Friday, 16 February 2007

Chloe Hooper has proffered a challenge to me by publishing in the current issue of The Monthly a story on climate change (not posted on the magazine's Web site). You see, I'm a sceptic.

After this, however...

You would think, with the great song and dance Australians make about the bush, that its survival would be reason alone to make tackling climate change our first priority. Standing in parts of Victoria, the ground now looks blasted, like the site of a battle — which it once was. It was a great battle to clear these lands, one that took heroic labour. The frontier story is a story of surviving drought, and then the rain. The tale is cyclical, elemental. Of course it will rain again. But farmers wonder if it will ever rain again that way it used to. They fear the cycle is broken and with it, the story of the Bush.

Hooper won a Walkley Award (analogous to winning a Pulitzer Prize for journalism) for her coverage of the Palm Island death in custody (Mulrunji Doomadgee had his liver almost cloven in two after being taken in by the cops for being drunk in a public place).

Palm Island is now almost over, following the independent decision that will enable the charging of the policeman involved, Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley. In other words, Hooper has backed a winner once. Is she about to do it again?

Will there be more articles from her keyboard about climate change (the ubiquitous sound bite of the noughties)?

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