Australia’s population, currently 22.4 million, is predicted to rise to 35.9 million by 2050, according to the Australian Treasury Department’s Intergenerational Report 2010, released by federal treasurer Wayne Swan on February 1.
Issue 24 - July 2010
Issue 20 - March 2010
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 c
Issue 18 - December 2009
“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.
Issue 17 - November 2009
On October 24, about 5200 actions occurred worldwide as part of a campaign organised by 350.org to demand that political leaders agree to aim to stabilise atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations below 350 parts per million (ppm). I attended the event at the Sydney Opera House, along with what I would estimate to be around 700 others.
“We are destroying our planet. We need to realise that and we need to act”, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez told the 64th General Assembly of the United Nations in his September 24 speech. “The effects of this climate change are now visible … These are scientific facts. There are … studies by NASA [showing] a 0.8 degree increase in temperature in the last 30 years.
Issue 16 - October 2009
Australia has just experienced its hottest August on record. During that month, some parts of New South Wales experienced fierce bushfires over a month before the “normal” start of the bushfire season. In the face of this climate chaos, it might be hoped that there would be some good news about Australian government action to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution.
Issue 15 - September 2009
“If we continue at this rate, we’re not going to make it.” That was the verdict of Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), at the end of “informal consultations” held last month in the German city of Bonn to try to resolve issues complicating agreement on a new international treaty to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissio
Issue 14 - August 2009
The corporate media’s recent focus on the global economic crisis has all but eclipsed a much greater crisis – global climate change and the general destruction of the world’s environment. But if the environment “goes bust”, the implications for humanity and millions of plant and animal species are well known and horrifying.
On July 14, federal environment minister Peter Garrett approved the construction of the Four Mile uranium mine, 550 km north of Adelaide.
Issue 13 - July 2009
Seventy million cubic metres – equivalent to at least one quarter of the UK’s natural gas consumption – is burnt every day in gas flaring in the oil wells of the Niger River delta. Gas flaring in Nigeria accounts for roughly half of sub-Saharan Africa’s industrial greenhouse gas emissions.
Issue 12 - June 2009
On April 23, the Senate select committee on climate policy heard what should have been taken as a striking ultimatum: To avoid catastrophic climate change, there must be an immediate moratorium on the construction of coal-fired power plants, and existing coal-fired plants need to be shut within 20 years.
The Australian government is playing “Russian roulette with the climate system, with most of the chambers loaded”, according to CSIRO climatologist James Risbey.
Issue 11 - May 2009
The tragic April 16 explosion on a boat carrying Afghan asylum seekers from Indonesia has refocused public attention on the Australian government’s refugee and “border protection” policies. The explosion – which killed 5 of the 47 asylum seekers on the boat – occurred while an Australian navy vessel was taking the boat to Christmas Island.
Issue 10 - April 2009
The draft legislation for the government’s planned greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions trading scheme (ETS), released on March 10, contained no real answers to the problem.
Issue 9 - March 2009
The official death toll from the Victorian bushfires was 210 by February 23. At least 7500 people have been left homeless by the fires, which began on February 7, after over 2000 houses were destroyed.
Issue 8 - February 2009
2008 was the 9th warmest year since measurements began in 1880, according to data published by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies on January 13. At 0.44oC warmer than the 1951-1980 average, it was also warmer than any year on record prior to 1998. The 10 warmest years on record have now all occurred since 1997.
Issue 7 - December 2008
The World Energy Outlook 2008, released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) on November 12, makes an alarming prediction: Without new government policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and assuming current rates of growth in energy demand continue, global GHG emissions could rise 45% by 2030.
Issue 6 - November 2008
The rate of growth in global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – 3% between 2006 and 2007 – has exceeded the “worst-case scenario” predictions of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the September 26 Los Angeles Times reported.
Issue 5 - October 2008
As the Sun disappeared below the horizon of the North Pole on September 22 – ending the Northern hemisphere’s summer – it left behind the second-lowest minimum level of Arctic summer ice cover since satellite records began 29 years ago.
Issue 4 - September 2008
In the months preceding the March 2003 US-British-Australian invasion of Iraq, the French government’s opposition received a great deal of publicity. This led to illusions among some anti-war activists that the French rulers represented a progressive alternative to the “Anglo-Saxon” imperialists.
“Chavez makes a new power grab” screamed an August 6 Wall Street Journal headline. The following day, in an article titled “The autocrat of Caracas”, the London Economist claimed that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was “violat[ing] the constitution”.
Issue 3 - August 2008
“We cannot continue to pour carbon pollution into the atmosphere as if there is no cost … Climate change threatens our food production, agriculture, and water supplies.” With this dire warning, the minister for climate change and water, Senator Penny Wong, released the federal government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme green paper on July 16.
Imagine if the Australian government provided all education, from pre-school to post-graduate level, and all medical care, free of charge.