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Fossil Fools Day

By activistupdates - 24 March 2008 51

Take action to stop the Fossil Fools in industry and
government from messing with our climate!



Tuesday 1 April 2008
Meet: 12noon @ Union Court, ANU, or
12.30pm @ Garema Place, Civic

Bring yourself, your friends, banners, signs, jester or clown clothes (if you have them), a sense of fun and a commitment to saving the planet. Walk or ride with us to one of Canberra’s own Fossil Fools – and find out who will win the 2008 Fossil Fools Awards!


 “All of our members are big enough and ugly enough to represent themselves”
– John Daley, CEO of the Australian Industry Greenhouse Network

The Parliament of Australia is situated in the middle of Canberra and is constantly under siege by an army of lobbyists who seek to influence government policy on behalf of whoever provides their paycheck.

Amongst this legion of lobbyists there are a few who stand above the rest, who represent the common interests of the largest corporations in the world and who speak for Exxon-Mobil, BP, Shell, Chevron, Woodside, Halliburton, BHP, Alcoa, Xstrata, Rio Tinto and others.

Encamped within their offices these lobbyists have direct access to the highest levels of Government and the public service – something to be expected of representatives of such wealth and power.

A few years ago they denied that climate change was happening; now they deny that any serious action is required to stop it.

In public, amongst other titles, they call themselves the Australian Industry Greenhouse Network, the Australian Coal Association, the Australian Institute of Petroleum and the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association. In private, as revealed by an advisor to the former government, they call themselves the Greenhouse Mafia.

Their job is to ensure “business as usual”.

Ross Garnaut, who has been appointed by the government to investigate how Australia should respond to climate change, has estimated what would happen in a “business as usual” scenario. He predicts in his interim report (using CSIRO information):

–         the irreversible melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet

–         the “rising risk of collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet”

–         the “southward spread of dengue transmission zone as far as Brisbane”

–         the bleaching of “almost all of the Great Barrier Reef”

–         the loss “to sea level rise” of “80% of Kakadu’s freshwater wetlands”

–         “up to a 200% increase in temperature related mortality among people aged over 65 years in capital cities”

–         “changes to India’s annual monsoon [that] could lead to severe droughts and intense flooding in parts of India”

–         “1,200-1,400 more heat related deaths a year in major population centres”

–         “significant species extinction in internationally significant environments in north Queensland and Western Australia”

–         The “relocation” of Coastal settlements and infrastructure “due to anticipated extreme sea level rise”

–         “the flooding of residences of tens of millions of people in the low lying areas of South, Southeast, Northeast Asia and the South Pacific” …and more.

Garnaut also notes that under the “business as usual” scenario “that global average temperatures could rise by up to 6ºC, and perhaps more if positive feedback effects amplify the warming effect of greenhouse gases”. He states that this is a conservative estimate with recent data suggesting that “the climate system may be responding more quickly than climate models indicate”.

In the face of such shocking predictions – all the more shocking for the solid science underlying them – the Greenhouse Mafia continues to oppose any policy that would make the fossil fuel industry reduce its emissions.

They have argued that the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act should not even consider climate change as a factor in considering whether to approve or reject a coal mine, oil rig or aluminium smelter.

They have said that “it is fanciful to fix on a rigid target” for reducing emissions, but base their proposals around stabilising greenhouse gas concentrations at 575ppm carbon dioxide equivalent – which would almost certainly cause massive and irreversible global warming.

They have argued for an Emissions Trading Scheme… as long as they get free permits for all their current emissions, plus “compensation” for any further permits they might need, plus a cap on the price of permits so that it won’t cause them to change their behaviour, plus exemptions for the energy, transport and mineral industry and other major sources of emissions, plus only “light” regulation.

In effect they want the legal right to emit greenhouse gases with impunity – and to be paid extra for wrecking the climate.

If, despite their wishes, anything is done to curb emissions they also make it quite clear that they don’t want to pay for it and, absurdly, that this responsibility should rest primarily with poor countries.

That these Fossil Fools are still allowed to have any say in Australia’s response to climate change is insanity. It’s time for their backroom dealings to be exposed, their abysmal policies subjected to public scrutiny and for their mask of respectability to slip. It’s time that when they call the Government that the politicians know not to pick up the phone.

This April 1 join the campaign to stop climate change, and turn up the heat on those fooling with our climate – come out on Fossil Fools Day!

 For more information call Leigh on 0421 283 825 or email

What’s Your opinion?

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51 Responses to
Fossil Fools Day
RuffnReady 12:21 am 25 Mar 08

…and everyone waits on someone else to act…

Yes, the entire world has to be involved, but what if we could be a leader? Implement the technology and behaviour here, export it to the world as we phase out the old ways ove the next two decades. Leaders prosper, followers struggle.

