keywords: Melbourne University

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Trump joins the game of Kurdish betrayal

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 14 October 2019
    2 Comments

    While expecting an indefinite US presence in Syria was unrealistic as part of bargaining for a homeland, the Kurdish forces are right in feeling the sting of yet another historical abandonment. They have been more than useful fighters, a point that is also held against them. The question now is how bloody this next chapter will prove for them.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Messiness unleashed by the attack on Saudi oil

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 16 September 2019
    9 Comments

    All of this has the hallmarks of danger. Previous US administrations have been cavalier with using stretched evidence, to justify military action. The region still labours with the fantasies that drove the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. The dangers of misreading also extend to the cognitive failings of US foreign policy in the Middle East.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Green consumerism is part of the problem

    • Jacinta Bowler
    • 16 September 2019
    7 Comments

    Whole industries have sprung up dedicated to help alleviate climate stress. Tote bags. Metal straws. Zara has announced 100 per cent of its fabrics will be sustainable by 2025 while Apple has said it plans to eventually stop mining. All of this looks great, but it doesn't help the underlying issue: We are still buying way too much stuff.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Australian unis failing Hong Kong students

    • Sangeetha Thanapal
    • 14 September 2019
    5 Comments

    The students might not have many rights back home, but they do in the western democracies in which they live. The violence against peaceful protestors not just in Hong Kong but in countries where Hong Kong students are exercising their basic rights is unsettling. Yet the response by unis all over Australia has been taciturn at best.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Building equity into 20-minute city plans

    • Cristy Clark
    • 29 August 2019
    9 Comments

    People living in the outer suburbs would benefit just as much (if not more) from having access to attractive public space and to being able to meet their daily needs on foot. The social and environmental benefits would also flow to all of us in building healthier, more resilient communities and significantly reducing pollution.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Can weather presenters be climate saviours?

    • Greg Foyster
    • 16 August 2019
    2 Comments

    The media often portrays climate change as a political issue. But politicians are the least trusted messengers for climate information. They really turn off the public. The most trusted are scientists, firefighters, farmers and weather presenters. Of these, only weather presenters have a large audience and are already skilled communicators.

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  • EDUCATION

    Religious freedom can't trump student health

    • Stevie Troy
    • 13 August 2019
    12 Comments

    This is the influence Christian schools retain under current legislation. Faith-based schools are given the right to maintain teachings around sexuality, but that shouldn't be given higher priority than students' wellbeing. It's why I fell through the gaps. It's why 13 years later I and the public health system are dealing with the consequences.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The tweet smell of APS authoritarianism

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 12 August 2019
    5 Comments

    Should a public service have people with political, disagreeable opinions? No, according to the guidelines of employment in the Australian Public Service. The decision of the Australian High Court in the case of Comcare v Banerji is a salient warning to employees in the APS. Obedience, it seems, must be unquestionable and total.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Climate catastrophe and the irrational race

    • Megan Graham
    • 05 August 2019
    7 Comments

    The debate around climate change shows the danger in believing we humans are principally rational. History gives example after example of how our biases can make us do very irrational things. In the words of Dan Ariely, our species is 'predictably irrational'. It is helpful for us to know this, so that we can become better.

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  • MEDIA

    The thief, the party and WikiLeaks

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 02 August 2019
    4 Comments

    The running themes of the Department of Justice charges against Assange are that he is a hacker, an agent of espionage and a danger to necessary secrecy. In so slanting their case, the DOJ hopes to avoid the application of the First Amendment covering press freedoms. The reasoning of District Judge Koeltl suggests this might well fail.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The politics and ethics of the moon landing

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 23 July 2019
    4 Comments

    In 1964, sociologist Amitai Etzioni noted the misgivings of the scientific fraternity to the space program. The effort risked losing perspective. An 'extrovert activism' had taken old, obsessed with gadgets, 'rocket-powered jumps' and escapism. In terms of budgetary expenditure, this showed, with NASA spending $28 billion between 1960-73.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Big solutions to climate despair

    • Greg Foyster
    • 19 June 2019
    8 Comments

    People are lacking inspiration and courage. So right now, what we need is a solution as big as the problem we're trying to solve, and the best idea on the table is a 'Green New Deal' that combines action on climate change with tackling inequality.

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