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The oldest game in town

Scott Ludlam explores the current nature of our cities and provides a hopeful outlook for their future in “The oldest game in town”. This essay is the second of a series, the first of which, “Checkmate”, grapples with the implications of a never-ending growth economy. A short introduction from the Editors to “the oldest game in town” can be found here.

Take a short walk from our main railway station and you’ll pass into the Perth Cultural Centre, a space that for a fair while existed as an angular brick quadrangle linking the state library, museum and contemporary arts institute with the cheerful jumble of the Northbridge entertainment district. A few years ago the City commissioned an unusual transformation off to one side of this place: the sharp geometry of a bleak modernist pond was broken up and planted in with native reeds and paperbarks growing out between worn granite boulders. On a warm night after the rain, you’ll see members of the local frog community checking each other out on the margins of this re-imagined wetland. Even as the bustle of evening commuters flows past in a blur of conversation and studied attention to mobile devices, this place has a meditative quality to it. Pause here, briefly, and the city’s forgotten geography of seasonal lakes can be brought back into memory, even if you can’t recall their ancient names just yet. Continue reading →

Response by James Clark to ‘What does it mean to change everything?’

In September 2013, Canadian author and activist Naomi Klein stood on stage at a conference of one of Canada’s largest unions to deliver a historic speech. The speech, Why Unions Need to Join the Climate Fight, was a call to action for the union movement to break free of their issue and industry silos and use their size and power to dream big and make big demands. The speech was made more remarkable by the fact her audience represented energy, forestry and auto workers, not an audience typically associated with climate activism. Continue reading →

Response by Ted Trainer to ‘What does it mean to change everything?’

I want to commend Simon for his discussion “What does it mean to “change everything”?  He takes up the core theme raised by Naomi Klein’s “This Changes Everything”, which exposes serious deficiencies in previous green thinking and action. Both point to the essential and difficult issue that the discussion of the environmental problem should be focused on … but isn’t.  Following is a brief indication of how I have been arguing about these issues for a long time. Continue reading →