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Vol 88 Issue 2 APR–JUN 2017

Vol 88 Issue 1 JAN–MAR 2017

Best of Land of the Free (Market):

Australia's Blue Carbon Future

The Oxymoron of American Democracy

Oceans fight back against climate change

2017

including: Prof Brian greene | dr emma Beckett

| dr soPhie lewis

ExtREME CliMAtE ChANgE:

|

dr Peter macreadie & more

20,000 lEAguEs uNdER thE sEA:

tRust ME, i'M A sCiENtist

Damage and Responsibility

SF & Seafaring

including: Prof graham maddox

|

dr geoff James

|

PeRsoNALised MediciNe:

a/Prof Kristine Barlow-stewart & more

A steAMPUNk VisioN:

More Than Just Personal

Prosumers

Vol 88 Issue 3 JUL–SEP 2017

2017 Special Edition

Vol 88 Issue 4 OC T–DEC 2017

Law, Legitimacy and Activism in the Anthropocene

Your FREE Special Edition |

Prof frank StilwEll

REdEfining inEqUaLity:

‘Not the Economy, Stupid’

Global Solutions

Lawfare in Australia

Inequality in Australia including: Eva cox ao

oPeN scieNce dRUg discoVeRy:

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david HEtHErington

dividEd CitiES, dividEd CoUntRy

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JanE SloanE & morE

dRowning in thE RiSing tidE: Policy and Inequality

including: dR cOlin ScHOleS

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dR cRiSty claRk

ThE LOsT CiTy:

A Homage to Aleppo

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Sean Ryan

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caROline gRaHam & mORe

sun, WinD AnD firE Energy in the Pacific

BETWEEn ThE CrACks with Andy Matter


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Law, legitimacy and activism in the 22 Anthropocene

Under-mining public trust 38

Battlers win when the law is fair climate change

not 'the Economy, Stupid' Between the gaps: Empowering Citizens Speculative fiction and the EVA COx AO Science and SciComm with future PROfof AlIseafaring BABAR Andy Matter

The rhetoric of lawfare

DR CRISTy CLARk 28 SEAn 3 RyAn 414 19 Redefining Inequality: Australia’sDisinformation: Blue 20,000 Leagues Indefinite Smart Cities: 10 18 It's the Inequity of Social Trust, Carbon Under the Sea The PoliticalFuture Capital of Fear Socio-Technical Innovation for

oceansBURNSIDE fight backAO against JULIAN QC STEPhEn kEIM SC AnD DR PEtER MACREADIE ALEx MCkEAn

ISAbELLE GuARAN DR AnDREw STAPLETOn

21 11 15 12

36 11 31 27 24

American Democracy DR EMMA bECkEtt Our Parliaments

kARA SMITh PROf GRAhAM MADDOx PROF CLEMENT MACINTYRE

Rising Tide: Great expectations More Than Just Personal Homage to Aleppo Understanding theand Ethics of the Art of Whinging Policy and Inequality A/PROf KRISTINE BARlOW-STEWART CAROLInE GRAhAM Human Enhancement Australia DRinANDREw StAPLEtON

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Prosumers and Frequency Control

Portents for the Post- Anthropocene Geological era

Trust Me, Land of the Free (Market) Discordant Voices: Book review The oxymoron I’m a Scientist How Choir Music Helped Shape Watching Out byofJulian Burnside

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A Steampunk Vision DR GEOff JAMES

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The Plutocene References

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australian Quarterly

e certainly live in eventful times…distressing times, but eventful. ne of the most complex – and polarising – social debates is that of euthanahas been thehot yeartopic of Donald – for all the wrong reasons. Thetheir only sia,2017 an increasingly as theTrump Baby Boomers approach and exceed way to look optimistically upon this first year is to hope that this is the nadir average life expectancy. of the old/white/rich/male hold on world politics. From here, the pendulum Yet for younger generations, life expectancies are continuing to increase; people caninonly towards tolerance, diversity, and considered political born theswing not-too-distant-future will, on average, live beyond 100. debate... As this

In Australia, still feels like a novelty to have had the PM for consecutive months, happens, the it foremost existential fear will probably notsame be death, but24the problem of mainbut without a signature and the continued kowtowing to the venomous corners taining a high quality of achievement life. of his when party,we’re Turnbull’s rope looking ever shorter. How, all living tois100, are we going to keep from losing our marbles and physical Whether it A was the same-sex survey, the citizenship debacle (that claimed the deputy capacities? couple of optionspostal present themselves: Do we learn how to better maintain our PM), the brutal anduse senseless treatment of refugees, the ofUluru Statement, the brain the and NBN, our bodies, or do we science to improve the very nature ourselves? Finkel Review, Turnbull’s talent seems to company, have beenCSL, to anger everyone, matter This year Australia’s mostprimary successful biosciences celebrates 100noyears of his decision. saving and extending life. In this edition CSL Florey Medal winner, Prof Perry Bartlett, takes Yet even though Adani fiasco will continue to flop into yet another year, it is likely that us on a tour of thethe ageing brain. Exciting new techniques and treatments in neuroscience are 2017 can admirably remembered as the year where the Coalition’s war on renewables promising to radicallybe rejuvenate our grey matter. began to look ridiculous indefensible. Yet what if we could be and made impervious to the cruelties of ageing by changing the chem-

Elon swooped in to deliver the world’s largest battery facility, while the world’s istry,Musk genetics or physicality of our own bodies? The ethicsstorage of human enhancement is set largest solar plant wassocial, approved for Port Augusta, debate and more and face moreour large-scale to become thethermal most important political and scientific to ever species. wind and solar projects acrossofthe And in return for its Dr Stephen Clarke offerswere us anapproved understanding thecountry. discussion so far, and where theaggressive debate is targets, heading South next. Australian are expected to have the lowest energy costs in the country in 2018. For it has beenProf an Derek excellent year,provides highlighted by ouroverview annual Special Edition,ofthis year AlsoAQ in this issue, Abbott a searing of the viability nuclear on Inequality in science Australia. Itinto wasan also one of our issues; no surprise the power, bringing back argument toomost oftenpopular hijacked by ideologies. Angiven absolute esteemed must read!line-up including Eva Cox AO, Prof Peter Whiteford and Prof Frank Stilwell. From depths of the ocean investigating Carbon,an to industry the nuclear future of the PlutoAnd isthe Australia falling behind in the race Blue to establish in life-saving cell and cene, AQ has continued to bring Australia thebut bestDr in-depth, evidence-based writing the genetic therapies? The answer looks to be yes, Sherry Kothari, CEO of the CRCfrom for Cell experts. Therapy Manufacturing, thinks it might not be too late… We hope that you to enjoy free 2017’ issue.contributor: And 2018 isscience shaping up to be even bigger also welcome the this pages of ‘Best AQ a of new regular communicator, scienand better. So don’t your Stapleton, chance to subscribe AQ in print or digital forscience as little as $15 tist and happy cynic,miss Dr Andy who’ll be to bringing you the topics in that fall a year! Or buy a friend the gift of debate with a subscription for Xmas. between the cracks. Stay safe andfind we’llmore see you in 2018. As always, from AQ on Facebook (@AQAustralianQuarterly) and Twitter (@AQjournal). Follow AQ on Twitter (@AQjournal) Or stay in touch on Facebook!

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NOTEs fOr CONTribuTOrs AQ welcomes submissions of articles and manuscripts on contemporary economic, political, social and philosophical issues, especially where scientific insights have a bearing and where the issues impact on Australian and global public life. All contributions are unpaid. Manuscripts should be original and have not been submitted or published elsewhere, although in negotiation with the Editor, revised prior publications or presentations may be included. Submissions may be subject to peer review. Word length is between 1000 and 3000 words. longer and shorter lengths may be considered. Articles should be written and argued clearly so they can be easily read by an informed, but non-specialist, readership. A short biographical note of up to 50 words should accompany the work. The Editor welcomes accompanying images. Authors of published articles are required to assign copyright to the Australian Institute of Policy and Science, including signing of a license to Publish which includes acceptance of online archiving and access through JSTOR (from 2010) or other online publication as negotiated by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science. In return, authors have a non exclusive license to publish the paper elsewhere at a future date. The inclusion of references and endnotes is the option of the author. Our preference is for these to be available from the author on request. Otherwise, references, endnotes and abbreviations should be used sparingly and kept to a minimum. Articles appearing in AQ are indexed ABC POl SCI: A Bibliography of Contents: Political Science and Government. The International Political Science Abstracts publishes abstracts of political science articles appearing in AQ. Copyright is owned by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science. Persons wishing to reproduce an article, or part thereof, must obtain the Institute’s permission. Contributions should be emailed to: The Editor at info@aips.net.au

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EDiTOr: Grant Mills assisTaNT EDiTOr: Camille Thomson DEsiGN aND prODuCTiON: Art Graphic Design, Canberra priNTiNG: Newstyle Printing, Adelaide subsCripTiONs: www.aips.net.au/aq-magazine/ subscribe ENQuiriEs TO: Camille Thomson, General Manager, AIPS, PO Box M145, Missenden Road NSW 2050 Australia Phone: +61 (02) 9036 9995 Fax: +61 (02) 9036 9960 Email: info@aips.net.au Website: www.aips.net.au/ aq-magazine/ Facebook: www.facebook.com/ AQAustralianQuarterly ISSN 1443-3605 AQ (Australian Quarterly) is published by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science. This project is supported by the Commonwealth Government through a grant-in-aid administered by the Department of Finance and Deregulation. ACN 000 025 507 The AIPS is an independent body which promotes discussion and understanding of political, social and scientific issues in Australia. It is not connected with any political party or sectional group. Opinions expressed in AQ are those of the authors. DirECTOrs Of ThE ausTraliaN iNsTiTuTE Of pOliCy aND sCiENCE: leon R Beswick (co-Chair) Andrew Goodsall Maria Kavallaris (co-Chair) Jennelle Kyd Suresh Mahalingam Ross McKinnon Peter M McMahon Peter D Rathjen


