“……….Willacy is a meticulous investigative journalist. Invariably questions would arise as to whether the disasters of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami could have been mitigated or, in the case of the Fukushima disaster, prevented.
Willacy distilled hundreds of hours of interviews from ordinary people to the ex-Prime Minister which, together with official reports, provide compelling arguments that this indeed could have been the case at every level. Such is the benefit of hindsight.
Fukushima underscores the importance of Australia’s correspondents for bringing veracity to the reporting of events affecting our region. Perhaps with the exception of a cadre of Japanese freelance journalists, Willacy outlines why the Japanese kisha kurabu press clubs, formed from the dominant Japanese news organisations, would not have subjected Japan’s power companies and government officials to the same degree of relentless scrutiny leading up to and following March 11, 2011.
Willacy’s Fukushima stands as a strong historical document. But like the ancient granite stones that warned generations of Japanese of the dangers of tsunamis of times past, the lessons contained within the book’s pages are perhaps at risk of being ignored at peril.
The distaste for the Japanese nuclear industry has receded. In 2012, the pro-nuclear Liberal Democratic Party was swept back into power and plans to restart nuclear power plants across the country have commenced. Notably, this includes the Hamaoka nuclear power plant, which sits directly above a fault line in a region where a large undersea earthquake is expected within the next 30 years.
This reason alone makes Willacy’s Fukushima essential reading.http://theconversation.com/the-case-for-mark-willacys-fukushima-24980
Darwin: Australia’s most militarised city, and a lily pad for the Pentagon Australians know the isolated and exotic city of Darwin through stories about cyclones, crocodiles and Aboriginal art, but it really is a cleverly camouflaged garrison town Tess Lea theguardian.com, Monday 31 March 2014 In his recent book Anzac’s Long Shadow: The Cost of our National Obsession, former ADF soldier James Brown correlates deep Australian ignorance about our contemporary military with our increasingly fantastical commemoration of the Anzac legend. Bedazzled by myths of Gallipoli, Australians neglect more pressing defence policy concerns.
Australians prefer to see the isolated and exotic city of Darwin through stories about cyclones, crocodiles, Aboriginal art, spicy market food and unlimited road speeds; a place that lets you go to the supermarket in bare feet and look normal. This way, we don’t have to notice the most significant militarisation effort in Australia’s post-war history, which is happening under our noses. The militarisation of the north is unknown to most of us and thanks to this ignorance, the new Cold War brewing in the Asia Pacific region, and Darwin’s place in it, is rarely being debated………
In allowing Australia’s foreign policy interests to be played out of sight, out of mind, in a town that also hides its own nature from itself, we avoid debating difficult questions. What does being a subordinate ally to a military force clinging to its global primacy commit us to? What are our liabilities and responsibilities? At what point do Australian sovereign interests diverge from America’s security objectives? And what are we prepared to do about it? http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/31/darwin-a-complicated-but-dazzling-history
Review:“Utopia” by John Pilger exposes Apartheid Australia’s Aboriginal Genocide Bella Ciao by: Dr Gideon Polya Friday March 14, 2014 The must-see movie “Utopia”, by the outstanding expatriate Australian humanitarian journalist John Pilger, exposes the horrendous circumstances of the Indigenous (Aboriginal) Australians. The following review summarizes the main points raised in “Utopia” and in doing so attempts to quantify and document these horrendous abuses of the ongoing Aboriginal Genocjde by what John Pilger describes an Apartheid Australia. Continue reading
AUDIO: Dark Emu argues against ‘Hunter Gatherer’ history of Indigenous Australians ww.abc.net.au/local/audio/2014/03/17/3965103.htm By Hilary Smale and Vanessa Mills
A fresh perspective of Indigenous history showing evidence of village populations, crop harvesting, and irrigation, is all explored Bruce Pascoe’s new book Dark Emu. The common perception of Indigenous Australians leading a ‘hunter-gatherer’ lifestyle before European settlement is ignoring strong evidence of sophisticated farming and agriculture practices, argues Mr Pascoe.
“There certainly was a lot of movement… but there was also a lot more sedentary living than we were led to believe.”……….Mr Pascoe would like to see the book change how history is now taught.
