At the recent UN climate summit, the Australian government was seen as a climate denialist, observers said.
Our nation is perceived as using accounting tricks to meet targets and is not serious about finding a global climate solution. It's using "greenwash" to meet its emissions commitments, according to analysts and former diplomats.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison's failure to attend the UN climate action summit, despite being in the US at the time, further eroded goodwill.
Having deliberately avoided the climate summit, our PM did front up to the leaders' session. In a voice sounding frighteningly similar to US President Donald Trump's "fake news" defence of any criticism likely to actually be true, our overly defensive PM said Australia's record on climate change had been misrepresented by the media.
More recently came news of Trump asking our PM to help discredit the Mueller probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, to which Morrison agreed. There is not room in today's column to analyse the "titanium" man's chumminess with the Donald, but it could perhaps be a topic for another week.
So, back to the main topic. Morrison suggested that negative media coverage fuelled criticism that was "completely false and completely misleading". People expressed "prejudiced" views about Australia's climate policy, he said. "Now, where do they get their information from? Who knows, maybe they read it," he said, worryingly echoing Trump. Our PM's overly defensive and very antagonistic approach contrasted sharply with the address to the UN climate summit by young Greta Thunberg, so let's have a closer look at what she said.
Thunberg's achievement was to present the climate change issue as a battle for power. In doing so, she spoke with the authority of the millions who marched only a few days before. For this, Trump trolled her. He saw her power and tried to destroy it through mockery. In her speech, Thunberg set up an opposition between the plural "we" - those who want action on climate change - and an interesting use of the word "you", that is, those who don't. So though she was speaking to an audience largely composed of those with power, her audience was not only the assembled global leaders but everyone.
The "you" is not just Trump, Morrison or fossil fuel company executives. Her "you" is for all of us who fail to recognise the necessity to act now - or will you say nothing, do nothing, condemning yourself to the ranks of those who the future will, as Thunberg said "never forgive?"
Since 1996, the Liberal Party has been working assiduously to advance the cause of fossil fuel companies at the expense of our future. Morrison's paternalistic waffle is yet another example of the Liberal record of lying, scheming and wrecking.
Back to our coal fancier-in-chief. Morrison criticised Thunberg for similar reasons to Trump, patronisingly saying "I think we've got to caution against raising the anxieties of children in our country."
Since 1996, the Liberal Party has been working assiduously to advance the cause of fossil fuel companies at the expense of our future.
Morrison's paternalistic waffle is yet another example of the Liberal record of lying, scheming and wrecking at every step for more than two decades.
The Liberal-National Coalition has clearly defined itself as the government for coal, and a craven Labor Party, after its defeat in the most recent election, is now following its lead.
Our leaders have been keen to criminalise those who actively campaign for our future. Queensland - the epicentre for major new coalmines - has significantly strengthened its laws against environmental protesters, while lawyers for the Adani mine have publicly stated that they will seek to bankrupt any opponents.
Meanwhile, here we are once more busily trying to "drought proof" Australia yet again with simplistic solutions that will destroy the nation if we don't address the real problem exacerbating the underlying cause of our ever-worsening droughts: climate change brought about by human activity.
Australia is already living the grim consequences of climate change.
If the world continues on its present trajectory, much of mainland Australia is predicted to be uninhabitable within a lifetime. The climate collapse is here.