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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Coal hard facts for religious investors

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 11 February 2014
    12 Comments

    The international movement to divest from investment in fossil fuels is gathering momentum. Investors are starting to realise that as governments act to restrain fossil fuel consumption, fossil fuel companies will find their assets being written down. This is particularly pertinent to Australia, the second largest coal exporter. And it raises questions for Australian religious bodies about the prudent and moral use of their resources.

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  • MEDIA

    Journalistic ethics in transgender tragedy

    • Ellena Savage
    • 24 January 2014
    4 Comments

    Last week a troubling story broke on sports journalism site Grantland. While investigating the background of Dr V., an avowed physicist who had invented a revolutionary golf putter, journalist Caleb Hannan discovered that Dr V. was a trans-woman. In the course of the investigation, Dr V. committed suicide. This tragic case raises questions about journalistic ethics, not least of which is if journalism is, by its very nature, unethical.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Best of 2013: On Seamus Heaney's turf

    • Peter Gebhardt
    • 10 January 2014
    1 Comment

    Ten years ago, my wife and I went to Dublin. Upon our arrival at the hotel there were three notes waiting from Seamus; the first suggested a meeting, the second drinks, the third 'Heigho, we'll have some scrags'. He picked us up in a Mercedes Benz. I said something about a poet and such a car, 'Never mind it's got a broken window'.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Catherine Deveny's happy diversions

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 13 December 2013
    3 Comments

    Deveny has made a career out of bungee jumping between the chasms of good taste, good writing and good sense. She's never been content to accept societal hypocrisy, and that's an occasional strength in her novel The Happiness Show. It becomes increasingly hard though to separate the author from her lead character, Lizzie. Thanks to an overly generous sprinkling of sex scenes, this quickly goes from disconcerting to downright awkward.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Refuge Cove

    • Warrick Wynne
    • 12 November 2013
    1 Comment

    Behind, the cliffs are already in shadow. But the sun falls on this calm place, the sun falls still on these untroubled waters.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Australia's Noah's Ark economy

    • David James
    • 05 November 2013
    2 Comments

    Australia is very much the 'Noah's Ark' economy: two of everything. Consider the spate of industry sectors in which only two companies dominate: airlines (Virgin and Qantas); paper and packaging (Visy and Amcor); print media (News Corporation and Fairfax). The Federal Government's announcement that it will be launching a 'root and branch' review of Australia's competition law will, at the very least, make for a fascinating spectacle.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Climate denial tide is turning

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 04 November 2013
    47 Comments

    With the publication of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Los Angeles Times made the bold decision to no longer publish letters from climate change denialists saying climate change is a matter of fact, not opinion. While this might seem like a small victory, the more substantial issue on the horizon is the global campaign for divestment in the fossil fuel industry. As it gains momentum and fossil fuel companies will be forced to reassess the value of their assets.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Labor's light on the hill

    • Frank Brennan
    • 02 November 2013
    7 Comments

    'There have been innumerable post-mortems and words of advice as to how the party with new structures, election rules, and policies can pick itself up, dust off, and win the next election. Sadly some of those post-mortems have come with more coatings of spite and loathing. It is no part of my role in the public square as a Catholic priest to offer such advice.' Frank Brennan's address to the Bathurst Panthers Club, 2 November 2013.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Dollar bulletproofs US economy

    • David James
    • 04 October 2013
    1 Comment

    America is fond of claiming exceptionalism, which is usually little more than an indication of its attitude to moral accountability. But in one area America definitely is exceptional: the global currency markets. There is no risk of the market for American dollars drying up, which means that a default by the American government is, while significant, not especially relevant to what happens with the global trade in US dollars.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Turnbull's electronic voting pitch is on the right track

    • Edwina Byrne
    • 12 September 2013
    3 Comments

    Malcolm Turnbull's justification for calling for the introduction of electronic voting is that roughly six per cent of voters failed to correctly fill in their ballot papers on Saturday. Electronic voting would stop this senseless waste. Ignoring the fact that electronic voting would disenfranchise the roughly 5.9 per cent of voters whose democratic wish is to draw male appendages on their ballot, Turnbull has a point.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Credibility at stake for restrained religious media

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 05 September 2013
    22 Comments

    In Australia, September is the month of religious media conferences. This year church media, particularly Catholic media, face a growing challenge: how to deal with bad news about the Church, especially stories regarding sexual abuse and failures of governance. Pope Francis' own style of communication suggests an alternative purpose and approach that such media might adopt.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    On Seamus Heaney's turf

    • Peter Gebhardt
    • 05 September 2013
    8 Comments

    Ten years ago, my wife and I went to Dublin. Upon our arrival at the hotel there were three notes waiting from Seamus; the first suggested a meeting, the second drinks, the third 'Heigho, we'll have some scrags'. He picked us up in a Mercedes Benz. I said something about a poet and such a car, 'Never mind it's got a broken window'.

    READ MORE

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