The Environment

At Copenhagen climate talks

US takes hard line against poor nations, China

By Patrick Martin, 11 December 2009

Tensions between the major imperialist powers and poor countries erupted Thursday at the UN climate talks, after the leaking of draft documents that would effectively ratify the privileged position of the United States and Europe in the world economy.

Hacked climate emails used to attack scientists

By Chris Talbot, 9 December 2009

The theft and publication of emails containing communications between top scientists in England has been used to boost the campaign to deny the existence of global warming.

WSWS public meetings in Sydney and Melbourne

The Economics and Politics of the ETS: Socialism and Climate Change

3 December 2009

The Labor government’s failed attempt to ram through a carbon emissions trading scheme (ETS) has brought to the surface deep-going conflicts within the Australian ruling elite. The SEP meetings will clarify what the proposed ETS actually is and what it means for the working class. It will demonstrate that all market-based schemes only exacerbate the environmental crisis created by the profit system itself.

Australia: Bipartisan carbon trading deal transfers $6 billion from households to corporate polluters

By Patrick O’Connor, 26 November 2009

The final terms of the government’s so-called Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme—set to be approved by parliament this week and to commence operations in 2011—underscore that the mechanism has nothing to do with protecting the environment, but is driven by the interests of corporate Australia.

Obama blocks climate change agreement

By Stefan Steinberg, 18 November 2009

Last Sunday, Obama gave his consent to a plan worked out at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Singapore which effectively blocks any decision on concrete steps to combat global warming at the upcoming Copenhagen Climate Conference.

UN climate change meeting

No agreement between major powers on carbon emissions

By Tom Eley, 23 September 2009

Tuesday’s global warming summit failed to ease differences among the major powers in advance of a December treaty conference in Copenhagen.

Australian government downplays huge oil slick

By Frank Gaglioti, 7 September 2009

A major oil and gas rupture from the West Atlas mobile offshore drilling rig off the northwestern coast of Australia is threatening to become a major environmental disaster. The leakage is unlikely to be plugged for weeks.

US: Government study finds widespread mercury contamination

By Dan Brennan, 3 September 2009

Mercury is polluting streams across the country with alarming frequency, according to a study published last month by US Geological Survey.

US military and intelligence agencies identify climate change as “national security” threat

By Patrick O'Connor, 11 August 2009

US military and intelligence agencies are studying the strategic implications of global warming, including preparations for military interventions, the New York Times reported Sunday.

US House passes Obama administration’s carbon trading legislation

By Patrick O'Connor, 29 June 2009

On Friday, the US House of Representatives narrowly approved Democratic-sponsored legislation for a national “cap and trade” carbon emissions scheme.

Scientists issue dire warning on rising sea levels

By Dan Brennan, 2 April 2009

Scientists meeting in Copenhagen last month issued dire warnings about the rapid rate of climate change and the growing threat of rising sea levels.

Australian state government in damage control over major oil spill

By Richard Phillips, 18 March 2009

A huge oil spill off the coastline of south-east Queensland is the latest example of government indifference and the inadequacy of critical emergency services and infrastructure to cope with disasters.

Worst coal ash spill in US history ruins huge area in Tennessee

By Mike Bryan, 10 January 2009

On December 22, a massive sludge impoundment in eastern Tennessee gave way, releasing over a billion gallons of toxic coal byproduct into the surrounding area.

Australian Greens pledge fiscal responsibility: we are “sensible and mainstream”

By Laura Tiernan, 14 November 2008

With support for the Australian Greens on the rise, the party’s leaders have been quick to demonstrate their support for Labor and the corporate elite.

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.

Stockholm conference told 1 billion people without access to safe water

By Barry Mason, 10 September 2008

World Water Week, attended by around 2,500 scientists, government and civil society representatives from 140 countries, took place in Stockholm last month. It was held under the auspices of the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).