December 10, 2011

Sunday Profile

ABC Radio National

Dick Warburton [Head of the Renewable Energy Target Review]:
There are at least 30,000 people who have signed a petition on this saying the opposite to what the climate change people do.
[The science] is just not settled. …
[There's] no convincing evidence that carbon dioxide is a major cause … of global warming.
Not climate change — no question about climate change — climate change is happening: it's happened for ten years, a hundred years, a thousand years and will continue to do so. …
(23 February 2014)

Rob Vertessy [Director, Bureau of Meteorology]:
We probably see, something of order of five times as many very severe heat waves today than we did in the middle of the last century.
And that's a trajectory that we expect to increase. …
(29 March 2015)

Andrew Harper


UN operations leader in Jordan

The apartment [in Homs] which they had been living in had been bombed. …
Two of the family members had died. …
So they're obviously extremely traumatized, particularly the children.
One of the children was just still in her pajamas.
She'd obviously escaped when she was sleeping and didn't have a chance to get changed …
She'd been travelling for the last seven days just in her pajamas.
There was another one whose only possession was her teddy bear which she brought across, which was obviously filthy after travelling through the desert.

(22 September 2013)


Contents


Andrew Harper

John Rodsted

Michael Marmot

Mark Textor

Ted Olson

David Kilcullen

Erika Feller


SUNDAY PROFILE


Richard Aedy

  • Rob Vertessy, 29 March 2015.
    Director, Bureau of Meteorology.
  • Lucy Perry, 22 March 2015.
    CEO, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia (Australia).
  • Jennifer Robinson, 21 December 2014.
    Director of Legal Advocacy, Bertha Foundation
  • Julian Burnside, 9 November 2014.
    Sydney Peace Prize, 2014.
  • Jillian Broadbent, 4 May 2014.
    Chair of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
    Member of the Reserve Bank Board.
  • Mark Dybul, 22 October 2013.
    Executive Director, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
  • Kristi Mansfield, 25 August 2013.
    Philanthropic Fundraiser.
  • Paul Davies, 17 August 2013.
    Physicist and Cosmologist.
  • Alison Wolf, 19 May 2013.
    Economist, Sir Roy Griffiths Professor of Public Sector Management, King’s College London.
    Author, The XX Factor: How Working Women Are Creating A New Society.
  • Michael Smith, 28 July 2013.
    CEO, Action Aid Australia.
  • Louise Newman, 18 November 2012.
    Director, Centre for Developmental Psychiatry and Psychology, Monash University.
  • John Rodsted, 18 November 2012.
    Photographer and Author, In search of safe ground.

    John Rodsted
    Through Laos and eastern Cambodia, there was a bombing mission over that area every eight minutes for nine years …
    Cambodia had about 2.75 million tons of bombs dropped on it [and] Laos had in excess of 3 million tons of bombs dropped on it.
    Far more than was ever dropped in all of World War II.
    [It was] an illegal air war run by Nixon and Kissinger to try and shut down the Ho Chi Minh trail.
    It was misappropriated money.
    Congress didn't know about it. …

    A cluster bomb … is about the size of a tennis ball. …
    Part of the arming mechanism is you spin it.
    So some kids will find what they think is a ball ‒ start playing with it.
    One spins it, throws it to another kid …
    (This is something I actually documented.)
    That armed it.
    The kid's brother caught it and … it blew the upper part of his body off.
    That is not uncommon. …

    [A labourer on a cassava plantation] sat down at a break to light a fire to cook some lunch.
    Lit a small fire on the ground and the ground blew up.
    She got massive burns and shrapnel wounds, along with another woman.
    Five people injured in all.
    All of them badly burnt, two of them critically. …
    That possibly was … an unexploded mortar [shell. …]

    During the bombing campaign they were spending up to $17 million a day in Cambodia …
    They're spending about $6,000 dollars a day clearing Cambodia. …

    Richard Aedy
    [About] 12 million US$ a year, would clear 10,000 hectares of affected land a year. …

    John Rodsted
    If you're born into this world as a Cambodian, and you're stuck with this dangerous legacy.
    It's simply an accident of geography.
    You were unlucky enough to be born there.
    I was lucky enough to be born in Australia.
    It gave me all sorts of opportunities. …
    It is a completely unfair situation.
    So, [we] in the wealthier first world … as contributors to the problem in the past, need to do something about it.

  • Saul Eslake, 27 May 2012.
    Economist, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.
  • Michael Marmot, 20 May 2012.
    Professor of Epidemiology and Director of the International Institute of Society and Health, University College, London.

    [What] we’ve shown in study after study, in country after country, [is] that there’s a social gradient.
    [The] lower you are in the hierarchy, the worse your health, the higher you are, the better your health.

    [It’s] not just that people with no education have worse health. …
    In Sweden … people with PhDs have lower mortality than those with a masters degree. …
    [We’re] not dealing only with poverty …
    We’re dealing with [relative inequalities.]

