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” →
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 come to my attention that my website has been added, for some time, to an automated aggregator site without my knowledge or permission. While I’m fairly indifferent overall – that something I’ve written is shared and seen online is great, and as far as I can tell they aren’t profiting off of my content – I do have one concern. That is, where the hell is the traffic to my website? Where are the people reading the content who go gee, wish I could see more of that and sign up via email for updates on more and read it from the source.
Welcome to the call out advertisement post!
Continue reading “Dear Anarchist Federation Readers…” →
Artificial intelligence (AI) has revolutionized the way we work, communicate, and even think. Now, AI is increasingly being used to write news articles. News outlets around the world are turning to AI programs to generate articles quickly and with little work. While this technology is advancing at a rapid pace, it raises questions about the accuracy and credibility of news articles.
Continue reading “ChatGPT and the Future of Journalism” →
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” →
This is the second of two university pieces, this one responding to a question on what future challenges there are in the foreign policy space in Australia. I focussed on the climate crisis, an international issue that Australia could become a global leader in, not just for the obvious environmental reasons, but in support and solidarity with our geographic neighbours in Asia and the Pacific regions. Regional aid, climate refugees, and the urgent transition to a renewables revolution are some of the key challenges we are bound to face – and Australia is not ready.
Continue reading “What Are the Key Future Challenges Facing Australian Foreign Policy?” →
Initially did not plan to post this, but given the high grade it received and the fact I’m posting other university essays here today, let’s go! This essay simply covers misinformation and conspiracy theories surrounding Covid-19 and the vaccinations on Twitter, as well as some of the (failed) attempts at combatting it. We truly did unleash a virtual portal to hell with the internet and social media, and no one has figured out how to fix it.
Continue reading “Covid-19 Vaccine Conspiracy Campaigns on Twitter” →
This is part 2 of my reading list for this year, continuing in order of when they were read following part 1 HERE.
Continue reading “2021 Reading List (Part 2)” →
I have not written anything for a while, having gone from taking a short break at the wind down of university and then straight back into work, and thought that I should get a head start on the yearly reading list review. I hope to add another one or two by year’s end, but I am quite happy with the amount I’ve managed to get through this year. List will be in the order I read them with comments looking back over them, and with a few exceptions I would recommend most of them. Also keep in mind the earlier in the year it was the less precise details I’m going to remember about the book, so bear with that.
Continue reading “2021 Reading List (Part 1)” →