Australia: Fiery politics and extreme events

Projekt Verlag
Publication Type:
Global Climate -- Local Journalisms, Global Journalism Research Series, 2010, 1, pp. 51 - 66
Issue Date:
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On June 24, 2010, six months after the end the Copenhagen Summit in a day of high drama, the Australian Labor Party dumped its leader, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, in favour of his deputy, Julia Gillard. The politics of climate change in Australia, one of the world's largest emitters of carbon dioxide, had claimed another victim (Clarke, 2009). Climate change had also sealed the fate of Rudd's predecessor as PM, John Howard, and destroyed two prior Opposition leaders_ In fact, climate change has been responsible for a political instability unseen in Australia for 100 years_1 Public interest in the issue has been exceptionally high, with climate change a "hot topic" for all Australian media: it received more mentions than any other issue in 2009, producing just under half a million media items, with the global financial crisis sitting at number two (Media Monitors, 2009). In 2008, Newspoll measured a belief in climate change at 84 per cent and, while this had dropped to 73 per cent by February 2010, the numberwas still high (The Australian, February 16, 2010).
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