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January 2017

Australia’s Blue Carbon Future

oceans fight back against climate change Australia’s marine industries are expected to contribute $100 billion pa to our economy by 2025, but there is uncertainty how our oceans will cope with increased exploitation and climate change. At risk are important ecosystem services that are also vital to our economy and society – such as carbon sequestration, coastal protection, and nutrient cycling – which are not commoditised or adequately valued, yet they underpin Australia’s marine economy. ARTICle BY: Dr peTer MAcreADie

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here is a growing movement to recognise the vital link between our marine economy and the natural ecosystems from which they derive, to support decision-making and better resource management. The poster child for the movement is ‘blue carbon’ – which refers to carbon that is stored and sequestered by the oceans, and represents a powerful new opportunity for offsetting Australia’s carbon emissions while creating an innovative mechanism for coastal restoration and protection. I’m normally pretty quick to hang up on phone sales people, but as someone deeply concerned about climate change, it was hard to ignore this: “Hi I’m from your energy supplier and I’d like to know if you want to switch to green energy and reduce your impact on the environment?” My response: “of course, who wouldn’t?! Sign me up!” After some pleasant banter about how wonderful it is that our world is increasingly switching to green energy, I was ready to end the conversation and get back to my family dinner. But then came something I wasn’t expecting, as the salesman said: “So can I go ahead and authorise the extra


AuStRALIA’S bLuE CARbON futuRE

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payment of $X per week for going green?” I don’t quite remember what the amount was, but I do remember thinking: (1) I couldn’t afford it – already I was living off a PhD scholarship and supporting two dependents; and (2) why don’t the energy companies absorb the extra costs of the green technology and only supply their consumers with green energy? After all, the fossil fuel industry is the wealthiest and most influential industry in the world, so surely they can afford it? To me it seemed quite cheeky that the fossil fuel industry would be charging ‘mum and dad’ consumers for their transition to green technology. It also bothered me having to make the choice. Perhaps the energy companies are thinking ‘Hey, why should we flip the bill for green technology? We’re not even the one’s using it; we just supply it!’ This is sometimes referred to as the heroine dealers’ defence. What if there was a carbon tax? Now I know that some of you will be groaning as you read this; some will be giving a thumbs up, and yet others will have never really given it much thought. In theory, it’s quite simple: polluters pay for the privilege to pollute. And we know from basic economics, that when you tax something, people tend to consume less of it. A good example is the high taxation of cigarettes in Australia. We taxed the heck out of cigarettes and consumption dropped. Taxation is a neat way of reducing activities that have negative impacts on our people and planet. What I also love about taxes is that it

Blue carbon refers to carbon that is stored and sequestered by the oceans.

takes away our need to make the choice. The big polluters were left with greater It’s compulsory. of course there will always incentives to switch to green technologies, be those who try to evade taxes, but for which is something that must inevitably the most part everyone is on board, which happen given the finite nature of fossil fuels. means that we benefit from knowing that A portion of the funds raised through a everyone is contributing, rather than just a carbon tax could also go towards offsets. small handful of citizens. Working in the So in the case of environmental switching to green sector, the ‘Hey, why should we energy, you have the word offset pleasure of knowing can be a dirty flip the bill for green that you’re not the only word; a word technology? We’re not one in the street that’s that’s associpulling your weight. ated with even the one’s using it; But does a carbon ‘blood money’ we just supply it!’ tax mean that our living – a system for costs will rise and that paying to wilThis is sometimes referred to as our economy will suffer? fully damage the heroine dealers’ defence. With the introduction of the environthe labor Government’s ment. But in carbon tax, there were the context concerns that mum’s Sunday roast would of dealing with climate change, the word have skyrocketed to $100. It didn’t. And offset has helped draw attention to an about half of the funds raised through the aspect of dealing with climate change that carbon tax went to households. has gone under the radar: Biosequestration.

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Early estimates of the power of blue carbon were staggering. They indicated that blue carbon ecosystems – seagrass meadows, tidal marshes, and mangrove forests – ranked among the most efficient and permanent sinks for carbon on the planet, far exceeding that of key terrestrial sinks. A two-pronged approach We hear so much about the need to switch to green technologies and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels – to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide that we release into the atmosphere. But there’s another aspect of dealing with climate change that doesn’t get much attention: ‘What do we do with all the carbon that we’ve already released into the atmosphere? Carbon that will be floating around up there for hundreds of years, trapping in heat from the sun.’ An answer is ‘biosequestration’.

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Biosequestration is the capture and storage of carbon currently existing in the form of carbon dioxide (Co2) within the atmosphere, by biological processes (e.g. photosynthesis). The trapped carbon can be found within living organic matter, soil, and aquatic ecosystems. Biosequestration provides a way of both removing previously emitted Co2 from the atmosphere and mitigating the impact of current, and potential future, emissions associated with anthropogenic activities. Ironically, it is the same process that created fossil fuels in the first place. Biosequestration is not a silver bullet

iMAgE: © Gabe Cunnett

for dealing with climate change. Rather, it is part of a two-pronged approach – the first prong being emission reduction, the second being biosequestration. Thus, to reset the planet’s temperature, we must reduce the amount of Co2 and other greenhouse gases that we release into the atmosphere, as well as remove alreadyreleased Co2. Australian Governments regard biosequestration as “the single largest opportunity for C emission reduction in Australia” (liberal’s Direct Action Plan), that must be “central to any ambitious global effort to meet targets for limiting temperature


AustrAliA’s Blue CArBon Future

Removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere: We’ve done it before, why can’t we do it again? The global carbon budget is concerned with the exchange of carbon among the earth’s five spheres: the atmosphere, lithosphere, biosphere, cryosphere and hydrosphere.

increase” (labor’s Garnaut Climate Change Review).

Blue Is The New Green

During the 1980’s, it was recognised that CFCs – another form of greenhouse gas – in the atmosphere had caused a hole in the ozone layer, with serious health ramifications for earth’s citizens, namely risk of skin cancer. Leading nations developed a plan to remove CFCs from our manufacturing. Following the international ban of CFCs by the Montreal Protocol in 1987, CFCs emissions have been reduced to negligible amounts, and in 2016 scientists have reported that the hole in the ozone layer is now 10 million square kilometres smaller in 2014 than it was in 2000, showing that the atmosphere can repair itself when greenhouse gases are removed. If we managed to successfully remove CFCs from our modern lifestyles, why can’t we do it with again with CO2? In principal, the removal of both greenhouse gases is much the same; perhaps the main difference is that removal of CFCs had only minor impact on our lifestyles and economy relative to our reliance on fossil fuels, and was much less political.

The capacity of the terrestrial biosphere to remove carbon from the atmosphere through biosequestration has now been Even if fossil fuels are eliminated, biosequestration will provide an opportunity to recapture well-studied (e.g. forest carbon farming previous emissions. initiatives), but it is now emerging that the greatest opportunities for carbon offsetting may be in the oceans. Seven years ago, marine science gave birth to a new term: ‘blue carbon’, which was created to describe the enormous and newly-recognised potential of the oceans microbial respiration); and their position at which is equivalent to 73 billion tonnes to sequester carbon and help slow climate the land-sea interface, where they trap and of Co2. To put this into perspective, the change. filter planktonic carbon as well as carbon average Australian produces 17 tonnes of early estimates of the power of blue that runs off the land. Co2 each year. carbon were staggering. They indicated Despite occupying <1% of the seafloor, that blue carbon ecosystems – seagrass blue carbon ecosystems contribute half Australia: a Global Hotspot for meadows, tidal marshes, and mangrove of all carbon burial in the oceans. They forests – ranked among the most efficient Blue Carbon capture and store carbon in soils 40-times and permanent sinks for carbon on the faster than tropical rainforests and can Since blue carbon was first recognised planet, far exceeding that of key terrestrial retain captured carbon for millennia. in 2009, there has been a flurry of research sinks (e.g. rainforests). Consequently, blue carbon ecosystems into it, with Australia at the forefront. The high sequestration rates of blue hold enormous quantities of carbon that Programs such as the CSIRo Coastal Carbon carbon ecosystems arise from their high has been removed from the atmosphere; Cluster program have generated significant primary unless, of course understanding of the mechanisms, magproductivity it becomes nitudes, and uncertainties associated with (capture of disturbed. blue carbon sequestration. carbon); their A synthesis of Meanwhile, the Intergovernmental Panel high carbon The hole in the ozone global literature on Climate Change (IPCC) prepared guidburial efficiency estimated that layer is now 10 million ance on inclusions of the role of coastal and retention seagrasses curwetlands – including mangroves and tidal (low oxygen square kilometres smaller rently hold up to marshes (but not seagrasses) – towards environments 19.9 billion tonnes in 2014 than it was in national greenhouse gas inventories (2013 that are not of organic carbon, conducive to Wetlands Supplement). 2000, showing that the

atmosphere can repair itself when greenhouse gases are removed.

