Population growth I’m tired of hearing how population growth and leaky boats cause the destruction of our environment — as if two-child families, frugality and no migration would make us sustainable. Take any industry you like, sustainability is blatant nonsense. A log truck speeding down our country roads, even if it’s full of plantation trees is incredibly destructive. These trees are ripped out like carrots every few years. How many wooden rocking chairs do you need? This timber is largely intended for woodchips and those are probably earmarked for export.
Photos by Ali Bakhtiavandi
The Refugee Action Coalition Sydney released the statement below on March 20. *** Two Afghan refugees were taken in handcuffs from Darwin to Christmas Island on the afternoon of March 18. Refugee advocates have called for the immediate end of the use of Christmas Island as a punishment centre and have called for a full inquiry into Serco and its system of harsh, unaccountable, and arbitrary punishments. Serco has become the judge, jury and jailer of asylum seekers within Australia’s detention regime.
Farmers, environmentalists, irrigators, winemakers, horse breeders, the NSW opposition, and coal seam gas (CSG) campaigners have all been angered by the NSW Coalition government's new land use plans, which give the go-ahead to CSG and coalmining across the state. Despite Premier Barry O’Farrell’s pre-election promise that key agricultural land would be protected from mining and CSG activity, the government's draft Aquifer Interference Policy and draft Strategic Regional Land Use Plans "have left the gate open", said the NSW Farmers Association.
Resources minister Martin Ferguson introduced the National Radioactive Waste Management Bill into the House of Representatives in February 2010, saying it represented “a responsible and long overdue approach for an issue that impacts on all Australian communities”. The bill names Muckaty, 120 kilometres north of Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory, as the only site to remain under active consideration for a national nuclear waste dump.
Scott Power is the Senior Principal Research Scientist at Australian Bureau of Meteorology. This article is republished from The Conversation. * * *
Organisers of an anti-coal protest at the Boggabri open-cut coalmine in northern New South Wales released the statement below on March 19. Speakers at the event included Maules Creek Community Council spokesperson Phil Laird, author and journalist Paul Cleary, Liverpool Plains farmer Tim Duddy and Greens MLC and mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham. * * *
Friends of the Earth Melbourne released the statement below on March 20. * * * One of Victoria’s worst kept secrets over the past year has been the intention of the state government to expand the state’s involvement in the coal industry. A draft cabinet submission shows that the Baillieu government is preparing a campaign to promote further development of Victoria’s brown coal reserves.
The Australian Forests and Climate Alliance (AFCA) released the statement below on March 19. * * * Australia’s forests and wildlife had a desperately narrow escape from an increase in destruction today when Parliament voted not to subsidise the burning of native forest wood for electricity. The vote was 72-72, with Speaker Peter Slipper casting the final ‘no’ vote to Rob Oakeshott’s motion.
Yiddpop Fayvish Oriente Musik www.oriente.de The Yiddish language, developed out of German by Ashkenazi Jews, was the major language of European Jews before the Holocaust. With the development of modern Hebrew in Israel it started to fade. However, a Yiddish language and cultural revival has been gaining speed, especially since the collapse of Eastern European Stalinist states in the 1990s. Many Jews are visiting the lands of their forebears and linking up with, for example, surviving klezmer musical traditions.
The oil-rich South American nation of Venezuela is in the midst of a complicated and contradictory process of social transformation. The revolutionary movement, headed by President Hugo Chavez, is redistributing wealth, bringing key industries under state ownership and promoting experiments in direct, participatory democracy. The aim of the Bolivarian revolution is to build a “socialism for the 21st century”.
Farmers and supporters marched on the Labor Party and Liberal National Party offices in Brisbane on March 12 to protest coal and coal seam gas mining in Queensland, before attending a 1000-person strong food security forum at the Brisbane Convention Centre.
Follow The Sun Tour Xavier Rudd www.xavierrudd.com Victorian surf/roots musician Xavier Rudd has long been known for his progressive politics and championing of Aboriginal and environmental issues. Green Left Weekly’s Mat Ward caught up with the multi-instrumentalist before his Australasian tour for “Follow The Sun”, the lead single off his forthcoming new album. * * * Tell us about the new album.
Sixty thousand people marched on Madison, Wisconsin on March 10 to mark the one-year anniversary of the passage of Governor Scott Walker's drastic dismantling of collective bargaining rights for public employees. Last year, Walker's attacks on labour rights sparked huge protests. Hundreds of thousands occupied the Wisconsin capital building. Their actions prefigured Occupy Wall Street and inspired countless others to take a stand against economic inequality, political injustice, and the tyranny of the 1% enforced through politicians and banksters.
The Hunger Games Trilogy Suzanne Collins Scholastic Press, 2010, three volumes, $31. The Hunger Games is young adult fiction for the 99%. Millions of readers around the world have made the 2008-10 Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins a wildly popular series, and an eagerly-awaited movie version is scheduled for release this year.
The latest wave of murderous Israeli air strikes on Gaza, which began on March 9, appeared aimed at raising pressure for war on Iran and undermining Palestinian group Hamas. Al Jazeera said on March 13 that 25 Palestinians had been killed by Israeli forces in the first four days of air strikes. It said 18 of the dead had been identified as resistance fighters. A Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) report on March 12 said 73 Palestinians, mostly civilians, were wounded in the strikes.