China’s security threat to Britain’s energy infrastructure

Clive Hamilton After banning Huawei from Britain’s communications system, investment from China in the country’s energy system poses a greater security risk. It’s often said that investment from China should be treated in the same way as investment from other countries. If only it were true. But China is different because businesses in China cooperate […]
Read More»

Time for a ‘China reset,’ before it’s too late

(Published in the National Post (Canada), June 18, 2020) As someone who has studied the influence of China in Canada, it is clear to me that this country needs to put in place defences against the covert, coercive and corrupt influence of the CPC, which has been systematically eroding resistance to it from within Under […]
Read More»

University sacrifices pro-democracy student for China romance

(Published in The Australian, May 6, 2020) A 20-year-old philosophy student campaigning against uni’s links with Chinese Communist Party subject to assault, online hate, death threats. The University of Queensland is going to extraordinary lengths to silence its most effective critic, a 20-year-old philosophy student who has campaigned against the university’s tight links with the […]
Read More»

Extinction Rebellion and the politics of creative tension

Clive Hamilton Are Extinction Rebellion protesters shooting themselves in the foot? Commentators have been quick to accuse them of doing no more than annoying motorists and alienating the public from their cause. That argument assumes that all protests are aimed at winning over the public to one’s point of view. Put another way, protests are […]
Read More»

Chinese Communist Party Influence in Australian Universities

Recent events at the University of Queensland have brought into sharp relief the Chinese Communist Party’s influence activities on Australian campuses. Tensions arising from the mass protests in Hong Kong have prompted democracy activists in the West to speak out, but they have also inflamed nationalist sentiment among some Chinese students, to the point where […]
Read More»

The Soul of the Chinese People

Comments at the launch of the Chinese-language edition of Silent Invasion 无声的入侵 Ashfield, Sydney, Sunday 2 June 2019 I thank Professor Feng Chongyi for his generous introduction and the Australian Values Alliance for organizing today’s launch. Welcome everyone. Liu Xiaobo once wrote: “Freedom of expression is the foundation of human rights, the source of humanity, […]
Read More»

Understanding China’s Threat to Australia’s National Security

We are only now becoming aware that Beijing’s interference in our political system goes well beyond the activities of wealthy, Party-linked donors. In recent years, the Chinese Communist Party, through its global United Front network, has been actively encouraging trusted members of Chinese communities in countries like Australia to become directly involved in running for […]
Read More»

Keating: Intelligence chiefs are “nutters”, clean them out

Published in The Daily Telegraph, May 7 2018 When U.S. intelligence chiefs presented Donald Trump with information that made him uncomfortable, he flew into a rage, accusing them of leaking “fake news” and acting like “Nazi Germany”. Now Paul Keating has done the same. Australia’s intelligence chiefs are “nutters”, he said on Sunday. They’ve “gone […]
Read More»

Tech stand-off may trigger digital divide

Published in the Australian, 17 December 2018 The stage is being set for the emergence of two rival technological empires, China’s and America’s, each aimed at supremacy over the other, with the world as the prize. Clive Hamilton says Australia will have to choose. The arrest in Canada of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou could be […]
Read More»

How Tony Abbott destroyed the Liberal Party

Published in Meanjin, August 21, 2018 Climate change policy has morphed into ‘energy policy’ to make it more palatable to conservatives. But for Tony Abbott it’s not a contest over policy differences; it’s a battle for the nation’s soul. In the United States, conservatives fight a fierce culture war over abortion, guns, sexual identity, God […]
Read More»

China has a very unhealthy interest in our medical data

Published in the Australian Financial Review, January 13, 2019 Chinese companies are required by law to obey directives from Beijing’s intelligence agencies. So why would our regulators permit a giant Australian healthcare provider that is privy to highly sensitive records on hundreds of thousands of Australians to be acquired by a Chinese company? The Jangho […]
Read More»

Chinese Communist Party influence: Why the critics are wrong

Published in Policy Forum, 9 April 2018 How committed is Australia to its foundational liberal values? Some of the responses to the emerging debate on CCP influence in the country provide plenty of reason for concern, Clive Hamilton writes. My book, Silent Invasion: The Influence of China in Australia, has been met with an impassioned reception […]
Read More»

Why do we keep turning a blind eye to China’s political interference?

