CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

More Green Fraud and Hypocrisy

May 30, 2011

It is always a bit rich when Hollywood celebs who happen to be multimillionaires start lecturing us plebs about how we need to tighten our belts for the good of the planet. The new pro-carbon tax TV ads are a great case in point. Here we have Australian-born Hollywood bigwig Cate Blanchett telling struggling Aussies how good this new tax will be.

Of course any such tax will be no skin off her nose. Nor will it likely impact Michael Caton, the other Australian actor to appear in the ad. But it certainly will impact on average Australians who are already battling big time, with rising energy prices, food costs, fuel costs and so on.

They won’t have a Hollywood mansion to return to, nor luxury digs in Sydney. Indeed, it is reported that the Oscar winner’s wealth is around $53 million. She likely leaves more of a carbon footprint with her jet-setting lifestyle than does an entire suburb in Western Melbourne.

And given that she is an ambassador for luxury car brand Audi, do we really need her preaching at us about how we need to make more sacrifices for the environment? As Terri Kelleher of The Australian Family Association said, “It’s nice to have a multi-millionaire who won’t be impacted by it telling you how great it is. It’s easy for her to advocate it, she’s one of the people who can afford to pay it. There are people who have no comfort zone and no room to move.”

Or as National Party Senate leader Barnaby Joyce said, “$53 million gives you a whole heap of latitude to care about a lot of things. If you really care, how about you give some money to help people meet the increased costs they are about to face?

“I love your acting Cate, but stick to what you’re good at. Instead of sticking ‘I care’ bumper stickers on their Mercedes four-wheel drives, they should get out there and talk to people who are forced to eat No Frills [brand food] because they can’t afford anything else.”

Interestingly, four other “ordinary” Australians appeared in the ads – a tradesman, a mother and child, an elderly woman, and a businessman. But when the media contacted them and asked some hard questions, not one of them was willing to disclose their incomes. Why are we not surprised?

And even more galling is the fact that the TV ad is also a fake in terms of what it is depicting. In typical fashion it shows a factory belching out smoke. The problem is, this is not an Australian factory. Indeed, it does not even exist. Turns out, the “coal-fired power station shown in the new national carbon tax advertising campaign isn’t in Australia – it’s in South London and was closed in 1983.”

If nothing else, the various Green groups which chose Blanchett should really wise up about these matters. As one advertising expert writes, this whole thing is rather counterproductive. He says, “I ADORE Cate Blanchett. Who wouldn’t? She’s stunningly beautiful, seems like a lovely person, promotes the arts (including Australian theatre), has had an amazing international career as an actor, all while raising a family.

“Unfortunately, for all of these reasons she is completely the wrong person to be fronting a campaign to garner support for the carbon tax. To the typical Australian, the carbon tax debate has at its heart a big question – will a carbon tax compromise my way of life? Will I have to make compromises to my already difficult lifestyle to have a greener future?”

He concludes with these words: “Advertisers are often mistaken when they see celebrity endorsement as a panacea. However, when you have a campaign that demands behavioural change the stakes are much higher. It is not enough to interrupt a TV show using aspirational celebrities to spruik the message.

“More care and thought needs to go into an overall communication strategy aimed at changing people’s behaviour. The key issue here is will a carbon tax compromise my way of life? People don’t know the answer to that question. But with all due respect to Blanchett and Caton, they do know that you wouldn’t know either.”

All in all we have here yet another example of Green lies and hypocrisy. Nothing new there of course; happens all the time. And according to the press, more celebs are about to join the Labor hard sell. Again, not surprising. The entertainment world is largely to the left on most issues, and we find the same here: supporting Labor mates, even if it means stretching the truth and engaging in more hypocrisy.

www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/carbon-cate-blanchett-tells-aussies-to-pay-up-over-carbon-charge/story-e6freuy9-1226064698983
www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/forget-cate-when-it-comes-to-climate/story-fn59niix-1226065155258
www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/rich-carbon-ad-of-smoke-and-mirrors/story-e6freuy9-1226065183963

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18 Responses to More Green Fraud and Hypocrisy

  • I simply cannot believe this issue still lives in the minds of anybody other than in the minds of a few wacko hippies, especially after Climategate blew the lid on the credibility of the scientists involved (No, I do not accept the stacked committee conclusions that those communications were above board. Actually reading them for yourself is very enlightening.) It is clear that there are some key people who stand to make a lot of money by continuing to push the fear that the planet is burning up.

