In this issue:

Politics in the 21st Century

Zero Emissions: It’s Simple!

Food Security: We Need Different Experts in Charge

Multiculturalism Needs to Begin Early

How the Mighty Have Fallen!

Politics in the 21st Century

Our political system has become unresponsive to the big national and global challenges requiring urgent attention. Why is it that politics has become so moribund? In this article, Peter McMahon provides a short history of the declining capacity of modern politics in Australia.

Zero Emissions: It’s Simple!

Denial and half-baked proposals for action constitute much of the debate about climate change in this country. There are, however, creative people quietly going about providing real solutions to the challenge. In this article, Brad Schultz outlines a well-developed plan for meeting our energy needs without producing carbon emissions.

Food Security: We Need Different Experts in Charge

Food security is about a basic human right, our right to nutritious, sustainably produced and affordable food. It has, however, become a tremendously complex problem with many of the stakeholders seeing the issues only from their own narrow perspectives. Here, Jane Dixon pleads for a more holistic approach.

Multiculturalism Needs to Begin Early

It could perhaps be argued that racism is partly a consequence of our cognitive limitations as human beings: we ascribe characteristics to whole groups of people because we lack the capacity to perceive the manifold differences between individuals. But as Michelle Delaney has found, the appreciation of difference is a skill that can be cultivated very early on in our lives.

How the Mighty Have Fallen!

It is now more than a month since the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn (“DSK”), head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and front runner in the polls for the presidential election in France. Rodney Crisp reports from France about the nation’s shock and disorientation, along with the extraordinary historical connections involved.

4 Comments
  • Nick says:

    Hey Brad – great to see you championing the cause! Keep up the awesome work, and very well said.

  • Sir, this is a refreshing essay about the lamentable state of Australian politics; the narrow-gauge railway line of our two policitical parties pinned together by the hard-wood sleepers of pragmatism, lack of vision, mediocrity, prejudice, clichés and knee-jerk policies. The line grubs across the political landscape bending to each rise and curve, and being low to the ground, offers no elevated perspective but a ground hog view. We are not inspired to Blue Mountain lofty ideals, long and challenging vistas after which the citizens of our girt-by-sea Nation-City-State can strive. We look at the end of a three year electoral cycle as through a proctoscope to spy the pessimism of more waste and self-interest.
    As far as the biosphere is concerned, we are the condemned man in the cell awaiting dawn but all we see through our barred window is the dark sky’s red blush and the morning’s crows and not the trap or noose beyond the door.
    Our policital and social life is the domain of the few media nabobs whose reporter-hacks have no knowledge of scientific method or the subtleties of anything more than a seven second grab while catering for a level of 8th grade English and the punch line at the end of tree hundred words of tedious syncopated prose.
    Our political masters are mostly lawyers with good connections or otherwise child prodigy apparatchiks. There are but few science graduate or doctors in government to solve the medical and scientific challenges of a diminished and degraded planet. The Australian populace is governed by a second rate oligarchy; a Bunyip Aristocracy who would solve the nations problems by bread and circuses mentality eg burrowing tunnels like mindless wombats under Brisbane to carry cars and trucks rather than an underground metro that Paris and London had before we were a federation.
    Let’s rape the earth beneath our feet by extracting coal-seam gas to destroy our aquifers and turn rich farmland into a scene from Mad Max while our oceans acidify some more and the fishes die. Make more gas so we can burn more carbon. Convert the late Cretaceous into the Late Technocene Epoch.
    The main innovations in terms of changing human ecological sympathies come from men and women and boys and girls; from Everyman. It springs up from the grass roots like Food Connect and mother’s milk and people with green hearts and a desire to pass on more than a dry paddock to their grandchildren. The vision and change comes not from the rabble and moronic antics of a parliamentary Question Time or from political commissars born on the Tower of Techno-babble or dancing like an organ grinder’s monkey to the cigar-puffing magnate with the biggest cheque book. Play on organ grinder while I have peanuts to feed your monkey.
    We need visionaries to lead us; Moses in our Wilderness lest our Promise Land remain a Land of Unkept Promises.

  • Matt says:

    The word denial is disgusting. No room for it.

  • Dylan says:

    Matt, don’t be so thin skinned. I’ve been called a warmist, a catastrophist, an alarmist and a fascist. I recognise these are labels of convenience, and tools for propaganda.

    If you have a critisicm of the substance of the article, we’d like to hear it.

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