Brian Loffler is a member of the New Internationalist Co-op in Adelaide, where he's been involved since 1981. He works mostly on expanding the NI's supporter network in Australia.

Teaser: 

Brian Loffler is a member of the New Internationalist Co-op in Adelaide, where he's been involved since 1981.

Contributor Image: 

Worse than fiction: discrimination against women

08.03.16-Katharine-Jefferts-Schori-590.jpg

Katharine Jefferts Schori was elected 10 years ago in 2006 as the first female Presiding Bishop in the history of the Episcopal Church and also the first female primate in the Anglican Communion.

Domestic violence has deep roots within modern society, but too often our legal system privileges the status quo instead of protecting the vulnerable, writes Brian Loffler.

It was 15th May. Abhimani Dasgupta was meeting with the Chair of HiTechFutures and was quietly confident of winning the appointment as CEO. She was the perfect candidate: highly educated, well connected and having a strong CV that matched perfectly with the leadership needs of the company. As the two of them chatted animatedly, Abhimani’s confidence grew; it was as if the job was designed for her.

But then the tone of the conversation changed. The Chair’s face grew serious as he said ‘I don’t know why you applied for this position. You’re obviously highly qualified and well suited, but you must know that we have an unwritten policy of not promoting people from South Asia to leadership positions?’

Abhimani was shocked. This was blatant racism, and discrimination was not only unethical, but strictly prohibited by law.


Please click to give.

Months later the Supreme Court upheld Abhimani’s claim of discrimination on the basis of race, and the Chair received a hefty fine.

The case received widespread publicity and there was outrage in the community. ‘This feeds into a culture of disrespect; it encourages and emboldens those who stir up inter-racial violence.’

The story is fictional. But now consider this slight transposition to another fictional (but based firmly on reality) story:

It was 15th May. Sonia Bittner was meeting with the Bishop of Australia and was quietly confident of winning the appointment as District President of the church. She was the perfect candidate: highly educated in both theology and management, well connected and having a strong CV that matched perfectly with the leadership needs of the church. As the two of them chatted animatedly, Sonia’s confidence grew; it was as if the job was designed for her.

But then the tone of the conversation changed. The Bishop’s face grew serious as he said ‘I don’t know why you applied for this position. You’re obviously highly qualified and well suited, but you must know that we have a strict policy that leadership positions in the church are for men only?’

Sonia was shocked. This was blatant sexism, and discrimination was not only unethical, but strictly prohibited by law.

But there was no happy ending for Sonia. In outrageous deference to patriarchal religion, the law provides an exemption such that churches can exclude women from whatever leadership positions they choose.

Sonia’s case should have received widespread publicity and there should be outrage in the community. ‘This feeds into a culture of disrespect; it encourages and emboldens perpetrators of domestic violence.’

Churches often claim to provide a moral compass to society. But in so many areas, the opposite is the reality. Churches are dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century as they doggedly hold onto customs from the dark ages: subordination of women; discrimination and persecution of homosexual people; ludicrous attitudes toward birth control and protection from STDs; the discrediting of the science of global warming.

It’s sad, because within church memberships are many good people, working in social welfare and environmental activism.

But whilst church leaders pay lip-service to concerns about domestic violence, they do everything in their power to retain the patriarchal privileges and attitudes that fuel violence against women.

Domestic violence will never be brought into check for a long as church ‘leaders’ hide behind the patriarchal and discriminatory exemptions offered by the law.

It’s way past time that we reform the law so that churches are no longer exempt from provisions that guarantee equality and protect against discrimination. These are values that are cherished by our contemporary society.

We need a new generation of politicians and law reformers who are prepared to stand up to the pious hypocrisy of religious intolerance, who are prepared to usher in a new era of true equality.

‘In the soil are the answers’

Vandana Shiva

greensefa under a Creative Commons Licence

In this Year of Soils, Vandana Shiva is on a mission to create awareness of the earth beneath our feet.