Academics in Australia might reflect on the fact that scholarly books critical of the Chinese Communist Party are now shunned by publishers. Scholars who work on China know that continued access to the country requires them to play by Beijing’s rules, which for most means self-censorship – the dirty secret of China studies in Australia. […]
Read More»

Open Letter to David Shoebridge MLC

18 March 2018 Dear David As you know, I was disappointed when you cancelled the launch event for my book that you had enthusiastically agreed to host. I’m more disappointed to read the justification you have given for your actions in your recent Facebook post. I would expect you, as a barrister, to take account […]
Read More»

I expected to be attacked as racist – just not by Tim Soutphommasane

Published by The Sydney Morning Herald, 18 March 2018 When writing my book Silent Invasion: China’s Influence in Australia, I expected Communist Party spokespersons in Beijing to attack me as racist and “anti-China”. I didn’t expect people like Tim Soutphommasane, our Race Discrimination Commissioner, to parrot those criticisms in The Age and The Sydney Morning […]
Read More»

Labor has a cancer growing in it that must be cut out

Published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 19 February, 2018 Canberra is finally beginning to push back against Beijing’s long-running campaign to seduce our elites so completely that the nation kow-tows before China’s wishes. The first phase of the pushback culminated in December with the Turnbull government introducing legislation to outlaw foreign interference operations and novel […]
Read More»

Australian taxes may help finance Chinese military capability

Clive Hamilton and Alex Joske Published in The Australian, 10 June 2017 For several years the Chinese party-state has been pursuing a co-­ordinated program to acquire from abroad advanced military and ­industrial technology, and to do so by fair means or foul. It now emerges that Australian universities inadvertently are helping to give China the […]
Read More»

How to Think About 1.5 Degrees

Astonishment was universal last December when the Paris Agreement on climate change included the aspiration to limit warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels, a much tougher target than the standard of 2 degrees, now seen as too risky. It was a remarkable triumph for a long campaign by the small island states, proving that […]
Read More»

The Climate Change Authority report: a minority view

Clive Hamilton and David Karoly As Members of the Climate Change Authority who have participated fully in the Special Review of Australia’s Climate Goals and Policies, we reached the conclusion, after much consideration, that in good conscience we could not lend our names to its report, published last week. Rather than resign we decided to […]
Read More»

The Anthropocene Belongs to Earth System Science

The idea of the Anthropocene was conceived by Earth System scientists to capture the very recent rupture in Earth history arising from the impact of human activity on the Earth System as a whole. (1,2) Stop. Read that again. Take special note of the phrases “very recent rupture” and “the Earth System as a whole”. […]
Read More»

Define the Anthropocene in terms of the whole Earth

Researchers must consider human impacts on entire Earth systems and not get trapped in discipline-specific definitions, says Clive Hamilton. 17 August 2016 Do we live in the Anthropocene? Officially, not yet — although the debate about whether to declare a new geological epoch will resurface later this month at the International Geological Congress in Cape Town, South […]
Read More»

Why I’d Vote for Donald Trump

Every decent person looks on goggle eyed as Donald Trump continues his unlikely march to the Republican Party nomination. We are mesmerized by how he goes out of his way to flout every rule of “political correctness”, from calling Mexican immigrants “rapists” and flirting with the Ku Klux Klan, to dismissing women he does not […]
Read More»

Kant at Le Bourget

It is natural to adopt a cynical view of the global climate change conference now taking place outside Paris. Behind the noble public declarations self-interest is ruthlessly asserted in the private negotiating rooms. Rules are bent, scrutiny is resisted and numbers are manipulated to hide emissions. Yet from another standpoint, there is something magnificent taking […]
Read More»

A New Kind of Human Being: Reply to Steve Fuller

An article I wrote critical of those who plan to build a spaceship to escape an Earth ruined by climate change attracted a response from Steve Fuller, who is described as the sociologist of the “space ark” project I had in mind. Fuller situates my commentary within my wider critique of “ecomodernism”. He writes that […]
Read More»

Political Correctness: Its Origins and the Backlash Against It

Please note: This article contains a word some find offensive. Mexican immigrants are “bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists.” In response to outrage at his statements like this one, Donald Trump replies: “I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct”. On this vague platform Trump has made himself a serious […]
Read More»

Australia’s Kyoto Escape Hatch Now Exploited

In the saga of mendacity that is the climate policy debate, no claim has been more audacious than the one now being told by the federal government about Australia’s “success” in meeting its Kyoto emissions target. Environment minister Greg Hunt now routinely makes statements like this: We are one of the few countries in the […]
Read More»

The Theodicy of the “Good Anthropocene”

To the dismay of those who first proposed it, the Anthropocene is being reframed as an event to be celebrated rather than lamented and feared. Instead of final proof of the damage done by techno-industrial hubris, the ‘ecomodernists’ welcome the new epoch as a sign of man’s ability to transform and control nature. Although the […]
Read More»

“Humanity has disappointed God’s expectations”: Pope Francis’s Call to Arms

Pope Francis did not speak lightly when he said that protecting God’s creation is a service that “the Bishop of Rome is called to carry out”. And so his encyclical “Laudato Si’, on care for our common home”, released yesterday, reflects his deeply held convictions. While the encyclical’s message will require careful study to appreciate […]
Read More»

