Climate and ecology
‘People power’ vs Toxic capitalism
Jerome Small

Just as the last federal election campaign was getting started, a massive explosion ripped through a toxic waste facility in Campbellfield in Melbourne’s northern suburbs. Two workers—both Tamil refugees—were hospitalised. Surrounding suburbs were blanketed with highly toxic smoke.

There is no ‘green transition’
James Plested

It has become common, in recent years, to hear assertions that the world is already in the midst of a transition to a green economy. This kind of “green triumphalism”, however, is little more than a fantasy—one that is (and often consciously intended to be) a barrier to winning the kind of radical change we need.

Ukraine invasion shows danger of nuclear power
Ukraine shows nuclear power danger
Roxanne Kelly

The escalating horrors emerging from the war in Ukraine have put the danger of nuclear energy back in the spotlight. Days after Russia’s invasion, President Vladimir Putin said in a military address he was “ordering the defence minister and chief of the general staff to switch the Russian army’s deterrent forces [i.e. nuclear weapons] on to a high alert mode of combat stand-by duty”.

Deadly floods an unnatural disaster
Deadly floods an unnatural disaster
Meg Hill

Hundreds of people in Lismore woke up on Monday morning trapped in their houses. Most of them went to sleep with the reassurance that, despite flood warnings, their houses had never been reached by flood water before—including during the “big floods” of 1954, 1974 and 2017. But after the Wilsons River broke the town’s levee wall, it kept rising far beyond what had been projected. An evacuation order was issued at 1am, while most people were sleeping. They woke to water in their houses—which are mostly on stilts—climbed into attics and onto roofs, and waited.

Against 'ethical consumption'
James Plested

Few people today are so naive as to believe that recycling, using a “keep cup”, switching off lights or having shorter showers will be enough to avert the unfolding environmental and climate catastrophe. The accumulation of evidence of the global and systemic nature of the problem has been sufficient to convince most that any genuine solution must involve radical changes to society as a whole, rather than just a shift in the consumption choices of individuals.

Our food bowl is turning to dust
Jamiel Deeb

Quentin Beresford’s book Wounded Country: The Murray-Darling Basin—a contested history, published in September 2021, is a warning. State officials, politicians and agribusinesses risk turning Australia’s premier food bowl—the Murray-Darling Basin, which covers 14 percent of the Australian mainland—into desert.

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