A joint review by Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance members. This year's Students of Sustainability (SOS) conference, organised by the Australian Student Environment Network (ASEN), took place in Musgrave Park, Brisbane on Jagera and Turrbal country July 7-11. SOS started in Canberra in 1991 and is the longest running, annual student conference in Australia.
A growing number of local councils and universities are divesting from financial institutions that invest in fossil fuel extraction. This is a great credit to climate change campaigners around the country. It points the way forward towards the even greater shift in investment priorities that we will need to make if we are to stop catastrophic runaway global warming.
On July 2 Australian voters head to the polls — although by that date up to 40% of voters will have voted at early polling centres across the country. Despite a number of minor parties and progressive independents running in lower house seats and the Senate, we know that come July 3 we will be looking at three more years of evil bastards or the lesser of two evils.
“Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!” the lady from California enthusiastically chanted down the phone. Some 12,000 kilometres away on a couch in Sydney, I started to chant too. It was infectious. Mathis, in the middle of his own phone call, grinned from across the room. So did Marcus and Alannah. I would soon learn this sort of thing happened quite a bit when calling US voters on behalf of Bernie Sanders.
At the edge of the south east, the Arctic is nebulous, but its ice shards are felt on the hands, and you can feel tingles of dim isolation in the wildness of Tasmania's oceans. Sequences and currents from Tasmania's Huon Valley rivers and Cygnet Bay dip to the deep-sea behind the pristine Bruny Island. The bio-network of inlets, bays and streams move lightly and serenely downwards with the humid vapour of the mountains. Sheltered water habitats protect rare crays, platypus, seals and southern right whales.
As we write, the much-cherished Great Barrier Reef is experiencing the devastating effects of coral bleaching. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has declared severe coral bleaching underway on the reefs north of Cooktown.
A new study by world-renowned climate scientists says the Earth entered a new epoch around 1950, following a population boom and widespread environmental change due to increased use of concrete, aluminium, plastic, burning coal and gas and nuclear fallout. They argue that the planet has now left the Holocene epoch that existed for the past 11,700 years — the period in which human civilisation has developed and flourished — and entered a much less stable geological epoch called the Anthropocene.
The circus is over. The suits have left Paris after the November 30-December 12 UN climate talks (COP21). There have been millions of words written about the text. But one fact stands out. All the governments of the world have agreed to increase global greenhouse gas emissions every year between now and 2030. Why? Because all the countries have agreed to accept the promises of all the other countries.
Up to 60,000 people rallied for action on climate change in Melbourne on November 27. The rally kicked off a global weekend of actions to coincide with UN climate talks in Paris. The march was led by First Nations activists and demanded an end to fossil fuels and a planned transition to 100% renewable energy. Photo by Ali Bakhtiarvandi
If we needed any further proof that our politicians are "fossil fools", despite recent leadership changes, look no further than the responses made by the Prime Minister and federal resources minister to the call for a moratorium on new coalmines by the President of the Pacific island nation Kiribati, Anote Tong.