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MoRe Than caRbon SinkS In addition to sequestering carbon, blue carbon ecosystems provide other important benefits. They support an estimated 50% of the world’s fisheries by providing fish with a nursery ground during their juvenile stages of development, offering them food, shelter, and protection from predators. By supporting fisheries, seagrasses indirectly provide vital nutrition for close to 3 billion people. Blue carbon habitats mop up nutrients and pollutants that run off the land. They stabilise shorelines and prevent coastal erosion. They help buffer

The first steps involved developing an inventory of blue carbon, by determining: 1. Sources: Where does blue carbon come from? 2. Stocks: How much blue carbon do we have and where is it? 3. Flows: How do sources and stocks change? From this research we’ve learnt that Australia is the nation that holds the largest area of blue carbon habitat – 12% of the global area (135,000 km2), made up of 13,765 km2 of tidal marsh, 10,500 km2 of mangrove and 125,500 km2 of seagrass. Perhaps not surprisingly, this large area of blue carbon habitat translates into enormous quantities of stored blue carbon (1,722,310,494 tonnes of Corg) – around 7-12% of worldwide blue carbon storage.

against ocean acidification and protect our coasts from extreme weather events, while providing critical habitat for birds, fish, dugongs and turtles. iMAgE: © Peter Macreadie

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However, with recognition of the magnitude of carbon storage within blue carbon sinks comes the concern that, if disturbed, these stores of carbon could leak vast amounts of carbon back into the atmosphere, thereby shifting them from carbon sinks into carbon sources, as has occurred in some forests, peatlands, and permafrost. loss and degradation of natural ecosystems is estimated to be responsible for approximately 12-20% of all Co2 emissions. effectively, blue carbon ecosystems could become a ‘carbon bomb’. Indeed, it is estimated that annual losses of blue carbon habitats – seagrasses, saltmarshes and mangroves – create emissions of 1 billion tonnes of Co2 annually. This amount of Co2 release is equivalent


AuStRALIA’S bLuE CARbON futuRE

Annual losses of blue carbon habitats – seagrasses, saltmarshes and mangroves – create emissions of 1 billion tonnes of Co2 annually. this amount of CO2 release is equivalent to 17-times the annual emissions of Australia.

management levers can be pulled to to 17-times the annual emissions of maximise blue carbon gains and minimise Australia. losses along our coasts. Among the greatest threats to Australian one such example of an influencblue carbon ecosystems are coastal develing factor is hydrology. Australia has a opment and climate change, which are long history estimated to be causing of modifying losses of 1-3% per year. coastal waterways Research shows that stores through drainof blue carbon that accuAustralia is the age of wetlands, mulated over thousands of artificial opening years can disappear in a few nation that holds or closing of decades. intermittent Among the highest the largest area estuary entrances, priorities in management of blue carbon and the construcof blue carbon ecosystion of levees, tems is therefore to halt habitat – 12% of flood gates, dams, the destruction and disand sea walls. turbance of blue carbon the global area. In southeast ecosystems. Australia alone, there are 4,300 Managing coasts for barriers that alter blue carbon benefits natural tidal exchange to estuaries. At CoP21 in Paris, Minister Greg Hunt These alterations to natural hydrology announced that Australia “will increase generally have negative impacts on blue understanding and accelerate action on carbon sequestration capacity, such as the important role of coastal blue carbon ecosystems in climate change action”. In addition, Australia will be among the first nations to include blue carbon in its national greenhouse gas inventory. To capitalise on blue carbon (i.e. offsets – maximise blue carbon gains and minimise losses), we must first understand factors that impact upon the accumulation, preservation and loss of blue carbon – known as ‘influencing factors’. understanding the influencing factors allows us to determine what

the ability of blue carbon ecosystems to migrate up the shoreline in response to rising sea levels. Recent modelling of estuaries in southeastern Australia shows that opening of floodgates would increase blue carbon gains by hundreds of thousands of tonnes. During 2016, the Department of environment and energy, in partnership with leading Australian blue carbon scientists, have been preparing a ‘Technical review of opportunities for coastal blue carbon ecosystem enhancement through the Australian Government’s emission Reduction Fund’. The report – which includes a list of recommendations – is expected to be released in early 2017. It is anticipated that the report will form the basis for the development of an Australian legislated methodology for blue carbon offsetting, which would allow carbon offset providers and businesses to collect carbon credits for actions that lead to emission reduction (preventing blue carbon losses) or blue carbon gains (e.g. via habitat restoration).

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ACkNOwLEDGEMENtS:

The author thanks Grant Mills (AQ) and Dr Jeff Baldock (CSIRo) for feedback.

By investing in nature we can help mitigate climate change and improve natural capital, while contributing to jobs, economic growth, and community wellbeing. What’s holding blue carbon back? After 7 years of blue carbon research and campaigning, we see that blue carbon is now accepted as an important tool for climate change mitigation (e.g. MP Greg Hunt’s announcements in Paris), but still we struggle to engage stakeholders in a meaningful way. Blue carbon is a great product, yet we still lack real demand for it. Indeed, many Australian carbon offset providers have taken a keen interest in blue carbon, but none have taken real action. There are three main barriers towards widespread update and implementation of blue carbon: (1) lack of a carbon tax; (2) the price on carbon being low and failing to incorporate the social costs of carbon; and (3) the absence of a market for many of

the co-benefits that are offered from blue carbon ecosystems, particularly the social aspects. Australia’s large area of blue carbon habitat places us among the nations with the greatest potential to benefit from developing blue carbon-focused climate change mitigation schemes. By investing in nature we can help mitigate climate change and improve natural capital, while contributing to jobs, economic growth, and community wellbeing. It is my hope that some day I will get another call from my energy provider, but this time I will hear them say: “Good news! We’ve now switched you onto our green energy plan at no extra cost, and your emissions are being offset by a blue carbon farm”. #oceanoptimism AQ

AUThor: Dr Peter Macreadie is a senior lecturer and Head of the Blue Carbon lab (www.bluecarbonlab. org) at Deakin university. Follow him on Twitter @PeterMacreadie

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graham maddox is the author of the new book Stepping Up to the Plate. America, and Australian Democracy. for more information see page 20

Land of the Free (Market): The oxymoron of American Democracy

The paradox of democracy is that it is designed to defend the freedoms of all and to subject the government to the legitimate concerns of the people. Yet those very freedoms give licence to those who fundamentally spurn them and threaten the ideals of democracy themselves. The Inauguration of Donald Trump illustrates the paradox. The demonstrations against his accession were greater that the public show of support at his swearing in. ARTICle BY: PRoF gRAhAM MAddox

April 2016

iMAge: © garycycles8-Flickr

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rump was elected on a tide of emotional fervour from ‘middle America’, while the traditional powerhouses of New York and California raised stormy billows against everything he stood for. Many of his hostile pronouncements and Twittered epigrams were against the very spirit of democracy, particularly those directed at minorities within the population. Some trust that the Congress, although dominated by the Republican Party that nominated him, will act as a brake on his more outlandish intentions. Yet the peculiar nature of the Constitution of the united States is that its system of separated

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The American Founders had a dim view of ordinary persons, and associated their allegedly plundering activities with democracy, which ever was folly and disease. They therefore determined that the people should be kept at arm’s length from the levers of power. The constitution they fashioned for the union was not democratic. branches allows the executive to claim wide powers, and the President is not subject to termination by Congress except under the extreme circumstances of an impeachment. Many commentators discern a resonance between the British vote to leave the european union, the resurgence of the one Nation Party in Australia and Trump’s election. The reasons for mass votes are complex and multi-faceted, but it is reasonable to see a common thread of disaffection from the established mode of politics. In the case of the united States this is scarcely surprising, since the nation that claimed as its mission to make the world safe for democracy has recently experienced a series of crippling deadlocks between Congress and Presidency. Moreover, the extent of inequality, and the spread of actual pauperism, is bound to create disillusion and hostility.

The foundations of American constitutionalism It is not always recognised that the seeds of disillusion were sown at the foundation of the Republic. Some of the American colonies had been built on strongly democratic principles. That is to say, they gave the ordinary citizens a big say in how they were governed, frequently by direct participation in the rule of the community. For all its particular drawbacks, the colony of Massachusetts was compared favourably with ancient Athens, which, for all its faults, gave supreme and equal respect to every citizen – and a voice in

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government. At the foundation of the colony, Governor Winthrop told his followers migrating from europe to value each other as one big family, to delight in each other, and to ‘abridge [themselves of their] superfluities’ in order to use their goods to care for the poor among them. He envisaged a Christian welfare state.1 When the colonists rose up against British rule and the ‘tyranny’ of King George III, there burst out a contagion of liberty which some of the more ‘respectable’ citizens thought a disease. ordinary folk, farmers, labourers, shopkeepers were mobilised, and many were elected to the colonial legislatures. one Boston newspaper thundered that ‘sedition itself’ makes laws.2 To most ‘gentlemen’ the rise of the common person was appalling. To be wise and virtuous was to own land. Virtue sat firmly with the rich, while the poor were by definition corrupt, because their whole political intent was to wrest power and wealth away from the rich. The second President of the united States, John Adams, whined that ‘The idle, the vicious, the intemperate would rush into the utmost extravagance and debauchery, sell and spend their share, and then demand a new division of those who purchased from them.’3 The American Founders had a dim view of ordinary persons, and associated their allegedly plundering activities with democracy, which ever was folly and disease. They therefore determined that the people should be kept at arm’s length from the levers of power. The constitution they fashioned for the union was not democratic.


