Home – Analysis and Comment

It might be nice if buying the right to emit greenhouse pollution could be made a bit simpler. Oleandra/Shutterstock.com

Politics aside, a simple carbon tax makes more sense than a convoluted emissions trading scheme

The term 'carbon tax' is a political poison in Australia, thanks to the previous carbon tax which was actually an emissions trading scheme. Yet ironically, many economists prefer a tax over an ETS anyway.
A board shake-up offers the Abbott government the opportunity to be visionary through implementing the NDIS’s spirit and intent. shutterstock

Stop, go back, the NDIS board shake-up is going the wrong way

The NDIS is a social policy reform that, at its heart, requires an understanding of the lived experience of people with disability.
Rain approaching the Pinnacles in Western Australia – how best to understand what past climate change has had on the region? Flickr/Matt Brand

Digging deep into the past to see the future of climate change

Scientists are about to embark on a two month mission to find out how Australia and its reefs coped with climate change in the past, and therefore how it should cope with any future change.
Bright students might enjoy MOOC content, but do they deserve credits from their high school? from www.shutterstock.com.au

Should MOOCs be used as credit for high school?

While MOOCs can provide some great content, the teaching and assessment methods probably aren't appropriate for high school students.
Australia’s Bumala-y Yuurrama-y seems to be accepted only when confined to matches between Indigenous players, yet all New Zealanders feel able to embrace the Haka. AAP/David Crosling

We all know and admire the Haka … so why not one of our own?

While AFL player Adam Goodes polarised Australians by performing an Indigenous war dance, New Zealanders unite in celebration of the Haka. The difference in approach to Indigenous culture is telling.
It’s naive to pretend there are no profound genetic and epigenetic differences between the sexes. Elephant Gun Studios/Flickr

Differences between men and women are more than the sum of their genes

What produces the differences between men and women? Are they trivial or profound? Are they genetic or environmental, or both? And are men really closer genetically to chimpanzees than to women?
The prime minister described Labor’s renewables pledge as “truly bizarre”. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

FactCheck: Would Labor’s renewable energy plan cost consumers $60 billion?

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said this week that Labor's pledge to source half the nation's power from renewable energy by 2030 will "mean a massive bill, perhaps $60 billion or more, that will have to be carried by the consumers of Australia." Is that right?
A ban on killer robots is useless if your enemy doesn’t play by the rules. Flickr/Bob Snyder

Why we should welcome ‘killer robots’, not ban them

The thousands of people who signed an open letter calling for a ban on autonomous killer weapons and robots are misguided. We already have such killing machines and we should embrace them.
Warren Buffett: “When a country needs more income they should get it from the people that have it.” Fortune Live Media/Flickr

Buffett rule a proxy for real tax reform

Why is there a tax policy named after the world's third richest man?