    The ad that features Caton and Blanchett makes it seem CO2 is something evil that makes our world black. No, it is not. Also, to continue to talk about ‘carbon’ rather than carbon dioxide is deliberately misleading. They want to make you think of soot when CO2 is odourless, invisible, and plants love it. That is about as useful as it gets! It would be vastly more accurate to say that CO2 is wonderful – that it actually contributes directly to making our world green and colourful.

    The percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere is less than 0.04%. Our tolerance to its variability is such that it can rise by a factor of about 120 times that before it would become something genuinely dangerous to life. It is currently rising by about 0.0002% a year. We don’t know if that rate will increase or plateau. But you do the math on a linear basis and you can see how tiny an issue this is, even if it was true. But there is considerable doubt as to whether increased CO2 is a major contributing factor in warming, or whether it plays little part or even actually rises after the planet warms due to other factors. So to talk about CO2 as a ‘greenhouse gas’ gives it a status it does not deserve.

    Furthermore, even if what they said was true and CO2 was this great evil warming the planet a few degrees, tell me this – where is diversity of life on the planet – the Amazon, or Antarctica?

    Anybody who continues to push this issue is displaying their monumental ignorance for all to see. It is truly difficult to imagine how people could be more stupid. There are many variables that affect weather and to single out just this one that just happens to be able to be targeted for a tax tells us about the evil agenda that they wish to push – ie. make the people fearful and then come in as the ‘saviour’ if only we would give them all our money and freedoms. If it turned out the sun was the major contributor to long-term climate trends then they would hate that if only for the fact that you can’t tax our big light in the sky. You also can’t tax water vapour either, which happens to contribute far more to greenhouse effects in the atmosphere.

    This campaign also leverages the need for many to be self-righteous in that they are ‘doing something’ and their neighbours, friends and family are not. Listen to the sanctimony from the true believers, or – as Stalin called similarly motivated people – “useful idiots”. ‘For out children!’ ‘For the planet!’ ‘For the future!’ ‘For utopia!’ ‘Oh, you’re just getting money off those eeeeeeevil corporations!’ (Yeah, right – I wish…) It is exactly the same tactic that other evil regimes have tried throughout history and I just hope enough people wake up to it.

    Anyone who doesn’t think these people are fundamentally evil needs to be reminded of one of their other campaigns from October last year.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIsritzu1og
    Warning; Graphic content.

    The Blanchett/Caton ad is just a soft version of the same mindset.

    Mark Rabich

  • Quite right Mark. Well said.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • If the carbon tax puts the pinch on everyone, perhaps movie-going might be one of the first things to suffer — and then maybe that will put Hollywood out of business?
    Jereth Kok

  • Here is a video worth promoting:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FphR91Uy_E

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Bill

    I am sorry to have to tell you this, but you breathe out 0.38 metric tonnes of Carbon Dioxide every year. (refer http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/science/homeplanet_20060117.shtml )

    At $40 per tonne you will owe Ms Gillard $15 per year. At $100 per tonne, you will owe $38.

    Maybe you need to apologise for your anti-environmental breathing?

    John Miller

  • John,
    I know you were having a dig, but your comment raises a few interesting points. Firstly, why pay a tax which will have little or no effect on global temperature; but will be used to balance a budget with a huge black hole in it, courtesy of a profligate government? Secondly, this tax will not be absorbed by so-called ‘polluting’ industries but will certainly be passed on by them to the tune of $2500 per family of four, per year, according to Prof Bob Carter. Finally, along with a demand to pay the tax on exhalation, as you facetiously suggest, pressure will be applied to limit population. The Chinese model of one child per family will be forcibly introduced; or worse, even one child will come to be seen as one too many.
    Dunstan Hartley

  • Memo to John Miller
    Don’t be too tough on Bill. If he blows out $15.00 worth of CO2, Julia would blow out twice that just through her nose.
    Frank Bellet, Petrie Qld

  • When I first saw the advertisement featuring Michael Caton and Cate Blanchett I was immediately reminded of the promo for the Beverley Hillbillies where they all stand together just like at the conclusion of this ad. The Clampetts of course were the Hill People who struck oil and made a motza. Too politically incorrect now and certainly environmentally inappropriate to make a TV programme like this one.

