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"Twenty-five years ago climate scientists spoke clearly and openly about global warming and the risks of climate change due to greenhouse gas emissions, particularly from burning fossil fuels. Leading politicians of both parties (yes, bipartisan), amplified by the media, repeated the messages of risk and vowed to act."
"In October 1990, the federal Labor government under Prime Minister Bob Hawke established an interim emission reduction target for the nation to lower greenhouse gas emissions 20 per cent below 1988 levels by 2005.
Every state and territory drew up a detailed response plan. Every strategy that is known today to lower emissions, from efficiency and renewable energy to a carbon tax or price and emissions trading scheme was known then."
"The evidence trail shows, however, that by 1996 and thereafter, with basically the same science story as laid out in the first IPCC report in 1990 (albeit with changed communication style), risk messages were being reframed into a hazy scientific debate, particularly about human agency, that confused the public and helped those who blocked action. The narrative that once asked what could be done to slow or reverse the emission of excess greenhouse gases by human societies, i.e. an early risk management and global ethical argument, evolved into an inward-focused national interest argument for no change from ‘business as usual’."