Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Six steps to avoid ‘untold suffering’

The world faces “untold suffering” from climate change unless there are deep and lasting shifts in global society, warn more than 11,000 scientists. In a paper published in the journal BioScience on the 40th anniversary of the first climate summit, the report urges six actions including the end of fossil fuel extraction, stabilising population growth, and greatly reducing meat consumption. Co-author Dr Thomas Newsome from the University of Sydney said governments needed to set “clear policy that signals to the business community that they are going to act on climate change”. A second report claims nearly three-quarters of the climate pledges made under the Paris Agreement are inadequate to slow climate change. The news comes after the United States yesterday gave one year’s notice that it will withdraw from the Paris Agreement, which would come into force one day after the country’s next election. Ahead of a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Wednesday, French President Emmanuel Macron said co-operation between Europe and China on emission reductions would be “decisive”. A new book released by economist Ross Garnaut lays out how three policies could see Australia reach 100 per cent renewable energy. The world experienced the hottest October on record last month, and Australia its second-hottest

Strip-searching minors: New South Wales police strip-searched more than 122 girls under the age of 18 in the last three years, including two 12-year-olds and eight 13-year-olds. Guardian Australia reports that according to data obtained under freedom of information laws by the Redfern Legal Centre, since 2016 there have been 3919 strip-searches by police on women in NSW. Young women aged 25 and under accounted for almost half the searches, while the oldest woman strip-searched was 72 years old. The news comes as the NSW police watchdog investigates the allegedly illegal strip-search of a 16-year-old girl at a music festival. Sam Lee, Redfern Legal Centre’s police powers solicitor, told The Saturday Paper: “It’s the only law in NSW that allows two adults holding firearms to order a child as young as 10 to take off all their clothes in a strange environment.”

Jobs and growth compromised: Commonwealth Auditor-General Grant Hehir has delivered a scathing review of the Morrison government's management of a $220 million “jobs and growth” program promised at the 2016 election. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Hehir found the jobs scheme was riddled with conflicts of interest and intervention by ministers. 

Russian Brexit influence: United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been too preoccupied with Brexit to read a report on Russian meddling in the country’s elections, foreign office minister Chris Pincher concedes. Johnson is accused of suppressing the report, which was sent to the government for final confirmation nearly three weeks ago, for political reasons ahead of a December election. The report may not be released until the middle of next year. The inquiry was launched after Russia-based Twitter accounts posted more than 45,000 messages about Brexit in two days during the 2016 referendum.

In sport: Batsman Steve Smith has led Australia to a seven-wicket win over Pakistan in a T20 International clash in Canberra. Smith scored a spectacular 80 off 51 balls to surpass Pakistan’s score of 6-150 with nine balls remaining.

Green-energy superpower
Ross Garnaut – the man who wrote the Rudd government’s response to climate change – says Australia has more to gain from a zero-carbon future than any other developed country.


“Poverty is usually thought of as a lack of money, but it also equates, tragically, to a lack of time. Wealthier Australians not only live better than the less privileged among us, but also longer. Six years. That is now the average gap in life expectancy between the bottom 20 per cent of the population and the top 20 per cent, according to a new study of health inequality in Australia.”


“‘Did I tell you I’ve started woodcutting?’ Omar Musa asks me as we get stuck in to our soy lattes. Dressed in a gold batik shirt, tatts laid out on the table, he’s got his characteristic ‘I’m going to tell you a story’ smile ... Musa’s latest prints are situated in Leopard Beach, a fantasy place he’s conjured where ‘the weather is sweet as a kiss. There’s no racism, homophobia or transphobia. It’s plastic free, hater free, 100 per cent body positive!’ A place Musa, and others, can escape to from relentless racist vilification.”


“Push through tight medina streets, between peeling blue walls, patterned teal tiles, past tiny curio stores and Berber women guarding blankets laden with coriander and mint; turn left, then right, left again, climb multicoloured steps above the labyrinthine suffocation and stop, panting, at the kasbah’s doorway.”


“A former Supreme Court judge and environmental law expert has warned NSW's push to stop greenhouse gas emissions being considered in mining decisions is a ‘dangerous retrograde step’. The government introduced the new laws on the back of a concerted campaign by the NSW Minerals Council, which ran advertisements attacking the planning system for ‘failing the people of NSW’.”


“This might signal the death-knell of the OK Boomer meme, but it’s still very funny: a New Zealand MP very casually fired back with ‘OK boomer’ while being heckled. Chlöe Swarbrick is an MP in the New Zealand Green party, and was just in parliament doing a speech about the Zero Carbon Bill. In extremely OK boomer energy, her speech was interrupted by a National party MP heckling her.”


“Ms. Randall is one of a handful of former prisoners building an audience on YouTube. She has explained the ‘unspoken rules of prison,’ showed her viewers how to turn coffee grounds and water into makeshift jailhouse mascara, and interviewed a former correctional officer about corruption among prison guards. But most importantly, she has offered an empathic, first-person perspective on incarceration.”

Max Opray is Schwartz Media’s morning editor and a freelance writer.