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The Founders met at Philadelphia in 1787 to draw up a more perfect union for the colonies, now to become states – The united States. The principal drafter of the document, James Madison, drew up a plan to stop any tyrant from gaining power over the federal government. He obsessively feared ‘faction’, the collection of interests inimical to the whole. As one might gather from the foregoing notes on the attitudes of gentlemen to people of the ordinary sort, prone no less to debauchery, the faction he feared most was the faction of the multitude. His scheme was to separate the powers of government into three branches: the Presidency, the Congress, and the Supreme Court. These powers were to be set against each other, to ‘balance’ each other, each preventing either of the others from gaining too much power. In effect, he built deadlock into the Constitution,4 so we should not be too surprised that people have lamented the fierce deadlock between the Congress and President in the obama years – it was meant to be. The Supreme Court has played its blocking part, too, savagely negating much of the program of Franklin Roosevelt during the Great Depression, for example. To repeat: the Constitution was meant to keep the ordinary people and their special representatives out of power. It is now well known that for anyone to contest any significant office in the united States one must have wealth, and to run for President it is almost obligatory (obama perhaps excepted) to be a multi-millionaire. In this, at least, the Founders would

be pleased. It is no longer self-evident, however, that riches confer either wisdom or virtue. A recent notable example of the continuing influence of the Constitution was the election of Donald Trump. As we all know, Trump did not win a majority of the popular vote, falling about three million votes behind his rival. Yet he won a majority of electoral college votes. The electoral College was set up in the Constitution specifically so that the choice of President would not fall into the hands of the multitude. like the european electors in early modern europe, all of them potentates, the American electors were meant to be persons of wisdom and refinement (wealth). Almost immediately, and much to the distress of the Founders, Madison and Alexander Hamilton, people began to vote for slates of electors pledged to vote for particular presidential candidates, with the winner taking all the electoral College votes. This was a minor democratic incursion into Madison’s tight system, but the college remains a giant Gerrymander, as we saw with Trump. In the traditional centres of power, New York and California, Hillary Clinton piled up massive majorities which yielded no more electoral advantage than the set number of electors.

Redefining democracy At the time of the Revolution the American colonies were rife with democratic fervour, and these impulses were not to be suppressed. Yet the Constitution was to acquire the sanctity of holy writ, and the

To run for President it is almost obligatory (Obama perhaps excepted) to be a multi-millionaire. In this, at least, the Founders would be pleased.

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Democracy had to be made real, not ideal, and realism demanded that democracy be a description of the way things were done in America. It was a purely circular claim. Founders would become the legendary fountain of all wisdom, so heavy was the perpetual propagation of their status. In the movie, The Ides of March, George Clooney was to announce that his religion was a bit of paper called the Constitution of the united States. Despite the incubus of a highly conservative constitution, democratic endeavours were to challenge the status of the establishment from time to time, only to be trumped by the bit of paper.5 In time, democracy itself became a hallowed idea. Yet the way politics was conducted could hardly fulfil Abraham lincoln’s ideal of government ‘of the people, by the people, for the people’.6 The people have scarcely ever had a look-in. If democracy was to make sense, it would have to be made to fit into the American way of doing things, since the power elites were not going to let the conduct of politics change. Democracy had to be made real, not ideal, and realism demanded that democracy be a description of the way things were done in America. It was a purely circular claim – democracy is just what we do. Political scientists argued that politics was a matter of who gets what, when and how. Some of them conducted scientific

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studies to prove that ordinary people were just not up to the job of engaging in politics. Many of those surveyed were ignorant and ill-educated, while some exhibited anti-social tendencies. With their voluntary voting laws, Americans do not mind if the ‘ignorant’ don’t even vote. Keeping them at bay was a service to the system, while a recent visitor to Australia, the American satirist and political commentator, P. J. o’Rourke, speaking on the ABC’s Q&A program, said that he would pay them to stay at home. A quaint reversal of the original democracy in Athens, where citizens were paid to attend the Assembly and the Jury Courts. And so the ‘real’ description of American politics has little to do with ‘rule by the people’ and, for most of them, nothing at all. The realist description was turned into a full-fledged theory of ‘democracy’ when the Austrian-American economist, Joseph A. Schumpeter, announced an unblushing declaration that ‘democracy’ meant rule by elites, who competed within their own circles for the people’s votes.8 The historical content of democracy had been stripped to the bone.


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Redefining the people If American democracy had to be different from all ideas of it that had gone before, this was perhaps a sign of America’s ‘exceptionalism’. Paradoxically, the idea of exceptional circumstances arose when some of the colonies really were democracies in the original sense. The first Governor of Massachusetts, John Winthrop, alluding to scripture (Matthew 5:14), told his people that they were a light on the hill: the world was watching their experiment, and they had better behave in an exemplary fashion. There was no boasting about it. Yet Ronald Reagan, loudly extolling America’s greatness, embellished the phrase and proclaimed that America was ‘a shining light on the hill’. The American people were different. Most of the colonists had come from a worn out and corrupt europe to find a land of promise and progress. They left behind the rigid class barriers and the insolence of an entrenched nobility. To those not in the privileged classes, europe and Britain gave no hope of rising above the struggle for existence. In the New World the prospects were unlimited, and persons determined to apply themselves to hard work and enterprising industry, and if needed ‘to go someplace else’, they could transform their lives with undreamt-of wealth. Many did indeed become very rich very quickly. The person became homo economicus. It was nothing less than a transformation of human nature, according to liberal historian Joyce Appleby. Within an

Pursuing self-interest was made legitimate and greed received moral approval, as people became individuals rather than members of any community other than the market.

entirely new economic outlook the market schooled people into a newly autonomous order within themselves. Pursuing self-interest was made legitimate and greed received moral approval, as people became individuals rather than members of any community other than the market. Democratic ideals were invoked not to engage the people in self-government but to free them from the traditional authority that ruled the public order.9 Democracy was quite turned on its head, and became an economic value rather than a political opportunity. A leading historian of the united States, Daniel Boorstin, located the newly redefined people in ‘consumption communities’ rather than political or social communities. Their unity was identified by their mass consumption of almost identical products. The ‘retail revolution’ and advertising created ‘one of the most real and present

and unadulterated democracies in human history’. Its name was the ‘cash democracy’. Being democratic meant acquiring wealth, or at least, reaching for it. Democracy had left the realm of government and entered the confines of the market. The fiercely expressed liberty and equality of the American Revolution remained a powerful ideology, and American society would admit of no class divisions. Yet over time the market, allegedly based on competition, which of course implied winners and losers, produced enormous gaps of wealth and poverty.10 According to political scientist Benjamin Barber, the consumer society drew all the teeth of civic engagement, while the power of advertising, sharply trained on people from their earliest youth, made them perpetual ‘kiddults’.11 That is, at least, for the ones who had the means to consume, for a largely unregulated market

‘Democracy’ meant rule by elites, who competed within their own circles for the people’s votes. The historical content of democracy had been stripped to the bone.

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The stranglehold the business world had over the government of the United States and the lives of its citizens amounted to a totalitarian tyranny.

left big numbers almost penniless and, for shame, many of them the working poor, whom the market deemed unworthy of a living wage. Joyce Appleby concluded that the Constitution of the united States had much less to do with protecting liberties than with creating a common market. At least that construction suits her anti-political thesis. The modern truth is that the economic world of big businesses takes great stock in controlling the government, largely to prevent it from controlling them or regulating them in turn. Moreover, they profit hugely from corporate welfare, ensuring that the biggest public contracts are placed in the right private circles, and that massive public funds flow their way. And when the market fails, the government is called upon to rescue them with billions of public dollars, as President obama did in 2008. The bitter irony in all this is that business persistently assails the

competence of government and claims that private enterprise always does it better. 2008 gave the egregious lie to this stand. Writing just before the outbreak of the Global Financial Crisis, about which he seemed to have incredible foresight, the revered teacher of political theory, Sheldon Wolin, argued that the stranglehold the business world had over the government of the united States and the lives of its citizens amounted to a totalitarian tyranny.12

A view from Australia America has always been influential in Australia. From our earliest colonial days Australians looked to the continental united States for inspiration about what continental Australia might one day become. When we federated we borrowed the American federal model, and wrote a rigid constitution partly based on the American instrument. We saturate ourselves in American entertainment, and

often enough in American high culture of literature, art and music. We marvel at American advances in science and technology, and are first in line to adopt the latest devices. We are also in thrall to American leadership in business. We adopt American techniques in advertising and management, all the while conducting business conversations in American business jargon, which has penetrated our society far beyond business itself. Although, as I say, we have been greatly influenced by American political arrangements, it is far from the whole story. The basics of our polity were drawn from the British inheritance when the first colonial parliaments formed along the lines of the Westminster model. The federal government and Parliament continued on foundations laid at Westminster. our colleague at the university of New South Wales, Professor elaine

Stepping Up to the Plate. America, and Australian Democracy by graham maddox Western democracies are on the verge of crisis: a rising tide of displaced persons, vast economic inequality, a repudiation of traditional politics. In the past, the world has looked to the United States for leadership. In Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s case our nation was built on the hybrid examples of British and American models of government. Yet in recent years the defensive alliance with America, and more importantly, the intensifying hegemony of American business over Australian economic, social and political life, is forcing changes in our political attitudes. What is seldom recognised, however, is that American democracy was a myth almost from the start. The American Founders held the majority of their people in contempt, investing their trust in those who had a substantial stake in the country by owning land. They expressly hated democracy, and fashioned a Constitution designed to keep the people at bay. Stepping Up to the Plate argues that, on this count, the American political system has never been a suitable model for Australia, and recent imported attitudes are seriously undermining the resilient democracy we have evolved over time.

steppinG up to the plate (muP Academic) is available as an e-book, paperback and hardback from mup.com.au and bookstores.

