Why the rich are to blame for climate crisis

James Plested Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who inspired the global “school strike for climate” movement, was invited to speak at January’s annual World Economic Forum, a meeting of business leaders and celebrities held in Davos, Switzerland. She didn’t mince words: “Some peop...CONTINUE READING

Scorched earth: capitalism, climate change and Australia’s bushfire threat

James Plested Bushfires have always been part of Australia. Even before the first human settlers arrived around 50,000 years ago, fires sparked by lightning strikes were a feature of the landscape for at least 30 million years. Reflecting this long history, scientists estimate that about 70 percent of A...CONTINUE READING

Capitalism creates the problems, socialism could solve them

James Plested You don’t need a degree in political science to know that our current leaders are a useless bunch of numpties. There’s no shortage of problems in society, yet the political and business elites who run the show seem to have no clue what to do about them. Whether it’s the lack of affordable...CONTINUE READING

UN report: revolution needed to prevent climate disaster

James Plested Only a revolution can save us. That’s the take home message of the latest report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), released on 8 October. Based on emissions reduction commitments made under the 2015 Paris agreement, the world is on track for an average temperatu...CONTINUE READING

Why the right hates the ABC

James Plested The Australian government and its right wing, big business backers despise the ABC. If this wasn’t already well established, the recent leadership saga at the organisation has clarified it. The first sign of trouble came when managing director Michelle Guthrie was sacked by the ABC board o...CONTINUE READING

How corporate power hijacked democracy

James Plested You don’t have to be a radical to think that what passes for democracy in capitalist society is a fraud. Politicians are so obviously influenced by extra-parliamentary networks of power that only the most blinkered ideologue would argue that the average Australian has as much influence on...CONTINUE READING

No emissions reduction target, but $444 million for corporate greenwashing

James Plested The Liberal leadership spill has drawn attention away from what should rank among the biggest scandals in the history of Australian politics: the government’s gift of almost half a billion dollars to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation (GBRF), an organisation whose barely concealed role is t...CONTINUE READING

Gangsters for capitalism: Downer, Woodside and ‘Witness K’

James Plested It says everything you need to know about the connection between big business, politics and national security. In 2004, then foreign minister Alexander Downer presided over an Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) operation to install listening devices in the offices of the governm...CONTINUE READING

US establishment rattled by socialist’s primary win

James Plested The victory of socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the Democratic Party primary in New York’s 14th Congressional District on 26 June has put the US political establishment in a spin. It is one of the biggest political upsets in recent US history. Her opponent was Joe Crowley, a 10-term c...CONTINUE READING