Interview with Prof Judith Brett — ‘Fair Share: Country and City in Australia’

BY BEN HABIB. In this podcast I am joined in conversation with Professor Judith Brett, Head of School in the School of Social Sciences at La Trobe University, to discuss her Quarterly Essay entitled Fair Share: Country and City in Australia. In our discussion, Judy interprets some of my observations and experiences growing up and living in regional areas, in the context of the themes of her essay. Topics covered in our discussion include the brain drain from the country to the city, efforts to attract skilled personnel to regional centres, the urban-rural culture clash, intellectual capital and bigotry, along with politics, multiculturalism and environmental issues in country Australia.

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Observations on My Role in Commenting on the New Albury Anti-Carbon Tax Group

BY BEN HABIB. Last Saturday I provided comment in an article in the Border Mail—‘Doug takes up fight on carbon tax’—about a new group called Border Says NO to Carbon Tax being established by local trucking operator Doug McMillan. No-one wants to see hard working local businessmen like Doug McMillan lose their livelihoods. If people with climate-related expertise can work cooperatively with local businesses and other impacted members of the community, we can constructively adapt to the many challenges posed by climate change instead of further fracturing the community for the sake of argument. However for the cooperative approach to work, everyone has to begin from a position of informed empowerment.

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The End of Infinite Growth: The Economic Face of Natural Limits

BY BEN HABIB. This article delves into the terrain of macroeconomics, political economy and energy. Human societies, along with the economies that facilitate the exchange of goods and services within and between them, can only grow to the extent that the physical limits of the natural world will allow. Systemic breakdown is likely if these limits are exceeded, a reality with which we are beginning to grapple as ecological, energy and economic crises coalesce into a perfect storm.

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Initial Analysis of the Gillard government’s ‘Clean Energy Future’ Proposal

BY BEN HABIB. On Sunday 10th July, 2011, the Gillard government announced the details of its long-awaited carbon tax—the Clean Energy Future scheme. The hype surrounding the announcement was justified; for a number of reasons, this was one of the most important public policy announcements since Federation. I have a cautiously favourable view of the scheme, based on clear scientific evidence about the seriousness of the climate change threat and expert analysis indicating that a market-based carbon price is the cheapest and easiest way to achieve comprehensive nation-wide greenhouse gas emission reduction.

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Revolutions in the Middle East — Presentation by Dr Luca Anceschi

Watchers of international affairs cannot help but be mesmerised by the rebellions that have unfolded across the Middle East in 2011. In this instalment of the podcast, we are fortunate to be joined by Dr Luca Anceschi from La Trobe University in Melbourne. On Monday 11th April, Luca made a presentation at the LTU Albury-Wodonga campus entitled Revolutions in the Middle East, for second and third year Bachelor of Arts students taking the subject International Relations of the Middle East.

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