Our planet, our future, and our fight to defend them!
Written by: Nick G. on 23 April 2020
It is the third such event in five years, has struck all three regions of the world’s largest coral reef system and is more widespread than ever, according to scientists from James Cook University in Queensland.
The damage to the reef is a direct consequence of both global warming and the run-off from land of pollutants.
The destruction of the Reef is a direct result of the failure of capitalism to acknowledge and deal with global warming.
Under pressure from the people to take action to save the Reef, the Turnbull government in 2018 donated $444 million to a fossil fuel front organisation, the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, which had not even asked for it! The Foundation diverts concerns about global warming into false hope of the Reef’s “resilience” and “recovery” as we pointed out at the time here .
The primary legislative basis for government action on the environment is the Environmental Protection and Biodivesity Conservation Act (EPBC Act). It is full of loopholes and has been no safeguard against the Reef’s bleaching, against major natural disasters like the 2019-20 bushfires, or any one of a number of threats to wildlife.
Tied in with this is the fear from the renewable energy sector that “governments and powerful business lobby groups may use the Covid-19 crisis as an opportunity to water down environmental controls, with the fossil fuel industry most likely to take advantage.”
This is precisely the scenario outlined by US author Naomi Klein in her 2007 post-Hurricane Katrina study “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism”. In a recent interview, she said:
The “shock doctrine” is the political strategy of using large-scale crises to push through policies that systematically deepen inequality, enrich elites, and undercut everyone else. In moments of crisis, people tend to focus on the daily emergencies of surviving that crisis, whatever it is, and tend to put too much trust in those in power. We take our eyes off the ball a little bit in moments of crisis.
This means that the receptiveness of the government to pre-pandemic calls to water down “green tape” will become an open slather assault on anything that stands in the way of “growth” and “investment”.
Our Party program has a strong position on environmental crisis and climate change, including the statement that “Biodiversity matters to the working class”.
Consistent with our Program, we have made our own submission to the Review of the EPBC Act. It can be downloaded here.
It is our planet, our future, and it will be our actions that count.
Let no-one stand in the way of our right to act.
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