200 episodes

A critical look at new technologies, new approaches and new ways of thinking, from politics to media to environmental sustainability.

Future Tense ABC Podcasts

    • Personal Journals

A critical look at new technologies, new approaches and new ways of thinking, from politics to media to environmental sustainability.

    Saturated trees and carbon rationing

    Saturated trees and carbon rationing

    New Australian research suggests trees may not be the carbon sponges we think they are. The findings compliment a larger international study that suggests the world’s major forests are saturated and will soon begin emitting, not absorbing carbon.

    Also, the Finish experiment where citizens are being given individual carbon allocations. It’s all about making carbon trading a very personal affair.

    • 29 min
    Locking down nature in order to liberate it

    Locking down nature in order to liberate it

    There’s a serious campaign underway to have 30 per cent of the Earth designated as a giant conservation area. The target date is 2030.

    But that’s just the start. The scientists and environmentalists involved in the plan want to eventually lock down half the planet. It’s about protecting habitats and biodiversity.

    Cost and logistics are primary considerations. But they aren’t the only ones. Other issues at stake include increasing poverty and indigenous rights.

    • 29 min
    Insurance, resilience, risk

    Insurance, resilience, risk

    The ongoing negative effects of climate change are putting stress on the global  insurance market.

    • 29 min
    Are governance issues failing the Himalayas?

    Are governance issues failing the Himalayas?

    The Himalayas are sometime called the earth’s “third pole”. They’re a vital source of water for a large chunk of the world’s population.

    But the local, national and international systems put in place to protect and manage human development in this vital ecosystem are failing.

    In this episode, Matt Smith travels to the Himalayas for Future Tense to gauge the size of the problem and possible solutions for safeguarding its future.

    • 29 min
    Can we have economic growth without increased resource consumption?

    Can we have economic growth without increased resource consumption?

    MIT research scientist, Andrew McAfee, argues we need to rethink our assumptions about capitalism and the environment.  

    Economic growth, he says, has been gradually decoupling from resource consumption. So, if capitalism survives this current crisis, we may need to adapt our understanding of the way it all works. 

    We also hear from Annmaree O’Keeffe, from the Lowy Institute’s Pacific Islands Program, about the value of Australia’s international public broadcasting effort now that the Pacific is once again an Australian geopolitical focus.

    • 29 min
    The ongoing fight to save public broadcasting

    The ongoing fight to save public broadcasting

    There’s arguably never been a more important time for public broadcasting. Amid the rise of disinformation, low public trust and diminishing newsrooms, independent journalism has a vital role to play in informing democracy and providing a check on power.

    But right across the world, public broadcasting is under attack as budgets are being stripped back.

    In this episode, we question why?

    • 29 min

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