New Internationalist: You could have been a well-paid physicist, living in style in Mumbai. What first inspired you to focus on environmental activism instead?
Vandana: Even while doing physics I had got involved as a volunteer in the Chipko movement that stopped logging in my home region in the Himalaya. In 1982 the Ministry of Environment asked me to assess the impact of mining in Doon Valley. The study led to a Supreme Court case and the mines were shut down. I realized then that I could contribute much more outside formal research systems, and started the Research Foundation for Science Technology and Ecology. In 1984, as a consequence of the Bhopal disaster and Punjab violence, I undertook a study for the United Nations University which was published as a book, The Violence of the Green Revolution. In 1987 I was invited to attend a conference on biotechnology, and hearing the agrochemical corporations talk about how they needed to do genetic engineering to claim patents, and how they were working on an international Intellectual Property Treaty in the GATT – which became the WTO – I made a commitment to save seeds, and build movements on globalization, patents on seeds, and GMOs.

You’ve written that quantum theory taught you guiding principles for your life’s work. How so?
The quantum principles that have guided my life’s work are non-separability – separateness is not the nature of reality; the world is interconnected. Potential – potential is the nature of reality, not fixed and immutable particles. Everything has potential to evolve. Indeterminacy – because the world is not made of fixed determinate quantities and things, but is a fluid enfolding and unfolding of potential, indeterminateness and uncertainty. Uncertainty – is the nature of being. No excluded middle, no either or.

You’ve said that ‘in the soil are the answers to the problem that oil has created’. What is your top priority in the Year of Soils?
My priority in the Year of Soils is to create awareness about – and love and reverence for – the living soil that supports and sustains us. We have started working on a Manifesto on Soil that will be released at the Expo in Milan which is dedicated to feeding the world. We are preparing a film of Living Soil. In September we will offer a course on A-Z of Agroecology dedicated to training in living soil and living seed. On 1 October we will organize a festival dedicated to the Soil. And from 2-5 October we will organize a Soil pilgrimage. Hope your readers can join!

Why is ‘Seed Freedom’ so important to you?
Seed is the first link in the food chain. In seed is embodied millions of years of evolution, and thousands of years of breeding by our ancestors. In seed lies the future potential of agriculture. Seed freedom has become the most significant commitment of my life because of the threat of genetic engineering, the imposition of patent laws and seed laws that are trying to make seed-saving illegal in order to establish a corporate monopoly on seed. In India, high costs of seed and chemicals have pushed farmers into a debt trap. More than 291,000 indebted farmers have committed suicide. When farmers have their own seed, they have no debt. For the freedom of seed, of biodiversity, of farmers, of citizens, we all need to be engaged in Seed Freedom.

Contamination of organic crops by GMOs from neighbouring farms is a serious concern. What can be done?
Genetic pollution of organic farms by GMOs is a new form of pollution. Environmental laws recognize that polluters must pay. In the case of GMOs, corporations like Monsanto – which define seed as their intellectual property – should pay. UN Biosafety laws have a liability protocol. This should be implemented by every country.

What is your attitude to ‘corporate personhood’ – granting corporations the status of legal ‘persons’?
When corporations claim personhood, they rob citizens of their personhood. When citizens of Vermont were successful in having a labelling law passed, corporations sued Vermont on grounds of their ‘personhood’. They have tried to argue that citizens knowing what is in their food, and making choices on the basis of that information, is taking away the ‘free speech’ of the corporate person. The Investor State Dispute Settlement clauses in the New Free Trade treaties such as TPP and TIPP are in fact clauses of corporate personhood through which corporations want to have rights to sue governments that act in the public good on the basis of democracy. The rise of corporate personhood is the death of democracy, the death of sovereignty, the death of human rights, the end of freedom. We cannot allow this fiction to become the basis of governance.

