So far, those I have heard respond have basically said that they can’t compare as they don’t understand or have any detailed information on the coalition’s scheme.

    Mr Hunt, you have had some six years to formulate and elaborate on your policy and the strategies you have to reduce CO2 emissions in Australia; why have you failed so abysmally to do so ? Do you really believe that 15,000 unemployed young people running around the countryside planting trees is a viable scheme: if you think the ‘pink batts’ was a fiasco wait until you see what happens when the “Abbott Youth” start tripping over tree stumps and falling into gullies.

    It’s time you came clean on what you have in mind beyond destroying our transition to an ETS which, already, is raising eyebrows around the world.

  15. Kaye Lee

    Wow Jason how about some facts. China is the world’s largest emitter of carbon pollution, representing around 20 per cent of global carbon pollution. However, on a per capita basis, Australia’s emissions (27.3 Mt CO₂-e per person) are almost five times those of China’s (5.5 Mt CO₂-e per person). Further, in the past 20 years, China has reduced the amount of carbon pollution per unit of GDP faster than any other major economy. As a developing country, its efforts to limit emissions are substantial.

    Under the United Nation’s climate change negotiations China has pledged to:
    •lower carbon dioxide emissions per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) by 40-45 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020
    •increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 15 per cent by 2020
    •increase forest coverage by 40 million hectares and forest stock volume by 1.3 billion cubic meters by 2020 compared to forest coverage in 2005.

    China’s 12th Five Year Plan (2011-15), contains several new carbon and energy targets measured against 2010 levels:
    •increase the proportion of non-fossil fuels in energy consumption to 11.4 per cent by 2015
    •reduce energy per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) by 16 per cent by 2015
    •reduce carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 17 per cent by 2015.

    In March 2011, Chinese Minister Xie Zhenhua indicated China would introduce emissions trading pilots in a number of cities and provinces during the 12th Five Year Plan, including in the industrial centres of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong. The World Bank recently noted China’s pilots and indicated that these may be expanded to a national scheme by 2015.

    Separately, the Chinese Government is pursuing other measures to reduce fossil fuel consumption and related environmental impacts, including carbon emissions. On 10 October 2011, China’s State Council announced China will introduce a national resources tax on 1 November 2011. The decision extends existing provincial trials, which commenced in 2010, to a nation-wide tax on the production of resources, including coal, crude oil, natural gas and metals.

    China has the world’s largest installed renewable energy electricity generation capacity. Plans for further development of low-emissions energy sources under China’s 12th Five Year Plan include a four-fold increase in nuclear power, expanded hydroelectric and solar capacity, more than doubling of wind capacity, and increased gas-fired generation.

    Over the period of the 11th Five Year Plan, the Central Government invested around AUD 30 billion in energy-saving and emissions reduction projects, generating investment worth an estimated AUD 300 billion. Public and private investment in low-emissions energy is expected to total around USD 760 billion by 2020.

  16. kayelee1

    The Liberal Party and people like Jason REALLY piss me off. Whatever happened to personal responsibility? How about setting an example and being a world leader rather than trailing behind? Would you also say I won’t stop beating my wife or sexually abusing children because they still do it in other countries?

    The Liberal Party want to encourage free trade agreements. How do you think those countries, who are already acting on emission reduction, are going to react to us not? Tariffs anyone? It seems the Liberal Party are going to use the small target strategy for everything. We aren’t important so it doesn’t matter what we do. The G20 summit which we are hosting next year should be very interesting.

    “Leaders also committed to continue the G20’s work to rationalize and phase-out over the medium term inefficient fossil fuel subsidies; mitigate excessive fossil fuel price volatility; safeguard the global marine environment; and combat the challenges of global climate change.”

  17. looweez1969

    Victoria, I love your work and this is another fantastic article. But please, PLEASE, don’t mix the Muppets up in this. Unlike the Liberal party, they were genuinely funny, bought a lot of joy to the world, and didn’t discriminate when it came to love (look at Kermit and Miss Piggy).

    If we HAVE to have an all male parliament with Tony at the head, though, could we have Waldorf and Stadler as Leader and Deputy Leader of the Opposition?

  18. J.Fraser

    Hunt signed an MUI (Memorandum of Understanding) with Queensland to cut green tape, on the same day that Cougar Energy got fined $75k for releasing cancer causing chemical into groundwater at Kingaroy.

    It is a $550 million pilot UCG (Underground Coal Gasification) project.