    [There are three mechanisms:]

    The first is exposure to environmental hazards. …

    The second is lifestyle …
    [Your] position in the hierarchy influences your behavior. …
    [For example, the] lower you are in the hierarchy the more likely you are to smoke. …

    [The third is how] the social environment impacts on … health through the mind.
    [If] people are disempowered - if they have little control over their lives, if they’re socially isolated or unable to participate fully in society - then there are biological effects. …

    [In a study of rhesus macaques, researchers] examined several hundred genes, and [and showed that] the rank of the monkey affected gene expression in a number of interesting pathways, including immune function. …
    [The social] environment [affects] gene expression. …

    [When] we compare the health of indigenous Australians with non-indigenous Australians [we find] marked inequalities.
    [These differences are attributable not only to their genes, but to] the conditions in which they’re born, grow, live, work and age – in other words, to the social determinants of health. …

    [Estimates] from North America suggest that for every dollar spent on early child development, you save seven dollars over the life course …
    [That is] because children with better early child development are less likely to end up delinquent, involved in crime, unemployed and so on. …

    [Economists argue about] whether we need to cut [spending] or stimulate [the economy.]
    [Instead, let’s] look at … the effect of policies on the lives people are able to lead …
    [On the] the likely [effects] on health and health inequalities [of particular] social policies.

    [Pursuing] a set of policies that throws young people out of school, onto the scrap heap [is a public health emergency.]
    [We] have more than 50% youth unemployment in Spain …
    [We] thought it was unacceptably high in the UK at around 25 per cent of youth unemployment …

    [For the] eighteen years from the time Mrs Thatcher was elected [in 1979, the government's position was:]
    We do not want to know about health inequalities …
    [The 1980] Black Report on health inequalities [was ignored.]
    [By contrast, the current] Conservative led government [has said, we’ll] try and address them.

    Would you like to know more?

  • Mark Textor, 1 April 2012.
    Political Strategist and Managing Director, C|T (Crosby Textor) Group.
    Former federal director of the Liberal Party.

    Mark Textor:
    I had a partial interest in politics.
    And perversely it came from the Labor Party.
    Very good friends of mine, the Reids, were conveners of … the left or the centre-left in Darwin. …
    They’re very, very thoughtful, kind, good citizens.
    [I] actually went to a few political functions with them as a teenager [including] a Bob Hawke fundraiser …

    [My] social science teacher at school was … the Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon.
    It was really Warren who … piqued my interest in policy and politics.
    He was a very active member of the Labor left at the time. …
    I didn’t agree with him, but I saw in him that you could actually … get things done through politics …

    [In an election campaign you] get to tease out your own particular envelope …
    That is: what am I prepared not to do? …

    [There’s] some very decent people in the ALP.
    [George Wright] the national secretary of the ALP.
    [Like] Brian Loughnane, is a very, very good man, sound values. …
    Gary Gray … is a fantastic operator for the Labor Party.
    Andrew Robb, a great operator for the Liberal Party. …

    I happen to share the values of the Liberal Party …
    [The] notion of individual … rather than a collective responsibility.
    [I believe in] building a sense of individual responsibility and strength and courage because the aspiration of that is a sense of achievement.

    [That’s] what I love about business.
    It’s a fantastic feeling of achievement.
    … I’d like others to have the opportunity to get that feeling of achievement.
    And you only do that through free enterprise, free choice. …

    Richard Aedy:
    [It’s] been reported that you’re the guy … who came up with:
    Stop the boats, stop the big new taxes, end the waste and pay back the debt.
    Mark Textor:
    All of those things had already been said.
    But the thing about putting those things together is very simple …
    [With] all sorts of mess in the media matrix [what's] missing from communication is the clarity in issues …

    Would you like to know more?

  • Ted Olson, 5 February 2012.
    Former US Solicitor General George W Bush.

    People do not choose to be gay.
    They are born with characteristics that cause their sexual orientation to be what it is.
    They deserve happiness and equality and dignity and respect and absence of discrimination in their lives the same as the rest of us do …

    [We are talking about] the equal right to the right to marry.
    One of our early Supreme Court cases says that the right to marry is older than our Bill of Rights, it’s older than our political parties, it is older than the United States …
    [So] when we were denying that right to individuals because of their sexual orientation, we are taking away … a fundamental right, and we are doing it on the basis of their intrinsic characteristics …
    [That] is a violation of our equal protection clause in our 14th amendment to our constitution. …

    [In] 1967 the [US] Supreme Court decided unanimously that laws that prohibited people from marrying someone of a different race were unconstitutional.
    The Supreme Court has decided similarly with respect to prisoners. …
    Slaves were not permitted to get married until the Emancipation Proclamation …

    All people are created equal …
    [We] have to live up to that with respect to people of different sexual orientation as well as people of different races, or different religions, or people of different national origins. …

    [In court] we had expert witnesses who testified that individuals who are denied the right to marry are marked by society as being unequal, different and disrespected.
    [They] testified that [this] is very harmful to [the] thirty thousand some children being in California being raised by same sex couples …

    We kept pressing, and the judge kept pressing [our opposition:]
    Tell us what harm it will do to heterosexual marriage if persons of the same sex are allowed to get married? …
    [Our] opponents were not able to come up with any persuasive arguments …
    [At] the end of the day people don’t want people of the same sex to get married because they are uncomfortable with people who are homosexual.

