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FROM JOANATHAN SYMONS (Macquarie Unversity, Australia)

24 Aug 2014

Dear Joe,

Congratulations on the wonderful website - it's a great resource.

I've been meaning to ask you a question about your attitude to nuclear power for some time. As I'm sure you are aware, quite a few environmentalists (such as George Monbiot and James Hansen) have recently argued, reluctantly, for the necessity of expanding the use of nuclear power as part of the global response to climate change (maybe less necessary in Australia than some other places).

I was wondering if your views on this topic have changed as the climate crisis has become more apparent.

New Cold War or Dialogue of Civilizations?


25 Aug 2014

Succinct and astute as always.

We run the usual risks of historical analogies by thinking in 'cold war' terms. We may look at some of the structural conditions such as NATO expansion and Russian interventionism. Putin is openly nostalgic for the Soviet Union.

What is striking about the narrative is new ideology of ethno-geopolitics and the revived civilisational discourse of Eurasianism. Dialogue should recognise the growing sense of Russian Derzhavnost and acknowledge the grounds for critique of assertive Atlanticism. The EU might exercise restraint.

What else to do? Genuine dialogue with ethnic minorities that have experienced invidious treatment. More sustainable prospects for political autonomy should be on the table. Broader reforms of the UN should consider a new chamber for 'peoples'.

Great powers should share responsibility to "save lives, not pick sides". In this regard, Russia might observe its own restraining advice that it gave in the UNSC votes on Libya and Syria. 

Civilisational dialogue might also involve a more inclusive conversation on the idea of "Eurasia":

Economic Growth

From Marko Beljac (Swinburne University of Technology)

28 August 2014

I have a question to pose in the hope that it might provoke some interesting comment; are there objective limits to economic growth, or is it possible to envisage a society that can pursue economic growth both sustainably and indefinitely?

A New Cold War?

From Jonathan Keren-Black (progressive Jewish)

1 September 2014

I share your concerns - especially when hearing Abbot acknowledge that it is not Australia's decision alone, whether to prevent Putin from coming to the Brisbane G20 summit.


Iran as the key to halting the carnage and state distintegration of Syria

FROM YEHONATHAN TOMMER (Freelance journalist in Israel)

All members of the UN Security Council despite their conflicting geopolitical interests in Syria could agree to a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire around the principles Camilleri proposes. So why haven't they taken action to stop the carnage and halt the colossal human tragedy which they condemn? 
Meanwhile Syria, a fabrication of European colonialism, has crumbled into rival Islamist and aggressive jihadist groups including the new rogue Islamic State whose fighters are also establishing a Syrian foothold along Israel's borders in the eastern Golan Heights.