“I never learnt it when I was at school; my son never learnt it, my daughter never learnt it.
Why are we not telling Australian children of the success and the achievements of Aboriginal Australia?”
Dark Emu is published through Magabala Books.
Bruce Pascoe spoke about Dark Emu with Vanessa Mills for Kimberley Mornings.
The massive destruction whites have inflicted on the landscape is unforgiveable. Now we have no excuse. Gammage has told us how it was done. Let’s hope it is not too late. As Gammage says, one day we might be able to call ourselves Australian.
Australia: How the Aboriginal people managed ‘the biggest estate on Earth Review by Coral Wynter
The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines made Australia
By Bill Gammage
Links, March 13, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- This is an extraordinary book, one that will increase your appreciation of the country’s first people, as we begin to understand their amazing knowledge and sheer genius in the way they cared for the land, or as Bill Gammage calls it the “biggest estate on Earth”.
Gammage describes with many examples how the Aborigines looked after the land. No corner was forgotten, including deserts, rainforests and rocky outcrops, across the entire continent for at least 60,000 years until the colonisers began to destroy all this labour after their arrival in 1788.
The Aborigines judiciously used fire to create parklands, with huge, stately trees and grass underneath on rich black soil to feed, then harvest kangaroos and wallabies, as well as to grow yams and spinach. They used cool fires to preserve and maintain the biodiversity of Australia’s orchids, ferns, fruit trees and edible plants. They used “templates” to judiciously burn areas with plants sensitive to fire.
Australia in 1788 was a paradise, which was much more than just sustainable, but instead yielded an abundance of food, which could feed a huge population, some estimates say as many as 8 million people. Continue reading
there can never be a return to the pre-1788 situation, his cry is that we must redouble our efforts to understand it and learn from it
“We have a continent to learn. If we are to survive, let alone feel at home, we must begin to understand our country. If we succeed, we might one day become Australian’.
The answer to burning questions, Online opinion, By Roger Underwood, 29 Nov 13 “…………The Biggest Estate on Earth, subtitled How Aborigines Made Australia is a large and beautifully presented book. The author, Bill Gammage, is well-known in historical and literary circles, regarded by many as the foremost historian of Australian participation in the First World War. Gammage’s capacity for painstaking research and careful scholarship, formerly directed at military history, has now been turned to the Australian landscape and Aboriginal land management. The result is compelling.
He rejects the view that Aboriginal people were backward and uncivilised, or that they were people who “trod lightly on the ground” as a minor component of the ecosystem. Instead, he argues that Aboriginal people were skilful, determined and experienced land managers who were active across the breadth of the Australian continent and Tasmania, operating to a strict set of rules (‘The Law’) about what areas must be burned, when, how, for what purpose, and by whom. They not only knew how to manipulate the Australian landscape and biota to optimise their food resources, but they knew how to sustain pleasing and safe living conditions, and to facilitate their comfortable life style and their spiritual demands. Continue reading
Report offers field guide to the climate change denial industry, Guardian, Graham Readfearn, 13 Sept 13, Greenpeace report documents the who, what, when and how of a long-running campaign to block action on climate change It writes boilerplate legislation, runs extensive PR campaigns, puffs CVs with fake credibility, facilitates or promotes the intimidation of climate scientists and advocates, publishes books, organises speaking tours and conferences, gets on the telly and radio a lot, uses Freedom of Information laws as a surveillance tool, pays scientists to speak and – crucially – it manufactures doubt and confusion among policy makers, politicians and the public about climate change.
To get this work done, it has accepted many millions of dollars from fossil fuel interests or ideologically-driven conservative donors who funnel their cash through anonymous trust funds because they are too cowardly to put their mouths and their money in the same place.
We’re talking about the international climate science denial industry. Now it has a field guide, of sorts, courtesy of researchers at environment group Greenpeace.
Published this week, Dealing in Doubt: The Climate Denial Machine Vs Climate Science recounts the history of efforts to underplay the risks of human-caused climate change, to deny the scientific evidence and to misrepresent the state of the collective knowledge of genuine scientists on the issue.
Oh, and it comes with fun little caricatures of some of the key characters in the denial industry.
