A Christmas Present for Julie Bishop: Australian Foreign Minister needs to read Naomi Klein

by ray goodlass

Good to see the Greens Regional, Rural and Remote Working Group created at last weekend’s State Council. Also, my Daily Advertiser Op Ed piece recommending Julie Bishop reads Naomi Klein’s ‘This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate’ published today. After cutting Australia’s funding to the UN climate body by 80% she’s representing us at the Climate Change conference in Lima, Peru. Go figure!

Here’s the full text:

A Christmas present for the Foreign Minister

Treasurer Joe Hockey urged us to “Spend up big” for Christmas (ABC TV, 2 December) and whilst it is debatable whether his reducing Christmas to nothing more than crass consumerism and avarice, it did remind me that a book I have recently been reading would make an excellent end-of-year present for Foreign Minister Julie Bishop as she jets off to the UN Climate Conference in Lima, Peru.

The book is Naomi Klein’s acclaimed ‘This changes everything: Capitalism vs the Climate’ by Naomi, published by Alan Lane. It would also be useful for all the climate change sceptics still sticking their heads in the sand.

More of the book in due course, but why would it make a good present for Ms Bishop?

Not just because she ignores the weight of climate science, but because as Foreign Minister she has a public voice denied to most, and power to put her misguided views into practice.

For despite calling for ‘strong’ greenhouse gas emission cuts (SMH, 5 December), she is also promoting really dangerous ideas, such as nuclear energy being an option for Australia, describing it as an “obvious direction” as it considers how to cut carbon dioxide emissions after 2020.

Others of course are aware that uranium is dangerous to mine, to transport and use as fuel, and that it remains fatally toxic for millions of years, as renowned Australian scientist Helen Caldicott has been warning for years.

I guess Ms Bishop is just preparing a case for when, at the Lima conference, Australia will face pressure to announce its climate targets for beyond 2020.

Which reminds me, why isn’t Captain Abbott sending the Minister for the Environment?

Anyway, at Lima Ms Bishop may also become the pariah of the international community for her slashing funding to a key United Nations environment agency by more than 80 per cent.

Not surprisingly, environmental groups are stunned.

Now, what would Ms Bishop learn from Ms Klein’s most recent book? In it she examines in exhaustive detail the politics, ethics and realities around climate change. She shows how the Western power elites remain in denial about the extent of the problem because it suits their economic interests to do so.

Klein tackles big business, big banks, oil and gas, compliant environmentalists, and a mainstream media that largely follows the narrative set by its paymasters and advertisers, all issues dear to the neo-liberal ideology of Team Abbott..

She also points the finger at corrupt trade deals such as the one being negotiated with Australia, The Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would allow multinationals the power to sue Australia for loss of income, lessening our sovereignty.

So something to help Ms Bishop while away the hours as she jets across the Pacific.