Despite public desire for climate action in Australia, a confluence of forces continues to deny the links between extreme weather events and climate change. A panel of leading commentators examines how what Malcolm Turnbull has labelled a “toxic, climate-denying alliance” of Murdoch press, fossil-fuel interests and right-wing politicians has stymied meaningful action. They also consider what lay behind the mysterious trolls and bots spreading disinformation during the summer’s bushfires. Featuring The Monthly editor Nick Feik, leading climate writer Tim Flannery and former NewsCorp journalist Tony Koch in discussion with Sophie Black.

Nick Feik (Australian)

Nick Feik

Nick Feik is editor of The Monthly. As a writer, he has contributed political and current affairs-related pieces to The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, ABC's The Drum and The Saturday Paper. Under the auspices of The Monthly, he created email newsletters the Shortlist Daily and Politicoz/Today.

Tim Flannery (Australian)

Tim Flannery

Tim Flannery is the 2007 Australian of the Year. He is Chief Councillor of the Australian Climate Council, Australia's largest and most successful crowdfunded organisation, which he founded in 2013. He is currently Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Climate Change at the Australian Museum, Sydney. Tim has taught at Harvard University and has advised governments both in Australia and Canada. In 2007, he established and co-chaired the Copenhagen Climate Council, and in 2011 was appointed Australia's first Climate Commissioner. He serves on the Board of the Prince Albert II Foundation, and has been a board member of WWF International and the Australian Wildlife Conservancy and an advisor to the National Geographic Society. He has published more than 140 peer-reviewed scientific papers and has named 25 living and 50 fossil mammal species, many from Papua New Guinea. His 32 books include The Future Eaters and The Weather Makers, which has been translated into more than 20 languages. He has made numerous documentaries and regularly writes for The New York Review of Books.

Tony Koch (Australian)

Tony Koch

Tony Koch spent 25 years with News Limited. He has won five Walkley Awards, a Sir Keith Murdoch News Limited Award, Graham Perkin Award, and was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Australian School of Journalism. He was inducted to the Media Hall of Fame in 2018. He started with Queensland Country Life and was the first journalist to be trained as a pilot as part of his reporting duties. He started working as a shorthand court reporter and in the last 15 years concentrated on Indigenous issues in Cape York and the Torres Strait.

Sophie Black (Australian)

Sophie Black

Sophie Black is Head of Publishing at the Wheeler Centre, home of the national writers scheme The Next Chapter and the Walkley Award–winning podcast The Messenger. She is Co-Chair of the human rights publication Right Now and sits on the advisory board for Melbourne University’s Centre for Advancing Journalism. Previously she was editor-in-chief at Private Media, director of the Adelaide Festival of Ideas and editor of Crikey.