Hunter activist in TV climate change doco

FOR Newcastle-born activist Anna Rose, last night's ABC documentary, I Can Change Your Mind About Climate Change, was a labour of love.

The doco and its accompanying Q&A special paired Ms Rose, a founder of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, against Liberal heavyweight Nick Minchin.

This unlikely duo travelled 65,000 kilometres around the world with a camera crew, recording interviews with a range of scientists, experts, politicians and opinion makers.

At the end of the show, each had given some ground, with Ms Rose conceding climate scientists should not be claiming they are 100 per cent right and Mr Minchin supporting a move from fossil fuels to solar energy.

But as Ms Rose recounts in her forthcoming book about the show, titled Madlands, a journey to change the mind of a climate sceptic, the process was both enlightening and infuriating.

‘‘I grew up learning about climate change at school,’’ Ms Rose said yesterday about her time at Merewether High School.

‘‘Young Australians tend to have a greater understanding of the issues but Nick’s opposition is unusual even for someone his age.

‘‘The vast majority do accept the science of climate change but for someone like Nick, who is motivated by ideology and who believes in the importance of the market, this is a terrible threat because as (Sir) Nicholas Stern said, climate change is the greatest example of market failure ever.’’

For his part, Mr Minchin says ‘‘alarmism will not help achieve a rational, reasonable approach to understanding climate change, its causes and consequences, and the implications for human economic activity’’.

A Yale University survey of climate change attitudes featured on the show has been made available on the ABC-TV web page promoting the program. Before the show, 24,000 people had answered the 16 questions, with about half of the respondents being categorised, by their answers, as ''dismissive'' of the science. After the show, the top rating was ''alarmed'' at 41 per cent, with 23 per cent ''cautious'' and 22 per cent dismissive.

The Q&A special featured mining magnate Clive Palmer, CSIRO chief executive Megan Clark and writer Rebecca Huntley alongside Mr Minchin and Ms Rose.

Ms Huntley said many people who believed in climate change were nonetheless put off by the ''end is nigh'' attitude of many climate campaigners.

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