Holiday Reading on Climate Change – Madlands

Rose, A. 2012, ‘Madlands- A journey to change the mind of a climate sceptic’, Melbourne University Press. 


During my 2 week break at home on the farm I started reading books to fill in the time when I wasn’t doing farm-y activities. One research book that I have found quite useful has been Madlands. I can relate to Ana due to age and we are both trying to communicate the same message. The following are quotes that I have taken from her book which will help me with MP.

Energy Change / Carbon Tax 

‘Global warming is happening. It is man made. It is an important problem… But it is also very often exaggerated…This exaggeration doesn’t work because it only makes people think…I have to switch my light bulb or buy a Prius. That’s all good, but the real answer is to change the energy system. So that green energy becomes so cheap everyone will want it.’Bjorn Lomborg in Rose p. 213

‘ In Australia, we’re fast coming to end of the age where it’s environmentally or socially acceptable to continue using eighteenth century coal-fired power.’Rose p. 233

‘ The reality is, if you took best practice today in every field and you made it the norm tomorrow, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. We’d be there… We know that the market is capable of thinking up extraordinary solutions…but they normally happen as a result of market opportunity and market stimulus and that’s occasionally where the government comes in.’Zac Goldsmith in Rose, p. 233

‘ because Australia’s economy is so reliant on polluting coal, we’re a long way behind the rest f the world when it comes to reducing carbon pollution. Luckily, we can apply the lessons learned by other countries like the United Kingdom, which have already made great strides towards sustainability.’ Rose p. 242

‘ Blocking the path of this swelling movement for change stand… People with vested interests in the fossil fuel industry cling to an economic system set up to deliver them record-breaking annual profits. By their side stands the small remaining band of climate sceptics. Together they continue to stall action on climate change by standing in the path of new economic systems based on clean energy…their mantra ‘I remain to be convinced’.’Rose, p. 276.

‘It is important to remember why we are doing this and how this reform speaks to us about our responsibilities. BEcause this is a reform not just for today but for tomorrow. It is a reform for our children. It is a reform that is about listening to the next generation and ensuring that their voices are not drowned out by the din of opposition and vested interests that we have seen on display today and in the months previously. It is a reform which recognises out need to act for the future.’ Penny Wong in Rose, p. 331.

Australian Media on Climate Change

‘ A content analysis of news coverage on climate change in Australia in the first half of 2011 found that only twelve per cent of climate change stories focused on the science of climate change. The rest focused on policy issues, mostly the debate over the price on carbon pollution. The study, conducted by the University of Technology, Sydney, found that most Australians “receive very little reportage of peer- reviewed work of Australian or international climate scientists”…The researches found that “climate sceptics continue to get major favourable coverage in Australian media”  and stated that ‘even allowing for the “distorting lens” of news values, the coverage of climate science in Australia does not reflect the over whelming scientific consensus that global climate change is being caused by the activities of human beings”.  “Spme of Austtalia’s leading newspapers have been so negative in their reporting of the Gillard Government’s carbon policy it’s fair to say they’ve campaigned against it rather than covered it”.’ Rose, p. 255

World Poverty and Climate Change

‘What climate change is doing is aggravating the problems they [the developing countries] already have…You have to deal with the problems in an integrated way. because climate change is happening here and now. It’s undermining whatever efforts are being made to address poverty.’ Irene Khan in Rose, p. 272

‘The poorest are going to be affected the worst because they have the least capacity to adapt’. Irene Khan in Rose, p. 274

‘Climate change is forcing us to think globally, because we’re talking about the planet’ Irene Khan in Rose, p. 274

Carbon Emitting Stats

‘On average a Bangladeshi emits only 0.36 tonnes of CO2 per person . Americans emit almost 18 tonnes. Australians emit 19.6 tonnes. China emits 5.8 tonnes. India emits 1.38 tonnes.

Yet the worst impacts of climate change are felt in countries like Bangladesh… 1 meter sea rise  wipes out 21% of its land, exposing 15 million people to inundation by the rising tide.’ Rose, p.273

 Tackling the issues surrounding climate change

‘We can agree that we love our country and that we want to protect it. We want to leave clean air, clean water and clean soil for the next generation and we don;t want to take huge risks’ (Nick and Anna agree on) Rose, p.296.

‘There are people out there who are genuinely looking for more information. They want to cut through all the rhetoric and just understand what’s happening to their world. And if environmentalists like me come across as angry and unwilling to engage, it’s our fault if the public turns away.’ Rose p. 296

‘We are the last generation with the ability, in terms of the time frame, to stop the worst impacts rom happening. So we must fight. Past generations have fought for us…What legacy will our generation leave? Now it’s our time.’ Rose, p.303.

‘…There are a range of reasons why it would be sensible for our communities to become less reliant on fossil fuels..(a) There’s a potential risk from CO2 emissions causing warming that could be a problem;(b) it’s going to exhaust anyway; (c) it produces other…health impacts…There is a range of good reasons why we should seek to reduct out dependance on fossil fuels- but in a  way that societies can manage’. Nick Minchin in Rose, p.318.

‘If you put the emphasis back on the fact that fossil fuels are finite whereas solar…is infinite…I think it’s a hook, so to speak, to get people on board.’ Nick Minchin in Rose, p. 323.

‘We have the technology needed to solve the problem- now we just have to build the political will. This starts with helping people understand the problem our society is facing in a productive and compassionate way. We are ina  crisis and there are people out there whose views are causing great harm. But in a crisis we need to turn to each other , not on each other.’ Rose, p. 334.


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