2015: Day 1 of the New Climate Era

People Climate Mobilisation 2014 - photo by Zeb Parkes
From the People’s Climate Mobilisation, Sept 2014

Today is Day 1 of the New Climate Era – a whole new reality for humankind.

Welcome to the new climate era, where the earth is never again like it was for the rest of human existence; where our very existence depends on changing our economies and lifestyles to become compatible with the sensitive and finite nature of life on earth.

We’ve now reached the point of no return in regards to preventing catastrophic climate change.

We must act urgently and with a social determination not seen since the immediate period post World War II, when social progress came in leaps and bounds around the globe and nations received self determination.

That was a time where the all consuming power of kings, queens, empires and oligarchs was repeatedly challenged and defeated in the name of a necessary progress.

Now it’s our turn.

We must challenge and defeat the seemingly endless power of corporations and their ill-conceived economic doctrine of ‘endless growth’, if there is to be anything like our modern civilization left for future generations to inherit. Continue reading 2015: Day 1 of the New Climate Era

Stop ‘moving on’ – a message to White Australia.

It’s very easy to say “yes that ‘happened’, but we’ve moved on”, when you are on the perpetrating, winning or ‘privileged’ side of that ‘thing’ which ‘happened’.

I see it all the time in White Australia.

As a white kid growing up that was the attitude I was taught toward history, that history was just a bunch of interesting stories that happened in the past. Stories we should enjoy and remember, but barely any different from fiction.

Who knows what is and isn’t true about history I was told. History is written by the victor, I was told. History is mostly about wars and how they were won, I was told.

In White Australia, we do not pay much attention to history as a general social rule and where we do our inability to do so respectfully is infamous.

Tony Abbott’s latest declaration is absolutely indicative of that:

“The arrival of the first fleet was the defining moment in the history of this continent. Let me repeat that: it was the defining moment in the history of this continent,” (emphasis added). 

I disagree. Certainly that was a defining moment in the history of this continent, but this continent’s history is MUCH longer than the history of this ‘country’. Continue reading Stop ‘moving on’ – a message to White Australia.

Credit rating loss shows cuts not the answer

Western Australia lost it’s AAA credit rating at Moody’s today, the second agency to drop WA to the second highest credit standing Aa1.

This has primarily happened due to a structural budget deficit and growing debt under the Liberal Government here in WA.

The problem is less how we are spending tax, and more how we collect it.

Too many eggs in the one mining royalties basket was never a good idea, and nor are the many tax loop holes and subsidies for the ultra-rich. Our State Government is hamstrung in it’s revenue raising capacity because it gives up so much in subsidies.

For instances, Gina Rinehart receives over $4bn in tax breaks and subsidies per year.

Cutting funding to essential public services is not the answer to our governments budget woes, it’s short term thinking and bad economics.

Those services have multiplier effects, the people whose incomes they pay are working people, and spend their incomes quickly. This creates tax at point of sale then goes on to be spent by those it employs, with tax paid as income tax and business tax on profit too.

By the time this process is repeated a few times in the economy, each $1 of government spending in say schools or hospitals is likely to actually create tax income in the mid-term. The long term improvement of social outcomes also leads further tax generation.

If the Government are serious about balancing the budget, they need to start shovelling cash from the nearby truck that’s over-flowing with $100 bills, not shuffling budget papers and scraping out the last few coins from working peoples piggy banks.

 

 

 

Two fracking free towns in Western Australia

double win waThere are now two towns in Western Australia to declare themselves fracking free zones, where fracking activities are not welcome.

Earlier this week the town of Greenough declared itself frack free and now they have been followed by the Shire of Coorow.

On Wednesday Coorow councillors unanimously backed a request to put a hold on all fracking work at energy company AWE’s Drover-1 well.

The request was submitted by residents from the local Green Head and Leeman communities.

Of course it drew the usual responses saying fracking is a ‘safe’ process and doesn’t need to be put through rigorous environmental assessment, despite our aquifers being at risk.

But neither the process of injecting high pressure chemicals into the earth, nor the resulting escape of methane is safe for our environment.

Methane is far more potent a green house gas than carbon dioxide in the immediate term, and fracking wells are notorious for creating methane leaks.

It’s simply not worth the risk.

I stand with the peoples of Greenough, Green Heads and Leeman in their fight to prevent fracking in Western Australia.

We will win the day.

John Oliver talks sense on Ferguson. #100daysofblogging #Day78

I want to write something about what’s going on in Ferguson, but haven’t had the time to develop a real understanding in order to do so.

However, this weeks “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” sums up most of my thoughts about it.

One analogy I will add is this:

Anyone who has plays shooter games knows knows that it’s no fun walking around unarmed when you’ve got an assault rifle in your inventory. There is a good reason the police are meant to be a ‘civilian’ force, not a military one.

If you give people dangerous toys to play with, especially when they are in positions of power, people will likely end up hurt. Excessive force is a likely result when you arm police to the teeth to approach low-level threats.

Enjoy John Oliver’s comedic analysis: