Shining a light on the extremist program of neoliberalism

The arrival of the Tony Abbott-led Liberal National Party (LNP) government in Australia means the ideology of neoliberalism is once again to the fore. Neoliberalism is the dominant ideological matrix of our age, having insinuated itself into the global ‘common sense’. It is the driving ideological force behind the now familiar government (of all shades) focus in recent decades on marketization, privatization, and deregulation. Although the Labor … [Read more...]

The China Debt Syndrome

Over the Christmas and new year lull there has been some audible muttering among a few credible economic commentators that China may be entering rough waters with its shadow banking system. This system appears to provide much of the financial fuel for China's still extraordinary growth levels of more than 7 percent per annum. George Soros, who is no slouch when it comes to making money in the currency markets, has recently expressed concern, … [Read more...]

The Ehrlichs on the future of global civilization

For anyone interested in the prospects for human civilization on this planet -- and irrespective of whatever views you may already hold -- the recent exchange between the Ehrlichs (Paul and Anne) and Prof Michael Kelly, made available for free at the venerable Proceedings of the Royal Society, is definitely worth reading. Paul Ehrlich and Michael Kelly are both Fellows of the Royal Society, the prestigious academy of natural sciences … [Read more...]

The Australian newspaper still stokes fake climate scepticism

In August 2012 I decided to make a wholly futile gesture: I would stop buying The Australian newspaper.  This was in protest at the grossly irresponsible way in which that paper (and in fact the entire Murdoch stable) has stoked the fires of public misunderstanding and mistrust of climate science over the past decade. (See for example: How The Australian Newspaper Warps The World of Climate Science; and Top physicist accuses The Australian … [Read more...]

Alberta tar sands bet the climate

Every so often we hear about how Alberta tar sands are the answer to the peak oil scenario. There are said to be 180 billion barrels of heavy crude oil mixed in with the tar sands in Alberta.  But there are serious problems with this using these tar sands as a 'fix' for our oil addiction. First,  NASA climate scientist James Hansen warns that we must keep Alberta tar sands in the ground rather than burn them, otherwise we will fry the planet … [Read more...]