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John Passant

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October 2009
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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
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Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
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Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

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Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)



Greens: trust us, not Rudd

The Greens have proposed amendments to the Rudd Government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme which expose Labor for the environmental hypocrites they are. 

The Greens would replace the ALP’s pathetic five percent reduction in greenhouse gasses by 2020 with a 25 percent reduction, and move to 40 percent if there is agreement at Copenhagen, compared to the Government’s 25 percent in those circumstances.

There are some other amendments too.  The Greens would auction all carbon permits rather than give the polluters between 70 and 95 percent of their permits free of charge.

They’d compensate trade-exposed industries only for the value of their lost competitiveness – not lost profits .

They’d give no compensation to electricity generators.

Their Safe Climate Bill released today goes further. 

It commits Australia to a target of 350 parts per million of CO2, a result serious climate scientists like James Hansen from NASA say is essential now to save the planet from catastrophic climate change  – ‘fast-feedback’.  

The level currently is 390 ppm, and growing by 2 ppm every year.

Rudd’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme aims for a ‘manageable’ 450 to 550 ppm.

The Greens’ Bill includes other measures. As they say, it

  • introduces a suite of measures aimed at achieving 100% renewable energy in Australia in the coming decades;
  • introduces a suite of measures to upgrade all of Australia’s homes, offices and industry for energy efficiency;
  • establishes the pathway to a sustainable transport future;
  • protects and builds our carbon stores in forests and soils; and
  • creates hundreds of thousands of jobs in making this transformation a reality.
  • The last point is the most important for workers.  They want to save the planet and jobs.

    While I disagree with  the idea that the market can solve the problems the market created, I can count.

    So can the Greens.  They have no chance of negotiating these amendments with the Rudd Labor Government successfully – they are two Senators short. 

    The solution? 

    The Greens should build and lead a mass movement on the streets and in the workplaces and schools and universities to force Rudd to make the CPRS better.

    The victories of the past have been wrested from the grasping hands of capital through mass mobilisations and strikes, not negotiating from a position of social weakness.

    Most importantly the Greens could begin a real campaign for green jobs, green jobs, green jobs. The working class wants climate security and job security and the Greens need to convince us their plans don’t destroy jobs.

    The argument is simple.

    If we do nothing there won’t be an economy, let alone jobs.

    If we adopt Labor’s CPRS, there won’t be an economy, let alone jobs.

    Only a fight for the future, for green jobs in renewable energy, in retrofitting houses, in a radical restructuring of energy provision can save the environment and jobs.

    The costs will be much less than the wars we are involved in and the Defence machine that supports them.

    The benefits will be a green healthy economy with jobs, jobs and more jobs.

    But the Greens won’t mobilise people. They won’t lead.

    Their orientation is change from above, not change from below.

    So they see negotiation, discussion and the like in Parliament as the ultimate goal and the failure to win parliamentary support the end of the story.

    On the other hand, the majority of people, especially young people, think the major parties aren’t acting fast enough on global warming.

    Imagine how a militant radical campaign for green jobs could ignite society, drawing in hundreds of thousands and actually having a chance of winning and gaining the Greens even more support.

    Put your faith in us, Greens, not Rudd.



    Comment from Flower
    Time October 13, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    “While I disagree with the idea that the market can solve the problems the market created, I can count.”

    I’m in total agreement John Passant and endorse the Greens’ proposals. Strange that the Australian community fails to acknowledge that the Environmental Protection Act was legislated over 40 years ago and is a miserable failure.

    The Act has not been regulated in the interests of the environment, occupational or public health. The Act has been manipulated, corrupted and abused by successive governments and senior bureaucrats in our Departments of Environment – all sycophants to the big polluters who continue on rampage.

    Conditions of Licence for polluters are few which makes a mockery out of the Act “to provide an authority for the prevention, control and abatement of pollution and environmental harm, for the conservation, preservation, protection, enhancement and management of the environment and……”

    Regulation by “persuasion” has rendered Australia one of the largest polluters per capita on the planet and the big polluters rejoice. “Good corporate citizens'” rhetoric on environmental responsibility rings hollow when one peruses the National Pollutant Inventory to find that hazardous emissions have increased.

    Departments of Environment are overwhelmingly held responsible for most of the environmental catastrophes this decade. The lead poisoning of Esperance, the Hazardous Waste chemical fire in WA where the underground plume has invaded the Helena River, a major tributary to the Swan. The dumping of tonnes of mercury on the community of Kalgoorlie etc etc.

    Rivers are on life support – a result of industrial pollution. Communities are being forced to take class actions against polluting corporations because the regulatory departments remain the rent boys to industry. Many of the rent boys have jumped camp and are now on the payroll of the grim reapers.

    Hazardous waste emissions have no respect for climate – whether the planet warms or cools, these hazards are silently and methodically destroying our eco-systems and biodiversity. Industry is slaying thousands of native animals in pursuit of the dollar and the denialist machine is vociferous and winning. I say, place them under house arrest and let *them* eat cake too!

    Comment from Peter
    Time October 13, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    John, maybe call me ultra-left, but I don’t think socialists should support the Greens’ CPRS amendments. As I’ve argued on Marxist Interventions

    emissions trading serves to pass the costs of whatever small effort is made to fix climate change on to workers. The Greens’ amendments are no different: auctioning all the permits still means workers end up paying higher prices for basic goods and services, and still means the CPRS is a highly regressive tax.

    Instead, we need to demand that the rich pay to fix climate change. This means rejecting market-based solutions outright – not offering our qualified support.

    Pingback from Kieran Bennett – Moving on from the Australian Greens
    Time October 14, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    […] on the problem with the Green’s current focus: they see negotiation, discussion and the like in Parliament as the ultimate goal and the failure […]