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In the light of the tight July election in Australia, Peter Whiting‘s editorial focuses on the qualities of leadership needed in our political parties to manage globalisation, and particularly to avoid the increasing inequality occurring overseas, with the resulting instability.
Across the western world, people are revolting against political and economic systems which are demonstrably unfair and are polarising rich and poor. Bruce Duncan looks at growing inequality in the United States and elsewhere, and how this neoliberal philosophy has influenced the 2016 election in Australia.
Tony French expresses concern about creeping anti-terrorism legislation in Australia, and how this is encroaching on civil liberties we have taken for granted. He asks why Australians have so passively surrendered rights, and cautions that rights have had to be earned, but can easily be lost.
In developing countries, great numbers of people have been flooding from rural areas into major cities, and it has become important that living standards in rural areas increase to hold people there. Augustine Doronila reports on microcredit schemes promoted by the Economy of Communion, which aims to increase people’s control over their economic and social circumstances.
Despite Australia’s assistance to East Timor in 1999, the Timor Gap Treaty in 2006 was greatly to Australia’s benefit. East Timor has sought to have the treaty renegotiated on fair terms, but the Australian government has declined to do this. Sr Susan Connelly outlines how East Timor has appealed to the United Nations for a compulsory conciliation to secure fair maritime boundaries, particularly as they affect oil revenues.
Climate specialist Professor Clive Hamilton considers the implications of global warming on current trajectories, reiterating warnings of dire consequences if we do not urgently reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. He reviews global responses so far, although these are only beginning to address the looming threat. He sees some signs of hope in the remedial action taken following the Paris conference in 2015.
Environmental engineer Geoff Lacey invites us to re-order our relationship with our natural world, and shows how we can be involved actively in our local communities at a practical level. This means exploring the wonders of nature close by, in our gardens, bush areas, trees, plants, birds, soil, and animals. It means seeing our world with new eyes, and doing what we can to restore or preserve a life-giving environment.
To see this excellent talk by Jeffrey Sachs,
follow this link, and scroll to the third video down.
Sachs is the first speaker after the introductory remarks,
starting 5 minutes into the video, and continuing for 9 minutes.
Other speakers follow him if you wish to listen to them.
This Youtube from the Global Catholic Climate Movement is
part of a series of talks on the implications of Laudato Si’,
the call by Pope Francis to address poverty, inequality, and climate change.