The Lomborg Ruse

No one in Australia has more relentlessly attacked environmentalists, climate science, carbon taxes and the aspirations of the United Nations than Murdoch columnist Andrew Bolt. So what does it mean when Bolt sings the praises of a man who is a declared environmentalist, accepts the body of evidence for climate change, supports a carbon tax […]
Read More»

Australian scientists urge banks not to finance Galilee Basin coal projects

Embargoed until 4.00 am AEST Friday 22 May 2015 MEDIA RELEASE Australian scientists urge banks not to finance Galilee Basin coal projects Canberra, 22 May 2015 – Nine eminent Australian scientists have added their voices to the call for global financial institutions to stop funding fossil fuel projects in Queensland’s Galilee Basin. Leading Australian climate […]
Read More»

Why Are Academics So Nasty?

Late last year I submitted a book proposal to a prestigious academic publisher. Last week I was sent a reader’s report on the proposal that is so vicious in tone and crushing in intent that, after recovering from the shock, I began to wonder why this kind of thing is so rife in the academic […]
Read More»

The Sacrament of Creation: What Can We Expect from Pope Francis’s Ecological Encyclical?

Pope Francis has made no secret of his conviction that human-induced climate change, along with other forms of environmental degradation, represents a grave threat to humanity’s future. At times he even speaks in quasi-apocalyptic terms: “Let us not allow omens of destruction and death to accompany the advance of this world!” His forthcoming “ecological encyclical” […]
Read More»

Geoengineering is no place for corporate profit making

“Save the world and make a little cash on the side.” That’s the motto of Russ George, the colourful entrepreneur behind Planktos Science who wants to put geoengineering into practice now. George is convinced that by adding iron sulphate to the oceans, he can stimulate plankton blooms and so suck enough carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere to […]
Read More»

Geoengineering might work in a rational world … sadly we don’t live in one

The publication of a hefty two-volume report on geoengineering by the US National Research Council represents a marked shift in the global debate over how to respond to global warming. To date, the debate has been about mitigation, with the need for some adaption because of the failure to reduce emissions adequately. The new report, backed by […]
Read More»

The Risks of Climate Engineering

The Republican Party has long resisted action on climate change, but now that much of the electorate wants something done, it needs to find a way out of the hole it has dug for itself. A committee appointed by the National Research Council may just have handed the party a ladder. In a two-volume report, […]
Read More»

The Anthropocene: Too Serious for Post-Modern Games

In his post “Against the Anthropocene”, Kieran Suckling makes two main arguments. The first is that the choice of “Anthropocene” as the name for the new epoch breaks with stratigraphic tradition; he feels uncomfortable with a change in tradition, not least because he suspects the break reflects a hidden political objective. The second is that […]
Read More»

When Earth Juts Through World

With the arrival of the Anthropocene we must now be suspicious of all ideas developed in the last 10,000 years, including James Lovelock’s notion of Gaia which, it turns out, is a child of the Holocene. The Anthropocene is a reversion to the unruly and chaotic conditions before the Holocene’s 10-millennium epoch of calm. Now […]
Read More»

Gaia Does Not Negotiate

Gaia Does Not Negotiate A contribution to “The Situation Facing the Moderns After the Intrusion of Gaïa: A Philosophical Simulation”, the final evaluation conference of the project An Inquiry into Modes of Existence (AIME) Amphitheatre Caquot, Sciences Po, Paris, July 28-29, 2014 by one of Gaia’s Chargés d’Affaires invited to a diplomatic workshop. Gaia does […]
Read More»

The New Environmentalism Will Lead Us To Disaster

The New Environmentalism Will Lead Us To Disaster So-called ecopragmatists say we can have a “good Anthropocene.” They’re dead wrong. Clive Hamilton Published in Scientific American, 19 June 2014 Fourteen years ago, when a frustrated Paul Crutzen blurted out the word “Anthropocene” at a scientific meeting in Mexico, the famous atmospheric chemist was expressing his […]
Read More»

Can humans survive the Anthropocene?

So profound has been the influence of humans that Earth system scientists have proposed that the Earth has entered a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. The new epoch marks the end of the Holocene, a 10,000-year period of climatic stability and clemency that permitted civilization to flourish. What does it mean for humankind to inscribe […]
Read More»

Climate and vaccine deniers are the same: beyond persuasion

Governments are worried. Vaccination rates are falling under the influence of a campaign of misinformation by a small minority of fanatics. Scientifically there is no debate about immunisation, with every relevant health authority strongly endorsing vaccination. But anti-vaccination activists refuse to accept the evidence, claiming that “every issue has two sides”. They believe vaccination is […]
Read More»

Why Geoengineering Suits Russia’s Carbon Agenda

Published in the Guardian, 24 September 2013 News that Russia is calling for geoengineering be considered by the IPCC as a possible response to global warming makes a perverse kind of sense. No government, not even those of Canada and Australia, has been more eager to open up new sources of fossil energy than Russia’s. […]
Read More»

What Would Heidegger Say About Geoengineering?

