Search Results: dirt file

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Electricity market for dummies (i.e. politicians)

    • Greg Foyster
    • 19 July 2017
    11 Comments

    After months of very silly debate about clean energy, one thing is abundantly clear: the electricity market is evolving much faster than most politicians and commentators can understand it. The story underneath all the distraction is that wind and solar have already changed the game. As that big Finkel report no one read made clear, 'there is no going back from the massive industrial, technological and economic changes facing our electricity system'.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Turnbull's coal pitch is a Trojan Horse for gas

    • Greg Foyster
    • 22 February 2017
    10 Comments

    Australia's most politically contentious rock is back in the limelight after Prime Minister Turnbull spruiked 'clean coal' power stations in early February, and Scott Morrison brought a lump of the stuff to parliament. It was a juvenile act, but an effective one: here we are again, still talking about coal weeks later, when the real energy policy battle is over gas. But that's how it goes - a pitch for a new coal-fired power station in Australia is actually a clever exercise in repositioning gas as a greener fuel.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Trump's 1984 is Turnbull's Animal Farm

    • Brian Matthews
    • 19 February 2017
    14 Comments

    In these duplicitous times it's not surprising to find Nineteen Eighty-Four cited. In Airstrip One, WAR IS PEACE; FREEDOM IS SLAVERY; IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH - a Nineteen Eighty-Four equivalent of a Tweet with plenty of character space left to add insults. And all facts are alternative, as in the news, 'Oceania is at War with Eurasia', which becomes before your very eyes, 'Oceania has never been at war with Eurasia.' For events closer to home, Orwell's Animal Farm is disturbingly apposite.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    21st century binge and purge

    • Ellena Savage
    • 15 May 2016
    2 Comments

    When my alarm goes off in the morning I reach for my phone: check mail, check ABC, check Twitter. Get up, make filter coffee, pour one. Open my diary and spreadsheet, start working. Pour my second coffee. Eat something, clock calories in. Go for a walk, pick up whatever groceries, clock calories out. Back to work. If whatever I am working on isn't very interesting, this accounting for a day, after day, after day, is fairly sad. But it's also just living a life in 2016.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Sulphur sunshade is a stupid pollution solution

    • Greg Foyster
    • 13 April 2016
    10 Comments

    Geoengineering means intervening in the Earth's climate to offset global warming. It's hacking the planet on a monumental scale. The most widely studied proposal is spraying sulphate particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect sunlight, cooling the planet. The idea comes from huge volcanic eruptions, which can blast millions of tonnes of sulphur into the stratosphere, creating a kind of chemical sunshade. After decades of being taboo, this outlandish scheme is now being taken seriously.

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  • MEDIA

    Ashley Madison leak exposes a prurient and uncaring society

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 25 August 2015
    15 Comments

    The media has greeted the infidelity website leak with unabashed glee. We could instead ask why so many ordinary people are seemingly so discontented with their marriages, and what might be done to alleviate the wretchedness both of those who cheat and those who don't.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Uncle Kevin's letters home from the war

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 23 April 2015
    3 Comments

    I never met my uncle Kevin, who was killed on 9 February 1942 in Singapore. However we were fortunate to have a collection of his letters home from Malaya and reading his letters gives a brief glimpse into his life at war. His final signoff to my grandmother was: 'We’ve still to get our first shock yet but after the first few enemy "bangs" I guess there will be nothing to it.'

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The ABC is not a business

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 20 November 2014
    25 Comments

    Governments are  tempted to use budgetary accountability as a neat cover for corporatisation of public utilities. As public broadcasters, the ABC and SBS do not inhabit the same philosophical territory as Sky News or Channel 7. The ABC's cuts are based on an efficiency report prepared by a financial officer from the commercial media. It does not seem relevant that balanced budgets do not deliver educated audiences.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Abbott's foreign policy flops

    • Tony Kevin
    • 11 September 2014
    11 Comments

    Since Richard Casey was External Affairs Minister in the 1950s, the three pillars of Australian foreign policy have been: a genuine reaching out to our Asian neighbours, adherence to UN-based multilateral values and institutions, and a firm but self-respecting defence partnership with the United States. All those pillars look pretty shaken now.

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  • RELIGION

    Why Bishop Morris was sacked

    • Frank Brennan
    • 23 June 2014
    53 Comments

    'My one new insight from reading Bill's book is that he was sacked because he was too much a team player with his local church ... the Romans hoped to shatter the morale and direction of those who had planned the pastoral strategies of a country diocese stretched to the limits as a Eucharistic community soon to be deprived of priests in the Roman mould.' Frank Brennan launches Benedict, Me and the Cardinals Three by Bishop William Morris.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Human Rights, the national interest and the will of the people

    • Frank Brennan
    • 10 April 2014
    1 Comment

    'Whether or not we have a bill of rights, much of our human rights jurisprudence remains partial, failing to extend rights equally to all. Once we investigate much of the contemporary discussion about human rights, we find that often the intended recipients of rights do not include all human beings but only those with certain capacities or those who share sufficient common attributes with the decision makers. It is always at the edges that there is real work for human rights discourse to do.' Frank Brennan's Blackfriars Lecture

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A conversation in the wind

    • Bai Helin
    • 30 September 2013

    When husbands and wives quarrelled, I put it down to personality clashes. It's not till I got married that I found it's a tradition.

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