    There they all were in the Carbon Tax ad – Jed, Daisy May (Granny) Moses, Elly May and Jethro.

    At least that programme was funny !!!

    Patti Smith

  • Thanks Patti

    Yes I am with you – give me Granny and Jed any day over Julia and Bob.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • How is it that unions can spend so much on this campaign? It is hardly an industrial issue. I would have thought the rank and file would be more concerned about the financial impact of the carbon dioxide tax, especially not knowing what that will be. Or does that just become the basis for a new cost of living claim? It all adds to the dubiousness of their motivations.
    Greg Cadman

  • One of the other things with this issue is that true believers don’t like to publicise their love for totalitarianism. But follow the link below to read what Germany’s Scientific Advisory Council on Global Environmental Change published last month.

    “The world citizenry agree to innovation policy that is tied to the normative postulate of sustainability and in return surrender spontaneous and persistence desires. Guarantor of this virtual agreement is a formative state […].”

    This council is an advisory committee for the German Chancellor. Isn’t that nice?

    http://www.thegwpf.org/international-news/3095-germany-sliding-head-over-heels-into-the-eco-dictatorship.html

    People should be clear that this isn’t just about a tax, although that is bad enough, but about what comes gift-wrapped as a bonus.

    Mark Rabich

  • Thanks guys

    Here is another good piece on this: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/its-all-hot-air-from-the-jetsetting-eco-brigade-20110530-1fcu1.html#ixzz1NsSC9rWd

    “One of the problems facing Julia Gillard is that so many of those who speak the loudest about the need to reduce carbon emissions have a personal carbon emissions footprint that would be the envy of most Australians.”

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • As we are all going to pay for this, I want to know what will be the gain for all this pain. By how much will the world’s temperature be reduced by our financial and economic sacrifice?
    Bill I wonder if you or one of your readers could help me. Mark tells us the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere is less than 0.04% (in fact it is .0385%). He says that CO2 is rising by .0002% a year. The video Exposed: Say no to carbon… (thanks for the link) says 97% of CO2 is produced by nature, man contributes 3%. So we now have 3% of .0002% of .00385% of the earth’s atmosphere. Australia contributes 1.5% of man produced CO2. i.e. 1.5% of 3% of .0002% of .00385% of the earth’s atmosphere. The governments aim is to reduce Australia’s contribution by 5%. Could someone do the maths? 5% of 1.5% of 3% of .0002% of .00385% of the earth’s atmosphere. Will this stop climate change?
    Des Morris

  • The best quote I saw was from Sunday Sunrise in which an irate viewer wrote in complaining about Blanchet’s pushing of this agenda.

    The hosts then said that the criticism was a bit harsh and that there had been a lot of scaremongering going around about the carbon tax which would only cost around $1 per day for the average Australian.

    The part which got my sense of irony going was the “scaremongering”. Isn’t the whole carbon “problem” an exercise in scaremongering perpetrated over many years? What right do the left have to complain about scaremongering?

    Lennard Caldwell

  • Thanks Lennard

    Quite so. Well said.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Let us all also remember that Cate Blanchett also was very quick to stand up for the rights of Bill Henson in producing his so-called art.

    Not exactly somebody any person with a moral compass pointing in any direction apart from south would want to align themselves with.

    Mario Del Giudice

  • I didn’t get an idea of how much this advertisement cost, but now the Greens are getting upset about the cost of a plebiscite proposed by Tony Abbot, 70 million, I think, they said. I would much prefer that that much money was spent on giving all Australians a say in this matter than it being spent on advertising the tax.
    Many blessings
    Ursula Bennett

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