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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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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Climate action requires unity not division

    • Chris Middleton
    • 07 January 2020
    19 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
    43 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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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Impeached Trump is the symptom, not the cause

    • Katelyn Jones
    • 20 December 2019
    12 Comments

    In a turn of events predicted since he announced his candidacy for President, Donald Trump has been impeached. But this impeachment, and even Trump's removal from office, will do nothing to quell the reality that the world is actively electing aggressively oppressive candidates, not only despite their violence, but also because of it.

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  • RELIGION

    Christmas in a time of fire

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 17 December 2019
    15 Comments

    This year the contrast between the original story of Christmas and its Australian circumstances has cut even deeper. Bushfires have taken lives, destroyed properties and spread smoke and ash over cities. If the theme of the first Christmas was one of hope and joy, behind the bushfires this year lurks anxiety about the future of the world.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Notre Dame de Paris

    • Marlene Marburg, Grant Fraser
    • 16 December 2019
    3 Comments

    It rose in its tall verticals from the grace and welcome of the earth, / That swooned far, far below, / As canny masons hefted the limestone / Into vast beatitudes of grace; / Shipwrights inverted their minds to groom the oak, / So that it would soar, / As if a celtic monk had charmed a serpent into a holy phrase.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Coming to terms with Christmas grief

    • Katherine Richardson
    • 16 December 2019
    10 Comments

    Now that I'm grown I've realised that while Christmas felt that way for me, it isn't magical for everyone. For many people Christmas is a hollow reminder that there is someone missing from the table, and no matter whether it's the first year or the 50th, that chair will always remain empty.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    It's Christmas and I'll dance if I want to

    • Barry Gittins
    • 16 December 2019
    5 Comments

    Dance and music are as innate as breathing. Babies dance while in the womb, and the Yuletide can be prime time for 'playing music, singing and dancing [as a] healthy outlet for their emotions'. As William Stafford observed, kids dance 'before they learn there is anything that isn't music'.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Dickens and Christmas as we grow older

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 13 December 2019
    5 Comments

    Dickens was a prolific writer, and one of patchy quality: the threat of sentimentality was never far away, so that this brief work is not one of his best. But in this consumer age it is salutary to have his definition of the Christmas spirit, which is one 'of active usefulness, perseverance, cheerful discharge of duty, kindness and forbearance'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Disability RC must reckon with education

    • Jane Britt
    • 12 December 2019
    4 Comments

    From the minute we enter the education system, we experience barriers. We are segregated when we arrive at primary school, placed in 'special' units or classes. Here our needs are subsumed into the collective needs of the group. From the outset our educational outcomes are at the whim of the people who are in the position of power.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    This delicious failure of common names

    • Paul Hetherington
    • 09 December 2019
    2 Comments

    You don't know the word for butter, so you spend seconds miming the way it froths in the pan. The owner of the shop says nothing. You want to buy their famous pesto, but it's nowhere on display. You speak to other customers, who nod and frown. Eventually you point at fragrant cheese and a melon that smells of ripest green.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Climate crisis spawns clowns not statesmen

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 09 December 2019
    29 Comments

    If the dark days of 1940 provided an opportunity for a chancer and publicity hound like Winston Churchill to emerge as an inspirational leader and reputed giant of the 20th century, why hasn't the catastrophic breakdown of the natural world done something similar for the likes of Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and Scott Morrison?

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