Climate change: 'Mutiny' needed against government inaction

May 24, 2008

Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) president Professor Ian Lowe called on Australians to "mutiny" against government inaction on climate change, at a public forum on May 17. Forty people attended the event organised by Friends of the Earth (FoE).

"In ecological terms, there can be little doubt that we are booked on the Titanic and steaming towards the iceberg of runaway climate change", Lowe said."The people who should know better are still in the first-class bar ordering smoked salmon and the best vintage champagne, secure in the knowledge that their cheque will not reach the bank.

"The apathetic approach is [to assume] that the crew must know what they are doing. But the activist approach, my view, is that, if the crew on the bridge won't change course, we should organise a mutiny", Lowe urged a cheering audience.

Lowe said the federal government's 2008 budget did nothing to reduce public subsidies of greenhouse pollution: "The support for renewable energy is counter-balanced by an equal allocation to 'clean coal', perhaps the greatest oxymoron since military intelligence.

"The budget has allocated about $2 billion to climate change projects, while the fuel tax credit scheme costs taxpayers about $5 billion a year, discouraging the mining and trucking industries from switching to cleaner transport."

Other speakers at the forum included Holly Creenaune, FoE spokesperson for the Camp for Climate Action, who outlined the plan to protest at Newcastle, "the biggest coal port in the state that is the biggest coal exporter in the world".

The ACF's budget submission is available at To contact the climate camp, email

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