Just something interesting that a subscriber brought to my attention. The Age newspaper, probably the least friendly in the land to nuclear, is running a program called “The Climate Agenda” to let readers steer the coverage of climate change issues a bit.

Interesting idea. Interesting also to note that the third most voted for question is, basically, why not nuclear? I’d ask the question slightly differently than Russel Hamstead has but it is more than good enough. If you have a chance, it might be worth paying a visit and adding a vote to this question. Warning though: steer clear of the comments thread, you could be there a looooong time.

It would be nice to see this idea count for something… predictably it is being spammed by deniers. In general The Age has taken seriously its editorial responsibility in the representation of the climate change science, so it will be interesting to see what they do with that particular can of worms they have now opened by turning it over to the public to direct them.

Any way, for the sake of five minutes it is just a little more pressure we might add to the issue.


  1. Hi Ben,

    I don’t know about avoiding the comments entirely – this Russel Hampstead bloke has participated in the comments section below his question on OurSay and has engaged in useful and well thought out comments responding to some of the naysayers there.



    1. Fair point, and that’s a good effort by Russel.

      Maybe I’ll rephrase my suggestion. I decided the best use of my time at this point is placing the vote and keeping the question up the top so that it gets attention from The Age. That should provide plenty of chance later to enter debates. But those who are feeling more energised than me, go for it!

  2. After I read through all of the voted on questions, I felt like posing one along the lines of “who are all these morons? And what happened to science education in this country?”

    1. Funny and painful in roughly equal measure. It is what it is. This is one of those illuminating circumstances where he or she who understands best suffers the most. Without claiming any “best” virtue, I accept the suffering, and without regret, cheers wilful. Good comment.

    2. Dude, I know… and it has become steadily worse since it opened. I HOPE, have to believe, that this says more about the seemingly unending enthusiasm and indeed organisational ability of certain cabals of morons than it does about society in general, which is probably full of people who,as I was until Huw brough it to my attention, are getting about doing their thing in the confidence that the absolute shred of information we have on the temperature of OTHER PLANETS is probably not grounds to chuck out the mountain of data we have about our own.

      That was a long sentence. You get my drift though.

  3. Don’t forget you have 7 votes – nothing to stop you plumping them all on Russell Hamstead’s question!

  4. “You have 0 votes left” – thanks Russell!

    I’ve never really read The Age, have no idea what their standard coverage is like. But if any of the other voting options are anything to go by, I think I’ll give it a miss.

    Cheers, Ben.

  5. The Fairfax press seems to have a better environmental coverage than Rupert’s mob but that is not saying much.

    Of the 3 Fairfax mastheads which I frequently access via the Net, The Age,SMH and Brisbane Times,I would say that the The Age is the more left wing.Whether that means an ingrained hostility to nuclear power I don’t know.However, I think it is well to remember that in a large media organization there will always be differences in opinion among the editorial staff,column writers and journalists.Managers and editors in chief don’t necessarily rule with an iron hand.

    To Ben and others who have the skills and knowledge to write readable essays I would suggest that Fairfax is the best bet to get something published in the MSM.But The Australian is certainly worth a try as it does at least make some pretence at being a “serious” paper.

  6. Tom Keen, the “Our Say” questions are “reader” derived. I put reader in quotes because they are all subject to a flooding attack from Andrew Bolt’s blog, over at the Herald Sun. They don’t at all reflect the editorial line of the paper.

    The Age is probably the least worst newspaper in the country. Which is faint praise indeed.

    1. That’s about my appraisal. Has Bolt actually unleashed the hounds on this one has he?

      As for nuclear though, Barry recounted to me that when his recent paper was published in Energy, The Age interviewed him but covered it much as the Australian covers climate change; focussed their article on entirely the comments of someone criticising the paper (In this case I think it was Ian Lowe).

      They need to do better.

  7. Hi Everyone. Ive never been to this site before, Im not from SA but its good to see so many like minded people in AUS. Sadly the question has fallen to 4th place behind a variety of fairly generic GetUp Style questions and certain people have made the discussion very personal and have tried valiantly to cloud the issue. Please if you havent already voted register and do so! and encourage your friends and others on this site to help. There are 9 days left of voting!

    1. With voting now concluded, Russell’s question finished a very creditable 4th, with over a thousand votes. Not too sad at all, given The Sunday Age has pledged to address the top 10 questions. Their response to No. 1 has been posted (http://www.theage.com.au/environment/climate-change/the-question-is-what-earthly-difference-can-we-make-20110903-1jrom.html), and I’m reasonably impressed with it as a fair treatment. Here’s hoping the other forthcoming published responses are as even-handed and comprehensive.

      However, when one door closes, another opens. Your next chance to influence the public debate agenda is here: http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/ask-question.htm With federal Climate Change Minister Greg Combet, Sophie Mirabella (Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry and Science), Clive Palmer (mining magnate) and Paul Howes all on the panel tonight, a question related to decarbonisation probably stands a much better chance than usual of getting up for broadcast.

    1. Alas, Q&A last night never got close to coming to grips with the issue. The carbon tax came up several times, but only as a political football. The issue of ALP leadership overshadowed everything. There was no discussion of alternatives to fossil fuels, nor whether we are on the right track towards them.

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