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We were tending to denigrate government in much the same way as they and to swallow the falsehood that private endeavour is always better than public.

Thompson, adopted the colourful term the ‘Washminster mutation’, and it was she who alerted us to the dangers of increasing Americanization in our political and economic life.13 We were tending to denigrate government in much the same way as they and to swallow the falsehood that private endeavour is always better than public. More recently, we have almost entirely lost the faith that in a democracy the government is actually intended to be the instrument of the people for their general wellbeing. This is not to say that the ‘Westminster model’ was the paragon of all our hopes, and indeed our colonial parliaments of the nineteenth century experimented with democratic advances well beyond the achievements of Westminster itself. Yet there remains a big difference in our political structures from the American. The Constitution of the united States has been called a ‘constitution against party’.14 This ultimately stemmed from James Madison’s hatred of ‘faction’ in an era when ‘party’ was almost synonymous with it. of course, democratic influences pressed the formation of parties anyway: the Republican-Democrat Party formed by Thomas Jefferson, which became simply

the Democrat Party under Andrew Jackson, and the Republican Party formed at the time of Abraham lincoln’s emergence. Yet the vaunted separation of powers has stunted their impact on the conduct of government. We have seen Donald Trump, from his very first days in office, signing executive orders (‘a swipe of the pen from the White House’) for presidential acts (executive orders) that are not constrained by Congress: advancing the construction of controversial pipelines; beginning the dismantling of obamacare; bringing back a ban on international abortion counselling and promising a miserable life for multitudes of ‘third world’ women; freezing employment in the federal government service; abandoning the Trans-Pacific Partnership on trade cooperation; ordering the building of a wall between Mexico and the united States; banning immigration from racially targeted groups.16 Many would call this elective autocracy.

Such elective authoritarianism is not precluded by Australia’s party system, but it brings the votes of our representatives directly to bear on the actions of a government which itself sits in Parliament. That is, the votes of supporters and the opposition. Ideally, government actions are directly subject to parliamentary scrutiny, and often this works well. However accurate the description, our political parties have been characterised as transmission belts between the public and the government, whereby the government is directly confronted by criticism as well as approval. This does not always work smoothly, but it often does. The united States Congress has enormous powers, and its legislation can certainly cramp a President’s style, as we have seen in recent deadlocks. Clogging the procedures of government does not serve the democratic cause, but opens the field to outside influences, particularly the powerful commercial interests. To carry a legislative program, the President can only request Congress, operating through persuasion, cajolery and rolling out the enormous resources of patronage. The system is open to corruption, and often enough has succumbed. Thus far at least, our party system has served us much better. We still hold onto the thin golden thread of a feasible democracy. AQ

AUTHor: Graham Maddox is Professor emeritus of Political science at the university of New england. He is a Fellow of the Academy of the social sciences in Australia, a life member of Clare Hall, Cambridge, and a member of the Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton. He is author of Australian Democracy in Theory and Practice, 5th edn 2005; The Hawke Government and Labor Tradition, 1989; Religion and the Rise of Democracy, 1996, pb 2015; Stepping Up to the Plate. America, and Australian Democracy, 2016; The Rich Tradition of Republicanism, 2016; and numerous papers on political theory and comparative politics.

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July 2016

Redefining inequality:

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It's the Inequity of Social Trust, not 'the Economy, Stupid'

Inequality – my thesaurus offers eight synonyms of the word. Four simply describe it, while four signal negative feelings and perceptions; discrimination, unfairness, inequity, disproportion. None express inequality as a material or monetary difference, yet these popular definitions are core to the current use of the concept – as offering an explanation for all the problems of the dominant neoliberal paradigm. This use of it, as limited to material inequities, needs to be challenged to really understand the politics of the term in current political debates. ARTICle BY: Eva Cox ao

W

hen viewed as systemic rather than materialistic, the question then becomes how to interpret the effects of inequality as symptoms of unfair systems – systems that generate antisocial distrust and undermine social cohesion. The issue is that inequalities may offer multiple symptoms of social destruction, but the contribution these make to feelings of distrust and other emotional reactions, become causal. Ergo, material redistribution, in itself, will not necessarily undo harm, because it is unlikely to

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act on behalf of 'ordinary people', preferring to This shift will be a clear rejection support elites in pursuits of of the effects of the current global economic growth. The disildominant globalised market of lusioned coalesce into populist movements, material growth, and the seeking both progressive and regressive. of more localised, protective These may also be undermining forms of governance. the perceived trustworthiness of the necessary complex long-term democratic processes needed to ensure restore trustworthiness, but may be part of representative governance and more civil solutions. Deconstructing inequality is not easy. societies. Its materialist version offers a popular and Recognisers of the possible damage of convenient shorthand description for increasing economic inequalities include most current political ills.1 Yet, extending the IMF and World Bank and Davos its meaning is essential, if we are to meetings, which all discuss the issues of seriously analyse the many current political political and social instabilities. However, problems facing most western-style most of those above have touted and democracies. defended globalised market forces, so We need to question why there is are still reluctant to explore, let alone a surprising consensus across a wide recognise, the failures of their globalised variety of institutions, the media, and market modes, and so are resistant to other – even radical – groupings, that the need to do more than some minor material inequality is, in itself, somehow economic redistribution to fix it. primarily responsible for political divides Therefore it behoves us to alert those and distrust in many western democratic still attached to the current flawed and countries. It is blamed for voters’ growing fading paradigm to recognise the volume rejection of centrist parties for failing to of evidence that is suggesting we need to

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explore fundamental changes. If increasing material inequality is mainly a symptom of a wider malaise creating serious social problems, they need to do more than just push for less unequal distributions of material resources. They need to recognise the changes internationally and locally, politically and socially, to show that we are on the cusp of another paradigm shift. This shift will be a clear rejection of the effects of the current dominant globalised market of material growth, and the seeking of more localised, protective forms of governance. Some are nostalgic for what are seen as better past times, others may look for better progressive possibilities. Yet they share the desire for futures that address their needs for greater social and political equity, which can make societies more able to address the well being of its people. Materialism and growing wealth, by themselves, have failed to address these social aspects of life, as the current dominant viewpoints failed to recognise what is core to stable, functional societies. Therefore they have failed to recognise that the basis of most social and emotional concerns may be triggered by feelings of social exclusion based on perceptions of unfair inequalities. Humans are essentially social and connected, so the legitimacy of democratic governance structures will depend largely on the quality of relationships that people have with each other and those in the power structures. Current


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political disrupters all share high levels – if diverse versions – of distrust of those in power and of strangers, thereby fracturing broad social cohesion and blaming the other as threatening the familiar. Ignoring the complexity of human relationships has created too many policies that are based on overly simplistic neoliberal assumptions and led to the GFC and other predictable failures of the market model. These market failures have driven rescues and austerities, all underwritten by diminishing social spending on public and social services. These changes fed the events that triggered trust deficits in the first place, and will feed another paradigm shift. Recently, international research underscoring the decline of trust levels was widely reported. From the Harvard Business Review:

inequality. The rising populist responses can be best understood as social rejection of overly materialistic policies that have undermined the collective sense of belonging and being a citizen. Globalised market models are seen to shift power away from the nation states and the failure to deliver wealth undermines trust in the democratic processes. This may reinforce feelings of powerlessness, of not being heard,

Humans are essentially social and connected, so the legitimacy of democratic governance structures will depend largely on the quality of relationships that people have with each other and those in the power structures.

For 17 years the Edelman Trust Barometer2 has surveyed tens of thousands of people across dozens of countries about their level of trust in business, media, government, and NGOs. This year was the first time the study found a decline in trust across all four of these institutions. In almost two-thirds of the 28 countries we surveyed, the general population did not trust the four institutions to “do what is right” – the average level of trust in all four institutions combined was below 50%.3 Such data suggests that we need to consider much wider social analyses than those just caused by economic/material

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Deteriorating access to public services, the disappearance of publicly owned assets, the privatisation of public utilities, and messages that your failure is your fault, not the system’s. valued or considered by those claiming leadership. National controlling governments and institutions are rejected when they continue to claim that there is little need for changing the market-based model because markets self-regulate, despite there being a lack of evidence to support it. Whereas, there is ample evidence, in the increasing divides between haves and have-nots, of gross inequalities and inequities. These are compounded by structural changes: deteriorating access to public services, the disappearance of

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publicly owned assets, the privatisation of public utilities, and messages that your failure is your fault, not the system’s. Individuation has been overemphasised and reflects falling union and community group memberships. Replacing these with more online activity lacks interpersonal feelings, all of which indicates a diminishing sense of collective responsibility and activity. This is reinforced by reductions in most governments' social policy focus, and the elevation of a growing GDP as the economic solution to all ills.

