1. Society

Its aims is to explore the features of contemporary societies – feel free to contribute!

  • Climate change – what can WE do about it?

    Climate change is real, and is already having devastating impacts on our planet, our wildlife and on humanity. The future looks dire, and it’s an understatement to say that climate change, alongside, and including biodiversity loss, is the challenge of the century. This said, we are not just doomed yet. We do have a short window of opportunity to act, in order to slow down the effects of climate change and, perhaps, in the future, reverse some of them. The task seems overwhelming and cynics, deniers, and doomsayers may be discouraging, but this is what we can do. It all comes down to ‘mitigating’, ‘adapting’, and, yes… ‘surviving’ – but…

  • Climate change – are we really doomed?

    As you probably already know, the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate calls for a limitation of a 2°C increase above pre-industrial levels of the average global temperature – and preferably 1.5°C – recognizing that “this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.” According to the latest report from the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we will be reaching the 1.5°C threshold increase around 2030 if we continue to live ‘business-as-usual’. To avoid this, we have around 11 years to – drastically – change the course of climate change. While the IPCC recalls that “[c]limate-related risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security, and economic…

  • Has the end of the world started?

    Hammered by daunting climate change related headlines Recent news headlines in Australia and beyond are daunting. While northern Queensland has been battling with a “once-in-a-century flooding”, Tasmania is facing a “historic event”, an “unprecedented” “fire crisis”. Meanwhile the recent Australian droughts may have been the worst in 800 years. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) announced that January 2019 was Australia’s hottest month since records began and that climate change “contributed to soaring temperatures”, which followed an already “record-breaking December”. Heatwaves don’t solely make us feel more sick, agitated or lethargic. They kill en masse. “Over two days in November, record-breaking heat in Australia’s north wiped out almost one-third of…

  • My second birth story

    Léon is nearly eight weeks old and finally in bed for the night, as is his big brother. Witching hour (s) is in full effect in this house as Jean and I tag team depending on our children’s needs. So far, Léon has been a little easier than his brother was but still intense as he discovers his body through colic pains and the world through developmental leaps. I’m tired. Exhausted actually. Hormones and fatigue aren’t a great combination. I’m quite high functioning but my emotional regulation leaves a little to be desired. I can find myself oscillating between being content and laughing to tears and frustration remarkably quickly. Despite…

  • My experience in North Korea – an interview with ABC Radio North Coast

    Hello, I was interviewed two days ago by ABC Radio North Coast’s Bruce Mackenzie. He was very friendly and eager to know about my past experience living and working in North Korea. So I describe my impressions of the secretive state, what I enjoyed about it, and what was difficult to witness. He also asks if I was under constant surveillance, or what North Koreans thought of the West. He then moved on to ask for my analysis on the current geopolitical tensions around North Korea’s ambition to develop a nuclear warhead long-range missile capable of hitting the Unites States – and Australia for that matter. I argue that while these…

  • My birth story

    Louis is now six weeks old and fast asleep beside me. He makes loud grunting noises as he sleeps, sometimes interspersed by soft squeaking and cooing. He’s lying on his back, tightly swaddled to contain his startle reflex. He frowns and smiles, letting out a little cry occasionally when the wind in his tummy gets too much. Last night he fed nearly every hour. We’ve been told he’s going through his first developmental leap, so he’s needing lots of mummy time and feeds. I found myself gently crying after a feed and toilet trip. I was tired. I had started thinking about my birth after feeling how tender my scars…

  • It’s not IS we should fight against – it’s obscurantism

    After having published a post yesterday (No more bombs) arguing that the West won’t win peace by dropping more bombs and should instead fight against inequality and injustice, Chris, a follower of Making Sense of Things on Facebook asked if we had “any advice for what people should do to counter [the Islamic State]? Or should it just be allowed to continue? They won’t allow a diplomatic solution, as they believe any negotiation is sacrilegious, let alone voting?” This question is very relevant indeed. How can we negotiate with IS if we can’t even talk with them? I understand that throwing 20 bombs at the Islamic State, like the French warplanes…

  • No more bombs

      I now live in Australia but I’m French. I’ve lived several years in Paris where many of my friends and family members still live. Two of the attacks occurred in the same street where by my best friend lives. His partner’s sister was enjoying drinks with her friends in one of the restaurants were so many people got killed on this tragic Friday the 13th. Luckily she survived.  I was touched by the outpour of solidarity I have received, my warmest thanks to you all. I read lots of articles and watched heaps of media about the Paris attacks. Yet, I started quite rapidly to feel uncomfortable at the world’s focus on…

  • I’m sick and tired of International Women’s Day

    Today is International Women’s Day. I know we should celebrate this event but the truth is that I’m not in the mood for it. I’m a man, and I’m sick and tired of hearing horrible stories whichever part of the world I travel to, about how badly and unfairly women are treated in their respective society.   I’m sick and tired to know that 35 per cent (35!) of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence. I’m sick and tired that there are fewer women at the helm of top Australian and US companies than men named Peter or John sitting as…

  • How we silence sexual abuse

    Sexual abuse has cast a shadow over my family’s life. My mother was abused as a child by her step father, the man I grew up knowing as my grandfather. My cousin was also abused by him (repeatedly, for years). Friends I went to school with were abused by him. Children I met when I was with my grandmother while she babysat them were abused by him. In fact, I have no idea how many children my grandfather has abused over his lifetime but I suspect the numbers are huge since he is still alive and in his 90s. I am grateful that I was never abused but what has happened around me has still affected…

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