Climate change

Billboard satire denounces Australian government’s lukewarm stance on climate change for COP26 in GlasgowGlobal Voices


Charbon-o-Phile Dundee. A screenshot of the Guardian video October 15, 2021

An Australian comedian and satirist uses giant electronic billboards to voice concerns about his government’s plans to tackle the climate crisis. Dan Ilic takes the message to the streets before and during the COP26 conference in Glasgow, which runs from October 31 to November 12, 2021. The conference is the largest annual international gathering on environmental issues.

Dan explained his intention in this video:

The crowd-funded campaign kicked off in Times Square in New York City on October 15. The clean energy information and analysis website, Renew Energy, reported:

The Morrison government’s lackluster climate policies were announced to the world, perhaps in the most important place in the world, with billboards labeling Scott Morrison “Coal-o-phile Dundee” playing in Times Square in New York City .

Prime Minister Scott Morrison had received months of criticism, both in Australia and abroad, for his failure to produce an ambitious plan to reduce carbon emissions. Recently, he had also been hesitant to commit to attending Glasgow. He was negotiating with his junior coalition partner, the Nationals, on a net zero emissions target for 2050. He has since confirmed his presence and made a behind-the-scenes deal on the target. The plan was announced just days before the conference.

The plan relies heavily on new and emerging technologies such as green hydrogen, low-cost solar power, energy storage, and industries such as low-emission steel and aluminum. The current target of reductions of 26-28% between 2005 and 2030 has not been increased. However, cuts in government projects are expected to be 30 to 35 percent. There will also be incentives and offsets to help achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

However, the LNP (National Liberal Parties) coalition plan may not be that popular in Glasgow or at home:

Dan’s COP26 billboards

Over 200,000 Australian dollars (150,000 US dollars) has been raised for Dan’s #JokeKeeper funds to help sponsor billboards. The fund is a play on words poking fun at the Australian government’s COVID-19 JobKeeper payments to businesses.

Broadcaster Nick Bryant, former BBC reporter and now Australian resident, tweeted an international media perspective. The comment thread echoes his sentiments:

Times Square ads were very popular with online audiences:

Actor Russell Crowe was impressed with the billboards:

In addition to that approval, Crowe reached out to CNN’s Jake Tapper to help set up this interview:

Dan was experiment with possible interpretations of display panels that he will install on the journey to and from Glasgow airport:

Australia Net Zero

Australia Net Zero – image courtesy of @DanIlic

Apparently, there has already been some censorship of billboards:

Dan’s flagship podcast is A Rational Fear, where you can follow the Billboard Project and its ongoing coverage of the climate crisis debate.


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