    [The state of California says:]
    You can marry anyone you want as long as it’s someone of the opposite sex.
    [That] is discrimination on the basis of sex. …

    … I have now had an opportunity to speak to and look into the hearts of people whose sexual orientation is different than mine.
    People who have been together for ten, fifteen, twenty, thirty years.
    These are our brothers and our sisters and our doctors and our lawyers and our law partners and the people, and our neighbours who live down the street.
    We have to be able to treat them equally …

  • David Kilcullen, 4 December 2011.
    Counter insurgency Expert.

    Julia Baird:
    David Kilcullen, one of the world’s top counterinsurgency experts, and a former colonel in the Australian Army. …

    What we really need is to ensure that Pakistan doesn’t collapse.
    [That’s] the problem that keeps me awake at night.

    David Kilcullen:
    I mean, you’re talking about the fastest-growing nuclear power in the region.
    It has more than a hundred nuclear weapons.
    It has an army bigger than the US Army.
    And it’s confronted with India and close to China. …

    [The] collapse of Pakistan would be a very, very major disruption, possibly leading to a nuclear war. …

    It’s important … to recognize that there’s a very free press in Pakistan.
    There’s an independent judiciary.
    There’s a well-educated population that has been pro-Western in the past.
    And there’s a wide variety of religious positions. …

    [A] lot of what’s happened here is our fault.
    [We] drove Al Qaeda out of Afghanistan, into Pakistan, in 2001.

    We … forced the Pakistanis to send troops against their better judgement into the tribal areas to try to deal with Al Qaeda.
    That created a big tribal backlash which led to a lot of the violence that we’ve seen in the tribal areas [and] contributed to the rise of the Pakistani Taliban.

    None of that excuses what I think is a fairly detectable pattern of the Pakistani national security establishment using radicals and militants, including Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Taliban, to further their geopolitical interests. …

    [Their] big concern is that as the United States pulls out that there will become basically a power vacuum which is likely to be filled in part by India.

    There’s … ongoing suspicion and fear on the part of the Pakistanis that they’re going to be encircled by a strong Indian presence in Afghanistan.
    And that in part is the motivation for what they’ve done in backing militant and insurgent groups. …

    The predecessor to [Jemaah Islamiyah] was an organisation called Dar al Islam. …

    … I did my PhD on what it was that made people support that group, and how they manipulated people and the ways in which political power at the village level changed over time during that conflict.

    Halfway through my PhD we intervened in East Timor and I was an infantry company commander and was sent to the East/West Timor border, and had the opportunity to do some detailed interviews and discussions with Timorese. …

    I went to Iraq not because I thought the war was a good idea, but because I thought the violence and the killing was just absolutely appalling and we had to do … you know, it was our responsibility, we created it, we had to stop it. …

    By applying a combination of winning over the population … and by targeting the worst guys … we succeeded in driving down Iraqi civilian casualties by 96 per cent between May and October of 2007. …

    I run a little company now.
    We work with communities, with businesses on how do you deal with basic human problems of governance, of having enough electricity, of healthcare, education. …

    [We] work in Africa.
    We work in Latin America.
    We have, still, people in Afghanistan working on solar energy projects with communities. …
    We don’t do security work.
    We don’t carry weapons.
    And yet we operate in some of the most dangerous places in the world.

    Would you like to know more?

  • Noam Chomsky, 6 November 2011.
    Linguist, Philosopher and Activist.
  • Erika Feller, 11 September 2011.
    UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Protection.


    Erika Feller is the … highest ranking woman at the UNHCR.
    In the United Nations hierarchy she sits directly below the Secretary General.

    Ethiopia is receiving large numbers of asylum seekers from Somalia, it's receiving now an additional number of 20,000 people, new arrivals over the recent days from Sudan.
    It has a long-standing and ever-increasing population of asylum seekers from Eritrea and, in addition, it has asylum seekers from other countries such as Kenya.
    Now, Ethiopia is a country beset by drought, it's a country with a lot of development challenges ahead of it and it is receiving these people in very open-spirited and generous way.

    [Malaysia] is hosting close to 95,000 refugees and asylum seekers …

    Australia has … a long tradition of generosity and open-spiritedness …
    [As of September] something like 2,000 people [have] arrived by boat, which is less than half the monthly arrivals of boat people to Yemen today from Somalia.

    IMF Estimates of GDP (PPP) (International Dollars)


    2012 (aggregate, $billion)
    (Wikipedia, 19 March 2013
    2011 (per capita)
    (Wikipedia, 19 March 2013)
    Australia96140,847
    Malaysia46416,240
    Yemen582,307
    Ethiopia951,092

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