Bindi Irwin clash with Clinton over essay snub
Wildlife campaigner Bindi Irwin has come into conflict with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, after an article Bindi submitted at Clinton’s request was reportedly heavily edited by the State Department to remove references to overpopulation.
TEENAGE conservationist Bindi Irwin has spoken out against the United States of America’s State Department after her submission to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s e-journal was censored by government officials to remove all references to overpopulation and the threat it poses to endangered wildlife.
Irwin, the daughter of late ‘Crocodile Hunter’ Steve Irwin, was asked by members of Clinton’s staff to write an essay for the December 2012 issue of the e-journal titled Go Wild: Coming Together for Conservation. The 14-year-old Australian accepted this offer, however found her work had been significantly edited when it was returned to the Irwin’s for final approval before publication.
Bindi’s mother Terri Irwin, also a prominent conservationist, said that her daughter was not impressed by the US government’s attempt to censor her submission and their inability to provide an adequate reason as to why the content relating to overpopulation had been removed.
Terri Irwin said: “”It’s interesting that she was asked to write an essay about the environment and included the consideration of population (growth) and they returned her essay edited and completely edited that out. So Bindi wrote to Hillary Clinton’s organisation and said ‘what happened to freedom of speech? This is my opinion and I don’t want that edited out’.”
The Irwin family claims that when they queried the changes made to Bindi’s article the US State Department insisted that there was no time for Bindi to rewrite her piece prior to publication, and as a result Bindi requested that the edited version of the essay not be published in Clinton’s e-journal.
Terri Irwin said: “(Bindi) said that while it was a good message that they were trying to convey in the publication, she just wanted her whole essay to be printed rather than just a snippet of it without the other points she wanted included. So that’s how it’s ended.”
Bindi’s article used the analogy of a party to make the issue of overpopulation understandable to readers of the State Department publication, arguing that if a party is thrown for 15 guests and 70 people show up that it creates the same kind of unsustainable situation that exists when more humans exist in an ecosystem that cannot support their ongoing survival.
Terri Irwin claims that Bindi became interested in overpopulation after discussions with Australian entrepreneur Dick Smith, who produced a documentary on the topic titled Population Puzzle in 2010. She said that Bindi had witnessed the complications posed by overpopulation first-hand when visiting Africa, and had become passionate about finding a solution to the issue.
Terri Irwin said: “I just think it’s fascinating that when Bindi does an interview and talks about population, more than 50 per cent of the time it’s edited out. It’s something we do need to talk about or the ship’s going to sink, man. Everyone talks about recycle and manage your resources but how do you do that when we’ve got so many people?”
The Irwin family continues to reside at Australia Zoo in Beerwah, Queensland. Bindi has followed in her television star father’s footsteps by presenting a range of documentaries designed to introduce young people to issues regarding conservation and the environment.