Climate Change

Antarctic ice shelf collapse: climate change and capitalism

By Patrick O'Connor, 8 April 2009

The disintegration of a 40-kilometre ice bridge connecting the Wilkins Ice Shelf to the Antarctic Peninsula is another indicator of the threat posed by climate change.

Australian Labor government’s 2020 carbon emissions target: a declaration of impotence on climate change

By Patrick O’Connor, 23 December 2008

The Labor government’s target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 5 percent below their level in the year 2000 by 2020 constitutes an admission that it has no effective solution to the climate change crisis.

Australia: Climate change, the Garnaut report, and the profit system

By Patrick O’Connor, 17 September 2008

The Labor government’s Garnaut Climate Change Review has effectively concluded that within the existing international political and social framework, dangerous and potentially irreversible global warming is inevitable.

US: White House suppressed climate change testimony

By Shannon Jones, 10 July 2008

A former official with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has alleged that Vice President Dick Cheney intervened to alter testimony to Congress about the potential health and safety dangers posed by greenhouse gases.

The EU strengthens “Fortress Europe” against migration due to climate change

By Ajay Prakash and Antoine Lerougetel, 7 May 2008

The European Union is responding to the present and projected catastrophic effects of climate change on the most vulnerable populations of the world, and their inevitable migration in order to survive, with an intensification of already draconian anti-immigration controls.

Australia: Rudd government rejects emission targets in official climate change report

By Patrick O’Connor, 14 March 2008

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has dismissed key sections of an interim climate change report released last month by Professor Ross Garnaut, in particular the assessment that Australian carbon emissions may need to be cut by 90 percent or more. The response highlights the Rudd government’s hypocrisy on global warming, which was a major feature of Labor’s campaign in last November’s federal election.

Hawaii climate change summit ends without agreement on emission cuts

By Patrick O’Connor, 5 February 2008

Rivalries between the world’s major powers have again dominated a major international climate change summit, with a two-day meeting in Hawaii producing no agreement on greenhouse gas emissions targets. No concrete measures were announced aside from a schedule for further discussions later this year.

Bali climate conference ends in farce as US vetoes emission targets

By Patrick O’Connor, 17 December 2007

The UN-sponsored climate change conference held on the Indonesian island of Bali ended on the weekend without any agreement on combatting global warming other than vague generalities. A last-minute, face-saving communiqué was issued but, at the insistence of the Bush administration and its allies, it made no mention of specific carbon emission reduction targets. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had recommended a cut in carbon emissions of 25 to 40 percent in the advanced industrial countries by 2020 and a total world emissions reduction of 50 percent by 2050.

Bush administration isolated at Bali climate conference

By Patrick Martin, 14 December 2007

The two-week UN-sponsored conference on climate change on the Indonesian island of Bali has been dominated by the intransigence of the Bush administration and the mounting conflicts among the great powers, particularly between the United States and the European Union.

Australia: Labor government moves to ratify Kyoto Protocol ahead of Bali climate change conference

By Patrick O’Connor, 8 December 2007

On Monday, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd signed the instrument of ratification of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. This move—which marks the first step in the formal ratification process that will see Australia become a full Kyoto member by March 2008—was heralded in a Rudd press release as the “first official act of the new Australian government, demonstrating my government’s commitment to tackling climate change”.

Climate change, Kyoto, and carbon trading

Part 1: The Howard government and the Kyoto Protocol

By Patrick O’Connor and Alex Safari (SEP candidates for Grayndler and Kingsford Smith), 7 November 2007

The following is the first of a two-part series. Part 2 will be published tomorrow, Thursday November 8.

Reports show impact of climate change in Africa

By Barry Mason, 18 July 2007

A recent news item on Britain’s Independent Television News by Martin Geissler highlighted the impact of climate change on sub-Saharan Africa. He reported from Lesotho, a country of less than two million people, which forms an enclave within South Africa.

G8 summit: Climate compromise masks mounting conflicts

By Peter Schwarz, 9 June 2007

The 3,500 reporters and photographers who travelled to the G8 summit in Heiligendamm, Germany, have accomplished their assigned mission. The world has been inundated with reports of progress and idyllic photos: Bush, Merkel and Putin sitting relaxed and chatting in beach chairs; Sarkozy and Blair talking over a glass of beer; a harmonious walk on the beach of the picturesque resort by all of the world leaders.

Climate change seen as “security threat” by UN Security Council, US military experts

By Naomi Spencer, 24 April 2007

On April 17, the United Nations Security Council held its first-ever discussion on climate change as a serious threat to security and future political stability. In addition to the 15 council member states in attendance, 38 other UN member countries sent representatives to speak. Although no action was taken at the meeting’s conclusion, its very convocation reveals growing uneasiness within the world’s ruling powers about social unrest that would come with global warming.

Despite interference from US and other countries

Climate change report outlines dire impact of global warming

By Mark Rainer, 10 April 2007

On April 6, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the Working Group II Summary for Policy Makers from its report on “Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability.”

Congressional hearings detail political tampering in US climate research

By Naomi Spencer, 22 March 2007

Hearings resumed March 19 in the US Congress on charges of political interference in governmental climate research. The evidence and testimony further demonstrate the lengths the Bush administration, at the behest of the oil industry, has gone to suppress scientists’ findings and confuse public opinion of climate change.

The NSW state elections and the climate change debate

By the Patrick O’Connor, SEP candidate for Marrickville and NSW (Australia), 9 March 2007

The following comment by Socialist Equality Party candidate Patrick O’Connor was distributed to a local candidates forum convened by the Climate Action Now group in Marrickville. O’Connor was one of four candidates contesting the inner-Sydney seat in the March 24 New South Wales election who addressed the meeting. Others speakers were Carmel Tebbutt, the current Labor member for Marrickville, Fiona Byrne for the Greens and Pip Hinman from Socialist Alliance.

Scientists report rampant political interference in climate research

By Naomi Spencer, 5 February 2007

As the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its urgent assessment Friday, providing alarming information about the advanced state of global warming, Washington immediately moved to downplay the US contribution.

Australian television program highlights censorship of climate scientists

By Frank Gaglioti, 17 April 2006

An Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) program entitled “The Greenhouse Mafia”, which appeared in February on the “Four Corners” television series, highlighted the Australian government’s censorship of eminent scientists studying climate change and its subservience to business interests that are heavily dependent on fossil fuels. Scientists from the state-funded Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) were specifically prohibited from discussing the potentially devastating consequences of governments’ failure to reduce greenhouse gases.