Elon Musk’s agreement to build the world’s largest battery for South Australia isn’t just an extraordinary technological breakthrough that signs coal’s death warrant. It’s potentially a game changer in the way we do politics, reinserting the importance of basic reality into a debate which has been bereft of it for too long.
There’s been a lot written in recent years on the idea that we are living in a “post-truth” world. Climate writer David Roberts brought it to my attention around 2010, when I was grappling with the idea that dinosaur politicians and rent-seeking corporates not only weren’t telling the truth about climate change and energy: they were actively dismissive and destructive of the very idea of truth.
While we got a taste for it in Australia under Tony “don’t believe anything I haven’t written down” Abbott’s government, the idea sprang into the global mainstream last year with Donald Trump’s election campaign and the Brexit bus.
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- Photograph: STRINGER/Reuters
What does this new battery mean for climate change?