environmental

GREEN LEFT REPORT #9: Feminism's resurgence, Venezuelan eyewitness + more

This episode focuses on feminism's resurgence and Venezuela's unfolding revolution. It includes activist news on Stop CSG protests, Global Noise protests, plus Carlo Sands on the European Union's Nobel Peace prize win, and a performance by 1000 eyes at Occupy.

Protests grow against WEF's 'Africa Keeps Rising' meme

The World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa summit in Kigali, Rwanda, on May 11 to 13 reinforced extractive industry and high-tech myths.

The gathering unveiled the elite’s exuberant imagination and its lack of exposure to the continent’s harsh economic realities. As an antidote, grassroots protesters all over Africa are questioning the logic of export-led “growth” and renewed fiscal austerity. Instead they demand policies that meet their basic needs.

Pakistan: Socialist environmentalist runs election campaign from jail

Candidate for the socialist Awami Workers Party (AWP) Baba Jan will contest a May 28 by-election for the assembly of the Pakistani-administered Himalayan territory of Gilgit-Baltistan from his jail cell.

Baba Jan has been described as a climate justice prisoner. In 2010, his home area in Hunza was devastated by climate change-fuelled floods and landslides. A protest movement developed against the misappropriation of relief funds. Police responded with brutality and protesters were killed and arrested.

Murdoch, Labor and democracy: what's at stake?

With polls showing growing support for the Greens and independents, the powers-that-be and their media hacks are becoming increasingly hysterical.

For the 1% and their supporters, the prospect of the July 2 double dissolution election delivering a hung parliament is the worst of all possible worlds. Uncertainty threatens their profit margins and means political and economic chaos — a nightmare for the ruling class that has had it so good for so long.

NT Chief Minister's desperate bid to push gas fracking

Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles announced a new policy on Facebookfor the Territory election in August on May 14. The policy, called “Knowledge Territory”, promises $500 education vouchers if the Territory receives royalty payments from onshore gas fracking.

The ALP has announced it will declare a moratorium on fracking if it wins the election and this is Giles’ latest attempt to sell the Country Liberal Party’s position of supporting gas fracking across the Territory.

Break Free blocks Newcastle Harbour

About 3000 people, young and old, women, men and children, kayaked from Horseshoe Beach and blocked Newcastle Harbour to stop the coal ships on May 8. Organised by 350.org and other climate change campaigners, the Break Free event was a great success and also fun.

There was a large contingent of First Nations people from all around Australia and internationally, from Samoa and other Pacific islands that could disappear due to rising sea levels.

Perth Council bans balloons to save wildlife

Cottesloe Council in WA has prohibited the use of air or helium filled balloons at events approved or run by the council.

Once released into the air, balloons can drift for hundreds of kilometres, or rise into the stratosphere where they burst and return to earth in a spaghetti-like shape. As “airborne litter”, balloons then end up in waterways and the ocean.

Terrestrial and marine animals mistake balloons for food and swallow them or get entangled in the string attached. This can lead to the loss of a limb or even to the death of turtles, whales, dolphins, dugongs or seabirds.

NSW government undermining native vegetation and biodiversity

While everyone's eyes were focused on the federal budget, the NSW government released a very controversial piece of draft legislation that will remove restrictions on land clearance and, despite their claims, threaten biodiversity.

Borroloola people demand closure of toxic McArthur River mine

A multi-generational delegation from the Borroloola Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory's Gulf Country were front and centre at a protest outside global mining giant Glencore's Sydney headquarters on May 19.

The protesters demanded that Glencore close its McArthur River mine and rehabilitate the site as well as the river and the surrounding land, on which they have traditionally relied for food.

Head in the sand: Coalition and Labor squib on climate policy

Climate change was a glaring omission from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s address announcing the federal election. It has also been below the radar on the Labor’s campaign trail.

In contrast the Greens launched their election campaign at a protest on May 8 organised by climate group 350.org, which closed down the coal port of Newcastle. Greens leader Richard Di Natale said it was time Australia got serious about “tackling dangerous global warming”.

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