Topic: nsw govt
Michael Costa MP, at present the Treasurer of NSW gets a moderate leg up by the anonymous Herald editorialist today:
They claim Costa is full of "political courage" taking on the unions. That reads like Yes Minister style foolhardy unsustainable politics.
The Unions are just off a big big federal election win for their side and they have the 85% backing against the power public asset sale and a grassroots campaign 'Your rights at work' infrastructure in place. And they are not backing off:
This is the kind of democratic movement on industrial relations in 2006-7 that the big knobs at the SMH would be none too comfortable with - it's economic justice that comes off their shareholders' dividends and senior executive bonuses. And one presumes that's the case with a $15B power sale too - less income for the corporate owners of Fairfax.
There is one line in the Herald editorial that reflects at the core their narrow neurotic capitalist approach to the political economy:
"New capacity is vital if the state economy is to continue to grow; NSW cannot continue to defer its long-term energy future."
This beauty of a sentence captures so many things:
- the sincere, genuine confusion manifested by the non sequitor of long term energy future in the 2nd leg as if it can be guarranteed by "new capacity/economic growth". One only needs to read the most grim foretelling (below) about dangerous climate change to show that this old style growth festish political economics is suicidal.
- For all the populist Eco pages and general environmental news, the Herald is essentially a growth capitalist institutional pillar with overpaid staff and owners, that doesn't get ecological sustainability because otherwise it would be talking about conserving capacity and reducing demand, not feeding the monster;
- the subtext of endless immigration even up to 150 million, as provocation, which just adds to individual consumption problems, underpinning demand which most thinking people have long realised causes a false housing shortage for greater corporate market and profit. Far better to increase our aid and support - like Cuba's medical diplomacy - to other countries than flog to ecological death our own land. Record levels of immigration are in fact out of control, and that's from someone who believes in a coffee coloured multicultural future, higher refugee intake, with all the curiousity, inspiration and hybrid vigour that brings a country (indeed underwrites) economic success. The 'wide wide open door' is a big business racket for such as Westfield retailers and Meriton high rise.
- it echoes the defiant ecological denialism of Costa, a proud 'brown MP' himself degrading the norms of behaviour in the NSW Legislative Council with his boorish rhetoric that the coal industry must expand and that the Green Party have no merit raising their generic concerns in general and on climate specifically. In short the swaggering Costa is a dinosaur on questions of environment and sustainable planning (eg Stateline April 2005) and this is well know: Attack of the Spivs | newmatilda.com
The combined union movement whose business is social capital, who deal in management, control, guidance, service to working people are not so arrogant as to rule out of real politik consideration the warnings of the ecological scientists and green movement especially on climate: Because dangerous climate is the biggest humans rights and security issue going around this 21C (only now being taken seriously by security experts as per ABC's Leigh Sales in her reportage yesterday) along with nuclear weapons proliferation.
Our politicians, captured by big corporate donations (read orthodox market capitalism), are not serving the working people of Australia sufficiently in relation to this climate threat, just as the ultra hierarchical 'corporate' communist party of China is not either with their endless growth projections affecting even their so called Green Olympics.
And don't think we won't see cyclonic impacts on Sydney in our lifetime to compare with Cyclone Tracy. We at SAM believe we will within decades. Imagine what that will do to the power industry and working people. It's the biggest human rights issue of our lifetime but the neurotic Herald hasn't resolved that reality within its own editorial writer's clique.
Take a look at this article that ran in 'The Crimes' ie The Canberra Times earlier this Febuary 2008. It's a very grim foretelling. The ferocity of the lethal twisters pictured above this last few days in the USA just seems to reinforce the point.
To: Subject: [NCEC] Fwd: Climate Code Red Released 4 Jan 2008
Adrian Whitehead <zeroemissionsnow...> wrote:
One of the most important documents to be written for the global
climate campaign has been released on the web.
The document makes the case that the science is being misread and
miscommunicated and that the situation is far worse than most climate
commentators choose to explain, it then looks at appropriate goals and
solutions and argues for rapid reduction in atmospheric greenhouse gas
Written by David Sprat and Philip Sutton the document is a must read
for any serious campaigner.
Down load the pdf from http://climatecodered.net/
The authors have asked that people do not email the PDF directly but
instead direct others to the website.
Also see article published in Canberra Times below signature block.
Zero Emission Network
Level 2, 140 Bourke Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
0403 735 118
Canberra Times Article 02 February 2008 - 10:05AM
Report attacks climate policy
The Rudd Government's climate change policy has already been overtaken
by new science and will impose a "death sentence" on Australia unless
urgently updated, say the authors of a new report.
