Analysis

“What the hell is happening in NSW”, interstate callers have been asking the Socialist Alliance national office in recent days. Many are former activists in NSW left politics, and remember with bitterness the days when “Sussex Street” (headquarters of Unions NSW and the ALP administration) could be relied upon to stifle any protest movement threatening the stability of NSW Labor in government.
Ground-breaking new research findings posted on the internet in April have confirmed what many scientists and climate activists have already concluded — that the goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions embraced by the European Union and Australia’s Labor government are gravely inadequate.
On April 28, Labor PM Kevin Rudd’s government began to deport asylum seekers, beginning with a Chinese woman. The next day, two Indian men were placed in stage 1 of the Villawood immigration detention centre for preparation for deportation. One of the men has been held in detention for six years. He was also among the 61 long-term detainees whose cases Labor immigration minister Chris Evans had promised to review by the end of April.
In an interview with Melbourne’s Joy FM on April 24 ACT chief minister Jon Stanhope announced he intended to pass the ACT Civil Partnerships Bill through the Legislative Assembly before the October 18 territory election.
Nuclear power must be rejected as a climate change abatement strategy for three major reasons: a doubling of nuclear power would reduce global greenhouse emissions by no more than about 5%. A much larger expansion of nuclear power would deplete conventional uranium reserves in a few decades.
On April 2, federal environment minister Peter Garrett gave the green light to Gunns to start bulk earthwork operations on the site of their proposed pulp mill in Tasmania’s Tamar Valley.
Nuclear analyst Mycle Schneider noted in “Climate Change and Nuclear Power”, published in April 2000 by the World Wide Fund for Nature, that countries and regions with a high reliance on nuclear power also tend to have high greenhouse gas emissions. Following is an extract from his findings.
The April 11-13 Climate Change-Social Change conference ended with the production of a statement that tries to specify the elements of a strategy against global warming that would actually have a chance of success.
The following is an abridged version of a talk given by Terry Townsend at the recent Climate Change — Social Change Conference in Sydney. Townsend is a long-term member of the Democratic Socialist Perspective and the managing editor of Links online journal (<http://links.org.au>).
The 2020 summit was two days of political theatre for the new Rudd government. For 48 hours over April 19-20, film stars brushed white-board markers with Australia’s richest, and politicians mixed with Indigenous people, unionists and youth delegates.

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