Search Results: Finkel

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Forecast: political storm over energy

    • Greg Foyster
    • 07 December 2017
    4 Comments

    Summer is here, and so is the political spin about blackouts. This year, with a record November heatwave in Victoria and a press gallery hypersensitised to energy politics, the blame game started early - well before anything has actually gone wrong.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    In the 'climate wars' Tony Abbott is Hiroo Onoda

    • Greg Foyster
    • 11 October 2017
    11 Comments

    The conflict has finished, but a stubborn and deluded band of stragglers, led by their belligerent General, Tony Abbott, don't want to believe it. Abbott is behaving like the infamous Imperial Japanese officer Hiroo Onoda, who refused to accept his country's surrender in 1945 and spent a further 29 years fighting phantom enemies in a remote tropical jungle.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    The renewables debate is won, but we may still lose the war

    • Greg Foyster
    • 16 August 2017
    9 Comments

    In the last few years, vested interests have changed their strategy for opposing action on climate change. Where they once focused on denying the problem, they’re now putting their efforts into sabotaging the solutions. Instead of funding fake experts to say the ‘science isn’t settled’, fossil fuel companies and their political backers have been running a smear campaign against renewable energy technologies like wind turbines, solar panels and batteries.

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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

    Finkel and the climate theatre of the absurd

    • Greg Foyster
    • 21 June 2017
    6 Comments

    If politics is theatre, climate politics is a family drama. For the last decade we've watched two rival households having the same endless argument. Political journos call it the 'climate wars' and mostly focus on the lead actors standing in the spotlight - in the Western narrative tradition, characters drive events. Almost no one has noticed the scenery change. Stagehands dismantled the backdrop years ago, but politicians have carried on as if the same circumstances existed when they started this charade.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Petty political class is stunting Australia's growth

    • Fatima Measham
    • 20 June 2017
    15 Comments

    In the latest Essential poll, the primary vote for Pauline Hanson's One Nation lifted to 11 per cent. It does not bode well when competence is no longer the baseline; though in a leadership vacuum, 'someone else' holds a natural appeal. In any case, there can be worse things than incompetence. There is timidity. Mediocrity. Running up the cost of doing nothing at all. In so many ways, the Australian political class is holding us back. That is the crux of nearly every policy impasse over the past several years.

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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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  • MEDIA

    The ills and thrills of talking about science

    • Ketan Joshi
    • 05 April 2016
    7 Comments

    When Alan Alda was 11, he threw a simple inquiry to his teacher. What's a flame? The response he received was less than satisfying. 'All I heard from the teacher was "it's oxidation". That didn't explain anything to me.' It's a neat illustration of a modern problem. Merely presenting over-simplified factoids is no longer sufficient in a world filled with phenomena like climate denial and the anti-vaccination lobby. For science to be communicated effectively, it needs to spark passion and excitement.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Malcolm Turnbull's confidence trick

    • Tim Robertson
    • 24 November 2015
    17 Comments

    The vitriol with which much of the liberal mainstream media responded to Tony Abbott's Margaret Thatcher memorial speech last month confirmed what many rightwingers have been claiming: that Abbott's problem was not his policies, but his inability to sell them. As communicators, he and Turnbull are poles apart. To date, the most striking achievement of the Malcolm Turnbull confidence trick is that he's rewarded for his apparent progressivism, even when he speaks explicitly against it.

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  • MEDIA

    Free speech is safe from Conroy's feather duster

    • Ray Cassin
    • 19 March 2013
    5 Comments

    Free speech is not at risk, and the media companies know it. Their real fears concern the proposed Public Interest Media Advocate's task to determine whether future mergers and acquisitions are in the public interest. The outcry is motivated by self-interest, not concern for the rights and freedoms of citizens. 

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  • MEDIA

    Stifling media inquiries in Australia and the UK

    • Ray Cassin
    • 03 December 2012
    8 Comments

    Australian journalists' tendency to conflate the UK Leveson inquiry's recommendations with those of Australia's Finkelstein inquiry is ill-informed. This blurring in the minds of journalists, publishers and the wider public is a reminder of the anger that spawned the inquiries, and a broad hint about their likely consequences.

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  • MEDIA

    Putting the soul back in the media carnival sideshow

    • Caroline Zielinski
    • 15 November 2012
    1 Comment

    Speed was a huge factor in the BBC debacle: the story about a senior Tory 'rapist' began on Twitter and went viral. The Australian's associate editor Cameron Stewart recently argued that journalism courses focus too much on 'critical assessment of the media' rather than 'the nuts and bolts of reporting'. But the lack of deep cognitive understanding of the role of the media is precisely the problem.

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