Editor’s Note

Editor’s Note April 2019

“Denial takes many forms,” writes James Bradley in The Monthly’s April issue. “There is the shameless intellectual dishonesty of the hard right, with its junk science and surrender to corporate interests.” One wouldn’t need to walk far in the Coalition party room to find people of this persuasion.

“Then there are the many variations the rest of us inhabit, often simultaneously: the ways of thinking that allow us to acknowledge the reality of what is going on but never quite the scale of it, or to acknowledge the scale of it but only for a minute or an hour or a day before we shut it out again because it is inconvenient, exhausting or just too horrifying to contemplate.”

Yet there is another form as well, perhaps even more insidious. This is the kind that accepts the truth of climate change but refuses to grapple with the implications. To give only the most obvious example: this is when politicians call for action on climate change, yet support or condone the massive expansion of coalmining for power generation. “The contradiction of this position is no longer sustainable.”

As Bradley describes, Adani’s proposed Carmichael mine has been supported by Labor and Coalition governments. Despite the climate change risk it entails, it still lives. Despite the implications for our water supplies, the effects on the local environment and the Great Barrier Reef, the government subsidies it would require, and the dubious financial and employment benefits it promises, the project continues. It’s a testament to denialism and the priorities of our political system.

James Bradley’s essay, “Holding on to madness”, is essential pre-election reading.

Nick Feik

Nick Feik is the editor of The Monthly.

@nickfeik

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