Food security is a focus for you. But you also stress the importance of organic production in non-food crops such as cotton. Why is that?
I have witnessed cotton farmers getting trapped in debt as a monopoly of Bt cotton was established. The highest number of suicides is in the cotton belt. We have carried out research on soil and found beneficial organisms killed with Bt cotton. We are doing a study on pollinators. There are no pollinators in Bt cotton fields. To protect our ecosystems, our biodiversity, our soil, our farmers we must promote organic cotton. Farmers using native cotton seeds from Navdanya seed banks and practising organic production are getting double the yield and up to 10 times higher incomes. They are also growing organic food crops and organic kitchen gardens we call Gardens of Hope. Since the organic cotton project has freed farmers from debt, we call it Fibres of Freedom.

Interview by Brian Loffler.

Vandana Shiva is visiting Australia in March 2015 and will be speaking at:
* Sydney – Planet on a Plate – 6pm Friday 20 February
* WOMADelaide – The Planet Talks – 6pm Saturday 7 March

Creating hope – in conversation with Simran Sethi

Simran Sethi

Ken Goodman/TEDx Manhattan under a Creative Commons Licence

Indian American journalist and educator Simran Sethi was listed in The Independent’s 2007 Top-10 Green List, along with the likes of Al Gore and Nicholas Stern, and has been named ‘the environmental messenger’ by Vanity Fair. In March she will be appearing at the WOMADelaide festival in Australia, taking part in a Planet Talks session with Sylvia Earle.

New Internationalist: You started your journalism career as a documentary maker and reporter. But you’re clearly more interested in transforming the agenda instead of just reporting. Who or what first inspired you to become a sustainability activist?

Simran: I am not interested in forcing or changing an agenda. I believe my role as an educator and storyteller is to provide information that empowers people to enact change in their own lives. I’m just the messenger. The power isn’t in my hands; it’s in yours.

You’ve argued that design can save the planet. But most of the world’s design effort goes into creating the latest trend in disposable consumer goods. How can we hope to turn that around?

That is correct, and I mention that in the talks I give. Design can save the planet if we start to design with sustainability in mind. Efforts to design for 99 per cent of the population still struggling to have access to clean water, a steady supply of energy, nutritious food and safe shelter are humble and revolutionary. I want designers of all types – from industrial design to web design – to consider their power and the opportunities they have to help respond to – and solve – our biggest global challenges.

Analysts are beginning to suggest that social media is making it too easy for activists, that creating a viral campaign is now seen as an end in itself, whereas creating real change involves action and street-level organizing. What’s your recipe for converting slacktivism into grassroots community movements?

Do the work. There is no other way. Talk the talk, share the share, but ultimately live in a way that reflects your values and cares. We must all work together to manifest what we want.

Industrial agriculture and sustainability are seen by many as polar opposites. But you have long argued that we can’t hope to save our food systems if we don’t engage with corporate food producers. How do you see that happening when activists and corporates seem to live in such separate silos?

I am not aware of explicitly having said we need to engage with corporate food producers; however, I do feel we need to celebrate where people are and engage with everyone, including those who shop exclusively at [Australian supermarkets] Coles or Woolies. I have a graduate degree in business, and I believe in the transformative power of industry. We have seen from the climate-change struggle that engaging with a select group of people will not ultimately achieve the change we so desperately need. We need to understand what it is that people care about, respond to those needs, and work together to achieve our common goals.

Contemporary marketing theory stresses the importance of storytelling, and you’ve argued that the stories we tell need to link readily to people’s real-life experiences. But when we’re dealing with issues such as climate change, biodiversity breakdown, social inequality and the like, it’s hard to find stories that truthfully represent the long-term threats, without resorting to the doom and gloom of statistics and facts. Any tips?

Ask any farmer in [Australia’s] Yarra Valley how their vineyards are doing right now; ask Sydneysiders about the bushfires; ask Aboriginal communities about the state of bush tucker. These changes are no longer decades off or relegated to far-flung islands. They are here. Now. I believe we start by understanding what it is that people value and, from there – from a place of responding to what we hear – we explain what is at stake, what it is we are losing. I’ll use myself as an example: I care deeply about biodiversity, but when you tell me about species loss in the Amazon, I glaze over a bit. It isn’t that I don’t care; I just have a lot of other cares crowding out that one. Now tell me about that same loss in the context of foods I love, and you’ve hooked me. In fact, you’ve hooked me so much, I am writing a book about it.

