You catch more flies with honey than vinegar, my dear old mum always used to say. That doesn’t seem to be good enough for GetUp!, who are becoming smug. They risk scaring off ordinary members of the public and only appealing to a select and self righteous band of zealots – the very worst kind of elite.

GetUp! ran an ad mocking the Government’s climate change campaign during the AFL Grand Final. They either don’t seem to know or care that it also mocked thousands of ordinary Australians doing their bit at home to cut down on energy use.

It’s very easy to mock the Prime Minister for his “aspirational” targets. No doubt “practical reconciliation” has also degraded the word “practical” in the eyes of many of the chattering of the classes. But that’s all that’s available to most members of the public – practical measures.

Very few sane members of the citizenry are prepared to don sackcloth and ashes and squat in the dirt chanting “Now is the end, perish the earth!”

They do, however, seem quite prepared to take basic measures. A survey has found that 71 per cent of respondents said they are doing things to prevent climate change. They’re switching off lights that are not in use (56.6 per cent), using energy efficient light bulbs (56.6 per cent) and not leaving appliances on standby (44.9 per cent).

It probably saves them money. Attaching a price tag to behaviour is always a good way of drawing attention to the consequences. And it’s also a start. Just like the “I can do that” campaign is also a start.

Of course there’s a massive amount of government spin in the government’s ads – but there is also an acknowledgement of the issue. That’s a win for campaigners, to begin with. And what ever happened to “think global, act locally”? To “from little things big things grow”?

We don’t live in a society that is governed by fiat. We live in a democracy that is governed by consensus. Change is a gradual process. When it happens, it should be applauded and encouraged – not mocked.

That is if campaigners want it to continue. They might just want to feel smug.