Synoptic Vision, James Hansen and Tony Fitzgerald

It has been a busy week for me but it has been bracketed by two remarkable Radio National items. On my drive into Canberra early in the week I heard a delightful interview between Phillip Adams and James Hansen.
The podcast is trailed with this summary:

A discussion with the prominent NASA climate scientist about his journey of scientific discovery, the gradual process by which he became convinced of the science of global warming, and how he believes scientists need to address current public doubt.

On Thursday, on my drive home, there was a fascinating report on PM about Tony Fitzgerald‘s commentary on the state of Australian government. The transcript of the program includes these introductory remarks:

  • The community is ill served by this escalating transfer of power from the public to the dominant political parties and the party’s disinterest in ethical constraints and resistance to oversight and accountability even by independent anti-corruption bodies.
  • Without satisfactory legal and ethical fetters, the political process like all human constructs can be and is manipulated and exploited to advance personal and group interests.
  • A political class has evolved which is interested in little but the acquisition and exercise of power.

A transcript of Tony’s Fitzgerald speech can be found here on the Accountability Round Table website.
The combination of both programs left me wondering how an open society might bring about change that goes beyond what Pat Riley describes as the disease of me: “the disease of me starts when people start behaving selfishly, believing that they are more important than the team”. They left me wondering too about the kind of biographical experiences James and Tony have had to lead them to such remarkable synoptic vision.

I wondered how in a return to innocence we might be able to use such profound insights to transform our practice, our environment and our lives. I wondered too about if we can ever overcome the Tragedy of the Commons and celebrate the joy of a Common Wealth and celebrate the innocent climb.
Photo Credits
Mike Baird Coastguard
Steve Took It Spring
Cyron Water is Life


  1. But scientists have been addressing the doubt, need look no further than the Wikipedia edits and abc interviewing bias. I think idealistic generalists like us have to address the details. But without resiliance loose their idealism and become selfish. with resilience they are called bigots and the silence is devistating.

    • Leigh, thank you for commenting. I included James and Tony’s work as examples of remarkable lives lived in service. I thought Phillip Adams was a great facilitator of a conversation and someone prepared to ask difficult questions. Tony’s speech was a public statement open to scrutiny.


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