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Government unconvincing rearguard action against Obama

Michaelle Gratton discusses the governments ‘outraged’ response to Obama’s G20 speech on climate change. ‘The Great Barrier Reef can be seen as the soft underbelly of the climate issue in Australia, making the government potentially quite vulnerable. It is an iconic part of the country’s natural heritage, like Uluru or Kakadu. When the reef is talked about in this context, as Obama did, it focuses the debate about climate change around something tangible and much valued by Australians. If the American president says the reef is at risk, people might start to take a lot of notice. Hence the desire to suggest Obama had got it wrong or, in some sections of the media, that he had been insulting to his host government to make such a speech in the first place.’ (The Conversation, 24.11.14) 

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