Climate change

What is to be done about high temperatures, rising sea levels and increasingly powerful hurricanes? What can we do to be less vulnerable to climate change? Yisell Rodríguez Milán and Danae González Del Toro take a look at how socialist Cuba is addressing climate change.

Cuba’s “Project Life” action plan outlines eleven projects to help the island nation adapt to climate change.

The climate crisis is the greatest crisis the Earth faces. It threatens the entire ecosystem that all life depends upon.

The refugee crisis is arguably the greatest challenge humanity faces. It affects hundreds of millions of people and is the dominant force shaping politics across the Earth.

Strong arguments can be made for both these statements.

The interlinking nature of the two crises, both practically and politically, is the key to finding real solutions and raises the question: why do the movements seem so separate?

The Wollar Three outside the Mudgee Court

Charges brought against the so-called “Wollar Three” under New South Wales’ controversial anti-protest laws were dismissed by a Mudgee magistrate on June 5. However, the laws remain a threat to the right to protest.

The Wollar Three — Bev Smiles, Bruce Hughes and Stephanie Luke — were arrested on April 12 last year for protesting against the expansion of the Wilpinjong coalmine, which would expand the mine to just 1.5 kilometres from the village.

Activists opposed to the opening up of coalmining in Queensland’s Galilee Basin have taken to the streets in local actions calling on Coalition and Labor MPs to stop the Adani coalmine from going ahead.

On May 18, activists in Ballarat protested outside the local MPs office and on May 19 more than 200 gathered outside the Camberwell office of environment minister Josh Frydenberg. Rallies were also held in Brisbane and Adelaide.

 

The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Senate Committee released a report on May 19 into the implications of climate change for Australia's national security, which warned that climate change poses a "current and existential national security risk" to Australia.

The report defined an existential threat as “one that threatens the premature extinction of Earth-originating intelligent life or the permanent and drastic destruction of its potential for desirable future development”.

Climate change is “a current and existential national security risk”, according to a Senate report released on May 17. It says an existential risk is “one that threatens the premature extinction of Earth-originating intelligent life or the permanent and drastic destruction of its potential for desirable future development”. These are strong words.

Around 60 people unfurled a long blue ribbon on May 19 at Coogee beach five metres from the coast line. The action symbolised future seal level rises and the erosion of Coogee's beautiful coast line if state and federal governments continue to support coal and gas production over renewable energy. 

The “Line in the Sand” action was part of the Repower NSW campaign, which, in the lead up to the state elections next March, is calling on the government to phase out coal-fired power stations and ensure a just transition to 100% clean energy by 2030.

The likelihood of Australia meeting its obligations under the 2015 Paris Climate agreement to cut emissions by 26–28% by 2030 (compared with 2005 levels) is becoming a vain hope if budget provisions are any indication.

It is bad enough that Australia is not on track to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 26–28% on 2005 levels by 2030, as it is notionally committed to doing, but according to the government's own figures, it is only set to reduce them by 5%. What makes it worse is that even the 26–28% target is very conservative and unlikely to be sufficient.

In truth, wealthy industrialised countries like ours should be seeking to become net zero emission economies and societies, both because we can and because it is simply not worth gambling with the continued existence of life as we know it.

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