  19. Geoff Of Epping

    Greg Hunt…..just another turd in the Punchbowl of Abbott Government. Avoid consuming the contents at all cost….dangerous to life and limb. They’re all in there floating like so many lethal bon bons, Bishop, Cash, Morrison, Pyne, he’s the pink turd at the bottom of the bowl, Turnbull, Abetz and Brandis….he’s the large one with the chunky bits, Corman….the list is endless…….

  20. Roy

    The Muppets isn’t even close in describing science deniers.
    Try Planet of the Apes.

  21. dafid1

    Hunt for mine will forever be a piece of trash, from the day he used the deaths of 3 insulation workers to further his and his party agenda. That despicable, low exhibition of evil sums Hunt up.
    Excellent well written piece Victoria

  22. Marcus.

    Jason is typical of the Lunar Right. They spent the last three years screaming “illegitimate government” & “election now” at the very tops of their breath-adding nothing but bile & hate to the conversation. Yet now their beloved party is in office, they decry our rather mild piss-takes of certain new ministers, & imply we should all “put up & shut up” until the next election. Typical Right Wing hypocrisy.

  23. Dan Rowden

    Sigh. Liberals as Muppets is ok, but Labor as Hogan’s Heroes is an outrage? Also, calling Greg Hunt “the very worst of people” is absurdly hyperbolic and exactly equivalent to picturing Stephen Conroy alongside murderous fascist leaders. I mean, seriously, can we avoid the hyperbole? It’s a very bad look.

  24. Geoff Of Epping

    Marcus….you forget that these Coalition folks are the dregs of society, the moral dregs, and as such have a faulty moral barometer……nothing should be a surprise to any of us. They’re not even worthy of our pity for being so comprehensively fooled on September 7th.

  25. chips

    Hey Jason, I’m waiting for you’r in depth reply to kayelee.

  26. A sane citizen of Australia

    Amazing letter. Very true. Congratulations on being a better person than Greg Hunt and the rest of the idiots who voted Toned Abs into power!

  27. kayelee1

    Dan, I understand what you are saying. It’s important to make the discussion factual but I also understand the outrage that people are expressing. The “high moral road” and “turn the other cheek” and “we are better than that” are noble sentiments to which we should aspire…but sometimes you just have to, for your own mental health, yell FWIT. It is amazingly cathartic. After such self-indulgent but necessary expletives then one can rejoin the debate and fight with facts. Lord knows they should be enough to win the debate one would think.

    But hang on, we just elected a government who are, not only not ignore facts, they actively distort or hide them. They have acted like trolls, deflecting the attention of the Government and people to convicted Egyptian Jihadists being kept behind pool fences, and Slipper and Thomson and AWU slush fund. They have, regardless of all facts, convinced people that the economy is in bad shape and that we have a budget emergency due to wasteful spending and incompetence/lies from Treasury. They have stirred emotions through lies and deflection and they won.

    All sports people realise you play to the umpire.

  28. Dan Rowden

    Chips,

    Jason probably won’t reply to kayelee because he doesn’t need to. What he said is basically true. It’s just that he seems to come from a particular place in ethical philosophy that many of us might find disturbing. It can be summed up with one statement: virtue for its own sake is not virtuous. It’s a philosophy that is not driven by any sort of overriding moral conscience but rather a self-interested pragmatism. Its core, deeply rhetorical question is: why should I?

  29. bjkelly1958

    Rely on Mr Hunt’s own logic, i.e. he must protect the taxpayers money from things the Government doesn’t like, are we then able to withhold the income tax we pay because the Government is doing things we don’t like?

  30. Dan Rowden

    Kayelee,

    I totally get the passion and the hurt and the angst. I have to consciously restrain myself every time I write from this keyboard. And that fact troubles me deeply, because I shouldn’t have to. I should strive to be an authentically better person. I should not have to restrain myself at all.

    The second we take a leaf from the playbook we have condemned, we lose ourselves. We lose every skerrick of advantage the moral high ground may have afforded us. What then? Frankly, we may as well roll over and die because we are vastly inferior at playing by the Machiavellian rules that the conservatives embrace. That we are inferior in that sense is exactly what makes us superior (to my eyes and judgement). We generally can’t do politics like they do, and thankfully so, because if we could, we would literally be them.

    “Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

  31. richo

    I do think you make a valid point Dan, however like Kaylee says there are times when you just need to yell fwitt get it out of the system then move back to factual and reasoned debate.

    Where are the facts of the reality of the successful pink bats etc – the fact that the rates of death under the program were lower than before! But no we had Greg Hunt screaming about the debacle, I am still yet to find a school that is unhappy with their school hall too.