Abstract Proposals to respond to climate change by geoengineering the Earth’s climate system, such as by regulating the amount of sunlight reaching the planet, may be seen as a radical fulfillment of Heidegger’s understanding of technology as destiny. Before geoengineering was conceivable, the Earth as a whole had to be representable as a total object, […]
Read More»

The power of the fragment: why politicians have turned their backs on climate

A recent Vote Compass poll shows 61% of Australian adults want the federal government to do more to tackle climate change; 18% want it to do less. This figure, consistent with many polls over the years, squares with various developments in Australian politics but contradicts others. The Howard Government lost the 2007 election in part […]
Read More»

Suspending democracy: who says?

I have never called for democracy to be suspended. So why is this meme prevalent on the Internet? Why is it that whenever I write anything about climate change some commenters feel obliged to wheel it out as if it invalidates everything I say? Here is the explanation. For many years I have been giving […]
Read More»

It’s time to disconnect from techno-fetishism

When the computer Deep Blue defeated world chess champion Garry Kasparov it seemed to many that we had crossed a threshold. By beating us at our most complex intellectual task, man had at last been defeated by a machine. Kasparov’s defeat prompted anguish from those fearful of the colonizing power of the machine world. Newspapers […]
Read More»

Geoengineering: Our Last Hope, or a False Promise?

published in the New York Times, 21 May 2013 Geoengineering: Our Last Hope, or a False Promise?  Manipulating the planet could be perilous. Clive Hamilton, a professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University, is the author, most recently, of “Earthmasters: The Dawn of the Age of Climate Engineering.”  We should not try to play […]
Read More»

Moral haze clouds geoengineering

Published in the EuTRACE Journal, April 2013 Will researching geoengineering ease pressure on governments to reduce national greenhouse gas emissions? The suspicion that it will explains why many people feel nervous about the whole climate engineering enterprise. To counter this fear, geoengineering researchers and supporters frequently say that more information is always a good thing, […]
Read More»

No, we should not just ‘at least do the research’

Published in Nature, 10 April 2013 The idea of applying geoengineering research to mitigate climate change has not been thought through, argues Clive Hamilton. Fresh concerns about using geoengineering projects to cool the planet emerged late last month, when scientists at the UK Met Office said that possible unintended consequences demanded global oversight of such schemes. […]
Read More»

Climate Change Signals the End of the Social Sciences

In response to the heatwave that set a new Australia-wide record on 7 January, when the national average maximum reached 40.33°C, , the Bureau of Meteorology issued a statement that, on reflection, sounds the death knell for all of the social sciences taught in our universities. “Everything that happens in the climate system now”, the […]
Read More»

ASIC and the Great Coal Hoax

Will anti-coal activist Jonathan Moylan receive justice if he is charged over his hoax? ASIC, which will formally interview Moylan next week, is under enormous pressure to “make an example” of the 24-year old. It is expected he will be charged with breaching Section 1041E of the Corporations Act, which outlaws false and misleading statements […]
Read More»

Australia Burns

by Clive Hamilton, Alex Doherty published by New Left Project 15 January 2013 As Australia suffered a record breaking heatwave, David Jones of the Australian Bureau of Meterology remarked that ‘‘Clearly, the climate system is responding to the background warming trend. Everything that happens in the climate system now is taking place on a planet […]
Read More»

ANZ imposter takes up new climate tactic

Yesterday an anti-coal activist, Jonathan Moylan, issued a media release purportedly from the ANZ Bank withdrawing a loan from a coal company. The hoax wiped $314 million from the value of Whitehaven Coal, although the share prices recovered after the ruse was revealed. ASIC has announced that it is investigating whether Moylan has contravened provisions […]
Read More»

Theories of Climate Change

“In the end Koch‘s retro-Marxism, Beck‘s utopian internationalism and Giddens‘s climate third way cannot come to grips with the planetary scale and millennial lifetime of climate disruption. In the Anthropocene, political analysis can no longer be grounded in an environment that can be taken for granted, a natural world that provides a mere backdrop for […]
Read More»

Cory Bernardi is right, in Peter Singer’s world

Senator Cory Bernardi has been reviled for associating homosexuality with something repugnant, bestiality. Yet Australia has just awarded its highest civilian honour to a philosopher who provides a moral defence of sex with animals. Professor Peter Singer, the renowned Australian philosopher at Princeton University, believes that the taboo on bestiality is an anomaly, a prohibition […]
Read More»

Rio+20 and the New Sorcerer’s Apprentices

Scientific thinking has changed radically over the last two decades, so that what we used to think of as “the environment”-the natural world spread around us-no longer exists.  So the default position is no longer how to minimize our impact on the environment, but how best to intervene. The goal can no longer be to […]
Read More»

