Letter to Hypatia of Alexandria

Dear Hypatia,

I first got to know you in 1977, on page 365 of Bertrand Russell’s 789 page tome, ‘A History of Western Civilization’. You rated one paragraph.

There are very few women in that three thousand years of history, drawn from the annals of men. But there you were, the world’s greatest mind on mathematics, astronomy and philosophy in 400 AD.
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A New Year resolution

Here’s a big thank you to the team from the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency who rounded off a solid year of tortuous negotiations with some progress at COP18 in Doha. Of course we’re disappointed that there’s such slow global action on the climate crisis that is unfolding, but we should still celebrate the huge effort being put in by Climate Change staff.

The tough reality is that within two decades we need to stop burning coal, gas and oil. We simply cannot accept the 4 to 6 degree temperature rise that is likely by the end of the century if we don’t move to a zero-emissions economy. But moving to zero-emissions won’t happen for as long as governments and international negotiations are in thrall to the fossil fuel industry.
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Live export and factory farming

On 5 November 2012, the ABC TV broadcast its second Four Corners story in two years into animal cruelty in the live export industry. The first report – A Bloody Business, broadcast in May last year – focused on the inhumane treatment of Australian cattle in Indonesian abattoirs. Last month’s follow up saw Sarah Ferguson present the results of an investigation into the brutal slaughter of 20,000 sheep at an abattoir in Karachi. Both stories were accompanied by shocking video evidence of the cruelty. The government response to the first report was to temporarily suspend the trade in live export (resumed one month later with stricter regulations). The Another Bloody Business program has seen the voluntary banning of sheep exports into Pakistan by the industry.

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