The following piece is an essay written for my Environmental Politics unit. Rather than staying safe with a topic like climate change, I decided to pick something I’d never properly looked into to research from scratch. Perhaps a mistake for this month’s sanity quota, but I genuinely enjoyed it, there are many references below, and it gave me a new reason to believe we’re irredeemably screwed as a species – nice!
Plastic pollution, along with greenhouse gas emissions and loss of biodiversity, has quickly become one of the largest anthropogenic threats to environmental health and stability, including that of human health. According to a European plastics industry body, Plastics Europe, the arguably conservative estimate is that over 390 metric tonnes of plastic was produced globally in 2021 alone, an over 20 metric tonne increase on 2020 when production “stagnated” due to COVID-19 (Plastics Europe, 2022). Despite the report’s positive outlook, it is projected this will double by 2040, with production and waste to both far exceed 1 billion tonnes by 2060 (Hood, 2022).
This essay will begin by exploring just how far spread plastic pollution – particularly micro- and nano-plastics (referred to just as microplastics from here) – is and the effects that has had and will have on land and marine ecosystems. While a lot has been said about plastic pollution in the oceans, most of it originates beyond that, and the long-term effects of microplastics in nature and in human health have only recently become a topic of serious discussion. A brief history of other environmental movements will be given to provide some possible pathways that could be taken. Following that, a few solutions and initiatives will be examined, including the UN Treaty on Plastic Pollution that began negotiations after a resolution for it passed in March of 2022. Some scepticism is warranted regarding the ability (and desire) of state and corporate actors to genuinely commit to a real shift from plastics, which will end the discussion with a brief mention of future possibilities.
Continue reading “Plastic World: The Impacts and Possible Solutions to Global Warming’s Sibling Crisis” →
The following piece is an essay written for my Democratic Politics unit at university. What’s a political science or communications/journalism course without… yet another piece on misinformation on the internet. So I made a point of bashing the media too, you’re welcome! Reference list at the end.
Mis- and disinformation, fake news, propaganda – these are all terms that have recently been rejuvenated in public discourse over the past decade, particularly in the wake of the election campaign (and subsequent electoral victory) of Donald Trump in the United States in 2016. They often have different meanings for different people, can have significant overlap, and (most importantly) are able to be spread by anyone whether they are aware of it or not. The aim of this essay is to compare the prevalence and influence this influx of (mis)information has had on the democratic processes and systems in the United States and Australia, and how their respective systems and institutions have influenced the dissemination of it in return.
Continue reading “Mis- and Disinformation in Australia and the United States: A Comparison” →
Jordan Shanks (Friendlyjordies) recently released a video about AUKUS which was generally quite agreeable. He agreed with Keating’s assessment of the AUKUS deal (which was fiery and correct) and the media infatuation with it (which was even more fiery and correct). He took shots at the think tank “experts” of ASPI and other NGOs, including an amusing and mildly surprising jab at the Israeli lobby. He even called out people within the Labor Party itself who in various ways sell out to the allure of Empire.
But then he fell back on some lacklustre arguments to sort of just, sweep it aside with a nationalist flair.
Continue reading “Jordies’ Lacklustre Defence of Labor’s AUKUS Position” →
I don’t live in the US, but perhaps I should have a disclaimer on the off chance any 3 or 4 letter agencies come snooping for keywords: I have written previously about my anarchic approach to violence as a pacifist, and that piece was even cited by the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism as a point of opposition to violence. Leave me alone.
So, with that noted, bouncing off a conversation that took place in a university seminar I was at today, let’s talk about ecoterrorism.
Continue reading “A Brief Word on Climate Action and Ecoterrorism” →
I’ve read the prologue and first chapter of the book This Is How They Tell Me The World Ends: The Cyber Weapons Arms Race, written by Nicole Perlroth of the New York Times. It seemed quite interesting, the blurb talking about zero-day bugs and the global market of hackers and intelligence agencies working to create and defend against them. I hope I’m wrong, perhaps the rest of the book will change my impression, but so far the book very much takes sides through omission and framing.
Continue reading “First Impression of A NYT Journalist’s Book” →
It’s not often I find myself in agreement with something Paul Keating has said or done – in fact, I’ve written on a few occasions about some of the rather wretched things he is responsible for. His admiration for Suharto, his work heralding neoliberalism to Australia as Treasurer and Prime Minister, and the introduction of mandatory detention for refugees are a few off the top of my head. But on his recent AUKUS statements, I agree. It is, ironically, a critique of Labor from the left, after all…
Continue reading “Keating Is Right About AUKUS” →
Somewhat shockingly, the anarchist has some concerns about the state and the implementation of the First Nations’ Voice to Parliament, something that has been a long-time coming since Turnbull rejected the Uluru Statement in 2017. Just as shockingly, the world is not an ideal place for idealism, so pragmatism must take some precedence in the short-term. But I still thought it worth discussing briefly how the Voice, in its current form, is flawed and limited from an anarchic perspective, followed by a fall to reality that stresses the urgency of ensuring its passing later this year.
Continue reading “A Left Critique of the Voice – And Why I’ll Vote Yes” →
Last part – I told people I could try and read 50 books read this year, and then proceeded to not finish a single one. the one downside to reading four at a time I suppose. That’s fine though, there is one book on this list I have some THOUGHTS on. Maybe I can read 50 this coming year…
Continue reading “My 2022 Reading List Part 5” →
Fourth part of my 2022 reading list, going into the tail end of the university semester and onto other, not formal study related books. As with the Pilger book in a previous post, there are some books in this part that are written by journalists and, for the most part, it is why I think some of the best journalism can be considered the “history of the present”, people whose jobs it is to find sources, record information, and – taking in mind their own social and cultural upbringing and lens – interpreting it.
Continue reading “My 2022 Reading List – Part 4” →
Welcome to part 3 of chronological list of why I can’t form an emotional connection with other human beings – see part 1 and/or part 2. Here I picked up the rest of the First Knowledges series and binged those in between various other works for university essays.
Continue reading “My 2022 Reading List Part 3” →