AQ – Volume 86, Issue 4

AQ86.4 Cover

The Race to Renewables

Though modern political debate has shifted from the existence of climate change towards what our obligations are to combat it, the debate is no less heated. In the face of vacillating Federal commitments, many of Australia’s states and territories are now taking on the response themselves, setting targets and wooing investors. The battle ground for the climate is increasingly a state issue as regional governments see the financial incentives of fostering advanced research opportunities and attracting smart investment. The Race to Renewables is on.

Representatives from every state and territory

 

Does Australia Have a Race Problem?

When British comedian John Oliver referred to Australia as “the most comfortably racist place I’ve ever been”, the response was predictably defensive. Much of the commentary smacked of classism and the popular belief that only extremists hold racist views. Yet racism is embedded in Australian history as much as it is encoded in the social and political structures of the twenty-first century. And yet, we seem reluctant to talk about racism even when high-profile incidents, such as the recent Adam Goodes episode, shove our collective prejudices right under our noses.

Gregory Smithers

  

Disintermediation: Digital Wildfires in the Age of Misinformation

In 2013, the World Economic Forum identified ‘Digital Wildfires’ – the viral transmission of misinformation – as one of the biggest risks facing global society. The power and prevalence of social media is having profound effects on our lives, and the widespread digital distribution of rumour, conspiracy theories and spurious pseudoscience are having repercussions on economies, governments and communities. By freeing information from the mediating influence of traditional media, our understanding of our world has profoundly changed. But with great freedom, comes great risk.

Alessandro Bessi and Walter Quattrociocchi

 

Speciesism – the Ism that Isn’t

The 1960’s revolutions against racism, sexism and classism, also gave rise to the idea of ‘speciesism’ – a human prejudice in favour of our own species. The problem with this view, however, is that it ignores the basis of social cohesion in humans. It is precisely because we belong to one species that makes what happens to any other member of our species more important than what happens to any member of any other species. Dr Allen Greer takes a philosophical look at the principal that launched the modern animal rights movement.

Allen Greer