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Here are some post-Australian election thoughts on what happened to the climate change vote. Here’s a decent article as a primer.

Firstly, me. I have been working in climate change in some form since ~2006. Have seen us try to act on this many times.…
Let’s be clear: Labor lost this election badly. Greens vote barely moved. Australia re-elected a leader who brought a lump of coal into our parliament as a prop. Whatever we did to make a strong climate vote materialise *did not work*.

1st point - let’s take responsibility.
This voter saw Labor with a platform of 3 major reforms: a tax reform, an investment law reform, and a deep climate change promise.

That’s 2 reasons the vote against even if you want more action on climate.

So maybe - focus? Treat it seriously.
Consequence of the above, the climate policy *was* long on ambition and light on detail.

Voters were offered a Labor package-deal.

Many voted against the package.

Labor made climate change a Leftist issue. It needs to be rendered apolitical.
Labor’s climate change hard line was almost 100% based on a deep wind+solar platform.

Folks, wake up.

That story is stale. Our grid is struggling because of a chaotic, unplanned move to VRE.

This *is* true and people are *not* completely ignorant.
Australia has something like 2 million PV systems and 16 million voters. Literally, everyone either has solar or knows people who do. Plenty of operational experience in the community now, which leaves plenty of people intuiting the massive shortfall in the VRE jetpack promise.
The climate change message from Labor was '50 % renewables. it's all good, they're cheap now. The other people who don't see this are dinosaurs. We have modelling'.

This, believe it or not, wasn't really good enough. Which brings me to coal.
Coal is about 60% of our electricity generation, after *after* some major recent closures. There are whole communities and districts that are multi-generational coal communities. That, in politics, means seats.

There was nothing to tell me those communities were front-of-mind.
We can't just lie to who communities that 'we will all be better off because wind and solar are cheap now'. a) they know power. They see through the wind and solar b) even if the nation grew richer, they would lose, big. Evidence for this abounds.

How very arrogant.
Which brings me to nuclear - a 24-hour news cycle cluster-f*ck. All it got. The best tech for proven decarbonisation - a stone to throw at your opponents. The most promising tech to maintain and sustain the power-based communities who lose from cutting coal - dismissed.

Which brings me back to coal. As in the USA, Australia's Labor movement somehow manages to forget about whole tranches of working people - our coal communities. The other to platform prongs (tax and investment reform) appealed to their base. The climate change approach did not.
The strategy of sowing fear, speaking of disaster and in particular recruiting children is risky. IMO it does not work. It's not a controlled sense of urgency, it's a panic. As father and uncle, I resent my children and nieces/nephews saying 'It's up to us'.

That's cruel.
So to win an election on climate change try this:
1/ Make it about climate change. Not about your political party. Focus, make it apolitical. Move it to the centre. Make the opponents look like extremists if they will not join you there.
2/ Include nuclear technologies, treated as solutions not political weapons. Show everyone you are serious. Prove that it's about climate change, not political identity.
3/ Reach out to the communities who stand to lose. Don't pretend they don't exist. Listen to them. Make them a priority. They are the votes you need. Who knows, nuclear technologies might help there?
4/ Don't pretend VRE is going to do it all. This is a jetpack promise and no one believes it anymore

5/ Don't frighten children. Inspire them. Remember that idea? Making children believe in a brighter future?
6/ Set ambitious, aspirational long-term goals with tough, detailed, costed policies for your term of government - policies about transitioning an entire fossil fuel based economy. That's going to take time - treat it with the respect it deserves.
That's my take.

I hope this election in Australia provides lessons for democracies the world over. We cannot make climate change an identity-driven, party-political issue and proxy for technology favouritism, and expect strong mandate for action.

Over and out.
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