Directing the paradigm change Protesting the current changes is not enough, as it offers no solutions. Too many have grown up since the last paradigm shift and cannot remember that there were once, and can still be, alternatives to economic models of progress. By resetting the priorities of government to ensure they include much wider equity and social agendas, it is possible to address the range of social, communal and cultural inequities that are fragmenting societies. We need to re-set the agenda with social goals that are based on commitments to make societies more civil, invoking the now almost mythic, but still powerful, ethos of a ‘Fair Go’. Start by telling those in power that people don't need to have an algorithm or formula to feel hopeful, but they do need a vision of good possibilities. We need to remember oscar Wilde's definition of utopia as the next island to the one you just landed on. Rather than dividing on differences, we should explore, identify and define our common concerns and return economics to its roles of paying for social needs, not determining them. There are ample data responses from the outliers to work out why so many populist movements have appeared, are expanding, and are garnering quite wide support. We need to look at the responses of the public, including how they see some right wing nasties. Then, we need to identify the wider cause of discontent that drive these distrusts. These include socially


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driven feelings about not being accepted and counter the retrograde moves against or belonging to a wider society, feelings of progress. alienation and anger or despair. This capacity to weather and influence Their anger is not surprising, particuthe coming shift is helped by examining larly in the face of commentators' claims recent examples. We are currently trending that populist protests stems from a lack towards the third paradigm shift in less of understanding that they too can than 75 years â&#x20AC;&#x201C; I have been part of two benefit from free trade such shifts, so I can and globalisation. Both recognise my third. the left and right are In each, the centres implying stupidity as of debate moved so well as ignorance, underthat what was seen as we should explore, standably annoying the legitimate and valued targeted groups, who became old hat and identify and define may have good reasons potentially irrelevant. our common concerns for rejecting current The first was as a beliefs. These can be teenager in the fifties, and return economics particularly offensive the post-war attempts to its roles of paying when sides are defined to define 'normality' for social needs, not by simplistic labels; after decades of war nationalists in contrast and depression. There determining them. to cosmopolitan betterwere major changes: a informed, smarter growing welfare state, globalists. with many governments recognising the need to create one response has been the rise of the social stability, to counter the inequality nostalgic right, the conservative forces and social distress that had brought about that combine fundamentalism and desires Fascism and WW2. for moral order. They are often well funded These were optimistic times, despite and seen as respectable, despite their threats from the Cold War, and morphed agendas often undermining the many seamlessly into the radical changes in the gains we earned in the social and legal sixties and seventies. The priorities were reforms of the seventies. social cohesion and rights, led by students, Therefore, there is an urgent need to radicals, feminists, sociologists and political work on progressive alternatives that can scientists. We believed good change was influence the paradigm shift. We need possible and debated whether it would to assess what damage has been done come via revolution or reform. locally and how to influence the next dominant we saw much progress in the lead up to, model towards more civil and fair societies,

and under Whitlam, and the rest of the seventies. By then, I was in the thick of it! Then, unexpectedly, came the next major shift. The eighties would initiate a serious change in the ideas of what mattered, and the roles of markets and nation states. These shifts were caused by the increased power of globalised capitalism. The growing global market had little use for nation states as petro dollars freed financiers from the need for stability. They promoted tax cuts, material growth, smaller governments, and individualism. Each has gone on to undermine the social roles of democratic rule. For a while, the old social order survived as nation states grew their wealth and some gains were made and redistributed. However, by the beginning of this century, the flaws in the market model were beginning to show. Rising fundamentalism rejected western materialism and the idea that markets were self-correcting failed to stop irrationality and finally the GFC. 2007 saw the system crash. The rot started in the uSA as banks and financial institutions got into serious trouble, and forced the once despised states in most western democracies to bail out the failed marketeers. Now, a decade later, the paradigm is in serious trouble because the voters who believed they had been promised satisfaction for individual effort, slowly realised they had been sold a pup. It wasn't just that they were worse off than they hoped to be, but many realised they had lost their sense of political security. Instead of being able to trust those in power to act in

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Politics here needs to stop just talking market or materialist-based economics of any sort. Their dominance has displaced any serious visions of optimistic futures and good societies. voters' best interests so they felt safe, they realised they didn't trust those running the place. This is both local and international, as fundamentalism in the Middle East has thrived on trashing western materialism, and more authoritarian rulers are being elected: consider Turkey, Poland, and the Philippines. Here, recent elections and changes of leadership have not produced election agendas that address the rising distrust of voters, resulting in greater votes for fringe parties. Politics here needs to stop just talking market or materialist-based economics of any sort. Their dominance has displaced any serious visions of optimistic futures and good societies. The lack of both content and credible social programs is the greatest point of difference between voters and the centrist parties. We need to rewrite the political agendas to include some hope and vision, to convince people it is possible to fix the system; trust will begin to return when people believe that they can make good change happen. I remember clearly some of the challenges that I confronted in the eighties as we switched arguments for feminist change from social rights to economic growth. Mea culpa, decades ago it was I that started the case that childcare funds were necessary to increase GDP â&#x20AC;&#x201C; this argument has since meant that funding children's services now excludes children whose need for care are social not economic! This is an example of the new arguments

we need to address social well-being and cohesion. For instance, let's convince those in power that children's services should

Marmot, and many others, on the effects of inequality on health.5 It has shown that health correlates with wider social percep-

be funded to meet the social needs of communities and children, not just for increasing GDP, as currently framed.

tions of levels of agency, not just the lack of material resources. Health status shows up as a gradient reflecting perceived control over one's chances and choices, as shown in the WHo Social Determinants of Health. The above findings are useful to explain levels of anger, withdrawal, resentment and feelings of exclusion that too often arise as consequences of perceived unfair governance and access to resources. These views tend to create hostile tribes that make it much harder to retain and/ or restore faith in the possibilities of political and social structures encouraging delivery of good fair governance. Therefore remedies need to address the sense of unfairness/exclusion that inequality is causing, which requires more than just raising pay or dole to meet some level of poverty/adequacy line. We need to change the current political debates to recognise the common political and social needs in citizens/voters

The human in the machine There is increasingly clear evidence of the failing legitimacy of dominant marketbased theories of human behaviour, and a growing understanding that social connections drive our behaviour. Inequality, as an example, can be clearly redefined as creating primarily social responses, rather than calculating material/economic debits and credits. There are two relatively recent research findings that support this definition: one is the new neurological measuring of children's responses, which indicate that unfairness/fairness is an intuitive inbuilt feeling/emotion that is triggered very early and not logically driven.4 The other is the work done by Michael

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that can create mixes of high expectations and generalised trust of both our governance institutions and those in power. In an Australian context, we can remind people of the presumed social contract of the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Fair Goâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; that is embedded in our history. However, as a nation that was set up by public servants with illegal takeovers of others' land, and the limits of being 'the working man's paradise', we have some baggage to examine before we decide how to fix the current local version of the international mess. We need to address the continuing inequities above as part of any trust building process. The debates, therefore, need to move away from both above limits and the major parties' focus only on how to rebalance the budget and grow GDP. Apart from adding 'inclusive' to the growth agenda, neither major party is seriously addressing the glaring imbalance between their lack of concern for the common good and fixing the economy.

Some suggestions for change Rebuilding political trustworthiness and social goodwill requires our engagement in a major rethinking of policy options that will make fairer societies. We need to set goals that prioritise the common good and social well-being, and use economics to establish the means of paying for good policies. one of the priorities is how do we address rising inequalities in the broad sense.

People need to feel that political and social systems are trustworthy, and complex needs can be met, often via access to public and community services, not necessarily the market.

This is a rapidly changing world, where both environmental risks and technological changes are likely to reduce demands for labour and limit potential growth. So we need to have societies where people are not trapped into gradients of disadvantage, feeling the lack of any respect or power. People need to feel that political and social systems are trustworthy, and complex needs can be met, often via access to public and community services, not necessarily the market. Increasing wages and access to paid jobs are common ways to address financial inequalities, particularly when wage growth is slow and wealth gaps expanding. However, the changing demand for paid labour suggests we need better ways to share resources and distribute incomes. Feelings of sharing, and wider security,

can come from the availability of affordable or free public services. This may require rethinking the security of publicly owned utilities and offering public services that serve public needs, not profits. Private services may be good in market based areas, but offering better mixes of accessible public and non-profit based services may increase levels of trust and feelings that their needs are the drivers, not profits. one big idea, currently being explored in many places, is increasing the availability of incomes that are publicly provided. one version is offering a form of universal basic income, starting by replacing our seriously flawed welfare system and supplementing low wages and precarious employment. This would be a non-means tested public emolument that is an entitlement and unconditional,

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The focus on material inequality, per se, as the cause, rests on the rather macho set of assumptions that the material differences create most of the problem. The evidence suggests that the causes are social, ergo the above use of a feminist lens, is useful for looking for solutions.

and eventually available to all. It could also address the gender wage gap by covering the time taken to care for others unpaid, and fund more traditional Indigenous and other alternative life choices. It is the opposite form of income support to our current very mean, conditional system that reduces recipients’ sense of control and dignity, and is not effective in reducing poverty or encouraging social contributions. Attention to current environmental issues, new and emerging technologies, migration mobility and other problems, will also need to be addressed. Again society needs trust and goodwill, not competitive tensions, to address these. There are already many signs of local initiatives that need funding and public support that could again improve both consumption and demands on the resources. Introducing and encouraging local community service co-operatives, rather than market models to offer care for children, meet disability needs and other community members needs, is useful as these would return power to those needing services. They should be able to be part of the organisation, rather being turned into just customers, competing on price or access.

