One of the first actions of the newly elected conservative government in Australia has been to axe Labor’s Climate Commission on 18 September 2013. Its purpose was “to provide all Australians with an independent and reliable source of information about the science of climate change”. Thanks to crowd-funding online, its ghost has arisen as the not-for-profit Climate Council with the same board members chaired by former Australian of the Year, Tim Flannery.
Over 800,000 Australian Dollars ($USD 730,000) have been raised in its first three days according to its Facebook page:
20,000 incredible Australians have chipped in over $800,000 in just three days. Together you have crowd-funded science with people power – and put us back in business!
Another inevitable metaphor of reincarnation is a famous mythological bird. Solar company Energy Matters argued in an online article entitled Out of the Ashes : The Climate Council:
But a phoenix has arisen from the ashes after an outpouring of support and offers of donations from the public to maintain the crucial work.
Twitter has been used to spread the word but there were notes of cynicism. This tweet has since been removed:
I suppose donating a few bucks to the Climate Council is easier than reducing our consumption. Is the time of guilt reduction over action.
— Front Quarter Window (@FQ_Window) September 26, 2013
But not from Linda Vergnani whose tweet has a Climate Council video promotion:
— Linda Vergnani (@ecowrite) September 26, 2013
Anne Teller is one of several tweeting this attack on Flannery. The link is to a post at conservative Quadrant Online:
Flannery predicted “overwhelming public support” over sacking *3 weeks* before.Shame he's not as accurate re climate http://t.co/FbBIAQhgui
— anne teller (@maatilda) September 26, 2013
Torin Peel, at progressive blog Independent Australia, has a very different take:
The new council is a godsend for our democracy, and will provide independent information Australians need to know the real facts about climate change. Because our new government is not willing to spend money researching, investigating and reporting this valuable information, it is fantastic that this initiative has been implemented to deal with it.
Back on twitter duszynski uses a oldie but a goodie:
— duszynski (@aduszynski) September 28, 2013
New Prime Minister Tony Abbott has promised to scrap the previous government's carbon price and emissions trading scheme and replace it with a direct action program. To do so he will need to change the legislation but that's a future story.
[Please Note: The author of this post, who is a member of the opposition Australian Labor Party, has made a donation to the Climate Council.]