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Reflections on Forty Years of Failed Australian Climate Policy

Kate Assarian, Dugald Williamson, Hester J. Rook, Sarah Temporal, Debra Livingston, Alexander Forbes, David Ritter, Richard Hil, Sue Charlton, Xu Yi-chong, Patrick Weller, Claudia Baldwin, Kathryn English, Kadi Warner, Michael Buky, Bronwyn Stevens, Ian Lowe

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Forty years ago, I analysed Australia’s future energy alternatives in the very first issue of Social Alternatives (Lowe 1977). It then became clear that climate change was significant and would demand a new approach to energy supply and use (Lowe 1989). Vested interests and right-wing politicians have prolonged the fossil fuel industry, largely through carefully orchestrated misinformation, but rapid change is now evident. The 2019-20 bushfires demonstrated the scale of the threat to Australia. While an optimist might think that even Coalition governments will have to bow to the inevitable, the fixation with growth remains a fundamental obstacle.


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