The rout of knowledge and analysis in Australian climate change policy
The integrated wisdom of mainstream science and mainstream economics identify large risks to established patterns of human civilisation from unmitigated or weakly mitigated climate change. These risks are important in all countries, and greater in Australia than in any other developed country. They have been more elaborately analysed in Australia than in most other countries, and our community has had access to large amounts of reliable information on the risks. And yet Australia has been and is an important brake on international progress on mitigation policy. There is political failure of fateful dimension. This lecture defines the failure and seeks to illuminate the causes of this unhappy reality. It suggests possible ways out of the impasse, and discusses factors which will determine whether these ways will be taken.