Windfall: Unlocking a fossil-free future (Ketan Joshi, NewSouth)
In Windfall: Unlocking a fossil-free future, renewable energy industry insider Ketan Joshi gives a teeth-gnashing account of Australia’s interminable climate debates. Working as a data analyst and communicator at Infigen Energy, Joshi sometimes wound up as collateral damage himself. He was hit with a defamation lawsuit from an anti–wind turbine group for live-tweeting the innocuous details of a senate inquiry; it was vexatious litigation, designed to suppress and scare. The minutiae of climate science can often make one’s eyes glaze over. However, Joshi does a superb job of explaining the complex and arcane in a manner that is often riveting. Windfall is informative, but also enjoyable and stimulating. What we learn is that the decades wasted in pointless ‘debate’ have done Australians a great economic disservice. While renewable prices have dipped, greater savings could have been made had not the scare campaigns worked so effectively. The renewable energy industry gets some of the blame too: it failed to effectively engage at a grassroots level with suspicious communities who felt railroaded into accepting new technologies. Windfall is perfect for the lay reader and non-specialist wanting to know how climate policy went so terribly wrong. It also offers hope that a decarbonised future is within reach.
Chris Saliba is a co-owner of North Melbourne Books and a freelance reviewer.