Will Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love be aimed mainly at consumers, or will it also be a toolbox for policymakers and corporate leaders?

My book is for eaters – every single one of us. Mainly it’s for people whom I think the so-called foodie movement has overlooked. I believe change happens in humble ways in humble places. This book is about saving foods by eating them, by understanding the kinds of losses we are facing in agricultural biodiversity, and by understanding how we can come back from this loss. In all my work in environmentalism, this is the work that has brought me the greatest amount of hope and joy. We save foods – we save the essence of who we are – through a celebration of diversity by honouring the people and places that bring it to us. This engagement, this reverence, is world-changing and delicious.

Video is clearly one of the keys to generating community activism, and it’s something very close to your heart. But video channels are dominated by corporates who have huge amounts of money available to spend on production values. How can small, poorly resourced activist networks hope to compete?

All you have to do is look to YouTube and see that you don’t need huge amounts of money to make a viral video. The hook is the story. Not just any story, but one that resonates, one that touches a deep part of someone and makes them want to engage or laugh or share. The work isn’t in high production value; it’s in compelling narrative.

Interview by Brian Loffler.

Simran Sethi is visiting Australia in March 2015 and will be speaking at:
* Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne – Wheeler Centre Event – 1.45pm Sunday 1 March
* Sydney Opera House – All About Women – How to save the planet – 11am Sunday 8 March
* WOMADelaide – The Planet Talks – 5pm Monday 9 March
* Hawke Centre, Adelaide – In Conversation – 6.30pm Wednesday 11 March

Brian Loffler is a member of the New Internationalist Co-op in Adelaide, where he has been involved since 1981. He works mostly on expanding the supporter network in Australia for the New Internationalist’s independent journalism and fair trade campaigns.

The Earth needs a good lawyer

The earth from space

NASA Goddard Space Flight under a Creative Commons Licence

Once in a lifetime a truly game-changing event reshapes global society. Think back to 1833 when the British Parliament finally bowed to public pressure and the Slavery Abolition Act was passed. Now, in our lifetime, Polly Higgins is campaigning tirelessly to do for Earth Rights what the abolitionists did for Human Rights. And the goal is in sight. I spoke to Polly Higgins this week for an update.

Brian: We’re always fascinated to know what motivates people; what got you started on a lifetime of activism?
Polly: In my student days I met the Austrian artist and ecologist Hundertwasser. He was a big part of my life then. I went to Austria specifically to seek him out for an interview for my Master’s thesis. He was an ecological thinker so much ahead of his time. He talked about things such as: trees have rights; nature has no straight lines, so neither should our architecture.

But how do you think he would view the idea of a global law for the Earth? After all he was opposed to the European Union, let alone global legal frameworks.

That’s true. But he nevertheless had an expansive view of nature and the need to protect the Earth. His main concern there was with the tendency towards a homogenized culture; he was eager to celebrate the higher innate wisdom found in indigenous culture.

Ten years ago you were a regular lawyer appearing in the British court system, but that’s all changed. Why is that?
In 2005 I was a barrister representing a man who had suffered a serious workplace injury. There was a moment of silence while we were waiting for the judges, and I looked out the window and thought: ‘The Earth has been badly injured and harmed too, and something needs to be done about that.’ My next thought actually changed my life: ‘The Earth needs a good lawyer, too.’ When I looked around for the tools that I could use to defend the Earth in court, I realized those tools didn’t actually exist. But what if the earth had rights like we as humans have rights? International laws that criminalize genocide are now accepted as a valuable tool. Why couldn’t we also criminalize ecocide?

Are there any existing laws against ecocide?
Vietnam suffered very badly with environmental devastation during the war years, so they introduced ecocide into their domestic law in 1990. The USSR had also incorporated ecocide provisions, so following its collapse many of the newly independent nations maintained those provisions. But ecological destruction crosses national boundaries, and is often caused by transnational corporations, so an international legal framework is needed.

