Analysis

The following abridged statement was initiated by participants at the Climate Change — Social Change conference, hosted by Green Left Weekly in Sydney, April 11-13, 2008.
With his May 15 announcement that legislation to enable electricity privatisation will be introduced into the June session of parliament, NSW Premier Morris Iemma started the countdown to the most decisive days of the struggle to date.
The federal Labor government says it is not homophobic. Yet it agrees with its Coalition predecessor that marriage is a “union between a man and woman”. Regardless of opinion on marriage, the legal rights afforded this institution should be available to all couples regardless of gender.
The coal industry is planning to replace oil by turning coal into liquid fuels and into feedstocks for the chemical industry. Of course they are also planning to burn ever-more coal to produce electricity. If these plans materialise, green chemistry and renewable solar energy will both be sidelined for the rest of this century.
Since beginning its first parliamentary term with the symbolic apology to the Stolen Generations, the Rudd Labor government has promised a shift away from the hostility towards Indigenous Australians shown by the previous Howard government.
The following statement is from the Climate Camp organising committee.
I’m writing on May 13 at 5:19am from the city of Wanzhou, Chongqing Municipality, China. I’ve just re-entered my apartment after the latest aftershock sent everyone onto the streets once more. It’s been a long 15 hours since the initial earthquake yesterday afternoon that so devastated Wenchuan and surrounds, such as the beautiful city of Chengdu. At this moment, my understanding of the scope of this disaster is only what I have been able to garner from international news websites and secondhand reports from my Chinese friends.
The Rudd government’s first budget, touted as a “Robin Hood” budget, takes very little from the “rich” and gives practically nothing to the poor and disadvantaged. In its fundamentals, it continues on from where the former Howard Coalition government left off.
“First World countries are the leaders in carbon emissions, and it is the Third World who faces the consequences”, Bangladeshi Professor Anu Muhammad told a crowd of 50 at public forum on May 14. “A one-metre rise in sea level would displace 40 million people and would submerge 30% of our country.”
A casual glance at the ALP’s federal budget would have you believe that there will be a net loss of 1224 public sector jobs over the next financial year. That figure, derived from an actual cut of 5061 jobs, balanced by 3837 new jobs, belies what will happen.

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