Environment

No NT nuclear waste dump!

Indigenous communities, environmentalists and human rights activists are gearing up for a fight against the federal government’s push to create a nuclear waste dump in the Northern Territory. Traditional owners in the area of the proposed waste dump at Muckaty Station, located around 120 kilometres north of Tennant Creek, are strongly opposed to it. The dump represents another step towards Australia playing a larger role in the deadly and unsustainable nuclear industry.

Fighting climate change needs more than science

Last month, I was fortunate to hear Phillip Adams’ ABC Radio interview with Dr James Hansen, the US scientist who has done so much to awaken the world to the fact that our climate is already changing and that it will change catastrophically if we don’t very quickly stop dumping carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Australian mining companies displace thousands of Indonesians

An Australian company has a significant but little-known role in the creation of the world’s largest mud volcano, located in the densely populated Sidoarjo district of Indonesia’s East Java province. The eruption began at 5am on May 28, 2006, when the mining company Lapindo Brantas took the decision to drill a bore hole to a depth of 2.8 kilometres without a protective steel casing. The subsequent eruption killed 13 people and has displaced more than 40,000 through the destruction of 13 villages.

Which way forward for the climate action movement?

“Penny Wong jeered, Hugo Chavez cheered” was the headline of an article in the Australian newspaper during the final days of the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen last December. Wong, the Australian Minister for Climate Change, was there to “seal a deal” which favoured business-as-usual for the world’s biggest carbon dioxide polluters. Despite years of pledges to act on climate change, the bottom line for the Rudd Labor government is still a mere 5% reduction of carbon emissions by 2020.

Is a carbon emissions tax a progressive policy?

In the wake of the failure of last December’s UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen to reach even a token legally binding agreement for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction, and with the Rudd Labor government’s patently inadequate emissions trading scam blocked by the Senate, reformist environmentalists have been casting around for an alternative way to try to address the climate crisis within the confines of what is acceptable to the capitalist ruling class. In doing so, they have continued to try to channel action to reduce GHG through indirect, market-based mechanisms, controlled by pro-capitalist governments. The Greens’ proposal for a tax on emissions of CO2 is one such example.

Global warming: Cuba, Venezuela resist Obama swindle

At a December 13-14 summit in Havana of the representatives of the nine countries that make up the Bolivarian Alliance For the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), Cuban President Raul Castro correctly predicted that the UN-organised climate change conference in Copenhagen would be a failure. Castro said that, although the December 6-18 Copenhagen conference should end with “concrete, verifiable steps to confront the effects of climate change, we already know there will be no agreement”.

ALBA statement on Copenhagen climate summit

The following statement was issued by the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) late on December 18 in response to the results of the UN Copenhagen Climate Summit.

Avatar: visual shock and awe

Avatar
Written & directed by James Cameron
Starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana & Stephen Lang
Runtime: 162 minutes
In cinemas now

Copenhagen - Rich countries push global suicide pact

“Up to $63 billion of existing residential buildings” in Australia “are potentially at risk of inundation” from rising sea levels by 2100, according to Climate Change Risks to Australia’s Coasts, a report released on November 14 by the CSIRO and the federal government’s Department of Climate Change. The report cites research presented at a Copenhagen climate conference in March which projects that sea levels will rise between 75 cm and 1.9 metres above 1990 levels by 2100. The amount of sea level rise considered most likely – 1.1 metres – puts between 157,000 and 247,600 individual buildings, along with the Sydney and Brisbane airports, at risk, according to the report.

Direct Action Fund Appeal: The dead end of nuclear power

As leaders of the Western world finger-point and pontificate on this or that way forward to deal with the global climate change crisis, one proposal that keeps rearing its ugly head is the push for more nuclear power generation. With around 40% of the world’s uranium deposits, Australia is a strategic player in the international nuclear industry. Australian based mining consortiums like BHP Billiton, the world’s largest mining company, own and control major mining concessions not just in Australia but across the globe.