Conclusions Much of the current analyses of these disruptive movements, both left and right – if such tags are useful - are the consequences of the inequalities created as neo-liberalism fails to deliver the 'trickledown or lifting the boats', as promised. However, the focus on material inequality, per se, as the cause, rests on the rather macho set of assumptions that the material differences create most of the problem. The evidence suggests that the causes are social, ergo the above use of a feminist lens, is useful for looking for solutions. So we need to remind everyone that we live in a society, not an economy, and that we can make it more civil. Even the pope has noticed... 'Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralised workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting.' AQ

aUTHoR: iMagE: © stock market - Rafael Matsunaga-Flickr

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eva Cox is currently Adjunct Professor at Jumbunna Indigenous House of learning at the university of Technology sydney (uTs). she has been an early member of the Women’s electoral lobby, program director of social Inquiry at uTs, and remains a wellknown public commentator, passionate in her advocacy for women’s rights and the alleviation of social injustice. she was appointed officer of the order of Australia in 1995, Humanist of the Year 1997, and was featured on a postage stamp, as an Australian legend in 2011.


October 2016

The Lost City: one day we’ll go back to Aleppo, you said. You don’t mean it literally. Darling, four years ago we shouted for change And now we are citizens of border towns. We go from Turkey, to Lebanon, to Egypt, But we don’t find Aleppo … And I don’t write poetry any more. From ‘After Aleppo,’ Jehan Bseiso, 14.1.15

There is no greater nor more harrowing drama on our watch, than the slow death of the great city of Aleppo. Jan egeland, norwegian Refugee Council, 2015

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iMAGE: © Alex Watson-Flickr

Homage to Aleppo

ARTICle BY: CarOline GraHam

i

n the hills around Aleppo the wild grasses that homo sapiens first cultivated twelve millennia ago still bear seed; except now they’re springing up amongst the rubble of a fallen city. According to Francesca Borri, a journalist who lived through two years of relentless bombardment: ‘Aleppo is nothing but rubble.’1 one of the earliest of human settlements on the River Queiq, the city we know as Aleppo expanded into

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Aleppo is nothing but rubble. LEfT: Aleppo before

a major trading centre thanks to its commanding position on the old Silk Road. In Arabic, its name is Halab, meaning ‘milk’ – here, so legend goes, the patriarch Abraham gave milk from his cow to needy locals. Remains of a structure dating back to 3000 BCE, possibly a temple for the storm god Hadad, have been unearthed on Aleppo’s Citadel Hill, older than other ruins dating back to the era of Greek occupation, following Alexander’s conquest in 333 BCE. Aleppo’s ancient monuments have been heritage listed: the old city became a uNESCo World Heritage Site in 1986. But now, after the years of war and aerial bombing, with no heed taken of uNESCo’s warnings, most have been destroyed. Thousands of ordinary homes are also lost: unit blocks, hostels and boarding houses, and traditional dwellings which typified the ‘elegance of a Syrian home, the carpets, the rose-filled courtyards and pastel painted tiles, the wrought iron lamps – you have to have seen all that, of which nothing remains but photographs on cell phones …to understand the hopelessness of this regression to the Stone Age.’ 2 No words of sympathy can be adequate; there is no earthly way to console those who mourn Aleppo and

its people. But there should at least be a pause to honour the lost city and its splendid past; to celebrate its glory days and remember its character. This brief epitaph can’t do justice to a history which includes occupation over the millennia by Hittites, Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Armenians, Byzantines, Arabs and Turks, but it might suggest the value of what’s lost; losses both spiritual and material. Following the Arab conquest in 637, the city’s golden age of creativity and culture flowered from 944 AD, when Aleppo became the chosen capital of an independent emirate ruled by the charismatic Arab prince Sayf al-Dawla. He lavished attention on the city, expanding the palatial dwellings and bathhouses on Citadel Hill, and building aqueducts and fortifications. When Sayf al-Dawla was not warring with Byzantine armies he presided over a brilliant court at his limestone castle, attracting an A-list of philosophers,

astronomers, historians, poets, musicians and theologians. In his time Aleppo ‘could certainly have held its own with any court in Renaissance Italy.’3 In 1896 a British antiquarian described Citadel Hill as ‘by far the most interesting and remarkable place in town.’ Gertrude Bell, the British administrator in Iraq, visiting in 1909, commented that ‘Aleppo wears a towered crown … the castle is the best example of 12th century Arab workmanship in all Syria.’ The greatest of all classical Arabic poets, known as al-Mutanabbi, was a court favourite and his panegyrics to Sayf al-Dawla helped spread the influence of his prince far and wide. They rode into battle together, but after a falling out the poet penned the memorable epigram: ‘When the lion bares his teeth do not imagine / that the lion is showing you a smile.’ Al Ma-arii, another great classical

riGhT: Aleppo now

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Travellers were amazed at the size and the lavish decorations of some of these establishments. The grandest could seat hundreds of patrons, playing chess or backgammon and listening to music, poetry and song.

poet, was born near Aleppo in 973, and studied there. He rejected all religious dogma and tales of divine revelation, proclaiming reason to be the only worthwhile moral guide, thus pre-empting Europe’s Enlightenment by several centuries. He denounced religion as ‘a fable invented by the ancients.’ He was a pacifist, and a vegan (cows produce milk for their babies, he said, not for humans to exploit), and he espoused social justice: extraordinarily progressive for this or any era. He wrote:

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‘Faith, disbelief, rumours spread, Koran, Torah, Gospels prescribe their laws Lies in every generation. Will a generation distinguish itself one day By pursuing the truth? The inhabitants of this earth are of two kinds – One has brains but no religion The other has religion but no brains.’4

In 2013 al-Marii’s outspoken atheism was punished in absentia when jihadis from the Jabhat al-Nusra Front spitefully beheaded his statue. Aleppo, known as the cradle of Arab music5, produced great musicians as well as poets and philosophers. They performed at the city’s many cafes, after the coffee drinking fashion spread from Yemen in the 16th century. Travellers were amazed at the size and the lavish decorations of some of these establishments. The grandest could seat hundreds of patrons, playing chess or backgammon and listening to music, poetry and song. Dancers and puppet shows were featured (the latter were shut down when deemed too bawdy).6 The city also boasted around fifty bathhouses, some very elegant, and open to all ranks; where friends could meet and spend half the day gossiping, having massages, and bathing. Aleppo had its share of political activists from early times, with lively debates in the mosques, the souk, bathhouses and private homes. one was the remarkable Ibn al-Khashab, a 12th century qadi (religious judge) from an eminent family. In his time, Aleppo’s ruler had bowed to the Crusaders’ insulting demand for a Christian cross to be placed on the minaret of Aleppo’s Great Mosque. A furious al-Khashab led a delegation of dignitaries to arouse the Caliph in Baghdad, and after a rowdy protest the cross was removed.

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THE BAzAARS oF ALEppo ARE An unendInG joy

Al-Khashab went on to lead an army against the Crusaders in 1119. It wasn’t customary for a cleric to take up arms, and he was mocked by the soldiers: ‘Are we to be led into battle by someone wearing a turban?’ But the Aleppans won, the Crusaders’ leader Count Roger of Antioch was killed, and the city celebrated for days. The ruler, anticipating a revenge attack, hastily left for the countryside and so Al-Khashab once again organised the resistance, sealing an alliance with the nearby city of Mosul, causing the Crusaders to back off. unfortunately al-Khashab was later murdered by the notorious Assassins… but that’s another story. As trade on the Silk Road expanded, an influx of merchants and consuls took up residence, and Aleppo was famous for its markets. The Souk al-Medina, built in the 14th century, was undercover, stretching for kilometres in all directions. The English archaeologist leonard Woolley, visiting often in 1912-14, wrote:

‘The bazaars of Aleppo are an unending joy … pass under a massive archway with iron-studded doors and you will find yourself in a maze of cobbled lanes bordered with booths and roofed with vaults of stone … flashes of red and green and gold as the broken sunbeams chance on piles of silk or carpets,

fresh garden stuff, hammered copperware or jars of spices … gold and silver trinkets gleam with flashes caught from the live coals of the goldsmith’s brazier … crates of oranges, grapes and melons and apricots … cook-shops where the counter is spread with sesame-cakes steeped in honey, and cavernous restaurants where many-coloured sherbets are served to you in tumblers filled with snow … You can wander literally for miles through these vaulted alleys.’7 For centuries Aleppo was also the main market for the Arabian horses from the desert, so prized in Europe. Horse traders could recite a horse’s pedigree, stretching back hundreds of years: ‘Proofs of nobility that many nobles in France could not produce,’ as a French consul in Aleppo remarked. Allah, it was said, had created the ‘drinkers of the wind’ as one of the glories of the earth. Bred for speed, stamina and intelligence by

the Bedouin, who cherished the ‘asil’ or purebred, and forbade cross-breeding, all Arabian horses were said to be descended from the five special mares – ‘al- Khamsa’ – favoured by the Prophet Mohammed. In 1704 the English consul in Aleppo, Thomas Darley, sent a fine stallion, the ‘Darley Arabian’ to his brother in England, to become one of the three Arabian ‘foundation sires’ of all thoroughbred horses racing today. Darley exchanged the stallion for a shipment of rifles: possibly the first arms deal in the Middle East. In 2003 the Emir of Dubai set up two of his global network of horse studs in Australia, named the Darley Studs in honour of the famous stallion.8 Australian troops occupied Aleppo briefly in both World Wars, and these Arabian horses were admired by the horsemen from the bush. Towards the end of WW1 Australian General Harry Chauvel, with his 2500 light Horsemen, moved his HQ to Aleppo to drive the Turks back over the border. on the

iMAGE: © Arian Zwegers-Flickr

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Aleppo’s vitality was due to a combination of diversity, tolerance and affluence.

