Guy Pearse is a Liberal Party member, lobbyist and former advisor to the Howard government. (ABC viewers may remember him first blowing the whistle on the Liberal Party on Four Corners in February 2006.)
Baffled at why so many of the business groups (tourism, insurance for example) who were central to the climate change debate had been silent, Pearse began a PhD on the subject at the Australian National University. He carried out extensive interviews with the Australian Industry Greenhouse Network (AIGN), a group whose members are some of the biggest polluters, and discovered that they were almost writing government environmental policy. Why does the Howard government continue to support these big polluters and eschew renewable energy? Why does it refuse to see the economic benefits of investing in solar enengy?
'Between 1998 and 2005, the Liberal Party received at least $3.3 million from AIGN members.'
This book is not an anti-Howard tirade, although the book is forcefully argued. As a Liberal Party member, he wants to set his party on the right track. As a firm believer in the disastrous effects global warming will have on us, he sees the need for a turn around in Howard Government policy as utterly urgent.
Interestingly, the Liberal Party under Andrew Peacock was way ahead of Labor on the need to reduce carbon emissions. Under Howard this has all changed.
Reading this book, you'd think it was written by some greenie, such is its urgent tone. The detail is quite amazing. The author really knows his stuff, and leaves no stone unturned. The intricate web of persons within the big polluting businesses and the Liberal Party is explained in exhaustive detail. Indeed, sometimes I thought, Enough! I get your point.
If you want to read about how big buisness is calling the shots, and shake your head at why John Howard is doing their bidding, you should read this excellent insider's account.
Visit the High and Dry website here.