AQ – Volume 81, Issue 6

Observations on Late Consumer Capitalism

In recent decades, in the rich countries of the world, the barriers of poverty and class have for the most part fallen away. The demands of the baby boomers for freedom from the ties of social tradition were noble in themselves, but it is now evident that demolition of the social customs and moral rules did not create a society of free individuals. Instead, it created an opportunity for the marketers to substitute material consumption. In the face of revolutionary changes in social attitudes in the West, consumer capitalism has remained unruffled and each new social revolution has provided an opportunity for it to rejuvenate itself.

Clive Hamilton

AQ Nov-Dec 2009 – feature

75 years of Climate Change & Renewable Research Unchanged

At present there exists a wealth of scientific evidence that links carbon dioxide emission to global warming. This evidence closely supports models which are used to predict future consequences. Sceptics can easily find ways to dispute this evidence, essentially by questioning its validity, however it is hard to ignore the extreme weather occurring on a regular basis worldwide. While nature has always produced strange weather events, the question becomes one of frequency, and the frequency is clearly increasing at an alarming rate.

Leigh Sheppard

Referenda and Royalty

It would seem inevitable that ere long the Australian electorate will face another referendum on the question of the monarchy. Referenda, which are required here for constitutional changes, do not have a good record of success. Any referendum held in this country on a constitutional question, or on any subject, faces particular obstacles. Not the least is resentment towards the obligation of attending a polling station on a Saturday in a country where elections for the various levels of government are more frequent than most democracies.

John Perkins

Only thaumaturgy can save New South Wales Labor

Labor has governed NSW since 1995, winning in the 1999, 2003 and 2007 elections. While the roots of Labor’s troubles built incrementally over many years, few observers could have predicted the drama of the last quarter of 2009.

Tony Smith

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