Climate

Climate change: When scientists become revolutionaries

Kevin Anderson, professor of energy and climate change at Manchester University, said on October 29 last year: “Today, after two decades of bluff and lies, the remaining 2°C budget demands revolutionary change to the political and economic hegemony.”

Anderson is one of Britain’s most eminent climate scientists. He is also deputy director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.

Tyndall Centre senior research fellow and Manchester University reader Alice Bows-Larkin was more blunt in a November interview: “We need bottom-up and top-down action. We need change at all levels.”

The bleak future from capitalism's past

The Bureau of Meteorology’s Annual Climate Statement issued on January 3 confirmed that last year was the hottest year on record in Australia. Average temperatures were 1.2 degrees above the long-term average. Every month of the year had national average temperatures at least 0.5C above normal. The previous record was set in 2005 when the long-term average was up by 0.17C.

North American ice storm shows extreme weather dangers

The ice storm that struck central and eastern Canada and northeastern United States, on December 20-22 should be viewed not only an important news event, but also a big climate change story.

Not because the storm was a direct consequence of the Earth’s average warming temperatures. That would be a speculative claim. No, it’s because of the social crisis created by this weather emergency and what it illustrates about the challenges that are facing human society in a new and warming world.

Power loss

Philippines eyewitness: 'It was like Zombieland'

“When we went out, it was like a Zombieland,” Zoreen Agustin, a student at the University of the Philippines’ (UP) Tacloban campus told me on December 2.

“A lot of people were walking around, some with no shoes and their clothes all torn, a lot of people were covered in cuts.”

She was referring to what she saw after Tacloban, and much of the Eastern Visayas region, were demolished by Super Typhoon Yolanda (known as Typhoon Haiyan outside the Philippines) on November 8. The storm, one of the strongest on record to hit land, killed anywhere between 5000 and 10,000 people.

We need to be as radical as reality to fight climate change

It’s wrong to think that we can campaign to stop climate change in the same way we might campaign to end a war. All the evidence says we are well past that stage now. That is, even if by some impossible, magical course of events all carbon pollution on Earth was stopped tomorrow, we’d still be in really, really deep trouble.

So many greenhouse gases have been pumped into the Earth’s atmosphere that we have rushed far past the safe upper limit — the famous 350 parts per million of CO2, the number that climate action group 350.org took for its name.

Carlo's Corner: Finally, something Aussies can be truly proud of

Finally, Aussie pride is back after a dominant display in a crucial international contest. Sure, our side came in for criticism for aggressive bullying and disrespectful behaviour towards the opposition, but you can't argue with results.

True, this was nothing so crucial to the fate of humanity as an Ashes Test. It was merely the United Nations Warsaw climate talks that ended on November 23 with no agreement for rich nations to severely cut the greenhouse emissions fuelling climate change or offer compensation to poor nations bearing the brunt of its increasingly devastating effects.

Philippines braces for post-typhoon 'shock doctrine'

After the storm, the “shock doctrine”. This is what awaits the Philippines after the devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan.

The familiar cycle of “disaster capitalism” allows wealthy and politically connected First World corporations to profit obscenely from the suffering of acutely vulnerable disaster-affected communities.

Disaster profiteering is a parasitic tendency deeply embedded in the structures of the neoliberal global economy. It will degrade and corrupt the international “relief effort” under way in the Philippines.

New Zealand: Protests target deep sea drilling

Continuing New Zealand’s proud history of protests at sea, attempts by Texan oil giant Andarko to start deep-sea oil drilling are being blocked by a tiny sailing boat.

Thousands came out to NZ's west coast beaches on November 23 to support the Oil Free Flotilla in its stand against Anadarko. More than 1000 gathered for the main event at West Auckland's iconic Piha beach, carrying colourful home-made banners with messages such as "We love our beaches", "No drill, no spill" and "Anadarko go home".

Australia sabotages climate summit

At the recent UN climate talks in Poland, poor nations and NGOs singled out the Australian delegation for doing the most to block progress on a new deal to cut carbon emissions.

Corporate take over of climate talks condemned

More than 135 groups internationally have condemned Poland and European Union for facilitating a corporate takeover of United Nations climate talks (COP19) that started October 11 in Warsaw.

The EU aims to expand carbon markets that would benefit big polluters at the UN climate talks, says a statement signed by more than 135 groups, movements and networks from all over the world.

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