  32. Dan Rowden

    Richo,

    I swear at my monitor on an hourly basis. But I do it in the privacy of my home. I don’t think we need to engage jn such catharsis in public to make our points. “Fwit” is neither an argument, nor a point nor anything but an expression of frustration.

    Pink Bats? Yeah, they played the politics of that better than we did. Labor had no hope on that one as soon as people died. It’s just how it is. Rudd ought never have apologised. Again, Labor played the politics of it badly. Labor needs to be smarter in the way it sells itself and communicates. It’s going to be a challenging period for Labor in that they’ll have to battle a Murdoch Press that will now be a sort of Government Media Unit by proxy. Social and Independent media will be hugely significant to Labor over the next few months. Let’s hope they use them well.

    Oh, and Kevin R, please, please resign as soon as possible.

  33. Bonnie49

    I always enjoy the discussion of opinions posted on these sites until obscenity raises its ugly head. We talk about cleaning up the pollution mess but feel free to contaminate discussions with obscenities which to my mind demean the discussion taking place. If you feel the need to swear please do it in the privacy of your own homes and yell all you like at the computer, television, radio etc. I now wait with baited breath for everyone telling me off for expressing my opinion regarding this. I expect they will tell me it is all about free speech, but what about my freedom not to see or hear this verbal and written pollution.

  34. chips

    Dan,
    I see your point, however I’m sure that when he read Kayelee”s reply to his entry it wasn’t so much that “he didn’t have to” but that he didn’t know how to.

  35. Dan Rowden

    I understand your view and your sensibilities, Bonnie, but I’m afraid the idea that we posses or ought have some sort of “freedom” to not hear things of which we disapprove is a fanciful one. No such freedom or right exists. If it did, nothing would ever get said by anyone because there’s always someone who has their sensibilities disturbed by what others say. Swearing is sometimes gratuitous, sometimes contextual. I much prefer the latter kind, being a lad of high breeding and deep sensitivity myself. Perhaps you could make a list of words you’d prefer we all avoid? No, hang on, that won’t work, will it? Perhaps you could make a list of all the words that are a little bit naughty but tolerable?

  36. Dan Rowden

    Chips,

    Oh, you’re absolutely right, but when one operates on the basis of, “Why should I?” there’s no motivation to even address the question, “How could I?”.

  37. kayelee1

    Bonnie I apologise. I do not usually use vulgarities and I typed that one to make a point. I am sorry it offended you and I agree it is crass. But please don’t lose the message because of one word. Perhaps if you read some of my other posts you would might agree that I try to make constructive contributions. Having said that….sometimes you just have to say in a cultured way…what scalliwags. (that didn’t feel near as good but in the interest of compromise….)

  38. kayelee1

    Actually that reminds me of a phrase mum used to use. Whenever she was being dismissive of someone or something she would say “Oh scalliwags and billy goats”. A fairly apt description of this Government in my opinion.

  39. richo

    Scalliwags, now that’s a great compromise – did you know the biscuits we grew up with as Golliwogs have been relaunched as Scalliwags.

  40. Lawrence Winder

    “Ozone-Hole Hunt”, mealy-mouthed and unimaginative …perhaps we should consider putting a tribunal together to try these people for their criminal non action on climate matters…and I don’t mean an election!

  41. Muppet_Nut

    The only thing I don’t like about this is the use of the muppets because it openly contradicts the very premise of what they’re trying convey by doing so. No greater environment ally could be found than Jim Henson. Seriously, do your homework before dragging a popular image into your rant, otherwise you cancel out your voice/retort & you end up looking ignorant.

  42. Nanette

    I love you Victoria! You so eloquently present all the jumbled thoughts I have racing around in my head!

  43. kayelee1

    Richo no I didn’t….and that is quite an amazing coincidence. My mother had a mop of dark very curly hair when she was little and she had the nickname “Gol” short for golliwog. She also had a golliwog on her lawn bowls 🙂

  44. kayelee1

    Ruh roh….never prod a sleeping muppet lover.

  45. ahcid

    Dan,

    I see where you’re coming from; I myself try to use only reason and logic on the (admittedly few) occasions that I engage in conversation with people whose philosophy I find repugnant. But in the words of H.L. Menken: “Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.”

  46. Jason

    Wow, so much bile!

    Ok, firstly my reply to Kaye Lee. Great facts you provided, all true, but so is my fact; and your facts don’t contradict the one I put forward. I am a very concerned citizen and I am pleased nations like China are taking notice, as one day Australia will be forced to act.

