RenewEconomy founder and editor Giles Parkinson on Monday was announced as the winner of a major environmental prize, the Deni Greene award, as the cumulative total of page views on the website passed 25 million.
In a ceremony in Hobart on Monday, the prize for environmental leadership in a professional capacity was presented to Giles by Bob Brown, the head of the Bob Brown Foundation and the former Senator and Australian Greens leader.
Also receiving awards were Stop Adani activists Adrian Burragubba, (Environmentalist of the Year), Murrawah Maroochy Johnson (Young Environmentalist of the Year), and Ken Peters-Dodd, on behalf of Reef Defenders (Community Environment Prize).
Brown said it was appropriate that the prizes went to activists working to stop the Adani mega coal mine, given that it was a landmark issue that ranked in importance with the Franklin Dam campaigns in Tasmania in the 1980s.
Brown has promised to lead a “cavalcade” of buses and cars to north Queensland to prevent work on the mine, which will be dependent on Australian government funding if it is to go ahead and will be one of the key issues in the upcoming Queensland state election.
Brown quoted polls that showed the overwhelming majority of Australians were opposed to the mine. Yet, he noted, in the last federal election, 90 per cent of votes were made for parties that do not oppose the project. (The Greens are the only party that do).
Parkinson said he was delighted to receive the reward, and the recognition of RenewEconomy’s growing stature as a source of news, information and analysis that is all but impossible to find in mainstream media.
Deni Greene was a US energy expert, who first came to Australia to advise on energy efficiency and co-generation projects to provide an alternative to damming the Franklin River and building other dams.
She became a leading expert and helped design some of Australia’s formative climate change and clean energy policy documents.
Alan Pears, a previous winner of the award, told RenewEconomy that in 1990 Greene led a project that produced a report showing how Australia could cut its emissions by 20 per cent by 2005 – and benefit from this effort by $6 billion.
“She was mercilessly attacked by the energy establishment, and paid a high price in lost work. But that study was very solid – it just challenged the group-think about the cost and practicality of addressing climate change. In another decade or so, many people will realise she was right,” Pears said.
And as a sign of that growing interest in climate and clean energy solutions, RenewEconomy’s total page views since its launch in 2012 has soared through 25 million in October.
Page views have grown 50 per cent over the last 12 months and now average around 800,000 per month. Monthly unique visitors average nearly 300,000 – an extraordinary number for a niche publication.
Parkinson said that readers were attracted to the website’s two major themes: the falling costs and exciting developments in renewable and storage and grid technologies, and the growing frustration with policy design, politicians and regulators.
RenewEconomy would like to thank the Bob Brown Foundation and Bob Brown in particularly for the recognition of its work, along with its readers, advertisers, subscribers and other supporters. We look forward to your continued support.