A Global Warming Denier US President – How Did It Get To This?

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By Des Pensable copyright 2016

What a bleak year it has been. We saw the Brexit referendum divide the people within the UK and its European neighbours. Now we’ve seen a yearlong US election campaign that has polarised the people of the USA and the rest of the world.

The whole USA election media circus steered well clear of the real US problems of massive wealth inequality, poverty, incarceration, unemployment, pollution, racism, bigotry, congress inaction and total loss of faith in both the government and the mass media. Instead we’ve all seen the really ugly truth about USA with the rigged elections, the corporate control, the media bias, much of it elegantly exposed by Wikileaks and Australia’s Julian Assange, arguably the world’s greatest people’s hero this year.

So what was the choice the US people were given?

Their option was to elect the Democrat Hilary Clinton, a corrupt champion of the US military / industrial complex that threatened war with Russia over Syria which would likely draw in China causing WW3. The only alternative according to the media was Donald Trump, a wealthy obnoxious racist, misogynous business man widely painted by the elite establishment media circus as impossible to elect.

What wasn’t discussed on main stream media but spread far and wide over the independent and social media was that Trump wants to stop the USA from combating Global Warming thereby threatening his own world catastrophe.

So the REAL CHOICE then was Clinton for WW3 or Trump for Global Warming catastrophe all else is meaningless. A quick death or a slow death and the people chose the slow death but most certainly not from careful deliberation of those two choices. This is probably fortunate.

Some good is likely flow from the election of Donald Trump as President although that is highly debatable what at this stage as US Presidents have very restricted powers. In 6 years Obama only managed to get one budget through a hostile congress while he was in power and although trumpeted as a champion of Global Warming action he was severely limited in his ability to get the USA to combat Climate Change owing to a hostile climate denier congress.

It’s likely that the TPP and TTIP which were designed to set up a western world corporate cabal controlled by transnational corporations will not go ahead at least for a few more years under Trump’s government but nothing is sure. This cabal would likely have started a new trade cold war between US aligned TTP/TTIP states and the Russia/China BRICS trading alliance.

Obama is still the President until the reins of power are handed over and it is conceivable that he might just be able to get congress to approve the TPP in the lame duck session of congress before he leaves. Although this has been recently ruled out.  The death of the TPP will be a great relief to many Australians.

The real problem is the damage Trump can do to the world effort to stop Global warming. He has threatened to pull out of the Paris Climate Change Treaty and to eliminate all Obama programs targeted at clean energy. He has chosen a Climate Change denier to run the energy department.  Considering that the USA is the world’s second largest carbon polluter after Russia this would severely damage world efforts to contain Global Warming under 2C.

The Climate Change conference currently in Marrakesh has stated the world will continue Climate Change action without the USA if necessary.

Trump has further stated that he will open up the whole country to coal, oil and gas exploitation and to help the coal industry re-establish its position as an employer in the coal rich areas of the USA. This of course is quite likely pie in the sky as the coal industry is wilting under pressure from the renewables industry all around the world and in the USA. Trump could however weaken the resolve of other countries such as India to move from coal to renewables. It will also make it much more difficult to persuade countries like Australia to keep it in the ground.

The Trump campaign has also done massive damage to all human rights programs around the world in championing xenophobia, racism, bigotry and misogyny. He has stated that he will try to reverse the Roe vs Wade ruling on abortion to placate the Christian fundamentalist community which will undoubtedly bring about massive confrontations again all over the country. This is a huge step backwards in time.

In Australia it will give the many xenophobes, racists and bigots that champion the radical Right Wing parties and the ultraconservative nut cakes. They will think they can run riot around the country. It will cause more polarisation among the people in a country that was one time comfortably multiracial until the ratbag conservatives in the Liberal Party took it hard right.

It’s also argued that Trump’s stated trade war on Chinese goods shipped to the USA and talk of tariff protection could harm Australia’s trade with China. I suspect it’s too early yet to  speculate on that.

So what good might come out of Trump’s victory.

The Corporate Globalisation of the world might slow the New World Order a little.

The killing of the TPP/TTIP might slow the formation of a world trade cold war a little.

The killing of the TPP might slow the pro-trade anti global warming agenda.

A large program of public works throughout the USA might reduce unemployment a bit.

The breaking of the bank power through a new Glass / Segal Law might work if he can get it through a hostile corporate owned Congress which is unlikely.

He might suddenly discover that Global Warming is real and caused largely by the USA that would be wonderful.

In all, still a bleak outcome for the world and we still have to live in it as there is no planet B and the prospect of WW3 hasn’t gone away yet.

You can find more article by Des on the despensable web site

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Submission to the (Australian) Senate Committee on the Transpacific Partnership

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This is a copy of my submission (see no 61) as shown on the Australian Senate TPP submissions site October 2016.

You can see this submission and all the others on the site shown below.

http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Foreign_Affairs_Defence_and_Trade/TPP/Submissions

Des Pensable copyright 2016

———————–

Dr Des Maddalena, BAppSc (Hons) UTS, M.App Sc UTS, PhD Sydney Uni

(Address given)

Dr Maddalena is a retired biomedical scientist who has worked in a variety of areas of science, technology and industry in Australia for over 50 years.   He is currently a writer and activist in Global Warming and Human Rights. He is Climate Reality Leader, a member of Stop the TPP Australia, Greenpeace (Australia), 350.0rg (Australia) and several other environmental groups.

Executive summary

In this submission I am asking my fair minded political representatives in the Australian Senate to protect ordinary Australians from what appears to be a trade agreement with a hidden agenda that I and many other Australians believe have negative consequences for the future of all Australians and their children.

Based upon the conclusions herein, I support the alliance of 59 Non-government organisations representing millions of Australians and two petitions totalling 305,000 signatures that were presented to the opposition parties in the Australian government requesting an independent review of each of the parts of the TPP to be completed and disseminated to the people of Australia for their consideration before ratification.

I also reject and believe many others reject the concept of a trade agreement that has been

  1. Created in secret by transnational organisations without consultation of Australian consumer advocacy groups.
  2. That contains an ISDS clause that can override and subordinate Australian law.
  3. That provides little economic benefit and will cost tens of thousands of jobs.
  4. That dictates trade is more important than actions to mitigate Global warming.
  5. That will have major detrimental effects on Australian culture and way of life.
  6. That could well drag us into a cold war between USA and China our largest trading partner which will have devastating consequences on our economy.

 Introduction

If I were to imagine what might happen if a group of the most powerful multinational corporations on the planet came up with a wish list of changes to government laws and rules that would allow for “free trade” between countries with little or no regulations. I can imagine they might state that it would create jobs and everyone would benefit.

In a perfect world this might be true. However, there is no such thing as a perfect world run by people whose motto is, “greed is good” or/and  “too big to fail”. It is much more likely that they would come up with a list of changes in the laws of the countries that would maximise their profits and minimise their costs while treating any damage to the environment as an externality and damage to people as “unfortunate” collateral damage.

Such an agreement would have to be done in secret as the conspirators would know that it would never be accepted if done transparently with consumer advocacy groups watching over the process.

The large transnational companies would win big time and the people would lose out on almost every aspect of their lives. Job losses, more work for less money, harsher working conditions, poorer health, less leisure. The distribution of the country’s wealth would become more uneven.

This all sounds like the basis of a good dystopian novel except that it is NOT fiction and it is NOT fantasy it is REAL and happening right now. It’s called the Transpacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).

It’s supposed to be a ‘free trade’ agreement designed for 12 countries around the Pacific Ocean including Australia and New Zealand but it’s not about ‘free trade’ at all, it’s about restrictive trade and control of the world’s Intellectual Property (IP).

It’s about entrenching an unlimited growth economic model in Australia when owing to the threat of Global Warming the world is in dire need of more a sustainable model. It will change the way Australians live. It will cost every one of us in Australia a lot of our wealth for very little benefit.

In a study on the “Economic Gains and Costs of the TPP” in New Zealand, the study was scathing about the modelling methods used by the US company employed by the NZ government to justify joining the TPP… “the TPP could sharply increase income and wealth inequality. A significant part of the rise in inequality over the last three decades has been widely attributed to globalisation and the TPP can be expected to exacerbate this.”

If New Zealand was concerned enough about the TPP to have a cost benefit study carried out I can only wonder why the Australian government is reluctant to have a study carried out by our own Productivity Commission whose job it is to examine agreements such as these.

There is also a similar trade agreement being discussed for most of Europe called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Joseph Stiglitz (Nobel Prize winner, former World Bank chief economist) has stated

“[T]he negotiations to create a free-trade area between the US and Europe, and another between the US and much of the Pacific (except for China), are not about establishing a true free-trade system. Instead, the goal is a managed trade regime managed, that is, to serve the special interests [the multinational companies] that have long dominated trade policy in the West.”

