This is our regular feature in which we briefly record interesting publications and websites that have come to our attention. Inclusion of an item in this format does not preclude a possible longer review in a later issue. We welcome suggestions for inclusion.
This Changes Everything
Naomi Klein. Published by Allen Lane.
This is a book about the politics of climate change. It is a weighty book – 466 pages of text backed up by 60 pages of references. It examines the reasons for inaction on climate change: preconceptions about the primacy of the market, an unwillingness to believe that there are no technological fixes which will allow business as usual, “green” groups which rely on donations from fossil fuel companies. She sees hopes for change only in mass movements by the vast majority of people who will be the losers on an overheated planet.
The science of climate change: questions and answers.
Australian Academy of Science, February 2015.
An updated version of the Academy’s brief explanation of global change for non-scientists, made, as Einstein said, “as simple as possible, but not simpler.” Questions answered include: What is climate change? How has climate changed? Are human activities causing climate change? How do we expect climate to evolve in the future? How are extreme events changing? How are sea levels changing? What are the impacts of climate change? What are the uncertainties and their implications? What does science say about options to address climate change?
Brush up your own knowledge, or have a quick riposte for the deniers. Read the web version here, or download the pdf version here
Who speaks for and protects the public interest in Australia?
Editors: Bob Douglas and Jo Wodak. Published by Australia21 February 2015.
Another thought-provoking publication from Australia21. “Are you concerned that the public interest (the welfare and wellbeing of the whole population) is being ignored by successive governments? Does government seem more focused on internal politics and vested interests than the common good? If you answered yes, then this collection of short sharp essays by 39 leading Australian thinkers and agents of change is for you.”
Paper copy available for $30 from the Australia21 shop here or download as a free PDF at here.
I would like to hear from F/friends who have read my article ‘Lateral solutions to developing better global arrangements for displaced people’ on pp 43-44 of the Australia 21 publication ‘Who speaks for and protects the public interest in Australia?’
A good idea, David.
Back in February I sent the following email to the Minister for Immigration, the Shadow Minister, and Sarah Hanson-Young:
“It appears to me that both major parties are now entrapped in a refugee policy that has no easy, or internationally acceptable, exit. The PNG, Nauru and Cambodia resettlement options all seem unacceptable.
“Could I suggest, perhaps naively, a possible way out? Could the Manus Island and Nauru detention centres be offered to the UNHCR, along with the amount of money currently spent on running them, which I understand is equivalent to about half the total UNHCR budget? Processing of the detainees would then be the responsibility of the UNHCR.
“Ideally, the Australian refugee intake would then be increased, and the detainees on Manus and Nauru who are found to be genuine refugees could be resettled in Australia. This, I admit, is unlikely under the intransigent policies of both major parties, but the involvement of the UNHCR would be a constructive step forward.”
I received, and indeed expected, no response.