Editor's note

The Oscars are over for another year and once again, controversy has surrounded the choice of Best Picture. As Stuart Richards writes, the winning film Green Book is the latest in a long line of Hollywood films that feature a white protagonist “saving” a black character. Still, Richards suggests that the triumph of a film with “a white saviour narrative” is unsurprising when considering who votes for Academy Awards. The Academy is still overwhelmingly white and male – and sorely in need of some diversity.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has pledged $2bn over 10 years to fight climate change. But Ian MacKenzie points out it’s just a reheat of the existing (and widely derided) Emissions Reduction Fund. Some other countries, meanwhile, are doing rather better - Pep Canadell and his colleagues profile 18 nations that, unlike Australia, have chalked up a decade of consistent emissions reductions. They have three key things in common: all have significant renewable energy, declining overall energy use, and a suite of solid climate policies.

And, continuing our Advancing Australia series today, Frank Bongiorno examines what a Shorten government might look like, including its policy strengths and weaknesses.

Suzy Freeman-Greene

Section Editor: Arts + Culture

Top story

Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali in Green Book, the film that surprised many by winning Best Picture. Patti Perrett/Universal Studios

#Oscars2019 play it safe with Green Book - but don’t look to the Academy for enlightened thinking

Stuart Richards, University of South Australia

Many cinephiles were probably surprised at Green Book's Best Picture win - but given the Academy's track record, it shouldn't be that much of a shock.

Scott Morrison has given a new name to an old policy. AAP/David Crosling

The government’s $2bn climate fund: a rebadged rehash of old mistakes

Ian A. MacKenzie, The University of Queensland

Scott Morrison's pledge to spend billions on a Climate Solutions Fund is a thinly veiled rehash of the widely criticised Emissions Reduction Fund, which had much of its work undone by fine print.

The Rhenish Brown Coal Field in Germany. Germany is one of 18 developed countries whose carbon emissions declined between 2005-2015. SASCHA STEINBACH/AAP

Eighteen countries showing the way to carbon zero

Pep Canadell, CSIRO; Corinne Le Quéré, University of East Anglia; Glen Peters, Center for International Climate and Environment Research - Oslo; Jan Ivar Korsbakken, Center for International Climate and Environment Research - Oslo; Robbie Andrew, Center for International Climate and Environment Research - Oslo

Reducing emissions doesn't have to conflict with a growing economy, as these 18 developed nations show.

If Bill Shorten becomes the next Australian prime minister, he will have much on his side but will need to be wary of low voter trust in politicians. Dean Lewins/AAP

A Shorten government could shift the country on important issues and show a little spunk

Frank Bongiorno, Australian National University

If Bill Shorten becomes the next prime minister, his government is likely to be more preoccupied with economic inequality than the Hawke or Keating Labor governments.

Environment + Energy

Politics + Society

Science + Technology

Health + Medicine

  • Explainer: what is Murray Valley encephalitis virus?

    Ana Ramírez, James Cook University; Andrew Francis van den Hurk, The University of Queensland; Cameron Webb, University of Sydney; Scott Ritchie, James Cook University

    Murray Valley encephalitis virus is a rare but potentially fatal mosquito-borne virus. Here's what you need to know about it.

  • Health Check: how often do people have sex?

    John Malouff, University of New England

    Australians report having sex once or twice a week, on average, but there are many variables. And that's assuming people's estimates are accurate.

  • Curious Kids: how does my tummy turn food into poo?

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    Your stomach works very hard with some other body parts to break down food into small pieces. Your body takes in what it needs and the rest is turned into poo.


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