Philosophical Conversations Public Opinion Junk for code
parliament house.gif
Think Tanks
Oz Blogs
Economic Blogs
Foreign Policy Blogs
International Blogs
Media Blogs
South Australian Weblogs
Economic Resources
Environment Links
Political Resources
South Australian Links
"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

politics of climate change « Previous | |Next »
June 11, 2005

Gerard Henderson is a favourite of Oz bloggers---see DogsfightAtBankstown for the background on the one way adverserial relationship. And deservedly so because his commentary was pretty boring, repetitive and low grade.

Recently Henderson wrote:

I have long held the view that The Age is the most left-wing newspaper in Australia---in a sense, its culture is set by Michael Leunig .... In my view, turning The Age into "The Guardian on the Yarra" is bad for the political debate in Australia. It is also a counter-productive commercial decision---since contemporary Australia's capital cities are too small to sustain a left-wing broadsheet like The Guardian---or, indeed, a conservative broadsheet like The Telegraph in London.

Would it be bad for political debate in Australia? Let us take a look at the Guardian:

Steve Bell

Bell's cartoon seems pretty accurate to me, given the way the Bush administration plays the politics of climate change by downplaying the link between greenhouse gas emissions and global warming to hide the effect of man-made emissions on the heating the planet.

The rightwing/conservative politics of climate change in Australia disguises the effects of greenhouse gas emissions on climate change by saying the lack of rain and warm temperatures is due to natural causes. The dry autumn and lack of water in south-eastern and western Australia is caused by the drought, and this will soon ease when the rains come. So there is nothing to worry about.

What we need is more hard critical commentary that questions the view that the states can go ahead building more coal-fired power stations to power their industrial machines; that there is no need to recycle storm and waste water; that there is no need to have solar power on household rooftops to run airconditioners and feed power back to the grid.. etc etc.

Is that not a useful role for a liberal newspaper such as The Age? It can also open its pages to critical conservative commentary to help foster the formation of public opinion through deliberation and dialogue. The Age can help foster this dialogue by requiring their columnists to avoid the tone of 'only we know all the political stuff.' As Tim Dunlop says:

I'd like to see some doubt creep into their pontificating, see them inject a bit of originality into their phrase turning, and for them to recognise that their priviledged position obliges them to challenge authority, whether it be political, economic or cultural.

That might help foster public dialogue once the Senate is captured by the conservatives.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:28 AM | | Comments (1)


Has Gerard Henderson ever made a single comment on global warming? I've been reading the SMH now for several years and suspect that Henderson may not even know what is produced when coal burns in air. If he does, he's certainly not letting on. It confounds me that a man can be so politically brilliant, yet so far out of touch with physical reality.

I've given up hoping that the world will save itself from greenhouse gases. Now I just hope that people like Henderson live long enough to see the devastation which their ideology will (short of a major turn around in popular thinking) bring.

(If you think I'm being over dramatic, don't miss Al Gore's documentary movie "An Inconvenient Truth", coming to Australia in September)