Censoring climate change and its reporting is a big business, notably among fossil fuel obsessives and those in denial. It continues to fulfil a role in the policies of Australia’s Turnbull government. Even after the demise of Tony Abbott last year, his successor continues to scrub his own environmental credentials from his profile. As he does so, an assortment of weasel words have found their way into the political argot: “innovation”, “growth” and a host of other empty treats.
Despite lauding various efforts to pursue “clean energy” (PM Malcolm Turnbull decided to reverse the previous leader’s decision to scrap the Clean Energy Finance Corporation), environmental politics in Australia remains a dirty business.
Turnbull demonstrated as much in March by announcements that he would remove funds from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and replace it with a new, slogan rich “Clean Energy Innovation Fund”. Turnbull is particularly keen on copyrighting innovation, a substitute, he finds, for actual de-funding strategies for the essentially redundant environment portfolio.
As Giles Parkinson noted in March:
The move to de-fund ARENA and create a ‘new’ fund using money already allocated to the CEFC is nothing but a sleight of hand, and an elaborate ruse by Turnbull to save more than $1.3 billion and get his new pet word ‘innovation’ included in a financing scheme.
This is only one portion of Turnbull’s strategy. Another is a no…