It all seems so long ago. Kevin Rudd was riding high in the polls and had all the political capital he needed to push through essential pieces of legislation to secure Australia’s future. The Australian led the charge at the start of 2010, relentlessly attacking Labor for alleged shortcomings of the BER program. Never mind that it served its function brilliantly, supporting the construction sector when it needed help the most. The mining tax legislation was then announced, culminating in what can only be described as a capricious industry revolt by the billionaire mining barons. The Murdoch press was all too eager to help move things along, and the rest is history.
Fast forward to today. We still have a Labor Government, one which seems to have found a backbone under Gillard’s leadership and resurrected its plans to put a price on carbon. Rabid sections of the media are still alive and well, both in the Murdoch press and on the shock jock airwaves. It seems clear to me, as it does to many, that the facts behind climate change and the Government’s plans to combat it have become lost in a sea of deliberate misinformation and obfuscation by these very sections of the media. While Fairfax appears to be making valiant attempts to set the record straight, their efforts are nowhere near enough to combat Murdoch’s control of almost 70% of Australian print media.
“What can we do?” you might ask. The internet presents a remarkable opportunity to bypass the media filters of old. Last year I created a site called Mining Tax Facts (http://www.mining-tax.com.au), a site which sat at the top of the Google rankings for many mining tax related keywords for a very long time. This year, I’ve decided to create something similar for the so-called carbon tax at http://www.carbontax.net.au. Along with help from John Cooke (from Skeptical Science) as well as the Environment Defenders Office of Victoria, I have compiled a list of common questions surrounding both climate change and the Government’s plans to put a price on carbon.
All answers are fully referenced and should provide a useful resource to anyone trying to combat misinformation. It should also help those who have yet to make up their minds. The site is fully interactive; people can post comments and questions and debate any of the finer points of the legislation.
If you’re wondering how you can help promote the site, please do one (or many) of the following:
- If you run a blog, consider placing the site in your blogroll (call it “Carbon Tax Facts”. Also consider posting a link in your next post. These sorts of links are extremely useful for gaining a high Google ranking.
- If you have a Twitter or Facebook account, share it on one or both.
- If you have a Google account, click the +1 button on the site (it’s up the top)
- Email the link to your friends.