Science Under Siege

When the denial machine goes after climate scientists it is, as one of them said, like the marines going into battle against boy scouts. The brutality of the attacks has once again been confirmed by the release of some of the emails sent to Phil Jones, the University of East Anglia climate scientist at the […]
Read More»

The Philosophy of Geoengineering

Geoengineering can be understood as the fulfillment of the entire technological project, because, in geoengineering, the Earth as a whole is represented as an object available for human regulation. The thinking that gives rise to geoengineering is the same thinking that first creates the world as an object suitable for technological manipulation.  A contribution to […]
Read More»

Love Your Scapegoats

A response to Bruno Latour’s “Love Your Monsters: Why We Must Care for Our Technologies As We Do Our Children” [1] If Frankenstein is to serve as a parable for “political ecology” then Mary Shelley’s plot must be reworked. In the revised version Dr Frankenstein is no more than an inquisitive but anxious assistant to the […]
Read More»

Bioengineering as a response to global warming

You know the situation is getting desperate when three bio-ethicists propose genetically modifying humans to reduce our environmental impact. In a bizarre paper titled ‘Human engineering and climate change’, Matthew Liao, Anders Sandberg and Rebecca Roache argue we should seriously consider technologies to engineer human bodies to reduce carbon emissions. One leading idea is genetic […]
Read More»

Defamation

Why did the Australian, a newspaper that has heavily criticised use of the defamation laws, launch legal action to force the ABC to take down an article by Robert Manne? The Conversation, 8 March 2012
Read More»

Shadowy World of IPA Finances

The secret funding of the Heartland Institute once again focuses attention on the financing of the Institute of Public Affairs and particularly its sustained attacks on climate science and all policies aimed at cutting Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. Despite its refusal to divulge, we can make a good guess at where a large part of its recent […]
Read More»

Why We Resist the Truth About Climate Change

Global warming science has become a battleground in a wider cultural war, particularly in the United States where rejecting climate science has been seamlessly adopted by right-wing populism—notably by the Tea Party, the movement of those who demand their fair share of injustice. In these circumstances scientific facts are trumped by beliefs, so that climate […]
Read More»

Ethical Anxieties About Geoengineering

Three main justifications are used to defend geoengineering research and possible deployment—it will allow us to buy time, it will allow us to respond to a climate emergency, and it may be the best option economically. Against these a number of ethical risks intrude: we may use the possibility of climate engineering to blind ourselves […]
Read More»

Big Porn Inc.

“One of the more bizarre accusations made against people like the authors who appear in this powerful, new book, Big Porn Inc., is that they are anti-sex. This accusation is made by post-modern academics who style themselves pro-sex. Of course, the authors are not anti-sex. They are anti-degradation, anti-exploitation, anti-coercion and anti-trafficking. In truth these are […]
Read More»

The Ethical Foundations of Climate Engineering

In the standard consequentialist view of climate ethics, the question of whether it is ethically justified intentionally to shift the planet to a warmer or cooler climate depends on an assessment of the costs and benefits of the new state compared to the old one. In this view the natural world is framed as a […]
Read More»

Environmentalism: The Way Forward

A talk (by videolink) to the National Climate Action Summit University of Melbourne, 9 April 2011 The difficulty and importance of the global warming campaign is many times greater than every other environmental struggle. Controlling carbon pollution requires a wholesale industrial restructuring and defeat of the most powerful industry coalition ever assembled. Yet in the […]
Read More»

Silencing the Scientists

Climate scientists have found themselves caught up in a hot political debate that they do not really understand or want to be part of, yet they have been the target of savvy, secretive and ruthless organisations ready to pounce on anything they said or wrote. This is the real story of “Climategate”. Instead, the scientists in question have […]
Read More»

Is Environmentalism Failing?

Environmentalism: The Way Forward A talk (by videolink) to the National Climate Action Summit University of Melbourne, 9 April 2011 Clive Hamilton The difficulty and importance of the global warming campaign is many times greater than every other environmental struggle. Controlling carbon pollution requires a wholesale industrial restructuring and defeat of the most powerful industry […]
Read More»

The recent controversy

Climate denial versus climate science A speech at the launch of Requiem for a Species Global Change Institute, University of Queensland, 24 March 2010 Clive Hamilton The attack on climate science in recent times has been orchestrated, relentless, and effective. Although it has reached fever pitch over the last six months, the campaign has been […]
Read More»

In Praise of Boredom

A lecture at the “Idle Hours” exhibition National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, 5 February 2010 Clive Hamilton I am grateful to the National Portrait Gallery for inviting me to give this talk and particularly to Sarah Engledow for curating this subtle and arresting exhibition. It occurred to me too late that with my choice of title, […]
Read More»

