As many of you may know, Australia is holding its Federal Election this Saturday 7th September. To say that it’s looking like an uninspiring election is an understatement of biblical proportions. This is particularly the case in terms of environmental policy. On the one hand, we have the current Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, of the Labor Party. Mr Rudd used to say excellent things about the environment, such as describing climate change as the “the greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time.” That was when he was first elected, back in 2007. Since then, very little changed – especially considering the enormity and urgency of such a comment. There was a lot of talk about Emissions Trading Schemes. He went to Copenhagen and didn’t achieve a lot except for tarnishing his reputation with explosive outbursts about “ratf*****s.” And then he was removed as Prime Minister by his own party in 2010 and replaced by our first female PM, Julia Gillard. Ms Gillard introduced the Carbon Tax last year (a token effort but a step in the right direction). Then this year, in a moment of bizarre symmetry, she was removed as PM by her own party – i.e. the Labor Party. And then they put Mr Rudd back in. Are you following? If the Labor party had a Facebook “relationship status” with its leaders, it would say “It’s complicated” and people would sigh to themselves and decide that it really was complicated and they didn’t really care.
On the other hand though, we have the Liberal Party and Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott. I’ve copied a few of Mr Abbott’s best quotes below, courtesy of Skeptical Science and a bunch of mugshots.
Granted, its not a great choice. But, as Mr Rudd said of his own party “The core element here is that we believe climate change is real.” That huge gulf in acceptance of science is something to keep in mind on election day.
(And yes, even though I’m overseas, I did vote by post. I even voted below the line this year, numbering all 110 Senate candidates in an effort to put all of the parties running on scientifically ignorant [The No Carbon Tax Climate Change Sceptics] and racist [unfortunately, too many to name, but highlights included Rise Up Australia and One Nation] platforms right down the bottom).