Open for business, closed for everyone else

That Tony Abbott can make himself responsible for federal oversight of women’s affairs tells you something about the “fuck you” attitude of the new Liberal government.

But the door to his ministry being shut on women is only the opening salvo. If you are not rich then don’t expect much from this government.

Workers in aged care are watching the government rip up the $1.2 billion scheme for that would have increased their paltry wages. They won’t be the last group of workers targeted.

Refugees arriving by boat are not only being kept out; Abbott is trying to blackout information about their arrival.

Aboriginal people who don’t want to become the next suit wearing sell out aren’t getting a hearing.

Meanwhile, Labor continues to prove that it forgets nothing and learns nothing. The line we first heard on election night, that all Labor needed to do to win back support was avoid division, continues apace.

The leadership contest between Bill Shorten and Anthony Albanese, while (publicly, at least) full of mutual admiration, offers nothing that will seriously address Labor’s long term woes.

Faced with this situation, it is understandable that many people want to switch off from politics. But this is what Abbott and co want us to do, to make it easy for them to attack our rights and implement their slash and burn agenda. We shouldn’t give them the satisfaction.

It’s getting warmer

The draft “Fifth Assessment Report” (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the most comprehensive analysis of the state of our knowledge about climate change, is the starkest confirmation yet about the extent of global warming.

Since the last report was released in 2007, more evidence has accrued that the changes the report documents are significant, unusual or unprecedented.

Over the last century average temperatures rose by almost 1°C. There is a greater degree of confidence that most of this increase has been caused by emissions from capitalist industry.

Keeping the total warming to below 2°C, important to avoid the worst impacts of warming, will require huge reductions in emissions across the globe.

Yet carbon dioxide levels continue to rise.

Government reluctance to invest directly in alternative energy production is criminal given the stakes involved. We’re told that sustainable energy production is “uneconomic”. But there is plenty of money for subsidising coal fired energy, the mining companies and tax breaks for the rich.

While tens of thousands have been laid off in the manufacturing sector over the last five years, profits to the mining companies have soared. An entirely new infrastructure for power generation could have been created using the proceeds of the boom.

Instead we saw a near total waste of the biggest boom since the gold rush.

We need action. But until bigger political forces emerge that are prepared to stand up to the logic of the market, we will likely see very little.