The Conversation’s readers say loud and clear that climate change is the hot-button issue at this month’s federal election. But that sentiment is at stark odds with the rhetoric on the campaign trail, where the impending global catastrophe barely rates a mention.

In the absence of any useful climate debate, Climate Analytics – a research organisation led by Murdoch University’s Bill Hare – has crunched some numbers. They analysed the 2030 emissions-reduction policies of the Coalition, Labor, the Greens and the “teal” independents to determine the level of global warming that would align with each policy.

The results are alarming. The Coalition’s approach is consistent with a very dangerous 3℃ of global warming. Labor’s platform is slightly better, but only policies by the Greens and the “teal” independents are consistent with keeping global warming at or below the Paris Agreement’s guard rail of 1.5℃.

As Hare writes, the onus is on the next parliament to protect Australians from climate catastrophe. “On May 21,” he says, “Australian voters have a chance to send a clear message about the kind of world we want to leave for future generations.”

We hope this, and other expert coverage in coming weeks, will help you make the most informed decision.

Nicole Hasham

Section Editor: Energy + Environment

Scorched dystopia or liveable planet? Here’s where the climate policies of our political hopefuls will take us

Bill Hare, Murdoch University

The Coalition’s climate policy is consistent with a very dangerous 3℃ of global warming. But one party is comfortably consistent with keeping warming at safe levels.

Grattan on Friday: ‘Gotcha’ questions are ugly journalism but hazards for leaders

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

The public don’t have much regard for journalists and many people will be critical of the “gotcha” questioning that found Anthony Albanese unable to recite the six points of his policy on the NDIS

Politicians in high-vis say they love manufacturing. But if we want more Australian-made jobs, here’s what we need

Jesse Adams Stein, University of Technology Sydney

Australia can afford to transform Australian manufacturing into an economically viable, environmentally sustainable and job-creating sector. To do that, we need a strategic and long-term approach.

Who really wins and loses from first homebuyer schemes? What you need to know as a buyer, owner or renter

John Freebairn, The University of Melbourne

Both major parties have policies aimed at helping low and middle income earners buy homes. But they’re both stopgap solutions – and too many buyers, renters and even investors will pay the price.

Neutrality: why countries choose not to join a war and what responsibilities come with it – podcast

Gemma Ware, The Conversation; Daniel Merino, The Conversation

In this episode of The Conversation Weekly podcast, we also explore the reasons by India’s neutrality over the Ukraine war.

Why are there so many new Omicron sub-variants, like BA.4 and BA.5? Will I be reinfected? Is the virus mutating faster?

Sebastian Duchene, The University of Melbourne; Ashleigh Porter, The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity

It’s hard to keep up. But new Omicron sub-variants are emerging that may lead to reinfections and another spike in cases.

The multiverse is huge in pop culture right now – but what is it, and does it really exist?

Luke Barnes, Western Sydney University

The multiverse has been the topic of multiple recent films, such as Dr Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Everything Everywhere All At Once: but what does science know about the multiverse?

This Mother’s Day, let’s celebrate the brave, multi-tasking mums of the Australian bird world

Ayesha Tulloch, Queensland University of Technology; Christina N. Zdenek, The University of Queensland

Somehow, female birds manage to hold their families together despite predators, harsh conditions and sometimes, a less-than-attentive partner.

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