Melbourne-born author Anna Krien’s latest Quarterly Essay explores the debates on climate change policy in Australia and the ecological effects of not acting.
She interviewed farmers, scientists, Indigenous groups, and activists from Bowen to Port Augusta. She says climate change denialism has transformed into “climate change nihilism”.
Krien says the Finkel review provides another opportunity in a long line of proposals to take up the challenge of legislating clean energy. “We just need to get that foot in the door. The door has been flapping in the wind for the past decade.”
On a current frontline battle – the planned Adani Carmichael coalmine – she found the people who would be affected were being ignored and blindsided.
Meanwhile, the potential for exploitation of local Indigenous peoples through “opaque” native title legislation was high. “Outsiders are not meant to understand it and to tell you the truth you get the sense that insiders aren’t meant to understand it either.”
Authors: Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra