Bushfires have swept large parts of Australia since October, leaving more than 20 people dead, destroying thousands of homes and devastating wildlife
While the Paris climate agreement, signed in 2015, urges signatory countries to implement climate education, many countries who made the pledge have not fulfilled it, including New Zealand’s nearest neighbour Australia, according to the science publication The Conversation.
The curriculum will put New Zealand at the forefront of climate change education worldwide; governments in neighbouring Australia and the United Kingdom have both faced criticism for lack of cohesive teaching on the climate crisis. The New Zealand scheme, which will be offered to all schools that teach 11 to 15 year-old students, will not be compulsory, the government said.
This is in contrast to the Australian government, which does not believe students should be involved in such debates. There have been various resources developed for schools, such as CSIRO’s Sustainable Futures, Cool Australia, Future Earth, the Climate Reality Project, Climate Watch and Scootle. However, on a whole schools are left to themselves.
The established trend of dryness, hotter temperatures, extreme weather and lengthening fire seasons is unfortunately our “new normal”. Scott Morrison didn’t give us an opportunity to explain to him Tasmania’s increasing frequency of fire seasons, the two-month lengthening of NSW fire seasons, how Queensland is now a “bushfire state”, the now common dry lightning storms (no, not all fires are caused by arsonists), the critically dry fuels after a 20-year drying trend restricting hazard reduction (no, not caused by greenies stopping “backburning”), fires creating their own weather (pyro-convective activity), and how these factors and others, driven by climate change, have made Australia more dangerous.
The ideological resistance among conservatives to address the source of climate crisis is so powerful, so historically entrenched, that flames literally surround the city in which the conservative Australian prime minister himself has announced that “resilience and adaptation” amid the fires will substitute for climate mitigation, prevention, action to make them stop. On cue, the megaphones insist this nightmare will be good for us.
If Scotty from Marketing and his coal-fired peers really believed in the climate crisis, they’d be doing something about it
Just because we all desire the Coalition to do something on climate change doesn’t actually mean they will.
He suggests that although the government may have changed its ‘position’ on climate change, the language is still the same as that used by Tony Abbott in 2015.
In a seperate article, Jericho states,
And so we enter the next stage of climate change politics – a subtle and sinister shift – the talk will be about practical measures of adaptation rather than of reducing emissions: gone will be direct action, in its place will be “direct adaptation”.
It is a stage that, if successful, will signal the end for our planet.
Many of us are resigned to – and perhaps even fine with – the idea that our employer can scan our emails or keep track of how much time we waste on social media. But we are entering a new world of workplace surveillance in which we are watched 24/7 and every move is scrutinised. And things are only going to get more intrusive as corporations treat us less like human beings and more like machines. Last year, for example, Amazon patented an “ultrasonic bracelet” to be worn by workers to “monitor performance of assigned tasks”. Meanwhile, companies are implanting chips under workers’ skin and China is monitoring employees’ brain waves. It won’t be long until we have all been implanted with chips that keep track of our productivity and trigger a self-combustion protocol when we are no longer deemed useful to our AI overlords. But, hey, while the future may look bleak, at least there is consistently prepared pizza to look forward to.
As white settler cultures, Australia and the United States share many things. And one is a long history of confining and concentrating people that the settler population determines to be undesirable. In both countries, genocidal hot wars against native populations petered out into a practice dumping remnant indigenous people into reservations or missions.
Guardian reporters Rupert Neate, Alex Hern and Tania Branigan discuss the company at the heart of a diplomatic tussle. Plus, David Kogan argues Labour needs clarity on Brexit to have a chance of winning power
This discussion continues the conversation around Huawei, 5G and the future of technology.
If we know lots of people on social will only glance at our headlines and not tap through, why can’t we bring better information to them where they are?
The long read: When Aldi arrived in Britain, Tesco and Sainsbury’s were sure they had nothing to worry about. Three decades later, they know better
via Chris McLeod
It’s the miracle ingredient in everything from biscuits to shampoo. But our dependence on palm oil has devastating environmental consequences. Is it too late to break the habit?
Scott Morrison is trying to scare people about economic policy but seems blithely unaware people are already scared – about climate change
What has become clear over these last four weeks across this vast, beautiful land of Australia is that a way of life is on the edge of vanishing. Australian summers, once a time of innocent pleasure, now are to be feared, to be anticipated not with joy but with dread, a time of discomfort, distress and, for some, fear that lasts not a day or a night but weeks and months. Power grids collapse, dying rivers vomit huge fish kills, while in the north, in Townsville, there are unprecedented floods, and in the south heat so extreme it pushes at the very edge of liveability has become everyday.
Climate change isn’t just happening. It’s happening far quicker than has been predicted. Each careful scientific prediction is rapidly overtaken by the horror of profound natural changes that seem to be accelerating, with old predictions routinely outdone by the worsening reality – hotter, colder, wetter, drier, windier, wilder, and ever more destructive.
In a system cut to the bone, gaining access to the support we had been promised for our daughter’s special educational needs was an exhausting, soul-sapping battle.
At the end of a day in this terrifying place, Alice got home hyperactive, angry and frustrated. In addition to the head tics, she now suffered from severe stomach pains and dizziness. Her disquiet would peak before bed. Aged 13, she still needed one of us to lie with her, soothing and calming her, before she eventually dropped off (also aided by melatonin).
One of the things that stood out was the blur between private and public connected with the privatization of government contracts:
Following an assessment in November 2013, we received a letter from Virgin Care. We found it baffling. It read: “As Alice’s language skills are delayed but in line with each other, her needs can be best met within the school environment and her case is now closed.”
My wife attempted to translate for me: Alice was significantly behind in her cognitive development. Not only did this diagnosis feel incorrect, but also, for reasons that were never fully explained, it absolved Virgin Care of any duty of care and handed the responsibility over to Alice’s school. This seemed utterly ridiculous, not least because the letter then detailed all the specialist strategies that Alice’s teaching assistant was obliged to deliver.
The General Data Protection Regulation is coming into force.
These tougher rules on data protection were approved by the EU Parliament in April 2016, but a lot of us didn’t hear about them back then. Perhaps you first heard GDPR mentioned in discussions about recent controversies to do with the questionable use of people’s data.
Or maybe it was when you started receiving a deluge emails.
But what is GDPR, and why should we care about it? And could these new regulations impact our health? What happens with our medical data now?
To help answer these questions, Jordan Erica Webber is joined by the Guardian’s technology reporter, Alex Hern, and Dr Rachel Birch of the Medical Protection Society.
By the end of the second hearing, we had learned the areas Facebook wanted to avoid. Questions about its profiling prowess, for instance, were generally answered through misdirection. Asked who owns “the virtual you”, Zuckerberg’s favoured response was to note that you own all the “content” you upload, and can delete it at will. That does not answer the question, of course: the advertising profile that Facebook builds up about you cannot be deleted, and you have no control over it.
… winning not by being better, but by rigging the competition in your favour. Erecting economic barriers to employment via the high cost of taking an internship is just one more way to reserve the highest-status jobs for the elite.
How an extreme libertarian tract predicting the collapse of liberal democracies – written by Jacob Rees-Mogg’s father – inspired the likes of Peter Thiel to buy up property across the Pacific
A text version can be found here.
For centuries, lexicographers have attempted to capture the entire English language. Technology might soon turn this dream into reality – but will it spell the end for dictionaries?
The text version can be found here.