    Secondly, I am not a far right wing loon! Go back and read what I wrote! A comment on the level of discourse on offer, another comment on Australia’s actual contribution to gas emissions, and the trolls pile on! Jeez, so many haters.

    Have a nice day all.

  47. kayelee1

    It’s time to face the music,
    It’s time to join the fight
    It’s time to watch the Muppets and demand they get it right

    It’s time to put on notice
    It’s time to have our say
    It’s time to tell the Muppets that we don’t want that way.

    To give up on our planet
    Is not what we should do
    So it really makes me angry
    To introduce to you
    The indefensible…. the incompatible….. the unforgivable…….Greeeeeeegggggg Hunt.

  48. kayelee1

    Jason I do understand that our gross contribution is less than others (though we don’t add our exports into that which would up the ante considerably). Where we differ is that you want to wait until we are forced to take action and I believe we should lead the way in taking action.

    Buddhists have a philosophy that one small act of kindness reverberates around the world. There is also the cascade theory which suggests that others will follow our lead.

    Aside from that it makes economic sense to be at the forefront of the renewable energy industry. Research and development, a new manufacturing sector, employment, skills acquisition for a field that will be in increasing demand worldwide.

    Why wait? Make the move early and reap the rewards.

  49. Anomander

    Jason, it’s not bile more a comment on your blithe acceptance of the denier philosophy of abrogating personal responsibility. “Why should I stop dumping my sewerage in the street because my next door neighbour also does it?” is contemptuous of the fact that we all have a duty of care to each other and to the world we all share and rely upon for our very existence.

    As a country that contributes amongst the highest per-capita emissions, it is incumbent upon us to show leadership on the world stage and to be good global citizens.

    People here are angry, and rightly so, because they are seeing the government deliberately undermining a vital initiative and imperilling the people they have been elected to protect and support – all for the pursuit of money and power for an obscenely wealthy few.

  50. richo

    Love it Kaylee!

  51. Melissa

    Hello Victoria,
    I am not a regular follower and only just stumbled over this blog. Reading through the article and the comments, I see you are in good company. The company of small group of ideologically blinded zealots.
    There is no logical discussion but only what appears to be the demonizing of the newly elected government.

    For too long has science been removed from the discussion and only people pushing an agenda, people such as Flannery et al. while true to science scientists such as Bob Carter et al have been hounded.
    look truly at the operation of the left wing freeloading zealots platform and think twice.

    I shall not cross this path again. Thanks

  52. Michael Taylor

    Thank goodness for that.

  53. kayelee1

    Bob Carter is paid by the Heartland Institute who are paid by big business to argue against science. James Cook University no longer require his services apparently.

    “In 2012, documents acquired from The Heartland Institute revealed that Carter was paid a monthly fee of $1,667 (USD), “as part of a program to pay ‘high-profile individuals who regularly and publicly counter the alarmist [anthropogenic global warming] message’.”

    “The Heartland Institute has a long history of peddling half-baked nonsense. Over the years, the group has dismissed the health threat posed by second-hand smoke, ridiculed the evidence for acid rain as “flimflam,” and criticized the “hasty phase-out” of chlorofluoro-carbons, which were destroying the atmosphere’s ozone layer. More recently, the Economist called Heartland “the world’s most prominent think tank promoting skepticism about man-made climate change,” and the magazine didn’t mean it as a compliment.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elliott-negin/unreliable-sources-5-how_b_3316714.html

  54. Marg1

    Well written Victoria, and oh so true.

  55. Jason

    Kaylee: “Where we differ is that you want to wait until we are forced to take action and I believe we should lead the way in taking action.” Oh, so I want to wait? Where does it say that?

    Anomander: “Jason, it’s not bile more a comment on your blithe acceptance of the denier philosophy of abrogating personal responsibility.” Cynical, maybe. Overwhelmed in the face of what India and China are doing – yes. But blithe – really? Abrogating personal responsibility – me?

    Good to see the passion alive and well but how about we stick to responding to what people said, instead of responding to what we wish they had said. I am a father of young kids and of course I despair to think of the world they will inherit. I laugh to see the trolls purporting to analyse my character, if only you knew how wide of the mark you were.

