Dutton Nukes Democratic Climate Debate

By Tim Hollo June 21, 2024

Dutton Nukes Democratic Climate Debate - Green Institute

Here we go again.

A decade ago, I wrote this piece in The Guardian explaining why the right keeps returning to nuclear power like a dog to a puddle of vomit. It fits their worldview: the “dominion mandate” that says God gave “man” the Earth to dominate; the belief in centralised corporate control; and the idea that nothing real should ever change.

That explains Dutton’s announcement this week. But it doesn’t tell us what to do with it.

My fear is that this lets Labor off the hook on climate and energy. Their stench of gas becomes less noticeable within a thoroughly radioactive discourse.

What it boils down to, in my opinion, is that the so-called “climate wars” are clear evidence of the failure of our entire political system. The binary adversarial nonsense; the exclusion of voices outside the mainstream; the corporate capture; the inanely superficial media “analysis”. This system is incapable of solving the crises it has created.

Our task, as Greens, as environmentalists, as people who believe in a better future, is to point to the failure of the system as an exciting and liberating opportunity to reinvent it. To rebuild it from the grassroots up. We can create a political system where genuine, inclusive, deliberative democratic debate is the norm. But we have to do it ourselves. We can’t rely on the system to replace itself.

As I keep muttering, this is the end of the world as we know it. Or at least, we’d better make it so. Or it could well be the end of the world.

Which reminds me…

It’s the end of the year as we account for it 

The Green Institute is an incredibly lean operation. I’m proud of the work we do with virtually nothing. But that means our three staff work far more than we’re paid for, and we have to say no to more things than we’d like. So we need your support.

If you have the capacity in these times, please consider making an end of financial year tax deductible donation to the Green Institute to help our work.

Facilitating difficult conversations

Relatedly, in terms of living into being the democratic system we want and need, and in terms of supporting the Green Institute, I’m delighted to share with you a new page on our website setting out the facilitation services we can and do provide.

If you’d like help with deep strategic planning, or with getting through tricky issues, our team of staff and volunteers – me, Elissa JenkinsBecc Galdies, and Huong Truong, are available to help. Please bear that in mind!

Workshop in Bathurst

And I’m doing a workshop THIS SATURDAY in Bathurst, for those who might be in the NSW Central West. You can book here to come along and discuss living democracy, and how we live into being the world we need!

Natalie Bennett webinar

I’m delighted that there’s already been so much interest in the webinar on July 9 with Baroness Natalie Bennett of the Green Party of England and Wales!

There’s still time to register here to come along and discuss how to Change Everything with Natalie, Christine Milne and me.

Green Agenda

Our magazine, Green Agenda, has published a series of excellent pieces recently on the how and what of change-making in the face of climate and ecological and social and economic crises.

Check out Marci Webster-Mannison’s discussion of cranking air-con and architectural, design and planning alternatives. In a touching and beautifully written piece, Linda Cockburn explores her personal journey along different paths of individual, family and communal change. Have a read of Jonno Sriranganathan’s post-election analysis, challenging us to consider, among other things, the need to do far deeper community organising than simply saturation doorknocking. And read Simon Copland on how to shift the transport debate from EVs into active travel.

End update! Not end of world. End of financial year. Please donate 🙂



PS: I also wrote this more light-hearted piece 5 years ago, asking whether nuclear powered electrons have “balls”. And, remember, if you want more from the Green Institute and Green Agenda, please make an EOFY donation today!


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