While we remember our casualties in overseas wars, no toll exists for Aboriginal deaths during the brutal colonisation of Australia.
“……the kind of paradox that Reynolds gamely wrestles with throughout this closely argued account. For the past 40 years, in a succession of such volumes, he has continued to wrestle with it, approaching it from those two peripheries of the Australian imagination, Queensland and Tasmania, and coming closer and closer each time to pinning it to the mat. Patiently, and with admirable, indomitable energy, he keeps informing the Australian public of things they need to know, but which many of them do not wish to hear.
What he is now basically saying is: Forget the so-called history wars. They represent a hollow, media-driven campaign to deny the undeniable. Focus instead on the war for Australia: that is, the extended and bloody destruction of Aboriginal first nations across almost 150 years of frontier strife – the utter territorial dispossession of perhaps as many as 1 million people, and a unilateral assumption of their sovereignty, accomplished with swaths of escalating violence.
This was, as Reynolds writes, ”one of the greatest appropriations of land in world history”, unmatched elsewhere in speed and scale. It is the basis of every leaven of prosperity in Australia today. An accompanying ”progressive transfer of sovereignty” was equally a blatant ”transaction of global significance”.
It was ”a double usurpation” of both the right to exercise authority over one’s territory and of customary title to land. What was done here, in short, was anomalous and ”manifestly not consonant with international law or the practice of nations at the time”. It was, Reynolds claims, ”an outrage, a violation of international usage, the assertion of a monstrous principle”.
No wonder, then, that it led dually to such degrees of violence and cover-up. Continue reading
A Short History of Nuclear Folly [Hardcover] http://www.amazon.com/A-Short-History-Nuclear-Folly/dp/1612191738/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1369261455&sr=8-1&keywords=short+history+of+nuclear+folly
Rudolph Herzog, the acclaimed author of Dead Funny, presents a devastating account of history’s most irresponsible uses of nuclear technology. From the rarely-discussed nightmare of “Broken Arrows” (40 nuclear weapons lost during the Cold War) to “Operation Plowshare” (a proposal to use nuclear bombs for large engineering projects, such as a the construction of a second Panama Canal using 300 H-Bombs), Herzog focuses in on long-forgotten nuclear projects that nearly led to disaster.
In an unprecedented people’s history, Herzog digs deep into archives, interviews nuclear scientists, and collects dozens of rare photos. He explores the “accidental” drop of a Nagasaki-type bomb on a train conductor’s home, the implanting of plutonium into patients’ hearts, and the invention of wild tactical nukes, including weapons designed to kill enemy astronauts.
Told in a riveting narrative voice, Herzog—the son of filmmaker Werner Herzog—also draws on childhood memories of the final period of the Cold War in Germany, the country once seen as the nuclear battleground for NATO and the Warsaw Pact countries, and discusses evidence that Nazi scientists knew how to make atomic weaponry . . . and chose not to.
A first wave of David Bradbury’s critically acclaimed filmography is now available for immediate streaming video on ScreenZone.tv:
ON THE FRONTLINE: A ScreenZone interview with David Bradbury, 15 Jan 13 “……DB: My current film examines the three stages of the nuclear film cycle on a very personal level. It started when I met an aboriginal woman called Isabelle Dingamah (sic) about four years ago, and I started to film her story. She is one of the traditional custodians of the land at Roxby [Downs]. As a little girl she’d had the British atom bomb dropped on her and her family when she was 18-months-old. It’s kind of Shakespearian.
It’s unfolded organically, which is how I make my documentaries, and filmed as I go. Continue reading
Together with some of the most brilliant thinkers and inspiring advocates of our time, including Maude Barlow, Bill McKibben, Daniel Ellsberg, Lily Tomlin, and many others, Caldicott—whom Meryl Streep has called “my inspiration to speak out”—scrutinizes our unsustainable dependence on nuclear energy and the absurdity of nuclear arms and seeks to raise awareness about other planetary issues, including deforestation, sea-level rise, and privatization of water reserves.
