'Climate change' cartoon by Neil Matterson, Sunday Mail Brisbane, 2008


This is a cartoon by Neil Matterson which shows Climate Change Minister Penny Wong, Environment Minister Peter Garret and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd attempting to put together a one million piece climate change jigsaw puzzle. With only six pieces placed, Rudd says, 'We're pleased with our progress!'

Educational value

In 2008 the debate over the government's desire to establish an Emissions Trading Scheme dominated politics throughout the year. While the complexities of the legislation and technical nature of the debate confused many, cartoonists worked hard to reveal the motivations of politicians and the consequences of inaction on climate change.

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.

Neil Matterson is an editorial cartoonist for the Sunday Mail in Brisbane.

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