September 2022

Uncle Jack Charles & the King

by Ebony Bennett in Canberra Times

The spectacle that has accompanied the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second is something to behold. But the pomp and pageantry do little to conceal the faintly ridiculous aspects of being a constitutional monarchy, where leadership is conferred not by merit or means of election, but by divine right and accident of birth.

We pay billions to subsidise Australia’s fossil fuel industry. This makes absolutely no economic sense

by Richard Denniss in The Conversation

Fossil fuel subsidies from major economies including Australia reached close to US$700 billion in 2021, almost doubling from 2020, according to new analysis by the International Energy Agency and OECD. These subsidies are expected to keep rising in 2022 as governments worldwide attempt to use fossil fuel subsidies to shield customers from the high energy prices caused

Let the Parliament (and the Assembly) decide

by Ebony Bennett

Canberra often leads Australia on policy reform, but now it’s time for the Parliament of Australia to stop getting in our way. Canberra often and unfairly cops the blame for the contentious decisions of elected representatives sent here by the rest of the country, but for the past 25 years it is the Parliament that

August 2022

Fight for climate peace starts now

by Ebony Bennett

AS PEOPLE gathered for the electric vehicle summit in Canberra yesterday, the hope in the air was palpable. But despite the Albanese government’s rhetoric, the so-called climate wars are far from over. In reality, the fight for meaningful climate peace is only just beginning. The policy struggle now is not between Labor and the Coalition,

July 2022

Joseph Stiglitz on how to make Australia richer

by Richard Denniss in The Saturday Paper

Richard Denniss Professor Joseph Stiglitz, welcome to Australia. John Maynard Keynes once said “practical men who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence are usually the slaves of some defunct economist”. It’s decades since you and other Nobel prize winners debunked the intellectual underpinnings of neoliberalism. Are Australians slow to change their minds

Ignoring warnings of Europe’s extreme heatwave locks Australia into a worst-case scenario

by Mark Ogge in The Guardian

The unprecedented heatwave and fires engulfing Europe might seem a long way away, but they are a frightening portent of what’s in store for Australia. Britain has just experienced its highest temperature ever, extreme conditions and fires are sweeping Spain, Portugal, France and Greece. This is just the latest in a string of extreme events

Australia’s farcical climate policy: market forces to cut emissions and subsidies to destroy carbon sinks

by Richard Denniss

Climate change often gets blamed on market failure, but government failure plays a pretty big role as well. Not only do Australian governments spend more than $11.6 billion per year subsidising fossil fuels, at the same time the Federal Government spends billions paying some landholders to grow more trees, state governments perversely continue to subsidise

June 2022

Time for a statewide marine plan

by Eloise Carr

Tasmania’s coastal waters are globally significant, and our island way of life is deeply embedded in our psyche. But our coastal waters are under threat from a range of pressures, including fishing, aquaculture, climate change and pollution. Our east coast waters are warming four times faster than the global average. We have depleted fish stocks,

Profits push up prices too, so why is the RBA governor only talking about wages?

by Jim Stanford in The Conversation

Reserve Bank of Australia governor Phillip Lowe has invoked memories of the 1970s, warning wage growth must be restrained to contain Australia’s surging inflation. In the 1970s, Lowe said last week, “we got into trouble because wages growth responded mechanically to the higher inflation rate”. Now, with inflation above 5%, and tipped to reach 7% by the

‘We want to be part of that movement’: residents embrace renewable energy but worry how their towns will change

by Dan Cass in The Conversartion

Amid soaring energy costs, the new Labor government is working to deliver a A$20 billion pledge to rebuild and modernise Australia’s electricity grid. It will help deliver a plan for 122 gigawatts of new renewable energy in the National Electricity Market by 2050, eventually replacing coal generation. The transition will bring significant social, economic and environmental change. Electricity generation

If Australia taxed windfall gas profits we could invest billions in renewables and get off fossil fuels for good

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

A massive expansion in Australia’s gas production did nothing to make gas cheap for Australian homes and businesses. A decade of propping up ageing coal-fired power stations did nothing to ensure the reliability of our electricity supply. And the Coalition’s so-called “gas trigger” and “big stick” electricity reforms have done nothing to control Australian energy

Gaslighting Australia

by Richard Denniss in The Monthly

Local gas suppliers aren’t in crisis – soaring prices are going according to plan The Australian gas industry isn’t in crisis; it’s in heaven. Its profits and share prices are rising even faster than its greenhouse gas emissions, and everything is going according to the plan it has been working on for more than a

May 2022

Anthony Albanese’s government must learn from Labor’s last breakup with electoral power

by Peter Lewis

For all the tabloids’ orchestrated pompom waving throughout the election campaign, to their credit Anthony Albanese’s marriage breakup was one place they refused to go. Albanese’s standing as a divorced man in a relatively new relationship is a first for an Australian prime minister, but could also serve as a metaphor for his incoming government

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