The inside story of a wicked problem

Associate Professor Phil Chubb.

Monash’s Head of Journalism Phil Chubb’s book, Power Failure, will hit bookstores on May 12 and will be launched by eminent economist Professor Ross Garnaut on May 14.

The book’s publisher is Black Inc.

Phil’s work explores the reasons for the successes and failures in climate policy development and analyses the related leadership issues and political strategies of Prime Ministers Rudd and Gillard.

Phil interviewed more than 70 politicians, ministerial staff and public servants and has also been able to get hold of numerous confidential government and ALP documents.

Here is a preview from Power Failure’s book cover … 

Power Failure (1)What should Australia do about climate change? A succession of leaders has tried to answer this question – and come unstuck. Politicians and public servants call it a ‘wicked’ problem – one highly resistant to solution – and many approaches have been developed and discarded by the major parties. Some believe Australia’s dependence on coal makes effective action impossible.

In this book, award-winning journalist Philip Chubb examines the tenacity of fossil-fuel interests and their allies in business, politics and the media when their power is challenged. He reveals and analyses the political strategies of prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard as they tried to overcome the obstacles created by Australia’s carbon-intensive economy.

This is a dramatic study of leadership replete with new revelations. Using more than 75 interviews with key figures (including Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd, Wayne Swan, Greg Combet and Penny Wong), freedom-of-information requests and good old-fashioned leaks, Chubb gives a persuasive account of success and failure in climate policy, and of the strategies that leaders must use in future.