BYD is one of two Chinese automakers in the top five for global sales

In the time since Tesla released the Roadster in 2008, the same model that is now orbiting Mars, China has built a world-leading electric vehicle (EV) industry from the ground up. The head-spinning pace and scale of this industrial transformation provides hope that a rapid electrification of the world’s road transport fleet is possible, but China’s recently agreed mid-term EV sales targets are lacking. This provides an opportunity for a newly elected Joe Biden to pick up the baton and lead from the front.

Despite the turmoil COVID-19 has wreaked upon the global economy this year, worldwide EV sales in…


A decade-long political battle over the future of Australia’s power sector needs to end if Australia is to meet its Paris Agreement target

The Australian political landscape has been the scene of a more than decade-long energy policy tussle, pitting a progressive vision for Australia’s energy system against the long-established dominance of the Australian coal industry.

Successive changes of governments and inter-party leadership changes dating back to 2007 have seen wild swings in the direction of energy policy in Australia, with an emissions trading scheme voted down in 2009, only for a carbon pricing mechanism to be passed in 2012 after a change in party leader. …


Three countries share half of all COVID-19 cases

As we mark 10 weeks to the day since the WHO announced the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic, Brazil has overtaken Spain as the country with the third most confirmed cases, nearing 300,000 individuals. Brazil joins Russia and the US in an ignominious top three, where a combined 2.2 million individuals have been infected with this deadly virus, nearly half the total number of worldwide infections. Though it has taken months for these countries to find their way to the top of the global rankings, I would argue it was nothing short of inevitable. …


A record $1B loss won’t slow down News Corp’s ruthless subversion of liberal democracies.

News Corp, the media empire owned by mogul Rupert Murdoch, posted a historic $1 billion quarterly loss last week. News that naturally was relished by longstanding Murdoch detractors, myself included. While this billion dollar hit no doubt caused some consternation in News Corp’s upper echelons, there is no indication it will slow down this media juggernaut’s ruthless subversion of the liberal democracies where its claws are most deeply embedded.

For the uninitiated, News Corp owns arguably the most influential news outlets in the US, the UK and Australia. This includes Fox News in the US, The Sun and The Times…


The plummeting cost of alternative energy technologies is a bright spot in an otherwise bleak outlook for global action on climate change

The 25th annual UN climate negotiations wrapped up in Madrid today. There was no cause for celebration though, no opportunity to take comfort in our ability to come together as a global community to face this greatest of challenges. On the contrary, after the longest UN climate negotiation ever held, there was still a dismal lack of progress on key issues like formalising the rules for trading international carbon credits, and providing a guarantee to small and developing countries that rich countries will help them pay for losses and damages occurring due to climate change.

The can has been kicked…


The Trump administration enacted a $1.5 trillion tax cut at the end of 2017 on the premise that it would have such a stunning and long-term impact on economic growth, it would pay for itself. Fast forward 18 months, and while growth indeed hit an impressive 4.2% annualised rate in Q2 2018 it has since been steadily dropping, with Q2 growth this year hitting 2.1%, dragged down by the worst business investment in over three years. The thing is, many prominent economists have been screaming into the void that this was entirely predictable. Tax cuts never pay for themselves. …


For decades now Australia has been the engine room of the powerhouse regional economies of Japan, China, and South Korea. Extraordinary quantities of coal, iron ore, and more recently, natural gas have made their way from Australia across the Pacific to fuel and supply three of the world’s top five manufacturing behemoths. With Australia being the world’s largest exporter of coal and iron ore and recently taking the crown of largest natural gas exporter, it’s fair to say these industries have played an integral role in Australia’s remarkable run of uninterrupted economic growth since the early 90’s.

Looking to the…


The raw political power of the Australian financial sector was on full display this month, with the release of the final report of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation, and Financial Services Industry. A commission that was hamstrung before it started by narrow terms of reference and an unrealistically short time-frame, unsurprisingly failed to take aim at individual CEO's or board members that have been instrumental in perpetuating the very systemic misconduct and predatory practices identified.

The commission came into existence through perhaps the least preferable conditions imaginable; a bank-friendly conservative government, viscerally opposed to it and…


Gavin McInnes — Poster Boy for the Alt-Light and totes not a bigot

Hillary Clinton made a colossal mistake with her “basket of deplorables” comment in the 2016 US presidential election campaign. Not just for pissing off a lot of people that resent the current zeitgeist of political correctness, but for providing a rally cry for all sorts of unsavoury public figures that are part of the ascendant alt-right movement. The DeploraBall, a 2017 Washington D.C. Trump inaugural event organised by such figures spawned over 50 spin-off events around the US and marked a pivotal moment for the legitimisation of the alt-right. It also, however, provided a glimpse of its looming internal power…


Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them

— David Hume, Treatise on Human Nature

A tide of right-wing populism has begun washing over western democracies in recent years, punctuated by the twin shocks of Brexit and the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency in 2016. Recent elections in Europe have demonstrated that this political phenomenon has not yet crested, with right-wing populists achieving record voter turnout and/or parliamentary representation in Austria, Germany, France, Sweden, The Netherlands, and Italy in…

Ryan Wilson

Economist, Climate and Energy Policy Analyst. Pondering the path to a socio-ecological transformation.

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