First entry in my Copenhagen diary. OK, I’m not technically in Copenhagen yet — I’m on my way, in Singapore being interviewed for the Rolex Young Laureates program, meeting some incredible youth from the Asian and Pacific region who are working on innovative approaches to social and environmental issues. There are social entrepreneurs from, among other places: China, India, Mongolia, and the Philippines. Had some great conversations with a Chinese entrepreneur who says the level of awareness on climate change is now relatively high in China — and that many Chinese had seen An Inconvenient Truth.

Found out a few hours ago that Malcolm Turnbull got rolled by Tony Abbott. By one vote. Wow. One of my friends once said, hey, if the Liberals have a freaky uncle, don’t let him hide at the back! Not sure about that … but I do know that the Liberal Party has just lost a large chunk (if not the whole chunk) of its youth voting base. OK, it probably wasn’t a huge percentage of its voters to start with — but as a party they’re heading for absolute collapse and eventually, electoral irrelevance if they continue to be dominated by people who deny climate change is happening. It will be interesting to see the outcome of the by-elections on the 5th.

So … now the government will either pass the legislation without amendments after a double dissolution, or wait until next year and negotiate with the Greens, and we will end up with a stronger scheme. Or something else could happen. The only predictable thing about climate-change politics is that you rarely can predict what’s going to happen.

For example, I can’t believe how quickly the debate on climate change disintegrated into climate denialism in the past few months. Apparently it’s not just in Australia — see George Monbiot’s recent article here. Interesting thesis: that the reason more older people tend to disbelieve climate change is because it reminds them of death, and so they refute its premise because they are avoiding thinking about their own mortality. What do you think? Any truth in that?

Read the rest of Anna’s first Copenhagen diary entry at Crikey‘s Rooted blog.

Peter Fray

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