Psychological Adaptation to the Threats and Stresses of a Four Degree World

Extensive social scientific research into human reactions to threats provides some insights into the psychological strategies humans are likely to adopt in response to the stresses of living in a hotter world. These “coping strategies” are designed to defend against or manage the unpleasant emotions associated with “waking up” to the dangers of a warming […]
Read More»

The Time for Radical Activism

Speech at the Climate Action Summit Australian National University, 31 January 2009 Clive Hamilton It seems a long time ago that our new Prime Minister, the man who would sweep away 11 years of Howard Government denialism, went to Bali and declared to the world: Australia now stands ready to assume its responsibility … Climate […]
Read More»

Climate Change and Its Implications for Australia

  Annual University Lecture at the Australian Defence Force Academy 10 September 2008 Clive Hamilton1 In 1956 a woman in Minneapolis began to receive communications from an extra-terrestrial being named Sananda. Marion Keech heard that a great flood would cleanse the world of earthlings at mid-night on 21 December. Only those who believed in Sananda […]
Read More»

Defending the Last Taboo

A contribution to the Art Censorship: the bigger picture forum Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 12 June 2008 Clive Hamilton When I looked at the twenty or so Bill Henson photos on the Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery website just hours before they were taken down I could see immediately that they were not pornographic. They struck […]
Read More»

Growth fetishism and public policy

A speech to senior executives of the Australian Public Service, organized by the Public Service Commission The Boat House, Canberra, 29 April 2008 Clive Hamilton1 In an oft-quoted speech Robert F. Kennedy said that GNP “measures neither our wit nor our courage; neither our wisdom nor our learning; neither our compassion nor our devotion to […]
Read More»

Comforting Stories About Endless Growth

 After-dinner speech to the conference of Sustainable Population Australia University House, Australian National University, 14 March 2008 Clive Hamilton Which Australian politician said this? “If Australia continues to grow at 4 per cent per annum for the next 20 years my kids are going to be nominally twice as wealthy as they are now, but […]
Read More»

“That Canberra is taking too much power from the states”

Speech against the proposition at a debate organized by the Socratic Forum Australian National University, 11 March 2008 Clive Hamilton I have been asked to speak against the proposition. In the sweep of human history we can identify a great trend. As humans progress their consciousness becomes less parochial, their moral horizons expand to take […]
Read More»

Recent Developments in Climate Change Science and Politics

An address to a meeting of the Environmental Givers Network Melbourne, 17 October 2007 Clive Hamilton1 Today, I plan to talk about the state of climate science, the Federal Government’s evolving international position and the emerging security issues associated with climate change. Political actors typically engage in exaggeration to advance their case. Environmental campaigns are […]
Read More»

Social Democracy: Dead, or pining for the fjords?

A talk to a seminar organised by Compass Portcullis House, House of Commons, London, 4th October 2007 Clive Hamilton1 The Individualised World Not long ago, while walking through Sydney’s CBD, I overheard a snippet of conversation between two young women sitting in the sun. “I’m not sure what to do with my life,” said one. […]
Read More»

The Scary Politics of Climate Change

The Scary Politics of Climate Change A talk to the Brisbane Writer’s Festival 15 September 2007 Clive Hamilton Fear of stating the truth Political actors typically engage in exaggeration to advance their case. The Labor Party exaggerated the likely damage due to the introduction of the GST, despite the fact that Paul Keating wanted to […]
Read More»

Democracy and Dissent in Australia

A talk to the Melbourne Writer’s Festival Storey Hall, 31 August 2007 Clive Hamilton Franz Kafka once wrote that “it is an extremely painful thing to be ruled by laws one does not know”.1 The story in which Kafka made this observation told of an imaginary kingdom ruled by secretive nobles who kept knowledge of […]
Read More»

That Capitalism is Bad for the Soul

A debate at Macquarie University, 15 August 2007 Our opponents have tried to persuade you that, because we believe capitalism is bad for the soul, we are just tofu-eating, poetry-reading, bicycle-riding, leftist basket weavers. We plead guilty to all charges, except basket-weaving. Capitalism’s fine in its place; the problem is that it has a restless […]
Read More»

Trade and Environmental Governance

Trade and Environmental Governance Speech to an Open Forum on International Environmental Governance Organised by the European Union Delegation in Australia Opera House, Sydney, 24 November 2006 Clive Hamilton1 There is widespread concern that today’s international institutions are inadequate to deal with the serious environmental dangers faced by the world. The foremost worry is the […]
Read More»

The Political Economy of Climate Change

The Milthorpe Lecture, Macquarie University Sydney, 8th June 2006 Clive Hamilton1 Late one day last month, the Federal Government posted on its website a report on the science of climate change which it had commissioned from Professor Will Steffen of the ANU.2 The purpose of the report was to provide a review of developments in […]
Read More»