    The point of a carbon tax is to make the alternatives seem cheaper. In Australia we have no alternatives. Paying more for what we dump into the atmosphere alone won’t stop us burning coal and petrol. It just ups the price. Ok, so we will burn a bit less but that will just make it last longer. Those people that think a carbon tax will save the world are misguided. Without taking real and significant action, like embracing nuclear energy, the carbon tax gives no cheaper alternatives. REAL greenies (of which I consider myself one) know that fiddling around the edges won’t save the earth’s climate (if it’s not too late anyway). The human race is hooked on energy and the only way to reduce carbon is to find a REAL alternative and BLOODY QUICKLY.

  56. kayelee1

    Jason I may have misunderstood what “as one day Australia will be forced to act” means. For me that day has already arrived.

  57. Jason

    Kayelee, for me that day is overdue.

  58. Peter

    I propose a new bumper sticker saying, “If you voted Liberal/National Party, feel free to smack yourself in the head!”

  59. kayelee1

    Jason I agree we need to look at every measure at our disposal but I believe you are simplifying the effectiveness of a carbon price as one of our tools. It encourages business to do the R&D to reduce emissions and move towards sustainable practice.

    “In order to reduce costs, utilities, business and individuals attempt to use less energy derived from fossil fuels. An individual might switch to public transportation and replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). A business might increase energy efficiency by installing new appliances or updating heating and cooling systems. A utility company might use wet scrubbers, low NOx-burners or gasification to reduce their emissions. And since carbon tax sets a definite price on carbon, there is a guaranteed return on expensive efficiency investments.

    Carbon tax also encourages alternative energy by making it cost-competitive with cheaper fuels. A tax on a plentiful and inexpensive fuel like coal raises its per British Thermal Unit (Btu) price to one comparable with cleaner forms of power.

    And don’t forget about all the money raised by the tax. It can help subsidize environmental programs or be issued as a rebate. Many fans of carbon tax believe in progressive tax-shifting. This would mean that some of the tax burden would shift away from federal income tax and state sales tax.

    Economists like carbon tax for its predictability. The price of carbon under cap-and-trade schemes can fluctuate with weather and changing economic conditions. This is because cap-and-trade schemes set a definite limit on emissions, not a definite price on carbon. Carbon tax is stable. Businesses and utilities would know the price of carbon and where it was headed. They could then invest in alternative energy and increased energy efficiency based on that knowledge.”

    http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-science/carbon-tax1.htm

  60. Penelope Vos

    I’m glad that New Zealand has never bought that “too small to matter” line. They do what is right regardless of scale, and possibly it may even be easier for them (as for us) because we are under less population pressure to prioritise the short term.
    Tim Flannery gave us a chance to prove that Australians are not the spineless jellyfish we seem to be, in view of our “election” based on media disinformation, and gives us a chance to play our part responsibly. (Having said that, the sooner we shed our conservative parasites, the better).

  61. Stephanie Nash

    I am one of these founding members and I am damn proud to be one. I have never been scared of fighting for what I believe in and I believe in protecting the only home we have. Since your government only cares about your wallet, many people have decided to take a stand. I live on less than $20k a year and I would rather go without to ensure my child and my grandchildren and the rest of the species on this planet have a home in the future. You can throw me in jail if you wish to try and silence me because I will not be gagged.

  62. Pietro Codini

    Kayelee.

    You’re a breath of fresh air!

  63. rossleighbrisbane

    Melissa, I just wrote an article very critical of the Labor Government on this very site.
    You can find it here

    Or by simply going to our main site.

    But, sorry, I missed the bit about you not being back.

  64. Peter Hamrol

    Really did not know much about Hunt’s background but after watching his debate on Lateline on Tuesday night I came to a quick conclusion that this un-intelligent wannabe is froth and bubble like the rest of his LIB colleagues … Fancy denying Dirty Fossil Emissions does not affect climate change … It is conclusive that the studies from experts around the world in this field are right in their assumptions … Climate change is as real as night and day … It is just not solely climate change that emissions causes to our environment … What the planet is undergoing now are a myriad of other risks from these emissions … We all have to contend with a highly polluted atmosphere that creates respiratory health problems; high levels of acid rain that washes into our streams, rivers, lakes and oceans thus creating an un-naturally balanced Ph level; pollutants being washed into the earth’s soil structure either by rain or water flow thus probably making it more difficult to sustain our vegetarian foods the way they should grow; and, extreme levels of toxic algal bloom levels that are now present in all aquatic environments … This attitude of denial from Hunt and supporters of the same ilk is leading to the systematic and widespread extermination or attempted extermination of all of earth’s inhabitants and if there is such a thing called humane justice then these deniers should be made accountable for their greed and wilful negligence … Mr Environment Minister, your very actions are sowing the seeds of destruction to the environment. It is your duty of care that the environment is looked after instead of doing the bidding of self-centred, money hungry mining, energy and media magnates … Do the right thing by all Australians and do our bidding for the benefit of our future generations … The world deserves to co-exist with a clean atmosphere, and thus a sustainable and a pollutant-free terra-firma & aquatic environment … Finally, I bow my head to Tim Flannery and his new Climate Council colleagues for continuing their valuable contributions. They all have the utmost respect from me …