Loving This Planet Leading Thinkers Talk About How to Make a Better World HELEN CALDICOTT paperback $17.95
PAPERBACK ORIGINAL MORE THAN TWO DOZEN INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED ADVOCATES DISCUSS THE STATE OF THE PLANET IN CANDID CONVERSATIONS WITH LEADING ANTINUCLEAR ACTIVIST DR. HELEN CALDICOTT
God bless Helen Caldicott. —LOS ANGELES TIMES Ever since quitting her job as a pediatrician at Harvard Medical School in 1980, Helen Caldicott has worke d tirelessly for a safe, sustainable, nuclear-free planet, most recently by hosting a weekly radio show featuring environmentalists and leading activists from around the globe.
Together with some of the most brilliant thinkers and inspiring advocates of our time, including Maude Barlow, Bill McKibben, and many others, Caldicott—whom Meryl Streep has called “my inspiration to speak out”—scrutinizes our unsustainable dependence on nuclear energy and the absurdity of nuclear arms and seeks to raise awareness about other planetary issues, including deforestation, sea-level rise, and privatization of water reserves.
In these stirring conversations, we hear from Martin Sheen on the power of grassroots movements and the ability of unionized labor to influence politicians; Jonathan Schell, bestselling author and contributing editor to The Nation and Harper’s Magazine, on key environmental and economic fallacies; and award-winning nuclear engineer Arjun Makhijani on transitioning to a society based completely on renewable energy, omitting the need for fossil fuels or nuclear power. Continue reading
Bill gives meaning to ‘Wagga’, The Daily Advertiser, 04 Apr, 2012 ,A WAGGA-educated academic historian returned to town at the weekend giving residents a new insight into the ‘Wagga Wagga’ name. Professor Bill Gammage from the Australian National University was invited to speak by the Wagga and District Historical Society about his latest publication telling those in attendance ‘Wagga’ means more than just ‘place of many crows’.
His book, The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia, explores the discovery that Aboriginal people managed the land in far more systematic and scientific ways than ever before realised using a complex system of land management in fire and life cycles of native plants to ensure plentiful wildlife and plant foods throughout the year.
“It argues that Aborigines organised plants and distributed them in a way that would allow them to organise animals,” Mr Gammage said. “So when you take the name Wagga, which means place of many crows, it would actually be describing the landscape so they would know what it looked like,” Mr Gammage said. “They knew it meant there were plenty of crows, which meant there were lizards, snakes and grasslands which led to tubas and bulbs and a lot of open grass country.”…. . http://www.dailyadvertiser.com.au/news/local/news/general/bill-gives-meaning-to-wagga/2510896.aspx
Book Review, by Antony Loewenstein, The Sunday Age magazine, 1 April 12, Dirty Money, by Matthew Benns, “…. Benns documents a litany of dirty deals, grubby environmnetal catastrophes and health scares. Tghe only conclusion from this essential bookis that Australia has a bipartisan belief in giving the resource industry whatever it wants and screwing the long term expense”
Gladys Milroy protecting country and culture through storytelling, ABC North West W.A. By Elise Batchelor, 9 March, 2012 Between the lines of this children’s book is a much bigger story about culture and country…… there’s a quiet achiever writing a powerful tale tackling big issues. The mining resources boom in northern Western Australia is such an issue. And Aboriginal elder Gladys Milroy, along with daughter Professor Jill Milroy, has written a story on the subject to charm and challenge children and adults alike….
the tale told of the relationship between these outback animals and dingo’s tree holds a far deeper wisdom. For it’s mining
which has plundered the landscape, destroying the balance between development and the natural environment. In reading the story, it’s therefore perhaps useful to remove one’s hard hat and wonder – how far is too far with the resources boom?…
…”Dingo’s Tree” is published by Magabala Books. Gladys and daughter Jill Milroy, Dean of Indigenous Studies at the University of Western Australia, co-authored this tale born of manyvisits to their country out Nullagine, Marble Bar way.
VIDEO 7.30 – ABC Aussie scientists lead race for renewable fuel 7.30 – ABC , 14 April 11, LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: With the price of fuel hitting $1.50 a litre, there’s a growing push to develop renewable alternatives. Scientists in Australia are part of the global race to develop new biofuels. In fact researchers here claim to be leading the world with a project turning waste into oil. But investment in such technologies is slow while industries wait for further detail on the proposed carbon tax. Continue reading