Against the Pursuit of Happiness

Against the Pursuit of Happiness A talk to the Sydney Writers’ Festival, 27th May 2006 Clive Hamilton1 Escalating desire Prader-Willi syndrome is a genetic disorder of children characterised by, among other things, an insatiable appetite, leading its sufferers to seek out food by almost any means. Because the mechanism in the brain that signals satiation […]
Read More»

The Pressures of City Living

THE AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE The Pressures of City Living After-dinner speech to the Fenner Conference Old Parliament House, 25th May 2006 Clive Hamilton1 Tonight I would like to talk about some of the psychological costs of urban living. For it seems to me that the epidemic of mental disorders and widespread anomie that characterise modern affluent […]
Read More»

The Intensification of Consumerism and Reactions Against It

THE AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE The Intensification of Consumerism and Reactions Against It A Public Lecture Demography and Sociology Program, ANU National Museum of Australia, 2 May 2006 Clive Hamilton In a previous era, there was a clear distinction between ordinary goods consumed by the masses and luxury goods consumed by the wealthy minority, the richest 5 […]
Read More»

The Worldview Informing the Work of the ProductivityCommission: A Critique

 A talk to a Productivity Commission Retreat Lindenderry, Victoria, 11 May 2006 Clive Hamilton Executive Director The Australia Institute Looking through the list of Commission publications over the last two to three years indicates that the Commission’s remit has broadened a great deal from the days of deregulation, privatization and trade liberalization. This broadening has […]
Read More»

Money, Careers and Contentment

Address to the Commencement Dinner of Bruce Hall, ANU, 21 March 2003 Dr Clive Hamilton Executive Director, The Australia Institute I would like to start on a sombre note. You may have read in the last two days about a young American woman, Rachel Corrie, who left her university studies to go to the Middle […]
Read More»

Marketing and Modern Consumerism

THE AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE Marketing and Modern Consumerism A speech to the Third National Consumer Congress Melbourne 16 March 2006 Clive Hamilton In a previous era, there was a clear distinction between ordinary goods consumed by the masses and luxury goods consumed by the wealthy minority, the richest 5 per cent or so of the population. […]
Read More»

The Death of Social Democracy

A talk to the Fabian Society, Melbourne, 8th March 2006 on the occasion of the publication of What’s Left? The death of social democracy Quarterly Essay 21 (Black Inc. 2006) Clive Hamilton1 The Individualised World Not long ago, while walking through Sydney’s CBD at lunchtime, I overheard a snippet of conversation between two young women […]
Read More»

The Dirty Politics of Climate Change

THE AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE The Dirty Politics of Climate Change Speech to the Climate Change and Business Conference Hilton Hotel, Adelaide, 20 February 2006 Clive Hamilton1 Behind the daily news reports there is a secret world of politics in Canberra, the world in which the real business is transacted. It’s a world of powerful lobbyists who […]
Read More»

Growth Fetishism and the New Politics of Wellbeing

A Speech to Cogito, Parliament House, Stockholm 24th November 2005 Clive Hamilton1 I am very pleased to be addressing you today, especially in this august place. Let me thank Claudio Aguirre-Bianchi especially for inviting me to travel to Sweden to talk to you about the ideas I have set out in my book Growth Fetish,2 […]
Read More»

Poverty in Australia

A talk to the Canberra Writers’ Festival, 8 October 2005 Clive Hamilton The poverty debate In May this year the St Vincent de Paul Society published a paper arguing that income inequality has been increasing in Australia. It was a well-researched paper drawing on ABS statistics showing that by most measures income inequality has worsened […]
Read More»

A New Politics of Wellbeing

A Speech to ‘Politics in the Pub’ Gaelic Club, Sydney, 22nd July 2005 Clive Hamilton1 Let me begin with some background to the thinking that led to the development of the Wellbeing Manifesto. Over the last two or three decades, the neoliberal revolution – which in Australia we call economic rationalism – has swept all […]
Read More»

Speech at the launch of the Wellbeing Manifesto

THE AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE Speech at the launch of the Wellbeing Manifesto Edge Theatre, Federation Square, Melbourne, 14th June 2005 Clive Hamilton, Executive Director, The Australia Institute Let me begin with some background to the thinking that led to the development of the Wellbeing Manifesto that we are launching today. Over the last two or three […]
Read More»

In Defense of Public Education

Speech to a Dinner for Public Education Day Canberra, 19th May 2005 Clive Hamilton It’s a tough time for public schools in Australia. The consensus that once joined all parties in strong support for the public system has broken down with conservatives on the war-path against public schools and what they stand for. Like most […]
Read More»

Can Humans Survive Automation?

