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” →
A lot of my recent pieces have been rather brief (end note: it went longer than expected), mostly because I am heavily procrastinating writing university assessments that I could fairly easily complete in a solid day of work – but alas I’m an idiot rationalising writing about entirely unrelated topics by keeping it short. Here I’m bouncing off a few different conversations, online and real life, I’ve had about minorities – specifically queer people – being represented in media. Suffice to say there is nothing wrong with it, and you think there is then it isn’t them who are the problem.
Continue reading “A Brief Rant on Minorities in Media” →
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” →
I am sure most people have seen the new regarding the school shooting in Nashville a few days ago. As usual, the calls for action on gun control have been met with fierce resistance and repeated cries to not “politicise” the, very preventable, death of children. That silence is itself a policy choice, but that’s not what sparked fury in the aftermath for me. I stumbled across a sick accusation – that these deaths, preventable mass shootings, this time (again) involving children – that it was “removing God” that causes these events, that they are “under God’s wrath”. Let me just put this bluntly.
If these events are the wrath of your god, your god is a monster.
If your god is capable of preventing it, yet allows these events to occur, your god is a monster.
If your god is incapable of preventing it, then your god is not worth the name.
The disingenuous “thoughts and prayers” mantra is damning enough. But if you are going to blame the ills of the world on your perceived slight of your god, you are a deluded, disgusting wretch.
And you deserve the monster you created.
But humanity doesn’t.
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” →
This is part 2 of my 2022 reading list – part 1 can be found here. It is here the focus of my reading (for the most part) was on Australian foreign policy and Indigenous politics as they were some of the units I took at university in first semester. Again, it is in the order that I finished reading them, so there are some odd jumps as I read multiple books at once.
Continue reading “My 2022 Reading List – Part 2” →
It’s that time of year again where I make note of how little I have written, but at least I’ve made up for it by reading more. Particularly, reading books on topics to ensure that what I did write (mostly university essays) was as polished as possible – and given my grades, for the most part, were good this year, it paid off. So like previous years (linked below), here is the first part of my 2022 reading list. As usual, it is in the order that I completed reading them – so enjoy the jumps between topics.
Continue reading “My 2022 Reading List – Part 1” →