climate change

Woodside and the Western Australian government’s push to build a massive gas-processing plant at James Price Point will be a key battle in a broader campaign to protect the cultural and environmental heritage of the Kimberley region in WA.

This battle is significant for several reasons.

First, the government is trying to compulsorily acquire Aboriginal land. Traditional owners, some of who had previously been prepared to support the project, are now united in opposition. Many unions, including the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, are supporting them.

Climate deniers love banging on about media bias. It’s a favourite theme.

They claim media outlets suppress the debate, peddle global warming hysteria and refuse to give deniers an equal hearing.

Indeed, the evidence (always a knotty issue for deniers) shows that there is a glaring bias in the way the Australian media covers climate change. But it’s a bias for climate denier propaganda, not against it.

Take the Rupert Murdoch-owned media empire: Australia’s largest. The editorial line of its flagship broadsheet, the Australian, is notorious for its climate denial.

GasLand
A film by director Josh Fox
In Palace cinemas from November 18
www.GasLand.com.au

In September 2006, theatre director and part-time banjo player Josh Fox received an unexpected letter in the mail: a natural gas company offering him $100,000 for permission to explore his family's upstate New York property, in the lush Delaware River Basin area.

A Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) meeting was planned in La Paz, Bolivia on November 10, for ALBA’s Latin American nation members to advocate for a common position on the defence of the rights of Mother Earth.

ALBA is an anti-imperialist bloc of eight nations led by Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia.

Bolivian environment minister Maria Esther Udaeta said the meeting would discuss the position of ALBA nations at the next United Nations climate summit at Cancun in December.

Helensburgh is not renowned for climate activism. A coalmining town, Helensburgh was established around the Metropolitan colliery, Australia's oldest continually operating coal mine, in the 1880s.

The coal transnational Peabody Energy, which owns the Metropolitan, sponsors local activities such as school sporting teams and community fairs.

However, 35 people attended a climate-focused public meeting in the NSW south coast town on November 2.

The NSW government has decided to cut the solar photovoltaic feed-in tariff from 60 cents per kilowatt hour (kW/h) to 20 cents per kW/h.

The October 27 announcement came after the tariff received a strong uptake, particularly in Sydney’s western suburbs and rural NSW. The total capacity once remaining orders are connected will be around 193 megawatts (MW).

The Greens and the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) slammed the decision to axe the tariff.

Climate change is the biggest threat to our future, and coal is the biggest cause of climate change, yet right now there are plans for 12 new coal or gas-fired power stations around Australia.

In this context, the Camp for Climate Action is taking place over December 1-5 at Liddell recreation area in the Hunter Valley, a little over an hour inland from Newcastle.

The camp will take place near Liddell and Bayswater coal-fired power stations and in the sprawling moonscape of massive coalmines in the area.

Divisions about a carbon price are hardening among Australia’s big businesses. Two distinct positions seem to have emerged in the corporate boardrooms.

Some corporate groups are backing the federal government’s call for a price on carbon because they say it will allow for a more certain environment for investment.

Nine CEOs of big Australian fund managers and superannuation companies linked to the Investor Group on Climate Change have formed a new panel to lobby the government for a carbon price.

The seat of Brunswick is arguably the most hotly contested seat in the November 27 Victorian parliamentary elections. Based on results at the recent federal election, the new Labor candidate, Jane Garrett, is tipped to beat Greens candidate Cyndi Dawes by only 0.6% of the vote.

Learning from the criticism of Labor’s negative federal election campaign, Garrett has adopted the slogan “equality, social justice and tackling climate change” in a bid to win back voters from progressive parties.

Not so long ago, the polar ice sheet made it almost impossible to circle the North Pole by sea.

But in June, two boats set off to do just that. By mid October, both returned to port successful — the first ships to sail around the pole in a single summer season.

It’s likely the feat greatly tested the crews’ skill and endurance. But their achievement is no cause for celebration.

The Arctic is often called the “planet’s refrigerator” because of the role it plays in regulating the Earth’s climate. Now, it’s clear the refrigerator is breaking down due to global warming.

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