ride to Aleppo they shot dead an ‘Arab sheik’ who was riding ‘a most beautiful Arab mare … a pure-bred Mare of the Prophet.’ Chauvel hoped to smuggle her back to Australia and so his aides tried to disguise her, dying her with Condy’s crystals and replacing her ‘silver Arab slippers’ with ‘heavy army shoes.’ This caused the mare to go lame and she had to be left behind, to Chauvel’s eternal regret.9 The Australians went on to hunt Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal out of his last Syrian bastion: a top-floor suite in Aleppo’s famous Baron Hotel, the ‘unique hôtel de Première classe à Alep,’ patronised by celebrities like Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot left from Aleppo on the orient Express), lawrence of Arabia (his unpaid bar bill was later on display) and Egypt’s President Nasser.10 The Armenian owners were nonpartisan: German generals treated their Turkish allies to banquets here. In WW2 Australian troops again briefly occupied Aleppo. At the time of the Armistice in 1941 ‘the army occupying most of Syria was primarily Australian, led by an Australian General [lt- General John lavarack].’11 The Free French forces tried and failed to reclaim the country for France, and so in an indirect way Australia played a role in the winning of Syrian independence in 1946. It’s also worth a mention that the state of New South Wales has now

elected a Premier from an Aleppan family. Gladys Berejiklian’s mother is from Aleppo; her grandparents had been orphaned in the Armenian genocide of 1915, and found refuge in Aleppo, where the large and prosperous Armenian community sheltered thousands. Her father is from Jerusalem; Gladys did not speak English until she attended primary school in Sydney.12 As Premier, she is competent, unassuming and widely respected. Aleppo’s vitality was due to a combination of diversity, tolerance and affluence. An English merchant commented in 1586 that ‘… hither resort Jewes, Tartarians, Persians, Armenians, Egyptians, Indians and many sorts of Christians, and enjoy freedom of their consciences and bring thither many kinds of rich merchandises.’13 This at a time when freedom of religion was unknown in most European cities. A 17th century French diplomat described Aleppans as ‘the gentlest, the least kenniving, and the most accommodating in this vast Empire.’14 A century later a Scottish doctor, who practised in Aleppo for fifteen years (1740-1754), wrote that although Aleppans might argue and quarrel they seldom came to blows: ‘none are less guilty of fighting…in many years you may perhaps never see one blow struck.’15 over sixty years later an English traveller wrote that ‘Aleppo was by far

iMAGEs: © Mil.ru - Wiki

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iMAGEs: © Charles_Hajj-Wiki

the most cheerful place in Syria.’ He had a positive opinion of the Muslim majority, commenting that a Dutch consul there mixed more ‘with the higher classes of the Mahometan inhabitants than Franks in general are in the habit of doing; he wore their dress, and had acquired much of their tranquil philosophy and their dignity of appearance and manners.’16 Muslim Arab rule lasted for seven centuries, and ottoman rule for a further five. At the end of the latter period T.E. lawrence found that Aleppo was as convivial as ever: ‘… the races, creeds, and tongues of the ottoman Empire met and knew each other in a spirit of compromise … It was typical of Aleppo that in it, while yet Mohammedan feeling ran high, more fellowship should rule between Christian and Mohammedan, Armenian, Arab, Turk, Kurd and Jew, than in perhaps any other great city of the ottoman Empire.’17 lawrence’s friend Gertrude Bell wrote that : ‘a virile population, a splendid architecture, the quickening sense of a fine Arab tradition have combined to give the town an individuality sharply cut, and more than any other Syrian city she seems instinct with an inherent vitality.’18 Along with the cleanliness of the city and the safety maintained within its boundaries, the good manners of Aleppans were often noted: the saying

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goes that they were even taught to address their dogs as ‘sir.’ According to a recent publication, My Aleppo (2011), they are still praised for ‘hospitality, friendliness, and gentleness.’ There are many accounts of kindness, such as the custom whereby residents filled marble troughs outside their homes with fresh water, providing drinking utensils for passers-by. There was also kindness to animals, with the observation that Aleppans often looked after stray puppies or sick dogs; and there was the ‘rich, cat-loving Mussulman’ who founded a large Hospital for Cats. When witnessed by an American journalist in 1854 this was ‘one of the best endowed institutions in the city,’ employing many staff to look after several hundred cats: old cats, sick cats and homeless cats were given food,

shelter and medical attention. ‘It is quite a sight,’ the American punned, ‘here one with a bruised limb is receiving a cataplasm; there, a cataleptic patient is tenderly cared for; and so on, through the long concatenation of feline diseases.’19 In 2015 starvation was such that the imams authorised the cooking of stray cats.20 Even so, an Aleppan cat lover is still doing rescue work. Hundreds of cats abandoned by fleeing owners are looked after in a sanctuary established by ambulance driver Mohammad Alaa Aljaleel. His first shelter was gassed and bombed but, with international support, he’s opened another one in the ruins and so ‘The Catman of Aleppo’ continues his work. Those Aleppans who could pay the $150 for transport to the Turkish

In 2015 starvation was such that the imams authorised the cooking of stray cats.

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Unknown thousands have been killed, some by bullets and bombs, others by typhus, black fever or malnutrition. The Un stopped counting the dead a few years ago. border fled long ago – as Robert Fisk wrote in 2012: 'the rich have already left …and the poor suffer.’21 out of two million former residents, an estimated 800,000 try to survive in the ruins. out of the million or so who left, many may never return. unknown thousands have been killed, some by bullets and bombs, others by typhus, black fever or malnutrition. The uN stopped counting the dead a few years ago; the city was

too dangerous to access.22 ‘Dozens of children, barefoot, ragged, and disfigured by the scars of leishmaniasis, tag after emaciated mothers, also barefoot and completely in black, fully covered, all with bowl in hand, in search of a mosque where bread is distributed, yellow with typhus,’ wrote Francesca Borri in 2015. She noted a young doctor, operating without anaesthetics or antibiotics, with no idea how to go

iMAGE: © Voice of America News - scott Bobb - Wiki

on treating his patients. Aleppo once had about five thousand doctors, but now there were only thirty-six. only one hospital was left. The Syrian Arab Red Crescent, along with the International Committee of the Red Cross, have been on the ground in Syria since the beginning of the conflict. Many of their staff have lost their lives in the line of duty. other help for the wounded came from the volunteers known as the White Helmets of Aleppo, the local branch of the Syrian Civil Defence units, who defied snipers and bombs to rescue victims trapped in the streets or under the rubble. The White Helmets have around 3000 volunteers from all walks of life operating in Syrian centres. 159 have been killed so far while carrying out the dangerous humanitarian work.23 As recently as August, seven White Helmets were shot dead by unidentified gunmen, in an attack on their volunteer office in the city of Sarmin. In April 2013, Aleppo’s 11th century minaret crashed to the ground under fire, totally destroyed; the Great Mosque, founded in the 8th century, is seriously damaged. The famous souk was engulfed in fire: ‘all that remains of Aleppo’s ancient souk, the bazaar – the most enchanting place, the iconic picture postcard of Syria with its tumult of voices, its stories and colours, the flurry of life – all that remains is this: rubble. Your feet sink up to your ankles

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Support the work of the Red Cross and Red Crescent by donating: www.redcross.org.au/campaigns/syria-crisis-appeal.aspx You can also support the work of the White Helmets by donating at: www.whitehelmets.org

Your feet sink up to your ankles in twisted spikes of rusty iron, glass, metal. The shutters are ripped open and riddled with bullets. Dust and stones. nothing more. in twisted spikes of rusty iron, glass, metal. The shutters are ripped open and riddled with bullets. Dust and stones. Nothing more.’24 Syrian government soldiers used Citadel Hill and its ancient fortifications as a military base and the priceless remains of Sayf al-Dawla’s palace are damaged beyond repair. Aleppo’s cafes and bathhouses are closed; the music and song are gone. Night-time satellite imagery shows a darkened city. The poet Fouad Mohammed Fouad surveyed it in despair:

No drinks in ‘The Nightingale.’ No drinkers. No song. One by one they awaken the beasts of darkness.’25 Aleppo has survived sacking and looting over the centuries by Mongol, Timur (Tamberlaine) and Byzantine Christian armies, but none of these invaders were able to cause the degree of destruction now witnessed. All of the losses – the people, the buildings, the social networks – must cause an unfathomable level of grief for Aleppans. How can more than

thirty thousand dead be adequately mourned?26 A tightly knit society was attacked, broken and scattered – will the survivors ever be able to mend the web of their tolerant and gentle way of life? Al Ma’rii, the tenth century poet, wrote of his suffering people:

‘Fate smashes us as though we were made of glass And never are our shards put together again…’27 AQ

‘Aleppo spread before me, black and deserted … No sound but sporadic gunfire …

aUtHOr:

No oudh plucked. No swaying dancers.

Caroline Graham is a former book reviewer, then columnist, for The Australian. she has been a feature writer for Nation Review, a tutor in the Government Department of The university of sydney, President of the Australasian Middle east studies Association, and a lecturer in the Faculty of Humanities, uTs. she retired as senior lecturer in International Politics in 1998.

iMAGE: © Joshua Tabti-Flickr

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