Articles by Simon Copland

Simon is a freelance writer and climate campaigner. He worked for and was an active volunteer for the Greens between 2007 – 2012 and recently worked for the climate organisation 350.org. Simon grew up in Canberra and is currently living in Edinburgh.

http://themoonbat.com/

#MeToo And The Challenges Of Solving Sexual Violence: An Interview With Dr Tanya Serisier

In a wide-ranging interview, the feminist academic Tanya Serisier, spoke to Green Agenda editor, Simon Copland, about the #MeToo movement; the history of campaigns against sexual assault; issues related to the politics of consent; and the challenges and complexities of solving sexual violence.

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What Even Is Democracy?

By Nick-D (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

In October 2017 Green Agenda hosted two lively debates at the Green Institute Conference: “Everything is Connected”. This is the edited audio and transcript of the first of these discussions, titled “What Even Is Democracy?”.

In this conversation, hosted by Green Agenda co-editor Simon Copland, three speakers — Clare Ozich, Stephen Healy and Joan Staples — answered key questions about the nature of democracy. Panelists discussed what it is that we mean by ‘democracy’, why our democratic institutions are in crisis, and what we can do about it.

Thanks to the Green Institute for hosting such an engaging conference, and to Clare, Joan and Stephen for appearing on this panel.

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Public debates on rights: necessary and positive

Green Agenda co-editor, Simon Copland, responds to Hayley Conway and Mary Tomsic 

In Voting on the Rights of Others Hayley Conway argued against public votes on the rights of others as “a vote affirming the rights of a minority doesn’t lead to systemic change.” She continued:

“Systemic change is needed to end discrimination. Winning the ‘yes’ vote in the postal survey will not end homophobia and the campaign itself has given great licence for public homophobia, abuse, and misinformation.”

I think Conway has created a straw man with this argument, refuting something that no one has ever claimed about the postal survey on marriage equality, or the use of the public votes on rights in general.

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The Threat Of The Far Right: Why Take It Seriously?

The recent white supremicist rally and murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, Virginia have brought attention to the rise of far right groups in the United States. The Australian journalist Jason Wilson, who now lives in Portland, has been reporting on the rise of these groups since the election of Donald Trump. Prior to attending a far-right rally hosted by the organisation ‘Patriot Prayer’ in Portland, Green Agenda editor Simon Copland sat down with Wilson to talk about Donald Trump, the rise of far-right in the U.S., and how the left should respond.

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International climate agreements: useful or useless?

Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement has put the status of the international processes on climate change in doubt. In this discussion Green Agenda editor Simon Copland and researcher Felicity Gray debate whether Trump’s withdrawal should mean the end of the international climate process.

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Protecting Country: First Nations People And Climate Justice

Green Agenda’s Simon Copland recently interview Larissa Baldwin, the national co-director of the Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network. Simon and Larissa spoke about the indigenous climate movement and how it connects to broader questions of colonialism and land rights.

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Postcapitalism: An interview with Paul Mason

Green Agenda Editors Clare Ozich and Simon Copland spoke to Paul Mason, journalist and author of Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future.

With his bold thesis on how technological development is leading to the end of capitalism and the exciting prospect of what a postcapitalism could look like, we had a lot to discuss with Paul. As Paul puts it in the introduction to the book “The current crisis not only spells the end of the neoliberal model, it is a symptom of the longer-term mismatch between market systems and an economy based on information. The aim of the book is to explain why replacing capitalism is no longer a utopian dream, how the basic forms of a postcapitalist economy can be found within the current system, and how they could be expanded rapidly.”

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Understanding the anti-elite Trump vote

The aftermath of the stunning victory of Donald Trump to the White House has left many asking the same question: how on Earth did he do it?

While the analysis is still fresh, and formulating, one can highlight three theories as to why Trump will be the next President of the United States.

The first, and probably most common among liberals, is that Trump’s victory was due to him effectively stoking racial fears. This theory is based on the idea of a “whitelash”, the idea “that Mr. Trump won in large part because he managed to transform economic disadvantage into racial rage.” Donald Trump’s victory was the result of a backlash from white people who saw their status diminishing with increasing diversity in the United States. Continue reading →

Next Economy: an interview with Amanda Cahill

Green Agenda editors Clare Ozich and Simon Copland sat down recently with Amanda Cahill to talk about economic transformation and her new project, Next Economy.

Amanda is the Director and Founder of the Centre for Social Change. Her work includes answering the question – what do economic systems that are good for people and the planet look like?

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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 →