During your research you found that the UN had been considering introducing a crime against nature for decades. What went wrong?
In the lead-up to the adoption of the Rome Statute which led to the establishment of the International Criminal Court, there were to be five core international crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, crimes of aggression and ecocide. But last-minute lobbying – particularly by the US, Britain, Netherlands and France – saw ecocide dropped from the Statute.

So what hope is there of ecocide being reintroduced?
The Rome Statute can be reviewed in 2015, so right now is an important opportunity for the campaign to have the Statute amended. So far 122 nations – including Australia – are signatories to the Rome Statute. All it would take now to move the proposal forward is for one head of state to sponsor tabling of the draft legislation. There could then be a five-year transitional period and the law could be fully operational by 2020.

Critics of the ecocide campaign have argued that in the case of the greatest environmental challenge that we face – climate change – there is no single perpetrator to be readily identified. Wouldn’t we all be criminalized in that case?
That’s the beauty of the ecocide provisions. The law doesn’t have to accept the theory of human-induced climate change. Instead it looks at it holistically. Climate change is a symptom of damage to our ecosystems. The important thing is to put in place criminal law that leads to the abatement of dangerous industrial activity. And that’s where the ecocide provision is a game-changer. Prosecution for environmental damage under current national environmental law simply results in a fine, and corporations build that into their budgets. But with ecocide as a law enforced by the International Criminal Court, that would all be vastly different. The principle is known as ‘superior responsibility’ – those who are at the top who make decisions are held to account in a criminal court of law. That includes corporate CEOs, heads of state, regional premiers and heads of financial institutions.

You see this as being a game-changer, and that there would be a dramatic improvement in environmental stewardship. But corporations have huge teams of fancy lawyers, too. Are you confident that cases brought to court could be won? Or are you assuming that the deterrent effect alone would be sufficient?
What is crucial here is that there is a test that has to be met – a test that can be examined in court for prosecution purposes. This is a crucial difference between civil and criminal law – it’s not a matter of fancy lawyers, it’s a matter of evidence being brought. It’s far harder to deny ecocide in the face of data, visual evidence and research that demonstrates an ecocide than, say, a crime of theft.

Some people see you as anti-development.
That’s not at all the case. My goal is simply to provide a legal framework that enables corporate CEOs to become part of the team that protects our ecosystems. Currently the over-riding legal requirement for corporations is to maximize profits for shareholders. There comes a point when we say ‘this must stop’ – enough tipping points have been reached. Destroying the earth doesn’t work for humans, nature or corporations.

Are any retrospective provisions included in the draft law?
No – retrospectivity is not just. What is important is to give space for companies to turn around and be given the opportunity to have all the assistance they require to enable them to do so. That is why I propose a five-year transition period.

So what’s to be done about people who are already suffering the effects of previous ecocide?
There is a second type of ecocide defined in my proposed amendment that is equally important and very powerful – imputing a legal duty of care for naturally occurring ecocide. Island nations and countries like Bangladesh are being severely threatened by rising sea levels and intensifying storms. But when they appeal to the international community for help, they can be more or less ignored: ‘It’s not our responsibility.’ But the ecocide provision creates a legal duty of care for the international community to give assistance.

Is there something people can do to help?
Yes, for sure. Gift your time, energy and/or some funding! You can find out more at eradicatingecocide.com.

