Monthly Archives: February 2015

Feb 28, 2003: Business Council of Australia becomes ‘neutral’ on Kyoto Protocol

The BCA releases a statement (first paragraphs below)

Kyoto Position

28 February 2003

The Business Council of Australia said today that its Members had been unable to reach a common position on the Kyoto Protocol, citing a lack of definitive information about the protocol’s impacts and opportunities for business, as well as divergent views among its membership.

“Given the divergent conclusions in the existing protocol research, as well as strongly-held differences of opinion between members on the business impacts of the protocol, the BCA is not in a position at this time to either support or reject ratification of the protocol,” BCA Chief Executive Ms Katie Lahey said.

Ms Lahey said, however, that BCA Members would continue to actively support and work toward achieving Australia’s 108 per cent Kyoto target in ways that benefited Australia’s competitive position.

“It is clear that BCA Members are united in their view that climate change remains a key issue for Australia’s corporate sector,” she said.

This followed a prolonged internal tussle, described well in Clive Hamilton’s 2007 book “Scorcher”

As ever, see the disclaimers, help the project and comments policy

Feb 27, 2012: Typically excellent Stephanie Macmillan cartoon



Other things that happened on this day:

1988 Australian Academy of Science (1988) Global change, Proceedings of the Elizabeth and Frederick White Research conference 24-27 February

As ever, see the disclaimers, help the project and comments policy.

February 26, 2014: Peabody launches “Advanced Energy for Life” campaign

Peabody Energy, the world’s biggest privately owned coal company (though significantly smaller than it was…) launched an advertising campaign with the help of Burson Marstellar, the -ahem – “well known” – public relations company.


They say that best defence is attack. By launching a campaign that talks about energy poverty in the Majority World, Peabody forces its critics to explain that they are not against poor people having better lives. Which instantly changes the subject and creates a different debate that the critics want to have. It’s crude, but effective…

The Australian Prime Minister (at time of posting this!) Tony Abbott declared that Coal was “Good for Humanity.”  So the campaign is clearly working…

As ever, see the disclaimers, help the project and comments policy.

Feb 25, 2007: Kevin Rudd launches a “National Clean Coal Initiative”



Rudd had recently become Labor Party leader, and was determined to make climate change An Issue. Soon after this announcement, he characterised as “the greatest moral challenge of our generation” into an election issue, sensing incumbent Prime Minister John Howard’s extreme vulnerability.

But Australia’s problems, since the beginning of the climate issue, have been

a) its reliance on coal-fired power stations for domestic electricity generation

b) its booming coal exports.

The dream of “clean coal” could theoretically (or perhaps “rhetorically”) solve both these problems.

Alongside Rudd was the shadow Labor Environment Minister, Peter Garratt – ex-lead singer of Midnight Oil – who by this time had somewhat damaged his relations with erstwhile green friends by participating in smears of Bob Brown… [check dates and for libel!!]


As ever, see the disclaimers, help the project and comments policy.

Feb 24, 2011: Gillard government and Greens hold climate media conference

Gillard and the Greens announce that there will be a functioning carbon price by mid-2012…

(Packham, Ben; Massola, James (24 February 2011). “Australia to have carbon price from July 1, 2012, Julia Gillard announces”. The Australian.)


Gillard had, just before the 2010 election uttered the immortal lines “ There will be no carbon tax in any government I lead.”

Whoops. The election had resulted in a hung parliament, and in order to get the support of the enough other MPs (including a Green), Gillard had to agree to… an emissions trading scheme. The vehemence and vitriol of the anti-Gillard campaign in 2011 was extraordinary, even by Australian standards… More on this later.

Other things that happened on this day:

1989 Global Warming Hearings before the subcommittee on energy and power of the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the (US) House of Representatives

As ever, see the disclaimers, help the project and comments policy.

Feb 23, 2000: Japanese Nuclear Power Plant plan defeated

“Japan’s nuclear power industry suffered a historic defeat yesterday when one of the country’s biggest utilities was forced to scrap plans for a power plant that it has been trying to build for 37 years.

The stunning setback — less than six months after the country’s worst nuclear accident — underlines the growing hostility to atomic energy in Japan and raises questions about the government’s ambitious atomic energy programme.

The plan to construct two 1,300 megawatt reactors in Ashihama, a scenic coastal area in Mie prefecture, central Japan, has been the subject of a prolonged and bitter confrontation since 1963, when it was first proposed by Chubu Electric Power Company.”

Jonathan Watts, The Guardian


Other things that happened on this day:

1979 Final day of First World Climate Conference

As ever, see the disclaimers, help the project and comments policy.

Feb 22, 1991: gloating letter about the power of the “blocking” movement

“In a February [22nd] 1991 letter to the vice president of the American Petroleum Institute, Robert Jastrow crowed , “It is generally considered in the scientific community that the Marshall report was responsible for the Administration’s opposition to carbon taxes and restrictions on fossil fuel consumption. Quoting New Scientist magazine, he reported that the Marshall Institute “is still the controlling influence in the White House.”

Oreskes and Conway, 2010 Page 190


The battle over the shape and breadth of the international climate regime was very hard fought in the years 1989 to 1992. The Marshall report refers to an un-peer reviewed paper circulated by the George C Marshall Institute in 1989. Despite being rubbished by scientists (see Science 1989), it had a large amount of influence with the George H.W. Bush White House, in part thanks to the role of then Chief of Staff John Sununu.

Other things that happened on this day:

2004 Pentagon “secret report” reported in Guardian

As ever, see the disclaimers, help the project and comments policy.