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Most of us remember the 80s; Big Hair, bad fashion, Mr Miyagi . Mass media really began coming into it’s own. MTV ruled the airwaves, International sharkdom – a la Gordon Gekko – was ushering in the new age of aspiration, accumulation and decadence. The decade in politics encompassed the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Mabo case for aboriginal rights and Gorbachev’s call for Perestroika and Glasnost. Here we present the best from the memorable 80s.

Defence of the Environment: The New Issue in International Relations

The dawning of a realisation: that the world can’t sustain current growth and that it will be the Environment that will suffer…

Our understanding of the threat of Climate Change has its roots in the 80s when pollution and our ever spiralling use of resources were at large beginning to be understood as finite. This article from 1989 makes for compelling reading; the climates, the forests, the atmosphere are seen as at risk…the same risk that we have failed to assuage in the intervening years.

This isn’t history repeating, this is the history we are doing little to change.

Read the article from Summer 1989: Defence of the Environment- The New Issue in International Relations

America’s MX Missile Muddle

There is a whiff of the ridiculous when reading about the American defence budget and the one-up-manship of the Arms race between them and the Soviets.

Ridiculous, except for the fact that it is deadly serious and could have, at any point in the last 40 years wiped our species off the planet.

Even more sobering is the though that it continues today. Signing agreements with one hand while building weapons that delicately skirt the very same treaties. And the open assumption that the ‘other side’ is doing exactly the same things. Pithy acronyms like MIRV (‘multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles’) and the disgustingly ironic MAD (mutually assured destruction) litter the pages of documents of pervading dread.

Yet amid all the gloom AQ has found an article from 1981 that looks at US’s missle muddle with the appropriate level of morbidly tongue-in-cheek critique.

If you don’t let out a resigned sigh for our species at least once, you’re probably a US defence analyst and beyond hope.

Read the article from Jan 1981: America’s MX Missile Muddle

Australia’s International Obligations on Aborigines

What might seem like a particularly callous way of looking at the rights of Australia’s Indigenous population, is actually an exhaustive look at the nature of Indigenous Rights, written by former Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, who had granted a leasehold title to Aboriginal activist, Vincent Lingiari.

Read the article from Jan 1981: Australia’s International Obligations on Aborigines