And on this issue John Howard was a FOOL – he denied the science and only came to recognise it when he realised that public opinion was against him. Why not recognise the science in the first place as any rational leader would have done?

Anyway, go on doing nothing – most other people are. That is the way of the world.

jemmy 11:39 pm 24 Mar 08

I’m happy to accept we contribute to global warming and happy to take action to reduce our effects. I’m not at all happy for our local changes to cost me an extra 10% to live when it effects global warming by 0.0000000000000001%.

You fossil fools do realise that you are in effect paying for a feel-good exercise. The only benefit from local change is for spin that can be used against the real contributors: US, China, India. Sorry, but I don’t want to pay quite that much just for spin.

I detested Howard’s selfish policies generally, but this was one where he was correct.

RuffnReady 10:06 pm 24 Mar 08

As for the event, it does feel like a futile stunt because nothing is going to change until we all start to change our individual behaviour. They are right about the ridiculous power granted to the Greenhouse Mafia (read the transcript of the 4 Corners episode about the access of lobbyists to government here: ), and good on them for pointing it out, but they go wrong in this statement:

“clean up the mess they have made of our climate.”

Not “they”, WE! We buy the crap they sell, we waste the energy, we elect the governments who allow it all to happen by pandering to lobby groups. Until we realise that we must all change these things through our behaviour, forget real change.

The Jas 10:04 pm 24 Mar 08

Yes lets stop drilling oil, thats a law I would support. Unfortunately it would leave me without a job though, the company I work for is a plastics manufacturer, guess what plastic is made out of?

I’m all for looking after the planet, recycling etc but as Hasdrubahl pointed out, it seems like a bunch of dreadlocked student hippies chaining themselves to trees and not looking at the bigger picture. (That generalisation was on purpose, it’s probably far from the truth, but first impressions count)

RuffnReady 9:56 pm 24 Mar 08

All you climate change deniers – have you ever attempted to read any of the science? Are you assuming that it’s a massive conspiracy of thousands of scientists worldwide “protecting their tenure”? WTF?

If you want to know about the evidence for climate change theory, READ IT. It is all out there on the net at the touch of a keystroke. Start with the IPCC, follow the links. Or start with a popular science magazine and follow the links. Read one of the hundreds of scientifically-based books on the subject. Go to the ANU and have a chat to some scientists. Do something! Climate change science is not some nightmare manufactured by marketers, it is a scientific concensus backed up by thousands of independent scientific papers by tens of thousands of the world’s sharpest minds.

Want to discuss these things with climate scientists online in unmoderated discussions, start with .

But please, whatever you do, disabuse yourself of idiotic notions like “it is just a cycle the planet goes through”. The warming we are currently experiencing is 10-100times faster than during the last thaw (which took 3000 years before the climate restabilised), and it just happens to coincide with the industrialisation and consequent greenhouse pollution of the last 50 years. Go figure.

sepi 8:46 pm 24 Mar 08

Exactly 🙂

Hasdrubahl 8:32 pm 24 Mar 08

Whilst the post has been written quite convincingly, I fear that the concept of “Fossil Fools Day” will be counterproductive to the cause.

Many people will regard it as a futile undergraduate stunt. I mean, what’s with turning up dressed as clowns, jesters etc?

Thumper 8:32 pm 24 Mar 08

Hehe, works both ways Sepi…

Prove to me that climate change is true

Cheers 😉

sepi 8:26 pm 24 Mar 08

Prove to me that Climate Change isn’t true.

anon1972 8:14 pm 24 Mar 08

OK Mael…Can you now please explain to me what the use of all the coal will be if we are no longer exporting it or using for power station?

Mælinar 7:53 pm 24 Mar 08

Our economy won’t crash hard, or fast. We’ll have all the coal. Dumbass.

I’ll not bother talking to you about Climate Change (note the use of capitals), upon proof of how thick you really are in my first statement.

skaboy12 7:47 pm 24 Mar 08

Show me real proof that we cause climate change and it is not just a cycle the planet goes through like it did before the last ice age and I might actually care.

And BTW if we stop exporting coal our economy will crash so hard and fast you won’t know what hit you.

Growling Ferret 7:14 pm 24 Mar 08

Can’t wait until Ralph and the Barking Toad read about this….

p1 5:09 pm 24 Mar 08


That is the best sarcasm I have seen on this site in a while. Or perhaps cynicism, since the whole planet is our back yard with respect to global climate change.

el 4:14 pm 24 Mar 08


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