We need to immediately change our diets, how we grow food, and the way we use land if the world is to tackle climate change, according to a new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. The report found the current trajectory of forest destruction and intensive farming practices would result in global hunger, mass migration and conflict. However, immediate action to cut meat consumption and reduce food waste could significantly reduce the impact of climate change. Alana Mann, a lead researcher at the Sydney Environment Institute, said the report should be a wake-up call for people living in cities that “assume supermarket shelves will always be full”. Australia, where meat consumption was high and deforestation rates were rising, was singled out as a region where rising evapotranspiration was causing deserts to expand. In Australia, 30 jurisdictions representing roughly 3 million people and 12 per cent of the population have declared a climate emergency.
A bill to decriminalise abortion has passed the NSW Parliament's lower house 59 to 31. Liberal Premier Gladys Berejiklian supported the bill, but several of her frontbenchers, including Treasurer Dominic Perrottet, voted against it. The bill allows abortions performed by a registered doctor for women up to 22 weeks’ gestation. Amendments saw provisions on conscientious objection for doctors strengthened, as well as rules ensuring specialists perform abortions beyond 22 weeks in approved public facilities. Doctors would need to consider whether the pregnant woman needed counselling. Greens MP Jenny Leong, one of the 15 cross-party co-sponsors of the bill, said of the lengthy debate: “The sound of men arguing over our personal reproductive health choices hurts my ears and it offends my very core.” The proposed laws will proceed to a vote in the upper house the week after next.
In a televised speech on Thursday night, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi explained the reasons why he stripped the Himalayan Muslim-majority territory of Kashmir of its statehood and special constitutional status. Modi's Hindu-nationalist administration has imposed a near-total communications blackout in the region since Sunday night, arresting more than 500 people including prominent local politicians. He said the move was to free the region of “terrorism and separatism”. The unprecedented move inflamed tensions with Pakistan, which also claims the territory, with the rival nuclear power’s Prime Minister Imran Khan declaring that the situation could see the countries go to war, asking: “Who will win that war? No one will win it and it will have grievous consequences for the entire world.”
Friends of Eurydice Dixon, who was raped and murdered in Melbourne in June last year, are banding together to stage material the Melbourne comedian never got the chance to perform. Dixon, who was killed on the way home from a set at Melbourne's Highlander Bar, was planning to develop an act that explored the notion of a committed feminist sympathising with arguments of men's rights activists. The concept will instead be realised at the Melbourne Fringe Festival in September by her friends and fellow comedians including Sofie Prints. Asked whether Dixon would appreciate what they did with her idea, comedian Greg Duffield told The Age: “I hope she would. Maybe she'd think we were stuffing it up and say 'Can't you come up with your own ideas for crying out loud?’”