- Despite citizens voting out the Scott Morrison-led government of Australia in 2022, Dan Ilic says there’s still a lot of talk around climate change policy with not enough action to meet national climate targets.
- Known widely for his epic billboards appearing in New York’s Times Square during the COP26 climate summit satirizing Australia’s lack of seriousness at the conference, Ilic is host of the award-winning Australian comedy/climate-focused podcast “A Rational Fear” and spoke with the Mongabay Newscast in Sydney about the landscape surrounding climate policy in the country today.
- He also shares his thoughts on victories for Indigenous communities in the Tiwi Islands and the Galilee Basin, both in Australia, where massive fossil fuel proposals were recently blocked.
Dan Ilic’s comedic podcast, “A Rational Fear,” has been hosting journalists, comedians, and politicians that dissect issues and policy related to climate change and the environment for a decade. Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, it gained significant attention and accolades for its witty and ruthless criticism of government policy around climate change, and has been awarded the best comedy podcast three years in a row at the Australian Podcast Awards.
Ilic joined Mongabay podcast host Mike DiGirolamo in Sydney for an in-person discussion of numerous climate change issues and developments, plus some recent legal victories for Indigenous communities that canceled major fossil fuel project proposals.
Over the course of 2019-20, Australia experienced catastrophic climate-induced bushfires that killed a staggering 2 billion animals. A recent study links these bushfires with the recent La Niña phenomenon, which Ilic says caused “a year of rain” in Australia and flooding in communities hit hard by the bushfires.
Recent Indigenous rights wins in the Tiwi Islands and in the Galilee Basin are “heartening,” Ilic says, but he points to the recent greenlighting of a major fracking project in the Northern Territory as “demoralizing,” as it would release twice as much emissions as domestic aviation has in the country. Nearly 100 scientists publicly urged the regional government not to approve the project.
Ilic, who famously paid for the “Godzilla” billboard in New York City’s Times Square to run satirical jokes about Australia’s initial hesitancy to appear at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, describes the increasing popularity of his podcast, and why comedy resonates with listeners in Australia, many of them victims of the catastrophic 2019-20 bushfires. Though Scott Morrison, Australia’s prime minister at the time, did attend COP26, it was not until Ilic’s famed billboard campaign made waves across the media.
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Banner photo: Indigenous Tiwi Islanders protested the Barossa gas project and won in court late in 2022. Image courtesy of Rebecca Parker.
Mike DiGirolamo is Mongabay’s audience engagement associate. Find him on Twitter @MikeDiGirolamo, Instagram, TikTok and Mastodon.
Indigenous leader’s court win halts one of Australia’s ‘dirtiest gas projects’