Surveying the wreckage of the Coalition’s election campaign, former treasurer Josh Frydenberg made a crucial admission: Australia has not been “well served” by the culture wars over climate.

Saturday’s unceremonious ousting of the government by climate hawk candidates – Green, teal and, albeit to a lesser extent, Labor – suggests the Coalition can no longer win votes by stoking conservative scepticism on climate change.

But how did the climate culture wars start? Why did scepticism and denial come to be a significant element of the conservative viewpoint? As Matthew Hornsey and his coauthors note, the climate wars were triggered deliberately to slow the move away from fossil fuels.

Now, at long last, this roadshow is running out of road. Research is showing a welcome weakening of conservative-sceptic links in Australia. Other conservative parties – notably in the United Kingdom – have already undergone a climate pivot. In the wake of this rejection by the electorate, it may well be time for Australia’s conservatives to quietly simmer down too.

The Conversation has published more than 5,700 articles by climate scientists since we launched in 2011, and we’ll continue to shine a light on this important topic throughout the next term of federal parliament. Please support this vital work with a donation of whatever you can afford, and join thousands of civic-minded people who are already helping us produce quality journalism.

Doug Hendrie

Deputy editor, Environment + Energy

The election shows the conservative culture war on climate change could be nearing its end

Matthew Hornsey, The University of Queensland; Cassandra Chapman, The University of Queensland; Jacquelyn Humphrey, The University of Queensland

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‘I want an orgasm but not just any orgasm’: How To Please A Woman shifts the way we depict the sexuality of older women

Debra Dudek, Edith Cowan University; Elizabeth Reid Boyd, Edith Cowan University; Madalena Grobbelaar, Edith Cowan University

Sadly, the sexual desire of women over 50 is often unrepresented, misrepresented, and shown as comedic in culture – the new Australian film depicts a different reality.

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