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Podcast episodeCover image for of State of Emergence

The Fifth Estate

State of Emergence  /  Government

Sally Warhaft, left, and George Megalogenis

There is little doubt now that the COVID-19 coronavirus will drastically alter our lives, communities and societies for some time to come. Amid confusing, contradictory or misleading information about how we should respond – and how we should protect ourselves and each other – the pandemic has already tested our social fabric. How the crisis will affect our healthcare, economic and political systems is yet to be understood, but we appear to be approaching a major reckoning. 

‘The funny thing about this is it’s Spanish Flu, the Great Depression and the Second World War all wrapped into one.’

So, how can we make sense of it all? What kinds of measured, long-term perspectives can we bring to the constant, rapidly-shifting flow of news updates and band-aid measures?

In a special live-streamed edition of The Fifth Estate, journalist George Megalogenis joins host Sally Warhaft for a careful analysis of our precarious present and the future that may follow. Drawing on lessons from the past – including the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, post-World War II unemployment and more – they consider what the compounding challenges of the coronavirus will mean for our national character, for different workers and citizens, and for our political era. How will we be changed?

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Podcast episodeCover image for of How on Earth: Christiana Figueres and Ross Garnaut on Climate Solutions Now

The Wheeler Centre

How on Earth: Christiana Figueres and Ross Garnaut on Climate Solutions Now  /  Climate change & weather

Christiana Figueres and Ross Garnaut at the Wheeler Centre

Christiana Figueres, the architect of the 2015 Paris Agreement, sees the 2020s as a critical moment of opportunity – the ‘golden decade’ – in the future of our species and our planet. 

Earlier this year, the former executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change said: ‘If we do the right thing this decade, we can continue to design the future but if we don’t, we are really condemned to a world of increasing destruction, conflict and pain ... It is a golden ten years in the history of humankind.’

In this episode, Figueres is joined by distinguished Australian climate economist Ross Garnaut. With his new book, Superpower, about energy economics in Australia, Garnaut brings a message of optimism, opportunity and urgency, too. ‘We have unparalleled renewable energy resources,’ he has written. ‘We also have the necessary scientific skills.’

After the chaos and failure of the Copenhagen talks in 2009, Figueres spearheaded a historic agreement of 196 nations at Paris – an achievement few believed was possible. Garnaut has been a household name in Australia since his prescient report on the economics of climate change to the Commonwealth Parliament in 2008.  

Hear these two peerless heavyweights in conversation as they discuss reasons for hope and roadmaps for change, with host Andrew Wear.

Looking for an Auslan-interpreted version? Check out the video.

Anything and everything in Government from across our archives.

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