Movies, musicals, bush meetings and speaking tours continue to characterise the campaign against coal seam gas (CSG).
Environment & Climate Change
Issue 40 - November-December 2012
Issue 37 - December-January 2012
The grassroots campaign against coal seam gas mining appears to have won important ground, making it onto the popular ABC program Gruen Transfer and as a dedicated feature launched on the ABC News website on November 24.
Issue 36 - October-November 2011
In an attempt to “create our own moment and message” internet-based environment coalition Moving Planet declared September 24 a “day to move beyond fossil fuels – to demand solutions to the environment crisis”.
Issue 35 - September 2011
Anger against coal seam gas (CSG) mining, which has erupted into significant street protests over the past six months, has now spilled into parliament.
In the lead-up to the introduction of the carbon tax legislation into federal parliament, the federal opposition and other opponents of the tax have intensified their campaign against it.
Issue 34 - August 2011
Fifty years ago this month, the US began its spraying of Agent Orange and similar chemicals containing large amounts of deadly cancer-causing dioxin over southern Vietnam. This murderous campaign lasted 10 years, poisoning uncounted Vietnamese civilians and liberation fighters and members of the US military and its allies.
“If we don’t make this the biggest social movement this county has ever seen, it will be the biggest social disaster this country has ever seen”, exclaimed former tunnel driller Dayne Pratsky on July 5, speaking in Byron Bay to a packed public meeting against coal seam gas.
Zack Furness is the author of One Less Car: Bicycling and the politics of automobility (Temple University Press, 2010). He was interviewed via email by Jon Lamb.
The fight to stop a gas hub at James Price Point in the Kimberley is stepping up despite police attacking protesters. The $30 billion project by Woodside would destroy Aboriginal sacred sites including ancient burial grounds. Traditional owners of the land have blockaded the site along with environmentalists, leading to a seven-week stand-off with police.
As the details of its long-awaited “carbon tax” package were announced, Julia Gillard’s Labor government plummeted in popularity. Australia faces the real possibility of a landslide victory at the next election for the conservative Coalition under the leadership of the notorious reactionary Tony Abbott.
Issue 33 - June-July 2011
The campaign against coal seam gas (CSG) mining has taken to the streets over the past month with big turnouts at rallies in northern NSW and the spawning of “No CSG” groups all over social media sites, attracting thousands of supporters.
The Queensland state budget delivered on June 14 has confirmed again the state Labor government’s willingness to pander to the needs of big business, while workers pick up the tab for the sell-off of large chunks of the state’s infrastructure. In a post-budget media event, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh beamed as she announced: “The sun has come back to the sunshine state”.
Carjacked: The Culture of the Automobile and Its Effects on Our lives
By Catherine Lutz and Anne Lutz Fernandez
Palgrave Macmillan, 272 pages
Issue 32 - May 2011
San Francisco – April 20 was the first anniversary of the explosion in the Gulf of Mexico of a deep ocean oil rig owned by British Petroleum. Eleven workers were killed, and the ensuing massive oil leak over the next months became the greatest ecological disaster in US history.
It created a small stir in late March when British journalist and columnist George Monbiot wrote in the Guardian that the ongoing nuclear accident at Fukushima in Japan had convinced him that the use of nuclear power needs to be expanded in order to counter global warming.
Issue 31 - April 2011
The campaign against coal seam gas (CSG) mining has accelerated across small towns and rural areas in NSW and Queensland. An investigative documentary, The Gas Rush, aired on February 21 by ABC TV, has spurred anger at mining companies, revealing an industry that is fully backed by state and federal Labor governments.
Recriminations are continuing over the management of the Wivenhoe dam and its contribution to the devastating February floods in Brisbane. Few, however, are looking at the evidence that is mounting of the considerable costs involved in the construction and failure of large dams.
The federal Labor government and the Greens announced on February 24 that they had agreed to sell carbon pollution permits at a fixed price from July 1, 2012, as an interim measure. After that, a carbon emissions permit trading scheme will be introduced within three to five years.
The nuclear accident in Japan caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami has affirmed many of the concerns that anti-nuclear campaigners have been warning of for decades. Above all else, nuclear power is a deadly form of energy production. At every point of the nuclear energy cycle, there is a risk of a major environmental and social catastrophe.
On March 22 the federal government finally passed the flood and cyclone levy, a one-off tax to help with the reconstruction of parts of Australia affected by recent natural disasters. The Julia Gillard Labor government expects the levy (formally known as the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangement – NDRRA) to raise $1.8 billion.
Issue 29 - February 2011
There was an overwhelming response from working people to the flood preparation and recovery efforts in Queensland. On the weekend after the waters receded in Brisbane, tens of thousands of people took to the streets, getting knee deep in the mud to assist friends and strangers alike.
In the weeks at the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011, tens of thousands of homes were flooded across Queensland’s metropolitan and regional centres. In the days following the flood, the corporate media and ABC local radio provided lots of information, coverage and sympathy for home owners, but little was said about those who have to rent the place they live in.
Gasland, an explosive documentary exposing the dangers of coal seam gas mining in the United States, has shocked audiences as it toured film festivals and country towns facing the same “hit-and-run” industry in Australia.
The devastating floods across Queensland and Victoria have killed dozens of people, displaced thousands and wreaked billions of dollars in damage to infrastructure and industry, leaving scores of shattered towns and cities.
Issue 28 - November-December 2010
Peter Garrett, the 1980s rock star in a band noted for its anti-nuclear, anti-mining, anti-military stance, is living proof that parliamentarism will never serve the campaigns for social, environmental and economic justice.