Magazine of Socialist Action in Australia

Real action needed to stop global warming

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Professor Tim Flannery, the 2007 ‘Australian of the Year’, believes that climate change is happening so quickly that it may be necessary to pump sulphur into the atmosphere to survive.

“It would change the colour of the sky,” Flannery told the media last month. “It’s the last resort that we have, it’s the last barrier to a climate collapse.” He believes that gas sulphur could be inserted into the earth’s stratosphere to keep out the sun’s rays and slow global warming, a process called global dimming.

Flannery is no radical, in fact it was the then Prime Minister John Howard who nominated him for the Australian of the Year award in 2007. So the fact that moderates like him talk of doomsday scenarios proves the point that socialists make: Not enough is being done to deal with climate change. Right wing governments and big business interests cannot be relied upon to undertake the measures required to reduce carbon emissions.

The best solution they can come up with is carbon trading: turning pollution into a commodity, allowing the rich and powerful to buy the right to pollute and pass on the costs to ordinary people. The obvious solution – to legislate and police strict changes to the behaviour of business and farming – will not occur to the degree necessary under pro-business governments.

It will take the mass action of ordinary people to force the changes necessary onto the political agenda. The Socialist Party is currently working with other groups in Melbourne to build up pressure on one of Australia’s worst environmental criminals – BHP Billiton.

80% of carbon emissions in Australia come from business and farming, and BHP’s record is one of the worst. We demand action from this giant of industry. In fact, the Socialist Party stands for the nationalisation under workers’ control and management of massive companies like BHP who put profit before protecting our environmental future.

The next action against BHP Billiton will be on June 27th.

By Stephen Jolly


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