Columnnist

Gwynne Dyer

Independent journalist

Gwynne Dyer is an independent journalist whose articles are published in 45 countries. His new book is 'Growing Pains: The Future of Democracy (and Work)'.

Gwynne Dyer
04:00

Vikings and Skraelings come full circle

It was already known that the first and only Norse settlement in North America was at L'Anse aux Meadows, at the northern tip of Newfoundland. The specialists even assumed that it happened in the early 11th century, because the Viking sagas more or less said so. But the traditional carbon-14 dates were all over the place.

04:00 2
21 Oct 2021

Lebanon quickly sinking in more ways than one

Off the Lebanese coast about 60 kilometres north of Beirut a 104-metre battleship stands vertically, with her bow and some 30 metres of her length plunged into the mud. The seabed is 140 metres down, but you can even scuba-dive on the stern if you are a technical diver. The ship is a bit like Lebanon, for reasons I'll explain later.

21 Oct 2021 1
13 Oct 2021

Will China actually ever invade Taiwan?

China's President Xi Jinping promised on Saturday that "The historical task of the complete reunification of the motherland... will definitely be fulfilled." That was a threat to Taiwan, but a threat without a deadline. However Chinese state media, in the form of the ever-rabid Global Times, warned that war "could be triggered at any time".

13 Oct 2021 63
9 Oct 2021

It's volcanoes, tsunamis and risk at La Palma

'Don't bother your pretty head about it" is the prevailing media take on the risk of the volcanic eruption on La Palma in the Canary Islands turning into a mega-tsunami disaster. The media definitely over-hyped that risk when it was first suggested 20 years ago, so now they have to work the other side of the street.

9 Oct 2021
6 Oct 2021

The battle to destroy the whistleblowers

A long time ago now I was asked to do a television series about the world's intelligence services -- and I turned it down flat. My main reason was a feeling that there was less to the whole intelligence world than met the eye, and the subsequent 30 years have only served to confirm that judgement.

6 Oct 2021 17
2 Oct 2021

Norway, oil and the issue of climate change

You can see why Saudi Arabia wants to go on pumping as much oil as it can. Oil exports account for 87% of the Saudi government budget and 42% of GDP. The Saudi population, now 35 million, is growing by two-thirds of a million a year, and the country already imports 80% of its food. They'd be starving in a few years if they stopped pumping.

2 Oct 2021 15
28 Sep 2021

The Quad and the next Cold War with China

The creation of an Australia-United Kingdom-United States military alliance last week caused a tempest in a teapot, but the real action was elsewhere. In Washington on Friday the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue ("Quad" for short) held its first-ever face-to-face summit, and defined the sides in the great-power confrontation for the next generation.

28 Sep 2021 11
25 Sep 2021

After Merkel, who will fill her 'sensible shoes'?

Last January Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) were ahead in the German opinion polls by 15 points. She was stepping down after 16 years as chancellor (prime minister), but she was still by far the most trusted politician in Germany. Indeed, she is universally known as "Mutti" ("Mummy").

25 Sep 2021 2
21 Sep 2021

Aukus sub pact: Here's how an alliance is born!

When the Sept 11 attacks struck New York and Washington in 2001 and the US armed forces went on full alert, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice immediately got on the direct line to Moscow and told Vladimir Putin not to worry: the United States was not going to attack Russia. Mr Putin replied that he understood, and was standing Russian forces down.

21 Sep 2021 18
15 Sep 2021

China and the US: Too big to be equal?

Never mind the destruction of the relatively free society of Hong Kong (no emergency airlift like in Kabul, Afghanistan, but the number of people fleeing Hong Kong may ultimately be larger). Never mind the persecution of the Uighurs, or the Orwellian surveillance society that the Communist Party is building, or the tens of millions who died in wars, famines and "cultural revolutions" to bring equality to China.

15 Sep 2021 22