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It’s time to stop saying yes

Australian climate change activists have increasingly failed to advocate, let alone achieve, action proportionate to the scale and urgency of the global climate crisis which threatens human civilization. This culminated in 2011 in the various environmental groups uniting under the lowest-common-denominator message “Say yes to a price on pollution”. We need to be much more assertive.

I developed this theme in a series of posts in June 2012:

  1. A brief history of Australian climate policy (how the Greens piled compromise upon compromise in negotiations with the Government)
  2. A not-so-clean energy future (how Australia’s climate policy is weak and riddled with flaws)
  3. What went wrong? (how activists chose to uncritically “Say Yes” to any carbon price that might be agreed by the politicians)
  4. Bright-siding (how environmentalists misguidedly campaigned on the side-benefits of climate policies, failing to explain the need to rapidly phase out fossil fuels to avoid dangerous global warming)
  5. “Political reality” (how our timidity has helped push the political centre toward our industry opponents, and our failure to expose greenwash has enabled them to systematically sabotage government policy)
  6. The Greens (how the Greens and the climate movement may be squandering the opportunity presented by the 2010 election result)
  7. Where we’re at today (how even our meager achievements are at risk, and are already being used to argue against further action)
  8. Conclusion (how we can do things differently in future)

I published a two-part update of sorts in February 2013:

  1. Reassessing the Greens’ pragmatic strategy (reviewing how the Greens’ pragmatic strategy has fared)
  2. Why 2013 will be a pivotal year for climate (examining the possible outcomes in 2013)

I revisited strategic issues in October 2013 in a new series about “Anti-Politics“.

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