Take action to stop the Fossil Fools in industry and
government from messing with our climate!
FOSSIL FOOLS DAY
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.
Their mission is simple: to defeat any proposed law or policy that would require their employers to stop drilling oil, stop exporting coal, use less energy, pay for their pollution or clean up the mess they have made of our climate.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.