The Dirty Dozen: Australia’s biggest climate foes, part 2

Yesterday we brought you the first six of our Dirty Dozen, the people who have been most responsible in recent times for preventing progress in the reduction of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. Here are the other six, in random order …

Martin Ferguson

The former Australian Council of Trade Unions president now says Prime Minister Tony Abbott is not going far enough in cracking down on unions. But if “the working class can kiss my arse”, he retains his old workerist loathing of environmentalism. As minister for resources and energy in the Rudd and Gillard governments he was dirty industry’s best friend in cabinet, fighting tooth and nail to protect the interests of “his” industries and carving out massive subsidies for the big polluters. And after lobbying from coal companies, Ferguson was responsible for intensifying police and ASIO spying on environmental groups.

In 2009, blogger Andrew Bolt urged Ferguson to come out of the climate sceptic “closet”. Post-parliament he is out and proud. He chairs an advisory board for APPEA, representing gas and oil companies, in which role he almost qualifies as a member of the greenhouse mafia. But as an anti-climate policy lobbyist perhaps Ferguson’s new role as executive in charge of natural resources at Kerry Stokes’ Seven Group Holdings matters more. Stokes now makes much more money from mining than from TV, principally through ownership of Caterpillar dealerships in Australia and China, supplying mining trucks to Rio Tinto, BHP and pretty much every other mining company in Australia and northern China. Seven Group Holdings’ CEO is Don Voelte, who was head-hunted last year from Woodside Petroleum, from which position he was a member of the previous Dirty Dozen.

Greg Hunt

“I don’t know about Tony Abbott, but that Mr Hunt seems like a nice man. He says the government believes in climate change and the Direct Action plan will work. That’s good enough for me.” Hunt built his political career arguing the need to tackle climate change. Hell, he even won a prize for a thesis advocating emissions trading. Now he serves as the baby-faced apologist for the Abbott government’s attack on climate policy.

Hunt is the man who gave the go-ahead for a huge new coal export facility at Abbot Point in Queensland. And he defends climate deniers. Last year he denied the influence of climate change on increased bushfire intensity by quoting Wikipedia. He got all indignant on BBC radio defending his Prime Minister’s record on climate change. When asked if he agreed with Abbott that climate science is “absolute crap”, he rebuked the interviewer for swearing at him.

In the Howard government Philip Ruddock, the small-l Liberal who served as immigration minister, prosecuted a policy of systematic cruelty towards asylum seekers. He turned into a guilt-wracked ghost before our eyes. His own daughter strongly rebuked him. Watch Greg’s face over the next three years. Be more worried if it doesn’t change.

Mitch Hooke

The Minerals Council of Australia is by far the largest fossil fuel lobby group, with $35 million to spend each year on keeping the government friendly or scared. Although Hooke has recently stepped down as chief executive of the MCA, in his 12 years at the helm he leaves such a trail of devastation through climate policy in Australia that his influence will live on. For the mining companies that paid his salary he was worth every cent.

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14 Responses

Comments page: 1 |
  1. 12 is not enough.

    by rhwombat on Apr 16, 2014 at 1:11 pm

  2. I don’t think Greg Hunt’s face will change over the next 3 years. He is the anti-environment Minister. He has embraced the Dark Side.

    by Steve777 on Apr 16, 2014 at 2:24 pm

  3. I suspect the primary school children will think of something more direct to do with this list - and one of the location of these people’s graves - in 50 years. If I am somehow alive at age 103 I will issue them with maps, shovels, bags of prunes and other requisites myself.

    by Marrickville Mauler on Apr 16, 2014 at 6:15 pm

  4. What a disappointment Hunt has been?
    Promising so much, meaning so little.

    by klewso on Apr 16, 2014 at 7:15 pm

  5. Mr cHunt is the poster boy for self interest over principles (even his own)

    by PDGFD1 on Apr 16, 2014 at 7:20 pm

  6. Martin Furguson=Corporate whore!
    Greg Hunt is just a bozo and fall guy, who will fall in a heap when the carbon tax is removed and the prices for electricity don’t come down.

    by MJPC on Apr 16, 2014 at 7:42 pm

  7. Fergy won’t worry, he’s used his party and connections to get what he wanted.

    by klewso on Apr 17, 2014 at 8:46 am

  8. They’re all men, all anglo’s, all rightwing, mostly older. All religious? If any proof were needed of the dangers of inbreeding..

    by Liamj on Apr 17, 2014 at 11:44 am

  9. Correction - Ferguson in nominally left wing but then so is Joe Bullock.

    by Liamj on Apr 17, 2014 at 11:47 am

  10. Mar’nFer’son left wing? Has he been told? Or d’ya mean like Bullockbrain is old skool Labor?

    by AR on Apr 17, 2014 at 12:41 pm

  11. ^Yes. There are inevitable category errors with left/right wing labels, i’ll plead nostalgia for using them. Saddest thing about Mar’n, after the toupee, is that the bleeding hearts of Batman re-elected him after his treachery became clear. Like the Trots, the only thing keeping the ALP going is the rightwing infiltrators.

    by Liamj on Apr 17, 2014 at 3:26 pm

  12. I only hope that these people are brought to account within their life times, not in a historical distant period,for what they are denying so smugly so is all happening now!

    by K.D. Afford on Apr 17, 2014 at 3:52 pm

  13. Goodness me Clive, so much for civil discourse. I take it that you’re getting the CSU lawyers to look over your posts before you put them up.

    Your reference to “workerist loathing” shows your unpleasant elitism. Your perspective may play well to Adrian and Camille in Double Bay, but much less so to working class couples who depend on their jobs to pay the mortgage and feed their children.

    These issues require debate to ensure that appropriate action is taken and that the costs are properly shared. An attempt to shut down what is necessarily is, and should be, a complex dialectic does us all a disservice.

    by Glen Laslett on Apr 20, 2014 at 12:11 pm

  14. Am I the only person around here to have met Rhyming Slang’s father? Not that it’s of any importance but you would then understand where Rhyming Slang’s ideology (did I say that?) came from.

    by Venise Alstergren on Apr 20, 2014 at 3:57 pm

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