Jun 26, 2014

Inside Clive’s conversion: how the coal baron met the climate crusader

It was a bromance no one expected. Here's the story on how Clive Palmer came to cross paths with Al Gore.

Cathy Alexander — Freelance journalist and PhD candidate in politics at the University of Melbourne

Cathy Alexander

Freelance journalist and PhD candidate in politics at the University of Melbourne


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21 thoughts on “Inside Clive’s conversion: how the coal baron met the climate crusader

  1. Daly

    Thanks for the background on what was a mesmerising moment in Aussie politics yesterday. It remains to be seen what they vote for and against but the PUPs are turning out to be unpredictably interesting! At least this way some of the architecture will be preserved.

  2. Mark Duffett

    Clive Palmer, coal mining magnate, supports retention of the CEFC (which mandates at least 50% of its portfolio to be in renewable energy, specifically precluding any investment in nuclear) and the Renewable Energy Target.

    There’s a lesson in that.

  3. Drew

    You have to remember, as was pointed out in the article, that previously Clive Palmer was dead set against anything to do with mitigating global warming in any sort of meaningful way. I think PUP was always likely to vote to repeal the carbon tax. They went to the last election promising to do so. To not do so would put them in the same ‘broken promises’ position as Abbott and Gillard and that is not a good position to be in if you are playing populist politics.
    If Abbott and Co get their preferred way we are left with absolutely nothing whatsoever. A catastrophic result for future generations. Whilst by no means perfect at least this way we have protected 3 key bodies from extinction and also made the way easier for the way back to cost effective mitigation action in the future.
    Al Gore, Clive Palmer, and the people who brought them together at least deserve our thanks for that. It could have been and was looking to be far, far worse. Roll on the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference.

  4. Chris Hartwell

    Indeed Mark, the lesson being there’s money to be made thus.

  5. John Ryan

    Clive & his party = Carpetbaggers

  6. JohnB

    I still smell a rat.

  7. zut alors

    It beggars belief that Gore was flirting with a coal baron.

  8. James Dean

    This plays into a split among conservationists about whether it’s better to work with powerful political figures, to meet and negotiate — or to take a more aggressive approach and declare war on climate sceptics.

    Please think about this language, here and more generally. Skeptics – people with a healthy dose of cynicism, but willing to listen – have all been convinced by now. The only people left are hardcore denialists, who will never change their minds. Calling them skeptics legitimises their arguments.

  9. Cathy Alexander

    Thank you James – but when I write ‘denialists,’ I get criticism for that also! – and some argue that it unfairly links those who doubt the science on anthropogenic climate change with Holocaust deniers.

    It is an interesting linguistic question.

  10. DiddyWrote

    I wonder if Palmer is trying out Nixon’s old Madman Theory, trying to convince Abbott that he is willing to do anything.

    Abbott and his handlers are likely to be totally wrong footed in any negotiations, unsure which way Palmer would jump next.

    Palmer may well be able to squeeze some really profitable concessions from a flummoxed Abbott. What they will be and how much they will aid the environment waits to be seen

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