The End of Infinite Growth: The Economic Face of Natural Limits

BY BEN HABIB. This article delves into the terrain of macroeconomics, political economy and energy. Human societies, along with the economies that facilitate the exchange of goods and services within and between them, can only grow to the extent that the physical limits of the natural world will allow. Systemic breakdown is likely if these limits are exceeded, a reality with which we are beginning to grapple as ecological, energy and economic crises coalesce into a perfect storm.

Read Article →

University of the Third Age, Albury-Wodonga

SOPHIE BUCKLE & BEN HABIB. On Friday 12th August 2011, Sophie Buckle and Ben Habib visited the Albury-Wodonga chapter of the University of the Third Age. During their visit, Ben Habib delivered a presentation to U3A members on politics in the Middle East, while Sophie Buckle conducted an interview with U3A Albury-Wodonga committee members Don Cocks and Lyle Wright, exploring the activities of and the philosophy behind U3A.

Read Article →

South Korea: Land of the Long White Cloud

BY BEN HABIB. South Korea, what an interesting country! I have had the opportunity to visit fascinating nation on three occasions between 2002 and 2008, spending most of my time in Daegu, South Korea’s third largest city, as well as the capital Seoul and the southern port city of Busan. The following is a photographic documentary of my travels in the ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’.

Read Article →

History Study Companion: The Chinese Revolution

BY BEN HABIB. Welcome to Our Voice: Politics Albury-Wodonga’s audio study companion series on the Chinese Revolution, a compliment to Units 3 & 4 of the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) year 12 History curriculum. The series spans the period from 1836 to the present day, introducing the important events, key players, influential ideas and central themes surrounding the Chinese revolution, along with analysis of the historical background that led to the revolution as well as its legacy today.

Read Article →

Revolutions in the Middle East — Presentation by Dr Luca Anceschi

Watchers of international affairs cannot help but be mesmerised by the rebellions that have unfolded across the Middle East in 2011. In this instalment of the podcast, we are fortunate to be joined by Dr Luca Anceschi from La Trobe University in Melbourne. On Monday 11th April, Luca made a presentation at the LTU Albury-Wodonga campus entitled Revolutions in the Middle East, for second and third year Bachelor of Arts students taking the subject International Relations of the Middle East.

Read Article →

Interview with Heather Bruer from the Australian Youth Climate Coalition

Our guest on the podcast today, Heather Bruer from the Australian Youth Climate Coaltion (AYCC), is a 21 year old Economics student at the University of Adelaide and is currently co-director of the AYCC in South Australia. In December 2010 Heather was part of the Australian Youth Delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Council of Parties 16 (COP16) climate talks in Cancún, Mexico. In the podcast, Heather talks about her experiences at COP16 in Cancún, the reasons she became a climate activist and the moral imperative for young people to engage with the politics of climate change, as well as her thoughts on the current carbon pricing debate in Australia.

Read Article →

Tension in Korea — The Artillery Exchange at Yeonpyeong

BY BEN HABIB. The exchange of shell fire overnight between North and South Korea is symptomatic of the tense new dynamic on the Korean peninsula, stemming from the North’s muscular new stance as a nuclear weapons power. This comes only months after the sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan, another serious provocation widely blamed on Pyongyang.

Read Article →

Getting to Know the Neighbourhood — Understanding East Asia

BY BEN HABIB. During the past week, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has been in Vietnam representing Australia at the East Asia Summit in Hanoi, Vietnam. East Asia—comprising China, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Russia, Taiwan and the United States as a vested external player—is a complex strategic environment characterised by ongoing rivalry and historic animosity. It is a region vital to Australia’s economic and security interests. Because of these broad economic and security interests, it is important that we in Australia come to a better understanding of the dynamics of international politics in the East Asian region.

Read Article →

Transitions Towns and the Post-Carbon Future of Albury-Wodonga — An Interview with Ian Longfield

In this edition of the Our Voice: Politics Albury-Wodonga podcast we’re joined by Ian Longfield from Transition Towns Albury-Wodonga. Ian has campaigned on peak oil issues since 2007 after becoming aware of the problems of energy descent during a 2005 land planning seminar. It was through his professional involvement in property development and agency that he became increasingly concerned at our unsustainable pattern of urban development, incompatible with a future dominated by peak oil and climate change. Our interview discussion ranges from geopolitics to individual action and everywhere in between, so buckle up and enjoy this engrossing conversation.

Read Article →

Healthy Mind, Healthy Community, Healthy World — Interview with Marie Jackson

One of the enjoyable aspects of administering Our Voice: Politics Albury-Wodonga has been the opportunity it has given me to interview all kinds of interesting people from across the local community. One of those interesting people is today’s guest, Marie Jackson. Marie is a local legend, best known through her role as a much-loved DRU Yoga instructor in Wodonga. She has been nominated for Australian of the Year for her community work and has a wealth of wisdom to share on many matters spiritual, emotional and practical. We cover a lot of terrain in this discussion, but it is a fascinating journey…

Read Article →

Surviving Stalin, Hitler and White Australia

BY BEN HABIB.
Fear and ignorance are a poor basis for making any kind of decision, including the decision we make at the ballot box on election day. In this posting I will tell the story of my grandmother, a Ukrainian peasant girl who survived the evil crimes of Stalin and Hitler to find a home amidst the racial intolerance of white Australia. She knew the real meaning of fear and rose above it.

Read Article →