The first climate change election flounders down under
Depressing news from Australia as electors decide to return the decidedly high carbon Liberal-National coalition to Government, scuppering an opportunities to put one of the few remaining climate hold outs onto a low carbon path. The coalition played hard on projected job losses and ecological hit from the Labor opposition’s proposals to cut carbon by 45%.
I know little or nothing about Aussie politics, but I believe this is yet another clear warning for the global environmental movement that we can’t take public support for granted. When people get scared, they don’t jump into the unknown, they cling to what they’ve got – and it’s all too easy for the cynical to play to those fears.
I get flack for pointing out that the gilets jaunes in France hit the streets because of a modest eco-tax on fuel. “Ah, but that shows the need for ecological justice” is the response, but that’s just too middle-class worthy/glib for my liking. What does it mean in practice? Yes the rich fly much more than the poor, but we all heat our homes, eat our meals and travel to work/play. The idea that the only obstacle to Sustainability is a few big businesses and a handful of corrupt politicians is bunk.
If we are going to expect the public to change radically, we’re going to have to make sure there is something in it for them. Just to repeat the basic mantra of Green Jujitsu: it doesn’t matter what you think, it’s what they think that matters.