Understanding Climate Risk

Science, policy and decision-making

Coal Seam Gas in depth media project

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Coal Seam Gas presents a wicked problem. It provides a possible transitional fuel for managing greenhouse gas emissions and contributes a stream of income to the economy but it also has its downsides.

There are conflicting interests around land use, there is uncertainty about the factual basis of the debate, there are apprehensions that governments will roll over in the face of a $40 billion industry. And the debate can often become very clouded by claim, counter-claim, framing and spin.

For some time, a group of bloggers and analysts have been working on a model of analytical and interactive journalism which will hold such a debate accountable to fact. Led by Mark Bahnisch of Larvatus Prodeo, other LP bloggers Brian, Kim and Robert Merkel have partnered with some leading researchers and bloggers, among them John Quiggin and moi, FAQ Research has been launched.

First cab off the rank is a major media project being launched to coincide with the Queensland election campaign, in which Coal Seam Gas and its impacts is a very live issue.

Our mission is to facilitate a better informed and more interactive public debate around key issues in Australia, holding the PR, political and media spin to account, disseminating fact and research on which citizens can make informed value judgments, and involving as broad a field of folks as possible in the conversation.

In collaboration with Crikey, a website, Coal Seam Gas: Behind the Seams, was launched yesterday (Monday February 20th).

A number of articles by experts, key stakeholders and citizen journalists. More content, which will be released progressively, will be enhanced by a daily blog digesting the news about CSG and testing it for truth and reliability.

Mark Bahnisch and Pandora Karavan are on the road in rural Queensland this week interviewing locals, politicians and industry figures to get both the technical and human side of this important issue.

The project has also been crowd-funded. We are not taking donations from any groups with a partisan view on CSG but are seeking funds from those who are interested in accountable journalism. Our fundraising campaign page is here.

If you are interested in contributing, please contact us via email.

Please also follow us on Twitter and facebook, and share the news about CSG: Behind the Seams with your friends and contacts. You can sign up for an email newsletter by using the form on the right hand sidebar of the FAQ Research front page.


Written by Roger Jones

February 21, 2012 at 9:54 am

One Response

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  1. Explain the processes involved and include all the relevant chemical reactions


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    February 22, 2012 at 8:31 am

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