Up Expletive Hill

Mick Daley makes no apologies for joining the Bob Brown Convoy to northern Queensland to stop the Adani coal mine ahead of the last federal election. It was entirely in the same spirit as the Freedom Rides and the Civil Rights movements, he says. There are also precedents for what he did next.

New podcast ep: Esther Bailey on the quiet achievement of public service

Some people have a knack for driving change, and Esther Bailey is one of them. Joining our editor Tina Perinotto on the How to Build a Better World podcast this week, Esther talked about what she’d been up to at NABERS, the government’s environmental rating program for buildings, where she’s head of market development. NABERS […]

Jack Mundey, the Liverpudlian and some other expats

MEMOIRS: Some reflections on the impact of Jack Mundey, who pioneered the green bans movement to protect the built environment and who passed away this week. My partner Lisa had completed a Cambridge certificate for teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) before we went to Taiwan. She wanted to have something to do while […]

Book Review: Finding the Heart of the Nation by Thomas Mayor

Finding the Heart of the Nation: The Journey of the Uluru Statement towards Voice, Treaty and Truth is an opportunity to sit in stillness and listen to the voices of the oldest human culture on this planet.

Bren Smith: Eat Like a Fish

Many like to call themselves disruptors but Eat Like A Fish author Bren Smith is absolutely not the standard corporate disruptor-type who presents well in a suit.

2040: A Handbook for the Regeneration

It can be hard to feel hopeful about the future of life on earth some days, particularly in the current political climate in most English-speaking nations.

A pathway to One Planet cities 

Our UK based correspondent David Thorpe has written what’s quickly gaining acclaim as a stunning book that offers a holistic solution to the sustainability crisis on our hands… not that we’re biased of course. Here’s our resident book reviewer Willow Aliento’s take.

The sustainable summer reading list

Here’s our list of (mostly) relaxing yet educational books to pack into your suitcase this Christmas break. Happy reading.

Tomorrowland 2018 – the ebook

The Fifth Estate is immensely proud to bring you our latest ebook, Tomorrowland: the urban agenda, based on our Tomorrowland 2018 signature event.

No Place Like Home – repairing Australia’s housing crisis

BOOK REVIEW: Regular readers of The Fifth Estate who have been following our coverage of housing issues – around affordability, sustainability, homelessness and urban planning are going to love this book.

Fiction: For the Greater Good

Carolita was hurrying down the path to her apartment when she was intercepted by her neighbour. “Oh! They’ve cut me off for the rest of the month! I went O-D on my water account. I must have left a tap running. What shall I do?” Despite her need to make her appointment Carolita stopped. “Poor […]

Not just the petrolheads: we all waste energy slaves

Canberra-based science communicator Stuart McMillen regularly publishes non-fiction comics about social and environmental issues. We have previously featured his work on The Fifth Estate, including his comics Peak Oil, St Matthew Island, and Hitler Denial. McMillen’s comic reveals that one year of human effort is only equivalent to the energy stored in about 14 litres of petrol. […]

Comic: Stuart McMillen on Energy Slaves

Cartoonist Stuart McMillen recently shared his comic Energy Slaves on The Fifth Estate, which looked at the human power needed to maintain our lifestyles. Now he has written a series of seven related essays on how we relate to energy in society, and how this may change, and need to change, in the future.

Book review: Positive energy homes – creating passive houses for better living

Dr Robin Brimblecombe and Dr Kara Rosemeier’s Positive energy homes will not only be valuable for anyone looking to embrace some or all of the principles of Passive House design, construction and technology, it is also a fantastic primer on the fundamental principles of building physics.

Book review: We do things differently by Mark Stevenson

For any of us that have felt deep concern about the lack of vision in government, We do things differently is a timely reminder of the power of grassroots innovation to create solutions to some of the world’s big challenges.

Book review: The conscious business – how to achieve purpose with profit

Former Cundall principal Alistair Coulstock wants to change the way the top end of town does business in The conscious business – how to achieve purpose with profit. There are two core issues responsible for the majority of problems faced in developed countries, Coulstock says – separation from nature and separation from community. The strategies […]

Housing: Property Pickpockets – a rhyme on being locked out of the market

The following is a rhyme submitted by one of our readers verbalising what it feels like from a Gen Y perspective to be locked out of the housing market. It’s dark, contains strong language and is essentially a declaration of intergenerational war should measures not be introduced to level the playing field. Property Pickpockets Check […]

Why some places make us feel terrible

Been in a concrete box recently that made you feel depressed or annoyed? There’s a solid scientific basis for that response, as leading US architecture critic and lecturer Professor Sarah Williams Goldhagen explains in her new book Welcome to your world – how the built environment shapes our lives. Goldhagen brings together the latest research […]

The case against fragrance by Kate Grenville

BOOKS: This is the kind of book that will potentially make you want to run screaming out of the cleaning products and personal care aisles next time you go to a supermarket. It might make you have a major clear out of your bathroom cabinet and also bin the majority of “air freshening” products scattered […]

Try fiction for how we might face the rising tides

The Fifth Estate’s UK stringer, David Thorpe, is a fiction writer is his “other job” and recently took up the challenge to write a piece of fiction for an anthology produced by arts organisation Weatherfronts for TippingPoint, Free Word and Durham University. Weatherfronts brought together writers and artists for a workshop with experts on climate […]

Book review: Navigating the Adaptive Economy

Adaptive Capability director David McEwen has uncovered a vast ignorance about what climate change really means for the business world.

The summer break reading list

The Place Economy – edited and curated by Andrew Hoyne A gargantuan and gorgeous tome, The Place Economy brings together essays, case studies and first-person perspectives from academics, architects, developers, designers, local government and other stakeholders in our built environment. It looks both at what has been achieved by some of the outstanding projects and […]

Book Review: The Rise of the Robots – technology and the threat of mass unemployment

Silicon Valley entrepreneur Martin Ford paints a bleak future for the global economy in Rise of the Robots. His premise is simple – as capital increasingly reduces its investment in employing people and instead replaces growing numbers of workers with software and robotics, fewer people will be in a position to afford goods and services. […]

Clive Hamilton on how protest works

Successful movements always start with just a handful of people, according to Clive Hamilton, but now is the time to take more risks to protest on climate, he says. Six major social movements – the peace movement, women’s liberation, LGBTIQ rights, Indigenous rights, social justice and the environmental movement – are documented in Clive Hamilton’s […]