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The Fifth Estate

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Beyond Apathy: Acting on Climate Change

How did climate change action – once ‘the greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time’ — become political poison? When (and why) did we fall from the giddy heights of the Kyoto Protocol signing, and the rise of emissions reduction schemes around the globe, back to suspicion and resignation?

The environment — and more specifically, climate change — has rapidly plummeted in terms of public priority and political urgency in Australia. And with a new government set to abolish the carbon tax and disband the Australian Climate Commission, what lies ahead?

Fifth Estate host Sally Warhaft is joined by Nobel laureate Professor Peter Doherty, Greenpeace Australia CEO David Ritter and award-winning writer Chloe Hooper to discuss environmental issues, activism and writing — and how best to communicate its importance in a changing climate.

Who?

Portrait of David Ritter

David Ritter

David Ritter is the Chief Executive Officer of Greenpeace Australia Pacific.

Portrait of Chloe Hooper

Chloe Hooper

Chloe Hooper’s The Tall Man: Death and Life on Palm Island (2008) won the Victorian, New South Wales, West Australian and Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards, as well as the John Button Prize for Political Writing, and a Ned Kelly Award for crime writing. Her latest book is The Arsonist: A Mind on Fire (2018). She is also the author of two novels, A Child’s Book of True Crime and The Engagement.

Portrait of Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She is the host of The Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, and The Leap Year, a Wheeler Centre podcast about Australians' lives in the fog of the Covid-19 pandemic. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.

Sally is a regular host and commentator on ABC radio and has a PhD in anthropology. She did her fieldwork in Mumbai, India, living by the seashore with the local fishing community.

Portrait of Peter Doherty

Peter Doherty

Peter Doherty shared the 1996 Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovering the nature of cellular immune defence, and continues to be involved in research directed at understanding and preventing the severe consequences of influenza virus infection. He was Australian of the Year in 1997, and has since been commuting between St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis and the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne.

He is a huge advocate for evidence-based reality in areas as diverse as childhood vaccination, global hunger and anthropogenic climate change. In an effort to communicate more broadly, he has published four books for general readers. The Knowledge Wars is the latest.

The Fifth Estate

For in-depth insider analysis of current affairs, it doesn't get any better than The Fifth Estate. 

This long-running series is a mainstay of the Wheeler Centre’s programme, and of public conversation in Melbourne. Twice a month, our in-house news anchor Sally Warhaft hosts guests from the world of politics, culture, journalism and international relations to dissect pressing questions of policy, power and public affairs. It's free, it's fortnightly and it's a chance to give complex local and global issues the thoughtful discussion they deserve.

Guests are announced in the weeks prior to events, so keep an eye on our website (or the Wheeler Weekly newsletter) for updates. Subscribe to the popular Fifth Estate podcast – or book a (free) ticket – for expert analysis on today's key debates.

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Where?

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