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Russian PhD students in Australia being sent away under new sanctions against Russia

Update 1 June 2015: See new related articles: "Concern that Australian PM Abbott position on MH17 has no solid basis and is unfair to Russia" and "Anti-Russia Sanctions rely on False Statement by Julie Bishop, Australian Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister." This is an occasion for people to make factually based comments and inquiries to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Prime Minister's Office on the way Australia is participating in what appear to be ill-based hostilities. See ABC Australia apologises for bias against Russia in reporting MH17 crash and general tag: http://candobetter.net/taxonomy/term/585. This human aspect, coupled with the involvement of oil industry concerns, highlights the problems associated with globalised, commercialised universities, globalisation and US/NATO alliances and energy resources. This is yet another warning signal of a population and economy in overshoot, locally and internationally. Expansionism is driving blocs of countries into a collision course. Our association with America has made us officially unfriendly with a large number of countries and complicit in the destruction of several. Human rights obligations are under scrutiny. We must pull back from escalations like these. [Ed. Broken link now fixed.]

St. Monbiot Island

The new science of ecology will now describe animals as they really are---moral agents, not biological automatons. And as such, they are to be charged with a moral responsibility to constrain their cravings and live simply so that other animals like them can simply live. Or as they now say on St. Monbiot Island, “Be the reindeer you want the world to be.”

What Will The Dalai Lama Say When The Oil Runs Out?

I live in a community of right-brained people with innumerate minds full of New Age mush, devoid of logic and antagonistic to science. The shibboleths of 'compassion' and 'caring and sharing' prevail over dispassionate analysis. The medieval mentality of Tibetan Bhuddism combines with the prescriptions of soft-green environmentalism to produce a brew of 'thinking' that is toxic to comprehension. It is a community where people will pay $50 for a psychic reading or a quack medical therapy but balk at paying the same amount of money to fix a leaking kitchen sink or a subscription to Science Daily. I wrote this almost 5 years ago, and despite the development of our much acclaimed "Community Garden" and a local "transition" initiative, I can think of no good reason to make more than one amendment----even we do grow a backbone and a "hard edge"---a local 'fortress' would not indefinitely endure. We are hopelessly dependent on the outside world in ways that we have not yet contemplated. Our deficiencies will only become apparent, I think, when our "Long" emergency becomes a permanent one.

Ted Trainer questions Uni-dimensional views on Development, Wealth and Progress

Social Scientist and petroleum depletion writer, Ted Trainer, gives his views on a way forward that does not involve growth. Most of you out there are working three times too hard, and going down with depression and obesity, as your social cohesion crumbles. How about trying a different, simpler way? Frederick Trainer is the author of a new book, Transition to a sustainable and just world, Enviro Books.

The Ultimate ‘Thought Crime’: The Limits to Growth

The Julian Simon/Matt Ridley School of economic optimism essentially denies the limits to growth and the possibility of human extinction because they believe that human technological capacity makes humans exceptional. But technology is applied science and it is well recognised that science in itself has limits, perhaps intrinsic limits.

Water-poor Australia is also the world’s biggest water exporter!

Australia uses huge volumes of water to produce products for export, but cannot find enough water to keep its river systems alive.

In Search Of A Visual Metaphor For Overshoot: The Sinking Lifeboat Still Makes The Point Best

Overpopulation conjures up many images. Most typically, one thinks of traffic gridlock or bulldozers ripping up forests or farmland to make way for more housing developments. But these images fail to impress the green wing of the Growth-Management Industry, the so-called "environmentalists" of the "progressive" coalition of feminists, eco-socialists, soft-greens and human rights advocates. For them there are always "solutions" that obviate the need to face the elephant in the room. Public transport, smart growth, green technology and good green living habits will do the trick. The trouble is, they won't. It is all a delusion. Numbers matter--the social justice agenda cannot defeat the laws of physics. And the best metaphor to make that point remains Garrett Hardin's sinking lifeboat.

Who Needs Stephen King When We Are Already Living In A Nightmare?

Of all annual rituals, Halloween strikes me as the most absurd. The eternal question is, why do we need to scare children in an era when real-life horror envelopes us?

SUVs Built For People Whose Delusions Are Without Limits


Trapped in a morass of middle class mediocrity--- a life of long commutes, road rage, double-income stress, crippling mortgages and rents---- the average American urbanite dreams the fantasy of weekend escape. Car makers and the advertising agencies they employ are there to offer it to them. TV commercials assure us that the SUV is your ticket to the promised land, the ticket to off-road heaven, the chance to enjoy the tranquillity and space that willderness offers by trashing it. Not to worry. As the commercials show, there is plenty where that came from. The world is without limits, and you can be one of a 100 million to find a chunk of solitude just for yourself. To use and abuse.

Agriculture: Ending the World As We Know It

Fasten your seatbelts and get ready for a paradigm-shift. In this article, John Feeney manages to be both concise and comprehensive. So many shrill voices locate our problem in the capitalist economic system, in the paradigm of economic growth, in obsolete technology, in greed or selfishness, in irresponsible living habits, in organized religion and so forth. But it goes much deeper than that. Not only is industrial civilization unsustainable, but so is civilization itself. "Civilization is made possible by agriculture. Agriculture is unsustainable."

The Six Clusters of Denial---Death by Storytelling

For each of us, denial, at some level, is a necessary coping strategy, but collectively, it is now our death knell. Perhaps its most deceptive form, however, is not wilful ignorance or idiotic pollyannsh hope, but the belief that writing about our crisis is in itself a solution.

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