Mel Barnes

US President George Bush and PM John Howard are the world’s biggest climate criminals. The United States emits 25% of the world’s carbon emissions, and Australia is the largest carbon polluter per person in the world. Both countries are the only two developed nations that haven’t signed on to the Kyoto Protocol. For their entire political lives Bush and Howard denied climate change was even happening, but when people all around the world started to see the climate chaos taking place and put pressure on them, they grudgingly acknowledged that it is a reality.
Tasmanians from all walks of life are up in arms about Gunns’ proposal to build one of the largest pulp mills in the world in the Tamar Valley, near Launceston.
May 31 marked the first day of a court challenge launched by the Wilderness Society (TWS) against the federal government, which TWS claims has broken its own environmental laws. According to TWS, federal environment minister Malcolm Turnbull acted illegally by allowing a proposed billion-dollar Gunns Ltd pulp mill in Tasmania’s Tamar Valley to escape proper assessment by the independent Resource Planning and Development Commission.
The left-wing rebellion sweeping Latin America is one of the most significant events in politics today. It is a blow to US imperialism, which has dominated the region for so long, and it is an inspiring example to the rest of the world. Venezuelans, in particular, are openly debating the question of socialism and they are carrying out the first revolution of the 21st century.
Hobart Resistance organiser Mel Barnes took part in the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network brigade to Venezuela in December, to see the revolutionary process for herself. The brigade was timed to coincide with the presidential election in which President Hugo Chavez won another landslide victory as people voted to deepen the Bolivarian revolution.
If greenhouse gas emissions continue to spiral, scientists predict ecological disaster: melting ice sheets, erratic and destructive weather patterns and increasing desertification. All this will turn hundreds of millions of people into refugees.
Walk against Warming is an international day of action to bring the issue of global warming to the attention of governments. This year it is happening on November 4 and rallies will be held around Australia demanding: more support for renewable energy, no nuclear and no new coal-fired power; better public transport; and that the Australian government ratify the Kyoto protocol.

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