'World Environment Day' cartoon by Phil Somerville, Sunday Herald, 2008


This is a cartoon by Phil Somerville which contrasts a couple looking at a scene of blue sky and clouds on their television set with a scene showing the destruction of the environment through their window.

Educational value

The release of the Garnaut Report in September 2008 confirmed the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions in order to combat climate change. Debate within the Liberal Party regarding its stance on the Emissions Trading Scheme Policy was well documented by cartoonists. Comment was also made on the response of our politicians to the continued decline of the Murray-Darling river system.

Political cartoons have a long history in Australia, and remain one of the most popular forms of political commentary. Though caricatures and satirical illustrations appeared in some of Australia's earliest newspapers, it was not until the 1830s that they became a frequent and respectable feature of the print media. Publications such as the Melbourne Punch, the Sydney Punch, the Bulletin featured both caricatures and cartoons, and it was through these publications that political cartoons became a popular element of the Australian press.

Phil Somerville is a cartoonist for the Sun-Herald. His cartoons have also appeared in the Australian, the Sydney Morning Herald, Bulletin, Nexus, Punch and the Sun-Herald colour magazine.

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