  65. Dan Rowden

    The Liberals are doing what they always do, and do so effectively: they appeal to the wallet, to our insecurities, to our fears – and then pretend to be solving each problem. Ever lied to your child to comfort them? You think human beings are not children? Think again. The creeping infantalisation of society is our greatest exigency, our greatest danger. At every moment we must demand to be treated like adults. At every moment we must be, adults.

  66. Kaye Lee

    I am so pleased we have an adult government who refuses to participate in the negativity of the previous government.

  67. richo

    Dan that is such a good point we must indeed be adult.

  68. Watching In Adelaide

    @Jason, I too read your first comment and had the impression that you were stereotyped into the class of people who believe we should not do anything on reducing CO2, because the big countries aren’t. I am glad you clarified. But your words were very close to those that propose just that.
    I like the analogy : ‘why should I stop throwing my McDonalds wrappers out of the car window? everyone else is doing it, my rubbish is so much less!’. If people think like that, then they have no principled standing when it comes to saying, “We should stop throwing garbage out the window”. Its not until you take action on your principles, however imperfect, that you can add to the voice of change. All in my humble opinion.

    Sorry, @Shane Forwood the spelling Nazi in me is awake, its losing, not loosing 😉

    Loose : unbounded, unassembled, uncontrolled. Like loose stools (Diahorrea)

    If this was the context you were making when you claim “Abbott has never got over loosing him.”(re John Howard), implying that there was some bowel movements involved, then I understand.

    However,
    Lose : to misplace, fail to retain, can no’t find. Then it is losing (the verb)
    I presume this was the context, i.e. if you dropped a 10 cent piece down a sewer, “Abbott has never got over losing 10 cents down the sewer.” This analogy works with John Howard, i.e. if you sift through enough sewage, you’ll get your monies worth.

    What I’d really like to say is that Greg Hunt is the face of a coalition, that gave every appearance of not believing in anthropogenic global warming. Now the coalition is dismantling Labors policy, for a pseudo policy yet to be tested in any way. What bothers me is that he couches all his rhetoric in words that leave open just enough wiggle room to appear to be doing diligence to the science .. just in case they have it all wrong.
    If the coalition have it wrong, and everyone suddenly finds it very important to mitigate carbon dioxide, what would the LNP really do?

    Greg Hunt is a sad indictment on the intellect that has gone into the policy debate.

  69. kayelee1

    The hottest days in Australia will increase in temperature by up to 6 degrees and higher than previously predicted sea-level rises could decimate the Northern ­Territory’s Kakadu wetlands, according to an international ­scientific report to be released on Friday.

    The latest findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the science of climate change, on which The Australian Financial Review has been briefed, are expected to upgrade the likelihood that man-made activity is causing global warming to 95 per cent.

    It is now “unequivocal” Earth has warmed since the start of the 20th century by 0.89 degrees. In contrast, in 2001 the probability of this being the case was only 66 per cent.

    The release of the report is set to intensify domestic political debate about the future of the carbon price scheme and the credibility of the Abbott government’s Direct Action policy in reducing emissions. A summary will be released in Stockholm around 7pm Australian eastern standard time on Friday night.

    http://www.afr.com/p/national/earth_warming_unequivocal_ipcc_s4ccibWze2YGTxZcZV0wAP

  70. shane forwood

    thank you for alerting the rest of who ever to my education standards, i like many of my generation, never got a good education, [ over 60 ] , so i like a lot of people prayed that the better schools thing really took off. but unfortunately abbott brainwashed too many people in voting for him. if we had got a ” better government ” the kids of today would not be embarresed over spelling mistakes and bad grammer, they would all be better .
    so thank you for spelling out just why we need better schools so when todays kids grow up, they will get a BETTER education than i did
    regards shane forwood

  71. richo

    Yes well we do have a wonderful Education minister Poodly Pyne who thinks that teachers can work in one simple way of direct instruction in front of classes bigger than ben hur and all will be wonderful. But we must limit university to the elites or the quality or should that be calibre will be compromised.

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