Posts in: environment

Bitter Harvest: The Legacy of the Snowy Mountains Scheme

Summer/Autumn 2000

Politics and water are intimately related in Australia, the driest inhabited continent. For example, after a close election, Victoria now has a minority ALP government, supported by rural independents. One of these, Craig Ingram, gained his seat on the basis of a single issue — restoring some of the flow of the Snowy River. Steve… Read more »

Terminator Trio Defeated!

Winter/Spring 2006

The UN Convention on Biological Diversity met in Brazil last March. On the agenda was terminator, or gene sterilisation, technology. Three governments — Australia, Canada and New Zealand — were dubbed the “Terminator Trio” when they teamed up to try and overturn a global moratorium on terminator technology, which prevents farmers saving and reusing seeds…. Read more »

Despair is not an option!

Winter/Spring 2007

Every night, a strange thing happens at Snowy Hydro’s Tumut 3 power station. Water that flows downhill from the Talbingo reservoir is pumped uphill for use the next day. The huge network of dams is nearly dry. It’s an excellent example of how a sustainable economy needs a sustainable environment. This country has neither. Unless… Read more »

Red Earth: A socialist perspective on climate change

Summer/Autumn 2007

No one in charge. When I was a teenager, I stayed in the Victorian goldfields town of Castlemaine. Even then, it was obvious to me that something was wrong in the way people dealt with the natural world. The ecosystem was so stressed that you could see the box forest disappearing. In that case, unregulated… Read more »

Water is a feminist issue

Summer/Autumn 2007

Victoria burning, Melburnians choking from the smoke, parched land everywhere. This is life in the southeast corner of the earth’s driest continent. Across the Pacific, on the U.S.-Canadian border, pre-Christmas storms flooded homes, cut power and blocked main roads. On Christmas day, post-tsunami Aceh and North Sumatra were once again under water and mud. These… Read more »

Bankrupting Dissent

Winter/Spring 2008

The federal minister for destroying the environment, Peter Garrett, has made a series of outrageous pro-business decisions, including approval of the Gunns pulp mill near Launceston, the dredging of Port Phillip Bay and a desalination plant near Wonthaggi. All three projects pose considerable risks to the environment and have led to the formation of local… Read more »

A question of power

Winter/Spring 2008

At the very sharp end of the climate change crisis is the energy question. Most of the planet’s electricity generation is derived from coal, and all motorised transport requires the consumption of fossil fuel or other organically derived material. Coal, oil, gas and so-called “biofuels” are all based on carbon. When carbon is burnt, it… Read more »