Climate

When the right-wing press isn’t hacking the voicemail of murdered teenagers, much of its energy goes to denouncing “green extremists”. You know, the ones who’d destroy our economy just to claw back a few tonnes of greenhouse emissions. So what would Rupert Murdoch, Andrew Bolt and their whole tribe prefer be done, in practice and in the near term, to stop global warming? Let’s be honest — nothing. Cutting emissions, they implicitly argue, will inevitably cost more than if society lets carbon polluters get on with what they do best.
More than 200 people rallied outside the State ALP conference at the Country Club Casino in Launceston on August 6. Health workers, teachers, child protection workers and police protested against public service budget cuts. TAP into a better Tasmania protested against the pulp mill while Code Green called for the protection of native forests. The premier and other Labor ministers came out to talk to the crowd but did not back away from their plan to make drastic cuts to essential services.
Anima Mundi: Permaculture, Climate Change, Peak Oil & the Soul of the World Directed by Peter Downey Visit Animamundimovie.com Permaculture Pioneers: Stories from the New Frontier Edited by Kerry Dawborn & Caroline Smith Available from www.permacultureprinciples.com Sydney launch of Permaculture Pioneers & premier of Anima Mundi August 25, 7pm, Chauvel Cinema, Paddington Town Hall
John Bellamy Foster, the keynote speaker at the upcoming "World At A Crossroads" Climate Change Social Change conference - to be held in Melbourne University and Victoria Trades Hall on September 30-October 3, 2011 - is the co-author (with Fred Magdoff) of a newly published book entitled What every environmentalist needs to know about capitalism.
The Victorian secretary of the Electrical Trades Union (ETU), Dean Mighell, told the July 20 Age that his union could not support the Gillard government’s carbon price plan. Mighell said the scheme gives compensation payouts to the fossil fuel giants, but gives no guarantee for workers employed in coal-fired power stations in Victoria’s Latrobe valley.
Critics of the Gillard government’s proposed carbon price get daily coverage in Australia’s mainstream media. But some types of critic — those who want Australia to stay a polluter’s paradise — are heard the loudest. Other views, which say the carbon price plan is a dangerous diversion from real climate action, are mostly frozen out. Below are four green reasons to oppose the carbon price. 1. Emissions and fossil fuel use go up For a policy that is supposed to drive Australia’s carbon emissions down, the carbon price does a very bad job.
The leader of the National Party, Senator Barnaby Joyce, held and anti-carbon tax rally at Wollongong’s Crown St Mall on July 13. The self-professed climate change denier drew quite a crowd, but not the kind he was hoping for. A small number of his supporters, perhaps 30, were present. But more than half the crowd noisily protested against Joyce. They included Socialist Alliance activists, several Greens members and people from various trade unions. The placards of Greens, Socialist Alliance and unionists visually dominated the scene.
Climate campaigners have been understandably happy about the funding bodies for renewable energy contained in the carbon price package. It seems that these measures are largely in place because of strong campaigning by the grassroots climate movement and the Greens MPs in negotiations.
You could be forgiven for thinking that when the Labor government says its new carbon price plan will cut Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by 5%, it means Australia’s emissions will fall by 5%. But you would be wrong. Treasury modelling for the carbon price says Australia’s domestic emissions will go up by about 12% on 2000 levels by 2020.
There’s been so much political spin around the Julia Gillard government’s carbon tax announcement. Of course, there’s the predictable hysterical hollering from Tony Abbott, Barnaby Joyce and the climate change denier’s camp, but there is also tons of bullshit from the Labor government. However, a couple of developments have provided a much-needed reality check.

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