Leaders Debate: Live view was owned by Sky News

If you compare what Scotty and Albo think about climate change, you won’t find it here. Unlike Q&A, Sky didn’t find an audience concerned about the future

Editors commentary

After not finding any freely available live broadcast of the Leaders Debate from the Gabba Stadium in Brisbane, someone sent me a link to the YouTube version, linked here. Comparing the questions and responses here to what transpired on ABC’s Q&A session in Gladstone is like comparing two completely different planets.

Based on questions Sky News read out, their audience was primarily interested in personal things like taxes, jobs, immigration, cost of living, pensions, health services, etc. Energy policy was mentioned perhaps twice, net-zero (with no explanation) was mentioned about once; and I don’t think issues like climate change, climate emergency, etc. were mentioned at all by questioners or the ‘leaders’. Interestingly, in over half an hour of searching with Google (which I am fairly good at using) I couldn’t find any news outlet or other organ who has published a complete transcript of the debate.

Contrast this with ABC’s live broadcast of Q&A from Gladstone, Qld:

Note that the Youtube video from Q&A includes a complete and searchable transcript of the video, making it easy to analyze the discussion. In any event there were a good 18 minutes of discussion relating to the climate emergency and its effects on Australia.

In any event, my own thoughts on the Leaders Debate, is that if this the best on offer by the dominant parties, if you are concerned about our future in a catastrophically changing climate, bring on the independents. Labor may be better than the COALition, but if they have no intention to shut down coal mining or gas production, the difference is minor where climate action is concerned.

Featured Image: Grab from the Featured Video.

Posted by William P. Hall

Some call me a 'climate scientist'. I'm not. What I am is an 'Earth systems generalist'. Born in 1939, I grew up with passionate interests in both science and engineering. I learned to read from my father's university textbooks in geology and paleontology, and dreamed of building nuclear powered starships. Living on a yacht in Southern California I grew up surrounded by (and often immersed in) marine and estuarine ecosystems while my father worked in the aerospace engineering industry. After studying university physics for three years, dyslexia with numbers convinced me to change my focus to biology. I completed university as an evolutionary biologist (PhD Harvard, 1973). My principal research project involved understanding how species' genetic systems regulated the evolution and speciation of North America's largest and most widespread lizard genus. Then for several years as an academic biologist I taught a range of university subjects as diverse as systematics, biogeography, cytogenetics, comparative anatomy and marine biology. In Australia, from 1980, I was involved in various activities around the emerging and rapidly evolving microcomputing technologies culminating in 2 years involvement in the computerization of the emerging Bank of Melbourne. In 1990 I joined a startup engineering company that had just won the contract to build a new generation of 10 frigates for Australia and New Zealand. In 2007 I retired from the head office of Tenix Defence, then Australia's largest defence engineering contractor, after a 17½ year career as a documentation and knowledge management systems analyst and designer. At Tenix I reported to the R&D manager under the GM Engineering, and worked closely with support and systems engineers on the ANZAC Ship Project to solve documentation and engineering change management issues that risked the project 100s of millions of dollars in cost and years of schedule overruns. All 10 ships had been delivered on time, on budget to happy customers against the fixed-price and fixed schedule contract. Before, during, and after these two main gigs I also did a lot of other things that contribute to my general understanding of complex dynamical systems involving multiple components with non-linear and sometimes chaotically interacting components; e.g., 'Earth systems'. Earth's Climate System is the global heat engine driven by the transport and conversions of energy between the incoming solar radiation striking the planet, and the infrared radiation of heat away from the planet to the cold dark universe. As Climate Sentinel News Editor, my task is to identify and understand quirks and problems in the operation of this complex heat engine that threaten human existence, and explain to our readers how they can help to solve some of the critical issues that are threatening their own existence.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.