Vol 30 No 1

12 January 2020


 

  • ENVIRONMENT

    Air quality agony is the new reality

    • Megan Graham
    • 17 January 2020
    1 Comment

    It was my first time at this library. I'd come to escape the heavy smoke and my old draughty apartment. Approaching the service desk upon arrival, I admit to looking deliberately pathetic in the hopes of avoiding a laborious sign-up process to access the wi-fi. I only wanted somewhere I could work safely, breathing in non-toxic air.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Australia is the perfect size to lead on climate

    • Tim Hutton
    • 17 January 2020
    1 Comment

    Around 40 per cent of the world's carbon emissions are produced by countries with similar outputs to Australia. Collectively these countries can make a significant difference if each reduces their carbon emissions. While Australia can make a difference as part of a collective, our real ability to effect change actually lies elsewhere.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The sacred secular in China's 'Spring travel'

    • Jeremy Clarke
    • 17 January 2020

    More than three billion single trips are taken during the extended period of travel. It is to China's great credit that these journeys occur incredibly smoothly, and on the whole with a convivial spirit. There is too often a tendency to minimise any praise about China's achievements, to the anger of Chinese citizens at home and abroad.

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  • RELIGION

    Aussie bishops can't shy from celibacy questions

    • Nick Brodie
    • 16 January 2020
    6 Comments

    Cardinal Sarah's scandal-causing book arguing against changes to the rule of mandatory celibacy was a transparent attempt to thwart proposals coming out of the Amazonian Synod of 2019. Whatever the fallout, it should not be allowed to scare Australia's bishops off from discussing the subject during Plenary Council 2020.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Coal hard truths about Australia-India relations

    • Sundhya Pahuja
    • 16 January 2020
    5 Comments

    It is ironic for those of us who have long wished for a closer and more respectful relationship between India and Australia to be arguing now for caution. But perhaps the time has come for a relationship of political solidarity between the people of India and the people of Australia, rather than the economic expediency that seems to be on offer.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Bushfire divisions etched in sand

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 15 January 2020
    11 Comments

    As the sea withdrew, the waves left curling black lines that crossed one another. The beach became a map in which territories were separated from one another. That image reflected the fires and the ways in which they were perceived. They were more than localised events. They affected relationships that spread far beyond the fire.

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  • RELIGION

    New year epiphany in a burning world

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 15 January 2020
    4 Comments

    This New Year saw me becoming a Twitter tragic so that I could keep up with the news of disastrous fires in Australia, and fires of a different sort in the Middle East. It all seemed too much. On the day after Epiphany, a major feast day in the Orthodox Church, I found myself outside Kalamata's Church of the Archangels, and went in to light a candle.

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  • CARTOON

    Unhappy new year

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 13 January 2020

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Biodiversity loss is a flaming tragedy

    • Cristy Clark
    • 13 January 2020
    7 Comments

    There are so many details about these unprecedented bushfires that I have no idea how to process. But nothing — including the ever-present shroud of acrid smoke that has blanketed my city since November — has brought home the scale of this tragedy quite like the estimation that one billion native animals have been killed.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Fire poems

    • Bill Rush, Rory Harris, Collen Keating
    • 13 January 2020
    1 Comment

    It's as though it's suddenly turned winter, the way the earth is covered over and the grey stretch of ash is drawn up to its chin like a blanket. And though it's day, the bird-less quiet is a kind of night, and everything we ever thought we knew has been turned upside down, the first now last, and the last first.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Smoke and the city

    • Daniel Sleiman
    • 13 January 2020
    3 Comments

    Canberra has a reputation for being banal, bureaucratic and the 'bush capital'. But come 2020 it was in the news for being the city with the worst air quality in the world. What followed were four days of intense heat, sunless mornings, Blade Runner sky hues and warnings to stay indoors as much as possible. But movement is life.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Perfidy and terror in the slaying of Soleimani

    • Justin Glyn
    • 08 January 2020
    9 Comments

    Trump had asked the Iraqis to mediate with the Iranians and Soleimani, one of Iran's most respected generals and emissaries, was there for the purpose. If this is true, and no-one from the US side has denied it, this was that most ancient of perfidies — a murder under a flag of parley.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Strategic blundering: Killing Soleimani

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 08 January 2020
    6 Comments

    With the killing of Soleimani, the US has signalled a redrawing of accepted lines in international combat and diplomacy. Most significantly, the killing will be a lightning rod for attacks this decision was meant to prevent even as it assists Iranian policy in expelling any vestige of US influence in Iraq and the broader Middle East.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Climate action requires unity not division

    • Chris Middleton
    • 07 January 2020
    18 Comments

    The Liberals and Nationals have to find a way forward that balances the interests of their supporters with serving the national good. Old arguments and ideological stands need to be re-examined. The PM needs to enable a real debate.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Climate paralysis and Morrison's fall

    • Tim Hutton
    • 07 January 2020
    29 Comments

    Here is why the Morrison government was so slow off the mark: to acknowledge the unprecedented nature of these fires is to concede that there is something happening to the climate. The only way to downplay the reality of climate change, was to downplay the severity of the fires themselves.

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