Climate

Pakistan: Baba Jan contests election from jail

On May 18, Baba Jan was declared the official candidate of the Awami Workers Party (AWP) by the returning officer of Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly constituency Hunza 6. Baba Jan is in jail serving a life sentence.

This is the first time in the history of the Hunza Valley that a political activist will contest general elections from jail.

Gilgit-Baltistan is a Himalayan territory administered by Pakistan.

United States:‭ ‬Protest targets Shell's Arctic drill plans

More than‭ ‬200‭ ‬environmental activists‭ ‬blocked a terminal in Seattle‭’‬s port to protest against Royal Dutch Shell‭’‬s imminent plans to begin drilling for oil in the Arctic.‭

A huge vessel,‭ ‬named Polar Pioneer,‭ ‬is temporarily stationed at the port before heading out to the Arctic to explore for oil.‭ ‬If successful,‭ ‬it will be the first time the multinational has exploited oil in the Arctic.‭

United States:‭ ‬Fracking chemical traces found in drinking water

Traces of chemicals commonly used for fracking were found in‭ ‬the‭ ‬drinking‭ ‬water‭ ‬supply of three homes in Bradford County in the US state of Pennsylvania,‭ ‬a study revealed on May‭ ‬18.‭

The investigation,‭ ‬which appeared in scientific‭ ‬journal‭ ‬‬Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences‭<‬/i‭>‬,‭ ‬proved the long-held worry of damaging underground drinking water sources from the method of extracting gases known as hydraulic fracturing.‭ ‬The report explicitly links the practice with the affected water systems.‭

Governments give fossil fuel industry $5.3 trillion a year

The fossil fuel industry receives US$5.3 trillion a year in government subsidies, despite its disastrous toll on the environment, human health, and other global inequality issues, a new report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has found.

That means that governments worldwide are spending $10 million every minute to fund energy companies — more than the estimated public health spending for the entire globe.

Lock the Gate’s rally for the future

More than 250 farmers and their city cousins rallied at Queensland Parliament House on May 21 calling for an end to unconventional gas production and coal mining.

The rally was organised by Lock the Gate (Queensland). Farmers from the Bentley Blockade and Northern Rivers in NSW travelled to Brisbane for the rally.

Earth hurtles towards 4 degrees warmer climate

It took a long time for politicians to accept that human actions were warming the planet. Climate scientists began warning that human actions in burning fossil fuels were changing the climate in the late 1980s.

The difficulty was how to put the scientific data into a simple form that the public and politicians could understand. Their first effort was to describe Earth as if it were covered by something that kept the heat in: the greenhouse effect.

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Government of dinosaurs will give Australia a 'fossilised economy'

Following a recent meeting of federal and state ministers with the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Christiana Figures, the federal government announced that it will publish by mid-year the emissions target it will take to the Paris Climate Summit in November.

However, even if all the world's governments agree to limit future emissions to what would cause the global average surface temperature to rise by no more than 2°C from before industrialisation, it will not be enough to avoid catastrophic climate change.

Carlo's Corner: No one is better to judge selfishness than Rupert Murdoch

When thousands of people hit Melbourne's streets on May 1 to protest planned closures of Aboriginal communities, the Herald Sun followed up its front page denunciation of a similar April 9 protest as a “selfish rabble” with a special double page-spread under the headline: “Still Selfish. Still A Rabble.”

Spain: Can Citizens save the right?

For three months, from November to February, the Spanish economic and political establishment was in a state of barely suppressed panic.

In national opinion polls, support for the “reds” - in the form of radical new force Podemos - had overtaken that for the establishment parties, the ruling People’s Party (PP) and the opposition Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE).

Australia falls behind in global renewable energy

Australia has fallen behind similar economies around the world in the generation of renewable energy, a new report has found.

The Climate Council’s new report, The global renewable energy boom: How Australia is missing out, says that despite having enough renewable energy resources to power the country 500 times over, jobs and investment in the renewables sector have fallen sharply since the Coalition government came to power.

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