Confronting Advertising: the elephant in the bus shelter

This is an edited version of a presentation to the UNSW / Australian Earth Laws Alliance conference, Building the New Economy, Sydney, August 15. It is also the first stage in a larger research paper being prepared for the Green Institute. Comment, feedback and ideas are welcome.


Confronting Advertising: The elephant in the bus shelter

Here is how Nancy Shaley, president of the Shaley Agency, describes her profession: “Advertising at its best is making people feel that, without their product, you’re a loser.” Continue reading →


The End of Coal: Transition

The Green Institute has published a collated paper on The End of Coal. The essays in the paper argue that not only that change is coming, but also that, if we embrace and accelerate that change, it brings with it tremendous opportunities to build a better, fairer democracy, economy and society.

In our second piece publishing extracts from the paper, Green Agenda is pleased to publish two different perspectives on the transition from coal for  communities and workers and the opportunities provided for economic renewal.

The first essay is from Amanda Cahill reflecting on her experiences working with communities facing the end of coal. The second is from Drew Hutton arguing for a different democracy to accompany a new economy.
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The End of Coal: Introduction

The Green Institute has published a collated paper on The End of Coal, asking the questions:  How should governments respond to coal’s rapid and terminal decline? Will governments and corporations act to protect people and the planet, or will they try to extract the last drops of profit from coal before it is left it behind?

The essays in the paper argue that not only that change is coming, but also that, if we embrace and accelerate that change, it brings with it tremendous opportunities to build a better, fairer democracy, economy and society.

Green Agenda is pleased to publish a selection of the essays collated in The End of Coal, starting with the Introduction by Green Institute Director, Tim Hollo.
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Working for the Environment

Why work and workers matter in the environmental debate                                                                                                                  

It is not hard to imagine that the world of work is a place of deep ecological impact that will be fundamentally changed by endeavours to green the economy. The implications of climate change for all workers and employers are enormous: the International Labour Organisation (ILO) suggests that 80 per cent of Europe’s CO2 emissions come from industrial production. Thus, the world of work is a critical site of ecological harm and therefore needs to be a site of deep environmentally focused transformation. Continue reading →


Rebuilding the Public Sphere

For decades there has been concern in social and political theory about ‘the decline of the public sphere’. According to many prominent writers on the issue, an effective role for the public sphere in the exercise of political power is something that we have lost. For Hannah Arendt in her work The human condition (1958), societies in the modern age have lost the experience of politics. Arendt describes this ‘politics’ as the founding and preserving of political bodies that constitute a realm, the public realm, where people can be ‘seen and heard’ trying to find the right words at the right moment, trying to persuade others to agree on a particular course of action, trying to engage in deeds worthy of remembrance. Continue reading →


World in Transition

The world is rapidly changing around us. It always has done. Change is one thing that is constant.

Although with global warming, rising sea levels, growing inequality, the digital revolution there is force behind the notion that we are living through a period of significant transition – both a time of fear and opportunity.

Transitions happen at a global, community and personal level. They can make the world, societies, the land and environment along with people healthier, happier and more sustainable. Or they can move us towards an ugly society and barren world.

A film festival occurring in Melbourne and Adelaide is dedicated to exploring the idea of transitions in the world through documentaries. Continue reading →


Queer Liberation: an interview with Dennis Altman

Green Agenda editor Clare Ozich and member of the editorial panel Simon Copland sat down with the academic and gay rights activist Dennis Altman in September 2015. Altman is best known for his pioneering book Homosexual: Oppression and Liberation, released in 1971. He recently released a retrospective of his work,The End of the Homosexual?, in 2013. In this conversation Clare, Simon and Dennis discuss all things queer, with a mix of Australian politics in there as well. Continue reading →

cc licensed Flickr user Tori Rector

Resisting the ‘law of greed’

In 2011 in a small court in Ecuador’s Amazon jungle, a judge ordered the American oil giant Chevron to pay US$9 billion dollars in damages for pollution in the region that was caused by drilling activities in the 1970s and 1980s. The company quickly denounced landmark ruling as illegitimate. More than a year before the final ruling had been issued, Chevron had already taken steps to initiate an investor-state dispute against the Government of Ecuador under the terms of a US-Ecuador bilateral investment treaty (BIT). The company seeks to avoid paying the US$9 billion by convincing an international tribunal that the courts of Ecuador are corrupt and that the government is ultimately responsible for any environmental damage and associated health issues experienced by local residents. Continue reading →


Democracy resides in participation in organisations

The story of the abolition of the Transatlantic slave trade reads like a modern NGO advocacy campaign. Most of us know of Wilberforce who was its parliamentary spokesperson, but the campaign was much more than Wilberforce. It was the birth of the modern community organising campaign. Continue reading →