Green Left

One side event at the COP21 United Nations climate change conference in Paris was the launch of the Fossil-Fuel Subsidy Reform Communique. Almost 40 countries signed onto the statement, which pledges to eliminate subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. The communique said: “The International Energy Agency (IEA) highlights fossil fuel subsidy reform as a key component of a set of energy measures to combat climate change and estimates that even a partial phase-out of fossil-fuel subsidies would generate 12% of the total abatement needed by 2020 to keep the door open to the 2°C target.”

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.
The rise in popularity of anti-austerity parties, responses to the global climate crisis and challenges in building alternatives to neoliberal capitalism will be explored at the Socialism for the 21st Century Conference, to be held in Sydney on May 13 to 15 next year. Green Left Weekly is proud to co-host this conference — which will be held in our 25th year of publication.
So the Malcolm Turnbull-led government thinks we need to reform the tax system. When looking at the extent to which multinational corporations are shirking their responsibilities in Australia, this sounds like a good thing.
It is rare that a critical article on Australia's military spending appears in one of the corporate newspapers but on October 25, the Melbourne Age published such an article by senior correspondent Daniel Flitton entitled “Does Australia's military need such tentacles of defence?”. Flitton argued that while Australian governments have “talked the good talk of regional co-operation and engagement for decades” their “staggering shopping list of new military hardware was signalling a very different message to the region.

The Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid held a speak-out for Palestine in Melbourne on October 23. Among the demands were: end Israeli occupation now; dismantle Israeli apartheid; tear down the apartheid wall; lift the siege on Gaza; and end extrajudicial killings.

Around two thousand people rallied in Sydney on October 11 in support of refugees. The protest was called by the Refugee Action Coalition and came in the wake of claims of mistreatment and sexual abuse against refugee women on Nauru and Manus Island.

The latest World Bank Global Monitoring Report boasted that only 9.6% of the world's population — 702 million people — are forecast to be living in extreme poverty in 2015, 200 million fewer than in 2012. And this even with the WB now raising its official poverty line from the 2008 US$1.25 a day level to US$1.90. WB president Jim Yong Kim declared that the world has a good chance of ending extreme poverty by 2030.
The abrupt arrival of this year's bush fire season should be taken as another warning of the urgency of tackling the climate change crisis. The El Nino phenomenon of severe droughts and flooding rains that will make this a more dangerous summer has been a part of longstanding weather patterns on the Australian continent. But research has shown that El Nino will double in frequency and severity as global warming increases.
Few people would have shared tears — unless they happened to be chopping onions at the time — when Tony Abbott was ejected as prime minister in the latest of a string of Lib-Lab leadership spills. Let's be honest. The rolling TV coverage of Malcolm Turnbull's political assassination of Abbott kept the nation entertained for a couple of hours on a Monday night. Who did not enjoy watching the grim faces of those Liberal MPs as they trooped into their party room for the spill, and the even grimmer faces of some as they came back out?
If it wasn't painfully obvious before it should now be crystal clear now that there is no such thing as company loyalty. Loyalty from companies that is. ABC’s 4 Corners revealed last week that convenience store chain 7-Eleven was engaged in a wide-scale rip off of its workers by paying them below award wages, and in some cases below the minimum wage. It seems employees are fair game for the rapacious nature of capitalism.
Early this year supporters of Green Left Weekly in Melbourne decided to relaunch the Green Left Radio show on community radio 3CR. This was after urging from station management and Green Left supporters volunteering at the station. The Green Left Radio program previously aired on 3CR between the mid-1990s and early 2000s.