Speech to the Manning Clark House conference Science and Ethics: Can homo sapiens survive? Academy of Science, Canberra, 17 May 2005 Clive Hamilton1 Let me begin with an anecdote. A young man studying engineering at university said to a young women studying sociology: ‘The social sciences are useless; only maths and engineering and the hard […]
Read More»

Consumption, Debt and the Environment

 Speech to a public forum on organised by ACF BMW Edge Theatre, Federation Square, Melbourne 18 February 2005 Clive Hamilton1 One of the more profound changes in Australia over the last decade has been the extraordinary rise in personal debt. In the last ten years personal debt has increased from a little over $6,000 per […]
Read More»

In search of sustainability

THE AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE Speech at the launch of In search of sustainability edited by Jenny Goldie, Bob Douglas and Bryan Furnass NSW Parliament House, Sydney 18 January 2005 Clive Hamilton1 It’s a pleasure to be here to help launch this new book on sustainability. I think its publication provides an opportunity to reflect on where […]
Read More»

Climate Change Policy in Australia

Isolating the Great Southern Land National Institute for Environment Public Lecture Manning Clark Centre, ANU 1st September 2004 Clive Hamilton Executive Director The Australia Institute1 The debate about the implications of climate change is spreading to new areas. Most recently attention has focussed on the security implications of global climate change. Earlier this year The […]
Read More»

Money, Marketing and the Innocence of Youth

Address to the Annual Conference of the Teachers of English, Sydney, 4th July 2004 Clive Hamilton Executive Director The Australia Institute The dominant cultural force today is that of materialism and the marketing society that goes with it. Children grow up in a dense fog of commercial messages which form the most powerful influence on […]
Read More»

Saints or Communists?

Non-government organisations in Australia Address to the Communities in Control Conference Melbourne, 7th June 2004 Clive Hamilton Executive Director The Australia Institute1 “When I feed the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.” …..Dom Helder Camara, Archbishop of Recife, Brazil NGOs and […]
Read More»

Consumer capitalism

Is this as good as it gets? 15th Maurice Blackburn Oration Coburg Town Hall 25th February 2004 Clive Hamilton Executive Director, The Australia Institute Until recently, there has never been a time in human history when each of us could hope to live a truly fulfilling life. From the earliest days, the hopes of ordinary […]
Read More»

Sacrificing Democracy for Growth

The Reid Oration, University of Western Australia 29th July 2003 Clive Hamilton Executive Director, The Australia Institute At a news conference soon after he became Prime Minister in 1996 John Howard said that the measure of success or failure of his government will be whether or not he can achieve a 4% growth rate. No […]
Read More»

The Queen and Me

The Queen and Me After-dinner speech to the AGM of the Australian Republican Movement Canberra, 31st May 2003 Clive Hamilton Executive Director The Australia Institute I grew up in Yarralumla. Then it was the name of a fairly ordinary Canberra suburb and not a synonym for the Governor General. But we knew what was at […]
Read More»

Can Porn Set Us Free?

A speech to the Sydney Writers Festival May 25th 2003 Clive Hamilton1 In Growth Fetish I argue that it has become apparent that the liberation movements of the sixties and seventies – the sexual revolution, the counter-culture, the women’s movement and the civil rights movement – have had some unforeseen and regrettable consequences. Contrary to the […]
Read More»

An Optimal Population for Australia

An address to a seminar organised by the Economic Society of New South Wales Reserve Bank, Sydney 17th April 2002 Executive Director, The Australia Institute www.tai.org.au Introduction I don’t want to dwell on the economic arguments for population growth and higher levels of immigration because I don’t believe the economics of the issue are very important. […]
Read More»

Colonising Space

 After-Dinner Speech to the Biennial Conference of the International Society for Ecological Economics 7th July 2000, Parliament House, Canberra Clive Hamilton Let me begin by welcoming our international visitors to Australia. I hope you are not having too much difficulty with the language. Australian English − sometimes called Strine − takes a bit of getting […]
Read More»

Diesel and the Environment

A speech to the Australian Trucking Association conference Brisbane 13th April 2000 Dr Clive Hamilton Executive Director, The Australia Institute Last October the UK’s Meteorological Office released a new report on the expected effects of climate change. Over several decades the rise in carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere will mean: •widespread hunger, especially in […]
Read More»

Hansonism and the politics of spin

A talk to Politics in the Pub Harold Park Hotel, Sydney, Friday September 4th 1998 Clive Hamilton The astounding success of Hansonism is, as much as anything else, a product of the failure of spin. It is the result of the inauthenticity of Australian politics in the 1980s and 90s, and the ultimate inability of […]
Read More»

Cashing In On Koalas

Clive Hamilton Executive Director, The Australia Institute www.tai.org.au In 1997 I participated in a study of the contribution of koalas to the Australian tourism industry. The study was commissioned by the Australian Koala Foundation, which believed that governments and the public, while reasonably well informed about the threats to koalas, were unaware of the economic […]
Read More»

Pages :
© Copyright Clive Hamilton