Green Left Weekly's $250,000 Fighting Fund: Just doing business

A visitor from Mars would have scratched their head raw about what big business is allowed to get away with in this country — especially by so-called Labor governments.

•June 15, 2009: Ben Cubby, the Sydney Morning Heralds environment reporter, wrote:

"A new coal port that will cement Newcastle's place as the largest coal exporter in the world is quietly being built up by several metres, apparently in preparation for the rising sea levels brought about by climate change."

This is cynical and outrageous but it is just business as usual to the coal companies.

Later that week, the NSW Labor government's budget splashed $20 million on the Newcastle coal port expansion. A Greenpeace-commissioned study in 2007 found that the coal industry received public subsidies of $1.7 billion in a single year.

The Rudd federal Labor government dished out $2.5 billion for research into "clean coal" and billions more will go to the coal industry if its carbon trading scam is passed by parliament.

•June 17: The media reported that Antonio Galeano could have been tasered up to 28 times by police before his death during an arrest at Brandon, south of Townsville, on June 12.

But it's just business to the US-based Taser International, which supplies these stun guns to police forces all around the world.

•June 19: Delta Electricity's Wallerawang coal-fired power station near Lithgow was revealed to be pumping billions of litres of waste water contaminated with high levels of toxic metals and poisons, including arsenic, into the Cox River, which feeds into Sydney's water supply.

The NSW Labor government knew about it but did nothing — apart from giving the company a "Green Globe" award for water recycling!

This company is just doing business as usual and the government is just helping it turn a profit. But socially this is absolutely crazy, as the abovementioned Martian might note in their diary: "The Earthlings seem determined to destroy themselves, and as such pose no long-term threat."

If you don't accept capitalism's unsustainable and outrageous "business as usual", you should help Green Left Weekly campaign for an alternative system based on solidarity, cooperation and ecological sustainability.

Please make a donation today to our fighting fund at: Greenleft, Commonwealth Bank, BSB 062-006, Account No. 00901992. Otherwise, you can send a cheque or money order to PO Box 515, Broadway NSW 2007 or phone in a donation through on the toll-free line at 1800 634 206 (within Australia).

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