Climate crisis

Friends of the Earth International wrote an account of the climate meeting organised by the Venezuelan government in July, which is abridged, from the FOEI website, below. read the Margarita Declaration the meeting adopted here. * * *
The largest coalmine ever built in Australia, and one of the biggest in the world, received final approval from the federal environment minister Greg Hunt on July 28. The Carmichael coalmine in central Queensland, owned by Indian company Adani, is forecast to produce 60 million tonnes of coal a year over the next 60 years. This dwarfs Australia’s current largest mine, which produces 20 million tonnes a year.
Twenty-one people were arrested last month while engaging in peaceful civil disobedience in protest against a proposed tar sands mine in north-eastern Utah. This would threaten local land and water, as well as contribute to the global climate crisis. As they await charges, US environmental groups expressed solidarity with the protesters who stood for freedom from dirty fossil fuels and devastating climate impacts.
Remember all those articles that claimed global warming has stopped? Here’s proof that those were anti-scientific fantasies. On July 21, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that last month’s average global temperature was 16.2°C, which is 0.7°C higher than the 20th-century average. Heat records were broken on every continent apart from Antarctica. The rises were especially notable in New Zealand, northern South America, Greenland, central Africa and southern Asia.
Anti-coal activist Jonathan Moylan was sentenced at a hearing of the Supreme Court in Sydney on July 25. He was sentenced to one year and eight months imprisonment, but was released immediately on a two-year good behaviour bond with $1000 surety. Moylan was charged under the Corporations Act for issuing a press release on ANZ letterhead saying the bank had withdrawn its $1.2 billion loan facility from Whitehaven’s Maules Creek Coal Project on environmental and ethical grounds. Whitehaven’s share price temporarily fell before quickly recovering.

The repeal of Australia’s carbon price is a milestone for a Coalition government that thinks nothing should stand between a mining company and big pile of money.

Anti-coal activist Jonathan Moylan is awaiting sentencing after Justice David Davies adjourned his decision at a Supreme Court hearing in Sydney on July 11. On the same day, more than 100 people gathered outside the court in a silent vigil to support Moylan. Moylan pleaded guilty in May this year to one count of disseminating false information to the market, after being charged last year under the Corporations Act 2001 for making a “false or misleading” statement.
Numerous wind farm developments across Victoria may face termination due to the highly inflexible and restrictive nature of the Denis Napthine government’s anti-wind farm laws and permit rules. The Weekly Times reported that the 20 companies granted permits before the introduction of these laws have been denied the ability to make simple upgrades to their turbines.
How 'green' is the Green new Deal? An increasingly popular answer to the ecological crisis facing humanity is the “Green New Deal”, which aims to create “green jobs” to jump start the economy. But, Dan Fitz argues the GND might not provide long term employment and could cause major environmental harm. Mariela Castro on LGBTI rights in Cuba
Scotland will vote on independence from Britain September 18. Despite a strong campaign by establishment figures for a “no” vote, polls showing growing support for independence, although still not a majority. Below, Colin Fox explains why Scottish independence will be a blow to austerity and a win for working people. Fox is the nation spokesperson for Scottish Socialist Party and a former member of Scottish parliament, and sits on the Yes Scotland advisory board.
New red-green electoral alliances, a turn to ecosocialism and a deepening of the US International Socialist Organization's rethink on feminism were key features of its well-attended Socialism 2014 conference in Chicago. The gap between rich and poor in the US is large and growing. It has sparked a popular campaign for a minimum wage of US$15 an hour for low-paid workers, and in defence of jobs of teachers and other social service providers.
Communities in Maules Creek, New South Wales, are banding together with environmental activists in order to stop coal mining in the Leard State Forest, which threatens to kill wildlife, destroy forestry and worsen climate change due to increased greenhouse gas emissions. Whitehaven Coal, a relatively small coal-mining company, is opening up new mines in various communities around Australia, aiming to maximise profit through the destruction of the environment.