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05 NOVEMBER 2012

MOOCs from Australia Coming to North America

"The University of New England (UNE) in Australia, a leader in online learning and distance education, announced that it will begin researching and pursuing North American partnerships for the deployment of free courses and highly scalable MOOCs. To accelerate the effort, UNE will send representatives to Educause 2012 in Denver, Colorado next week to conduct discussions with interested organizations."

(Peter Rasmussen, 1 November 2012, Gilfus Education Group)


2012AustraliaDenverdistance educationEducause • Educause 2012 • Educause Quarterly • free courses • Gilfus Education Group • low cost degrees • Massive Open Online CoursesMOOCsNorth Americaonline learningopen coursewarepartnerships • scalable solution • UNE • University of New England


Simon Perkins

Planned obsolescence causing ecological catastrophe

"This is a story about recycling – about how your best intentions to be green can be channelled into an underground sewer that flows from the United States [to Guiyu in Southern China].
At a recycling event in Denver, 60 Minutes found cars bumper–to–bumper for blocks, in a line that lasted for hours. They were there to drop off their computers, PDAs, TVs and other electronic waste.

Asked what he thought happens once his e–waste goes into recycling, one man told [60 Minutes correspondent Scott] Pelley, "Well my assumption is they break it apart and take all the heavy metals and out and then try to recycle some of the stuff that's bad."

Most folks in line were hoping to do the right thing, expecting that their waste would be recycled in state–of–the–art facilities that exist here in America. But really, there's no way for them to know where all of this is going. The recycling industry is exploding and, as it turns out, some so–called recyclers are shipping the waste overseas, where it's broken down for the precious metals inside.
Greenpeace has been filming around Guiyu and caught the recycling work. Women were heating circuit boards over a coal fire, pulling out chips and pouring off the lead solder. Men were using what is literally a medieval acid recipe to extract gold. Pollution has ruined the town. Drinking water is trucked in. Scientists have studied the area and discovered that Guiyu has the highest levels of cancer–causing dioxins in the world. They found pregnancies are six times more likely to end in miscarriage, and that seven out of ten kids have too much lead in their blood."
(60 Minutes, CBS, 9 November 2008)

[This activity is apparently not only restricted to the USA. According Elizabeth Grossman toxic material is also being sent from Europe and Japan.]




2008 • BAN (acronym) • Basel Action Network • consumptionDenverdesign responsibilitye-wasteecologicalethicsexploitationgreenGreenpeace • Guiyu • harmful chemicals • Natural Resources Defense Council • obsolescencePeoples Republic of Chinapoisonpovertyprecious metalsrare earthsrecycled garbagerecyclingrubbishsustainabilitytoxic materialstoxic substancestoxicological effectsUSAwaste


Simon Perkins

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