Watch Polly Higgins – TEDx Exeter:


Polly Higgins is visiting Australia in March 2014 and will be speaking at:
* WOMADelaide – The Planet Talks – 5pm Sunday 9th March 
* Adelaide – CEDA Environment series: Earth is our business - Adelaide Festival Centre – 3pm Tuesday 11th March 
* Brisbane – 6:15pm Wednesday 12th March – Earth Laws – Banco Court 
* Sydney – evening lecture – Thursday 13th March – University of New South Wales Law School

Australia: fresh hope in heading off conservative politics

2013-06-26 australia politics.jpg

In with the old: Kevin Rudd has taken back leadership of the ALP Australian Civil-Military Centre and Troy under a Creative Commons Licence

For a year or two I’ve been worrying about the prospect of Australia being led into the conservative austerity-ridden wilderness after the upcoming 2013 Federal election. Now as I write this, I’m glued to the television, watching as the Australian Labor Party (ALP) itself – not the electorate – gets rid of a sitting Prime Minister for the second time in three years.

Ever since former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was unceremoniously dumped by the ALP in 2010, less than three years after he had stormed to power in the 2007 election, the leadership tension between him and his successor Julia Gillard has frequently been the number one political story in the media. From the point of view of political debate it’s been a disaster.

But the night of 26 June has been a game-changer. The leadership tussle is over. Gillard will not contest the coming election so now, finally, we can have an election campaign where the issues are debated instead of more debate on whether or not Rudd will challenge for the leadership again.

Many of us had mixed feelings during Gillard’s time as Prime Minister. It was wonderful to finally have our first female leader. We relished the notion that she is so passionate about education. And she delivered: despite leading a minority government she negotiated hugely significant legislative reform, and together with Treasurer Wayne Swan, continued Rudd’s skilful steering of the economy to avoid the global financial crisis. Unemployment is low, inflation is low and generally the nation is in admirable shape overall, if one ignores the stresses caused by a two-speed economy.

Among the legislative reforms that Gillard pushed through were focused on education, the disability insurance scheme, the progressive restructuring of personal income taxes and putting a price on carbon pollution. But despite all of those successes, Gillard and Swan have simply been unable to convince the Australian people of their achievements. Instead the focus has been on failures and division. Before the last election, Gillard foolishly promised that there would be no carbon tax under her leadership, but was then forced to introduce putting a price on carbon because it was a condition of forming minority government with the Greens and Independents. That ‘broken promise’ has dogged her, even though reasonable people would well know that one has to embrace a changed position when circumstances change.

Sadly Gillard’s deeply-held personal commitment to social justice rarely shone through. Instead she usually stuck to prepared scripts, and delivering them was not her forte. Ironically, her farewell speech tonight was one of the best she has given. She was warm, funny and positive despite the hammering she’d just been through.

So what can we expect if the Rudd leadership Mark 2 should pull the rabbit out of the hat and win this year’s election? For a start, same-sex marriage will be more likely to be seriously debated and hopefully won. Rudd recently came out saying that he had changed his mind on this issue, and that religious-based opposition should not override what the community wants. Many of us were puzzled as to why Gillard continued her personal opposition to same-sex marriage and was not prepared to take a stand on this issue of obvious discrimination. It was particularly puzzling since one of her very senior ministers has a young child in a same-sex relationship, a relationship that is such a brilliant role-model for the cause.

Then there is the carbon tax, which Kevin Rudd championed with so much enthusiasm up till the 2009 Copenhagen climate negotiations. After two failed attempts to get legislation for an emissions trading scheme through the parliament, he refused to call a double dissolution of parliament to bring it to a head, despite having famously called climate change the greatest moral issue of our time.

But now that Julia Gillard has successfully battled to get the carbon tax in place – and suffered huge criticism when Australia’s fixed carbon price was several times higher than the traded price in Europe – it will be easier for Rudd to argue successfully for the transition to an emissions trading scheme to be brought forward much sooner. The Gillard legislation has the fixed price carbon tax running till 2015 before it transitions to an emissions trading scheme.

And what of the mining super-profits tax that Rudd was attempting to put in place when he was ousted in 2010? At the time, Gillard’s negotiating skills were roundly applauded because she was able to put in place a tax that ended the vitriolic campaign against it from vested interests in the mining industry. Had the anti-campaign not stopped, it might well have led to the Labor Party losing the 2010 election. But even that victory has turned to dust. The billions of dollars that the tax was supposed to raise have ended up only raising hundreds of millions instead, ensuring the government’s balance sheet stayed in the red instead of the promised surplus this year.

