The regular articles in the Shepparton News featuring interviews with community leaders about their views on climate change have in the main been informative and interesting, but the latest one on February 4 which features National Party MP Damian Drum cannot go unanswered.
I do wonder if the views expressed in the article are actually Mr Drum's, because they seem to come straight from the Coalition songbook.
Let us look a little more closely at the article in question.
The headline screams "Australia leads way on climate change."
Nothing could be further from the truth, in fact a recent report from the 2020 Climate Change Performance Index handed down late last year ranked Australia as the worst-performing country on climate change policy.
Moving onto the article itself.
His response to question 1 "What is your position on global warming and climate change?" is little more than dogwhistling to his supporters.
He is saying there might be a link between human activity and climate change only insofar as the climate is changing anyway and he then gives credibility to the handful of "so called" scientists who say other factors are at play. "I also accept that there are many scientists who believe that there are other factors at play in our changing climate in addition to human activity."
This response is straight out of the climate deniers’ playbook and is rejected overwhelmingly by the vast majority of the scientific community.
Question 2 is "are we doing enough to mitigate the impact of climate change in the region?”
I have debunked the notion that Australia is leading the way among all other countries in the world earlier in this article.
His figures that we are leading the way in rooftop solar may be accurate but Australia is doing well in this area because of State Government incentives and individuals doing their bit, not because of Federal Coalition Government policy (or lack of). In fact the Coalition Government has time and time again tried to destroy initiatives in this area like the renewable energy target.
Question 3 is about the role of business and community leaders in advocating for more action.
Below is a quote from the article.
“Our electricity and gas costs, both at a domestic and commercial/industrial level, have already risen significantly as we transition away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy. We need to be mindful that it is often the poorest families in our communities who often live in the least energy-efficient homes"
Here Mr Drum is effectively blaming the transition from fossil fuels to renewables for high power prices whereas the reality is renewables are keeping power prices from rising exponentially.
Mr Drum goes on to say it is up to community and business leaders to advocate for the truth to find its way into mainstream media.
This, coming from a member of a Coalition government who continually pedal lies about climate change?
If it wasn't so serious it would be laughable.
A cavalcade of government ministers including our Pentecostal PM have gone on mainstream media month after month to push the lie that our carbon emissions are falling and we will meet our (inadequate) Paris targets "in a canter" despite the government's own departments figures showing our emissions are rising, and we have to cheat by using clever accounting methods to meet those Paris targets by using so-called "Kyoto credits".
For Ern Meharry's full opinion piece go to: www.sheppnews.com.au/ernesto's manifesto