I’m not very culturally literate, and it took my table partner at the ongoing Australian American Leadership Dialogue to tell me that the erudite, bald-headed guy speaking eloquently and convincingly about sensible strategies to confront climate change was a former lead singer of the group Midnight Oil, Peter Garrett.
I had my picture taken with him — which I’ll post later — but which I took not because he was a singer but because he is currently the Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Heritage. This means if Labor wins the upcoming elections, this smart enviro-wonk will be Minister.
I’m convinced, particularly after this meeting, that Australia is well positioned to be a global change agent in many key issues. It’s a smart country with smart people who don’t have population weight — but who could have considerable weight in international problem solving, particularly climate change.
To live by the rules of this meeting, I can’t report on his commentary. However, I can report that Peter Garrett is sitting across from me, and he’s sitting smack dab next to Paul Wolfowitz — who despite any criticism I would lodge against his take on a proliferation of wars in the Middle East is admirably sitting through an entire day of discussion on climate change.
— Steve Clemons