WITADA’s Weekly Top 10 – 25 April 2015

25 April 201525 April 2015


WITADA’s Weekly Top 10: News, stories and ideas to make the world a better place. 


In our Top 10 this week we look at some climate change issues, some poverty issues and some endangered species as well as some great shoes!!


1. If you are interested in the illegal slaughter of whales in Antartica by the Japanese government, then this media release by the CEO of Sea Shepherd Global will be of interest to you. There is some new, and hopefully very positive, news from the United Nations International Court of Justice that should prevent any further whaling by Japan.


2. A joint report from the World Wide Fund and the Australian National University has argued that “Australia could source 100% of its power from renewables by 2050 – without incurring massive adjustment costs or depressing economic growth – if there were clear and stable national policy settings to support investment in renewables”.


3. It’s been called the $4 million dollar insult (by Tim Flannery) – the decision from the Federal Government in Australia to fund a think tank / ‘consensus centre at the University of Western Australia run by Bjorn Lomborg. Lomborg is a climate change contrarian and political scientist who has some decidedly ‘unscientific’ views about climate change.


4. Thom Mitchell from New Matilda has reported on the recently released report from the Committee for Economic Development of Australia which states that “more than a million Australians are living with chronic or persistent poverty or deprivation”.
And at the same time there are two very recent TED talks that have been released addressing issues of capitalism, poverty and ‘justness’.
Paul Tudor Jones II is an investment manager and a philanthropist and he has some interesting ideas about his concept of ‘justness’.
Gary Haugen is a Human Rights Lawyer and in his talk he addresses the factors he considers to be keeping poverty alive.


5. There has been much press this week about the shocking treatment of refugees and asylum seekers in Europe. And of course very disturbing comments by Kate Hopkins that reflect much more on her character than any social issue to do with refugees. These events have given rise to some excellent commentary pieces about these social issues generally.
Suzanne Moore has written an article in The Guardian about the language of genocide that seems so common place and somewhat ‘watered down’ now. And Julian Burnside has written two articles about Australia and our treatment of refugees – one in The Guardian and one in The Sydney Morning Herald.
And there is an Amnesty International petition that is also worth signing if you have the time.


6. Another new report this week, this time from the International Crisis Group. The report, Women, Violence and Conflict in Pakistan has raised the ongoing concerns about the endemic nature of violence against women in Pakistan. Hina Jilani is a renowned Pakistani human rights lawyer and member of The Elders. In this article she gives her perspective on the findings of the report and the ongoing fight for gender equality in Pakistan.
And a little relatedly, there is a great YouTube video of the first session of the World Woman forum where Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini interviews Gro Brundtland and Hina Jilani – both members of The Elders. It’s a great!


7. These photos are heartbreakingly beautiful. They are shots of some of the most endangered animals as a result of global warming and are produced by the WWF UK.
And on a slightly brighter note, Alan Yuhas from The Guardian in New York, has a story on a recent petition in a US court that has been granted to Hercules and Leo – two chimpanzees who have been used for medical experiments and are now, through their human lawyers, wanting to defend their rights against unlawful imprisonment.


8. New Internationalist has just published the latest edition of their magazine – Day of the Zombies: Global banking now. There are some excellent articles, as always, in this high quality publication. “Ask yourself how people fined $300 billion for malpractice can also make $1 trillion in profits, and there you have the current state of banking laid bare.”


9. The Pampaida Community School in Nigeria was established in 2006 by the UNDP and in the five years since this school and its neighbouring school began, they have turned out over 2,000 students, some of who have gone on to study at universities and colleges. The provision of good quality school lunches is an additional incentive for the kids to come to school. The other good news is the increasing number of girl students attending – now 196 of the 420 pupils!


10. We love creative ideas here at WITADA and this is a doozy!! Kenton Lee went to Nairobi  and was struck by how many children did not have adequate footwear. This was a direct result of poverty where basic clothing requirements can be difficult to get. So Lee invented a shoe that can be adjusted up to five times and lasts for at least five years. He initiated a crowd funding campaign and raised enough money to produce 2,000 shoes that he then provided to kids in Nairobi for free. Now the idea has turned into a company, Because International, and the are trying to raise more money to produce another 5,000 shoes and it’s nearly reached its target. The Shoe That Grows – not a bad way to spend your time doing good things in the world!


Thanks for coming along and reading our Top 10 again. Let us know if you have any comments or suggestions by going along to our Facebook page. See you all next week.