By Darryl Mason
Opposition leader Tony "Treeple Skills" Abbott is continuing to push his eco-credentials in the confident hope that if he's interviewed in front of enough wilderness money shots, dappled in the sunlight breaking through canopies of palm fronds, then those who think The Greens are simply too gay to earn a real Christian's environmental vote will go for him.
And they probably will.
But how Green will Tony Abbott turn? Will he come up with that will out-eco even The Greens?
Some inspiration may be found in a report examining revolutionary society-transforming ways to allegedly halt rapid climate change :
Its State of the World 2010 report published this week outlines a blueprint for changing our entire way of life. "Preventing the collapse of human civilisation requires nothing less than a wholesale transformation of dominant cultural patterns. This transformation would reject consumerism... and establish in its place a new cultural framework centred on sustainability."
Surely a report like this would include a long list of things we should no longer do, or products and lifestyles we should no longer embrace? Oh, it surely does :
Probably not much in there for Tony Abbott. Though it would be good to see him come out for community gardens and more public book & toy libaries. And the idea of any politician trying to rally local industry to go back to creating quality products that last (most of) a lifetime would be exciting indeed.
Get rid of the dog.
No bottled water.
No takeaway menus.
No fun cars.
Don't buy books or toys, borrow them from libraries.
Grow your own (food) in community gardens.
All products should be designed to last a lifetime.
Public transport only.
No plane-related holidays, or air-based trips at all.
But Abbott won't go GreenXtreme, no matter how many new votes there might be in it.
He will stay the coure of the lo-fi greener, all the "What's Good For The Environment Is Good For Australia" pap, and leave alone any moves towards killing off the airline, publishing, pet, fast food and disposable product industries with a radical Fight Club-style anti-consumerist platform.
In Abbott's favour, when it comes to greening up, is the fact that he doesn't seem out of place tromping through a forest, where Kevin Rudd looks about as comfortable and competent amongst the trees as John Howard did on a cricket pitch.