Climate

Thousands of jobs lost in renewable sector

Environment Victoria released this statement on April 14.

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Environment Victoria has labelled new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) identifying 2300 job losses in the renewable energy sector in just two years as proof that the Tony Abbott government’s anti-renewable energy policies are hurting the economy.

The ABS analysis of employment in the renewable energy sector is a first, and comes following a failure of the Abbott government to negotiate an outcome over the Renewable Energy Target (RET).

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California: Dire water crisis amid climate change-driven drought

Jay Famiglietti, a senior water scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, made a dire warning in March: there is only one year's worth of water left in the state's reservoir storage and river basins.

Famiglietti said even nature's oldest water backup supply —groundwater — could be gone soon after the reservoirs dry up.

About 38.8 million people live in California, which produces much of the United States' food. California's drought is throwing the ecology of the region into crisis, and ordinary people are scrambling for ways to help.

The 'Saudi Arabia of the South'? Australia's atomic ambitions

Ten years ago, the uranium price was on an upward swing. South Australians were dazzled by the prospect of becoming the 'Saudi Arabia of the South' because of the state's large uranium deposits and the prospect of a global nuclear power renaissance.

Those comparisons didn't stand up to a moment's scrutiny — Australia would need to supply global uranium demand 31 times over to match Saudi oil revenue.

Climate change helped fuel Syrian conflict, study finds

An unprecedented climate change-fueled drought contributed to the political unrest in Syria, says a new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Huffington Post reported on February 3.

The article said the Syrian drought, which began in late 2006, dragged on for three years and was the worst on record.

Venezuela creates ecosocialist ministry

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the creation of the Ministry of Ecosocialism and Water, which will be tasked with protecting the environment in the context of Venezuela's bid to build “21st century socialism”.

The new body will supervise the National Water Plan, designed to ensure public access to water, as well as the Tree Mission, which involves the community in reforestation efforts.

Cairns musos call for Abbott's head

“Down The Abbott Hole”
By Zelda Grimshaw
Download free

A group of musicians in Cairns, Queensland, have released a song controversially calling for the head of Tony Abbott.

“Down the Abbott Hole” refers to Abbott’s Australia as a bleak and sterile environment, in which fear reigns over logic, and the atmosphere is “cold as ice, black as coal”. The song can be streamed online and was being played by radio stations all over the country just hours after its release.

What’s right with Bill Gammage’s book

I take issue with Ben Courtice’s and Emma Murphy’s criticism of my review of Bill Gammage’s book, The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia in the January 28 Green Left Weekly.

I have two major arguments with their criticism. First, Gammage has made a major contribution to our understanding of how Aboriginal Australians cared for the land for more than 60,000 years right across the continent.

After Cyclone Pam: Climate action is urgent

Once again the world's poorest people are suffering the effects of climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions which they played no role in producing.

On March 13, Cyclone Pam ripped through the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu, an archipelago of 82 islands, 65 of which are inhabited.

Cyclone Pam recorded wind speeds of 270 km/h, making it the strongest ever recorded in Vanuatu. Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), which devastated the Filipino islands of Samar and Leyte in 2013, holds the record for the strongest storm anywhere, with wind speeds of 315 km/h.

Why you should vote socialist this election

This NSW election, like the Victorian and Queensland polls before it, hinges on growing public opposition to Tony Abbott’s federal government and the neoliberal policies implemented by Labor and Coalition state governments.

The sell-off of public assets and services, cuts to the public sector, unsustainable development, mining and unprecedented handouts and tax cuts to corporate interests and the super rich are now standard practice, and people have had enough.

Government gives go-ahead for expansion of coalmining in Galilee Basin

The Queensland Labor government has paved the way for the huge expansion of coalmines in the Galilee Basin.

New Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on March 11 that a deal had been made with Adani and GVK-Hancock to allow the dumping of dredge spoil from the expansion of the coal port at Abbot Point in unused industrial land adjacent to the port.

Palaszczuk said the deal met her election campaign commitment to ban dumping of dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park or in the Caley Valley Wetlands.

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