Earlier this year Rudd criticised Gillard’s watering down of the mining super-profits tax. He was reported as saying ‘No government should ever take a backwards step in pursuit of the national interest.’ But would he be prepared to take on the mining industry again if he happens to win the forthcoming election?

So should we applaud the dumping of Gillard and the reinstatement of Rudd? Probably yes, particularly if he can give progressive parties a better chance of holding conservatism at bay in the elections which must be held this year. Even if Tony Abbott, the Liberal Party leader, does win the election for the conservatives, Rudd’s performance in the election campaign should at least ensure that the Senate does not also have a conservative majority. We saw the painful results of a conservative clean sweep in the years when former Prime Minister John Howard controlled both houses. If Rudd can at least prevent that, the nation should be grateful.

The biggest leak in the world?

On 10 October 2011 BHP Billiton received environmental approvals for the expansion of the Olympic Dam copper and uranium mine, 550km north of Adelaide in South Australia, with plans to make it one of the world's biggest open pit mines. Copper production is set to increase from around 180,000 tonnes to 750,000 tonnes per annum.

It has been reported that the mine is already in the record books for all the wrong reasons, using so much water from the Great Artesian Basin that it is the largest industrial user of underground water in the southern hemisphere.

Howls of protest have followed the announcement of environmental approvals for the dam expansion, and protesters in Adelaide have erected a giant waste barrel in the Adelaide CBD (pictured) to illustrate the amount of seepage of radioactive waste back into the groundwater from the proposed tailings dams.

Protestors in Adelaide erected a giant waste barrel in the CBD

'At 40 years of operation, the new tailings dams at Olympic Dam will have leaked well over 47.5 billion litres of radioactive waste into the underlying rock and groundwater, approximately 540,000 of these barrels,' said Riley Ashton, a spokesperson for the protesters.

Dr Gavin Mudd of the Environmental Engineering Department at Monash University has prepared a report indicating that 'not recovering the uranium is not only technically feasible but could also help reduce energy and water inputs as well as pollution outputs.'

Dr Gavin Mudd's Report (pdf)

Teaching about genocide

  • jjj j jffjnbgyjjjh
  • llkj jjhg ffjnbgyjjjh
  • Here are a few suggestions for classroom discussion, and some suggested resources for students and teachers. First read the keynote of the New Internationalist special issue on [Genocide](/issues/2005/12/01/)

    Discussion topics and activities

    What are the differences between bullying on an international and a personal level?

    Online Activity

    Try the [Darfur Is Dying online game](http://www.darfurisdying.com/)

    Teacher resources

    Australia

    [Genocide in Australia – Discussion Paper](http://www.aiatsis.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/5747/DP08.pdf)

    North America

    [Is the Native American Experience a Genocide? – Lesson Plan](http://www.chgs.umn.edu/Educational_Resources/Curriculum/Sample_Curricula/Curricula6.pdf)

    [Teaching About Genocide: A Guidebook for College and University Teachers](http://www.hri.ca/publications/genocide)

    [Classroom Connect - Teaching With the Internet – Holocaust / Bosnia-Herzegovina / Rwanda / East Timor / Japan etc](http://twi.classroom.com/holocaust)

    Ireland

    [80:20 Genocide Explored schools project – Ireland](http://www.8020.ie/ir_genocide.htm)

    NZ

    [Social Studies Online – The Holocaust Unit Plan](http://www.tki.org.nz/r/socialscience/curriculum/SSOL/holocaust/index_e.php)

    UK

    [Aegis - Genocide Education Module](http://www.aegistrust.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=317&Itemid=266)

    Brian Loffler is a member of the Australian New Internationalist cooperative. He'd be pleased to receive additional discussion, activity and resource suggestions. Contact Brian by [email](mailto:[email protected]?SUBJECT=Teaching genocide - suggestion&BODY=My suggestion is relevant internationally / for country:)