Comment and Analysis

Playing politics while the Barrier Reef burns

The Great Barrier Reef is in immense danger and if nothing is done to save it, it will simply be destroyed.

Australia is the largest per-capita producer of carbon of any developed Western country, and it is a silent national disaster. The Australian Academy of Science, the UN and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority have all stated that, in the face of rising carbon emissions decimating the reef, we cannot afford to do nothing.

People's Climate March: why are there no demands?

Ahead of the climate talks in Paris in December, it is important that people mobilise and demand strong action on climate change.

Without a clear message from ordinary people, the demands that business and polluting industries make of governments are more likely to dilute the outcomes.

Remember Rio? Kyoto? Copenhagen? At the Conference of Parties (COP) 21 conference in Paris, our leaders need to do more, and fast.

Drugs of modernity – Amphetamines

The use of the drug ice in Australia is said to be at “epidemic'' levels. There is nothing new in this claim for both Australia and much of the rest of the world.

Epidemics have accompanied the use and misuse of stimulants since the late-19th century. John Rainford traces that history in the second of this three-part series.

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Climate change: 'We are running out of time'

If we needed any further proof that our politicians are "fossil fools", despite recent leadership changes, look no further than the responses made by the Prime Minister and federal resources minister to the call for a moratorium on new coalmines by the President of the Pacific island nation Kiribati, Anote Tong.

From Beirut to Paris - your wars are our dead: Socialist Alliance statement on terror attacks

The Socialist Alliance and its youth wing, Resistance, expresses our solidarity with the people of Paris and Beirut who were targeted in back-to-back acts of terror by ISIS forces in the past few days.

In Paris, coordinated bombing and shootings at six separate locations on November 14 killed 129 people and injured 200 others. In Beirut, 43 people were killed and more than 200 injured in two suicide bomb attacks just 24 hours earlier.

We condemn these acts of violence.

Climate justice means supporting refugees

Kiribati, a nation made up of 33 islands in the South Pacific, is predicted to be one of the first countries to vanish beneath the sea before the end of the century. The government has already bought 2400 hectares of land in Fiji in case they need to more the entire population.

Degrees of separation

The ecological effects of the four-fold increase in global manufacturing output between 1950 and 1970 were subject to scientific analysis in an international study published in 1972.

The authors of the aptly titled Limits to Growth warned that the tripling of carbon dioxide emissions that came with this unprecedented growth would lead to ecological and economic collapse in the 21st century if overuse of resources continued.

But the essential condition for the successful functioning of capitalism is a minimum 3% compound annual growth rate — for ever.


Why climate activists should support nationalisation and direct public investment

With the Paris climate talks just around the corner it is timely to consider what effective policies to cut emissions might look like. Nationalisation and direct public investment are key policies that have historically been “bread and butter” political demands both for socialists and for the more radical voices within social democratic parties.

Climate activists from the Greens and Labor Environment Action Network should revisit these ideas, as they are a useful alternative to the dead end that is carbon trading.

Direct public investment

Wasting Australia's future

The appointment of nuclear power advocate Alan Finkel as Australia's next Chief Scientist led to speculation that the federal government might be softening up Australians for the introduction of nuclear power.

But that speculation is likely misplaced. Finkel is not the first Chief Scientist to support nuclear power. It goes with the turf: boys like toys and Chief Scientists like nuclear power. Finkel's comments were actually quite nuanced and at least as supportive of renewables as nuclear power.

Carlo's Corner: Racists should stop hiding behind 'terror' and just admit their racism

I just want to get this straight: we cannot help Syrian refugees, many of whom are fleeing from ISIS, because of the ISIS attack on Paris that was carried out by French and Belgian nationals?

Well, who knew a horrifying mass murder thanks to a terror attack in a major world city would lead to such bizarre responses? If only we had some precedent to warn us.

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