News from the Front Desk, Issue 498: John Hewson former Liberal leader is starting to change his tune on climate change: he’s becoming more optimistic. Christiana Figueres, the global climate powerhouse of negotiation, agrees. And so does business. South Pole, a global company that offsets carbon for corporates and consults on sustainability and climate to […]
Top 10 hits and how long you’re reading them.
Beyond concern for preserving such rich heritage, the proposed demolition of the MLC Building in North Sydney poses deep environmental concerns. History is the story of who we are. A wise society will take lessons from that history – both good and bad – and critically engage with the present to proactively shape a better future. We […]
Some of us learned in chemistry class that hydrogen molecules can spin. But our teachers never told us how much spin we’d see, and how much energy it would take not to fall for it.
Millennials are the most stressed-out demographic group on the planet — they are also the group most sensitive to sustainability issues
News from the Front Desk, Issue 497: The release of Australia’s “gas-fired recovery” plans this week – topped off with new rules to allow government clean energy finance to flow towards carbon capture and storage –should hardly come as a surprise.
A shocking number of Australians experience energy poverty and its only expected to get worse post-Covid as people spend more time at home.
It’s time that the National Construction Code and, in NSW, BASIX, be updated to drive the trajectory to net zero energy homes. An opportunity has arisen to make major improvements in the energy efficiency and renewable energy generation of new buildings, following recent consultations and current analysis for the next update of the National Construction […]
Many things are currently as clear as mud. Is it safe to be old now and leave one’s house or not? Should my child’s teacher be compelled to return to school to do their job? Is this Covid thing the worst thing since a rat got off a boat in London and spread the Black […]
News from the Front Desk, Issue 496:When the NSW planning minister periodically taps an agency chief on the shoulder to share what the new priorities for their work should be, it’s something to be responded to, with alacrity. For Greater Sydney Commission boss Geoffrey Roberts, that tap came recently in the wake of the Coronavirus […]
There’s a draft NSW State Environmental Planning Policy (draft SEPP) for housing diversity out for discussion and it’s sparked the interest of the property developer lobby group Urban Taskforce. The Fifth Estate welcomes thoughts and contributions from other readers on this topic. “Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, […]
Have you ever wondered what the world would be like if electricity was free? Tesla is the well-known trademark of entrepreneur extraordinaire Elon Musk and his electric cars, but what about Tesla, the man? More than 100 years ago, Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) invented alternating current (AC), the polyphase alternating current system, which laid the foundation […]
We need two things: create and implement a unified, transparent label at the national and European levels to identify green financial products, and second, legislate their availability to house1holds.
If you knew you were burning down the house around you, and you could stop it, wouldn’t you?
Everybody needs a fresh look from time to time, and The Fifth Estate is no different.
With mysterious outbreaks of coronavirus infections in hotels and aged care homes perhaps it’s the case that the virus is more airborne that we imagined.
News from the front desk: Who says satire is dead?
The answer is, not very, if it’s anything like the old one The COVID-19 pandemic is like an X-ray into all the broken parts of our economy. We know what they are and have a grand opportunity to fix them, but it will take some visionary leadership, some exceptional courage, and an ample measure of […]
The federal government has been hinting that they will announce significant investment into natural gas to drive down prices and create jobs.
News from the Front Desk, Issue 493: Sometimes urging people to take personal responsibility is a fraudulent strategy for positive change. A con that says it’s all our own fault if the planet blows up. We need to take shorter showers, recycle, don’t buy plastics, travel less. If we’re fat or sick or work in […]
Carbon capture and storage technology as an emissions reduction strategy is like slapping a band-aid over the fossil fuels industry – a last ditch attempt to keep coal-fired generation alive.
News from the front desk, issue 492: Here at The Fifth Estate our heads are spinning after what was an action packed five hours at our Flick the Switch event yesterday about the transition to all electric, net zero buildings and cities. The subject matter certainly struck a chord – we had record numbers in […]
The Covid -19 pandemic has been nothing short of a monumental experiment. Within weeks, workplaces were forced into changes that would normally take years to implement. Reactions to the current state of work have been as varied as the experiences of the people going through it. Accounts range from horror stories to fairy tales and […]
For an industry that involves climbing ladders and working in confined spaces, construction seems inaccessible for someone in a wheelchair. But according to construction academic from the University of South Australia, Jonathan Fritsch, this isn’t always the cas
Just as new drivers must pass a driving test, people should need to prove, through a planning, design and management process, that they are doing all they can to create a “fire wise” space to live in.
News from the front desk, issue 491: There’s pretty much consensus, in The Fifth Estate’s circles at least, that going all-electric is the most straight-forward way for most buildings to hit net zero targets. It makes sense when Australia’s energy network is tracking towards the “biggest and fastest” clean energy transition in the world according […]
As we suspended business as usual during the pandemic what’s impossible to ignore is that “responsible investment strategies, that is, those that more actively factor in social and environmental risks in their decisions, outperformed the broader market during this downturn, and not for the first time. “ Initial Reaction: For investment teams responsible for the […]
The Yarra Birrarung’s bicultural model recognises the Yarra (Birrarung) corridor in Melbourne as a “living” natural entity of bicultural character: both traditional owner and settler-Australia. But although it offers a pathway to decolonise rivers and landscapes, we need to see real shifts in cultural and power dynamics in Australia’s reconciliation processes. The Yarra River Protection (Wilip-gin Birrarung murron) Act is a remarkable piece […]
Natural ventilation, or lack of. The modernist triumph of bare-arse glass for fully airconditioned office buildings has become the ubiquitous answer for high rise residential. Brisbane is now plagued by them. Pretty much the same for other Australian capitals with different climates. The first dilemma on observation is: is it office or residential. A slightly […]
It’s time for Australia to make a clear call on what kind of stimulus it wants. The road back to recovery is not just roads