Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ferguson losing his climate PR war

Maybe it's because Kevin Rudd says 'arguments grounded in fact will always win the day', but Martin Ferguson appears to be losing his climate PR war to dupe locals into believing he's some sort of climate progressive.

Following a recent climate demonstration at HP Zwar Park in Preston, Martin got his nose out of joint when the protest sparked letters to The Melbourne Times. He responded with a misrepresentation of the protestors' arguments, and even letterboxed Preston locals specifically naming me as a 'Greens activist' - this when I am not and never have been a member of the Greens party.

Well, Martin's letterboxing efforts earned him coverage in Crikey, and today The Melbourne Times has published a strong letter by Anne Martinelli (OMG, isn't she with the Greens?), and my own response to Martin's earlier letter to the editor:
It is laughable that Martin Ferguson asserts the belief that 'science, not green faith, must form the basis of our response' to climate change. By that measure, if Australia's emissions reduction targets were adopted by all developed countries, we would come nowhere near the greenhouse levels science says we must achieve to avoid catastrophic global warming and further severe impacts such as the Black Saturday bushfires.

Ferguson also falsely implies that the climate change movement is uniformly prescribing zero emissions for Australia by 2020. While that is indeed a laudable aim, and has been adopted as a net community target by a newly progressive Darebin Council, it poses a considerable if not insurmountable challenge for the nation by that date. However, the transition to zero emissions that science does support as soon as possible surely calls for 2020 cuts far deeper than the token reductions being put forward by the Rudd Government.

Sadly, Ferguson does not support science-based solutions to climate change, and our resources minister favours renewable energy far, far less than the fossil fuels his mates in the coal industry gouge from the ground and flog for their massive profit at the expense of our relentlessly warming climate. If they owned the sun and the wind, Ferguson might have a change of heart. Until then, Australia is a quarry and our climate gets hotter.
All this coverage is tending towards a rather unpleasant outcome for our fossil-fuel-friendly energy and resources minister - constituents of his greening Batman electorate will increasingly make the link between the climate impacts of his ministerial actions and his role as their local federal MP. They might also begin to see the contradictions between the minister's climate recalcitrance and his riding on the coat-tails of worthwhile local initiatives to green up his image.

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