Former Victorian government adviser Phillip Sutton and David Spratt,
founder of climate change group CarbonEquity, say the Government's
policy lacks scientific depth and has been cobbled together from
reports now surpassed by new data on the rate and scale of global
In a hard-hitting report for Friends of the Earth Australia, they
claim the Government's commitment to reduce greenhouse emissions by 60
per cent by 2050 locks Australia into supporting a dangerous 3 degree
rise in global temperature and is based on a United Nations report 12
years out of date.
The Melbourne-based policy analysts also cast doubt on the scope and
relevance of the climate change review being conducted for the Federal
Government by Australian National University economist Professor Ross
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has said the review's findings will guide
future policies on climate, but Mr Spratt claims its terms of
reference pre-date the groundbreaking climate change report by British
economist Sir Nicholas Stern.
"The Rudd Government urgently needs to review and update its terms of
reference if the inquiry is to remain relevant, otherwise it's like
batting information back and forth like a tennis match, so the
Government can keep avoiding responsibility," he said.
The report, Climate Code Red: The Case for a Sustainable Emergency,
accuses the Rudd Government of adopting a timid "culture of
compromise" and low expectations in mapping a national response to
"We contend that current proposals to establish caps of 2 degrees or 3
degrees as reasonable for avoiding climate change are not being
informed by the likely impacts and expert elicitations, but have been
shaped by the world of diplomacy, political tradeoffs and compromises
driven by narrow, short-term and national aspirations," the report
It urges the Rudd Government to treat global warming as a national
emergency requiring lower temperature targets, tougher emission
reduction targets and innovative energy strategies. The authors say
the greatest reduction in Australia's greenhouse emissions, and the
most economically efficient, can be made by comprehensive energy
efficiency programs and technologies that reduce per capita
"The scandal is that sometimes the most energy-efficient domestic
technologies and appliances aren't even on the market, or businesses
and consumers are not aware of the choice."
The report is endorsed by Ian Dunlop, former chief executive of the
Australian Institute of Company Directors, Opposition environment
spokesman Greg Hunt, Australian Greens climate change spokeswoman
Senator Christine Milne and United States policy expert Professor
Federal climate change minister Penny Wong is attending a climate
change conference in Hawaii and was unavailable for comment.
Mr Dunlop said the report offered a balanced analysis of the
challenges of climate change, "unadorned by political spin" and
proposed a realistic framework to tackle the emergency.
"The stark fact is that we face a global sustainability emergency. But
it is impossible to design realistic solutions unless we first
understand and accept the size of the problem. We know those
solutions, but what is lacking is the political will, firstly to
honestly articulate the problem and secondly to implement those
solutions," he said.
Senator Milne said global warming was now accelerating faster than
scientists had predicted, "leaving policy so far behind it is outdated
as it is released." She said the Greens pre-election climate change
policies, previously viewed as ambitious, were now conservative in the
light of new findings.
"Where then does that leave our new Federal Government, elected on a
platform of climate action far weaker than the Greens?"
Senator Milne said although the Spratt and Sutton report called for
policy makers to set aside politics, she feared "none of the people
now charged with setting Australia's emissions target ... have grasped
that this is a state of emergency ..."
Zero Emission Network
Level 2, 140 Bourke Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
0403 735 118
We are faced with social and environmental collapse within this century due to climate change and global warming. Given what is at stake, to do anything but advocate for the best and strongest chance avoiding this outcome is an act of an immoral and criminal nature.
What we must do is to reduce atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions as fast possible by implementing a goal of zero emissions across all sectors combined with undertaking human assisted sequestration options such as re-vegetation and bio char, while supporting natural sequestration. This is the goal of the Zero Emission Network.
We have perhaps 5-10 years to implement these goals or we will face unacceptable impacts and a risk of runaway climate change, hence goals set later than 2020 are meaningless.
This ran in Crikey.com.au yesterday:
Electricity services in NSW:
Jenny Haines writes: Re. "Why have Iemma and Costa woken the privatisation gorilla?" (Yesterday, item 10). Iemma and Costa have created this situation, and they can undo it by pulling back from the decision to privatise and giving the whole planning for future electricity services in NSW some more thought. Mark Byrne of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre recently recommended in New Matilda that if NSW wants access to more electricity at peak times, we could build a new power station Iemma and Costa's favoured option); we could source more power from interstate or we could encourage greater energy efficiency. The Owen Report only looked at the need for more baseload generation. Even if we do need more electricity, it does not mean we need another baseload power station. The company responsible for running the $7 billion dollar electricity market in Australia, NEMMCO, recommends using a peaking or intermediate plant. It also suggests paying end users to reduce their demand in peak times. Mark Byrne says that without the need for a new baseload plant, there is no need to privatise electricity in NSW. None of these ideas have been seriously addressed by Iemma or Costa and I suspect that the Unsworth Committee will not address them either. There is a way out for Iemma and Costa and they should take it. Drop the proposals to privatise and consider more options for the future of our electricity system in NSW.