“The likelihood that what emerges from the coming talks will serve ordinary Americans’ interests is low; the outlook for ordinary citizens in other countries is even bleaker.”

If both the TPP and the TTIP are signed and ratified then the multinational companies will have a template to rule the world. It’s been called a “corporate coup in disguise” in the USA and strongly criticised in the UK and other countries. The multinationals have much to gain, and ordinary Australians and citizens in all the other countries involved have much to lose.

These so called “Free Trade“ agreements will cause a dramatic reduction in democracy around the world as governments will be less able to make laws to protect the people in their countries from corporate tax evasion, political corruption, pollution, environmental destruction and the often antisocial and malevolent actions of some of the transnational corporations.

In the next section I will examine only selected problems created by the TPP as at over 6000 pages it is not possible for any single person to examine and understand it in any reasonable amount of time. That is the job of a team of experts such as exists in the Australian Productivity Commission.

Intellectual Property Chapter.

I am an inventor and have several patents. They are expensive to take out and maintain but they are designed to have a limited life so that I can gain just rewards for my inventions then allow others to freely use the concepts and ideas. I have joint patents with others on pharmaceutical drugs and I am aware of the costs associated with developing and marketing the products.

I am also aware of the limitations of my expertise and knowledge and defer to others that have the specialised knowledge to interpret the legalese within the TPP agreement. That’s why I believe we need the Productivity Commission to examine the TPP.

The Intellectual Property (IP) rights chapter was leaked by Wikileaks and found to have unsettling consequences to me and many consumer and human rights organisations around the world .

Julian Assange of WikiLeaks said. “If instituted, the TPP’s IP regime would trample over individual rights and free expression, as well as ride roughshod over the intellectual and creative commons.” And “If you read, write, publish, think, listen, dance, sing or invent; if you farm or consume food; if you’re ill now or might one day be ill, the TPP has you in its crosshairs.”

The Electronic Frontiers Foundation (EFF) in the USA has examined the Wikileaks document on Intellectual Property and said

“The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a secretive, multi-national trade agreement that threatens to extend restrictive intellectual property (IP) laws across the globe and rewrite international rules on its enforcement. The main problems are two-fold:
(1) IP chapter: Leaked draft texts of the agreement show that the IP chapter would have extensive negative ramifications for users’ freedom of speech, right to privacy and due process, and hinder peoples’ abilities to innovate.

(2) Lack of transparency: The entire process has shut out multi-stakeholder participation and is shrouded in secrecy.”

“The TPP Will Rewrite Global Rules on Intellectual Property Enforcement”
“All signatory countries will be required to conform their domestic laws and policies to the provisions of the Agreement.”

In a later statement the EFF said this:

“With its TPP proposals, the USTR is putting peoples’ freedoms and ability to innovate at risk, while imposing greater barriers    to development and human rights particularly for those from developing countries. The scope of the text proposed by the US and Australia will restrict rights that are        essential to access to information culture, science, education, and innovation. We cannot accept these limitations on fundamental Human rights.”

The EFF have recently updated their original statements after viewing the final legally scrubbed TPP agreement and found that little had changed between the leaked copy and the final copy. They also found many more problems.

So the TPP is about much more than trade- it’s about restricting our creative rights and our human rights as well.

Some of the Perceived Ramifications for Australia

  1. Unfair restrictive laws with regard to the Internet, books, software, games, videos and movies, that will NOT benefit any Australian.
  2. Regulations and penalties to FORCE Internet service providers to police their Internet users connections and take down / block any sites that appear might be in breach of the US based copyright laws.
  3. It means Internet CENSORSHIP. It means that the Australian government will lose the rights to make laws regarding IP on the Internet. A similar ruleto this was blocked by International protest a couple of years ago.
  4. Treat temporary reproductions of copyrighted works without copyright holders’ authorization as copyright infringement.  You won’t be able to save ANYTHING shown on commercial radio, TV or the Internet to show other people or even comment about without being in breach of the law. This will drastically affect social media and Youtube content.
  5. The TPP wants copyright terms to go well beyond the internationally agreed period in the 1994 Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). This is NOT about fair compensation for the authors. It’s about big multimedia companies controlling art and literature and making profit out of it forever.
  6. Restrictions on fair use of IP for example in reviews and research. This will affect libraries, schools, universities, social media and anyone wishing to do research or study.
  7. Digital Locks. The TPP calls for more extensive use of digital locks on media content. This will override Australia’s  2007 TPM regime exclusions for region-coding on movies on DVDs, videogames, and players, and for embedded software in devices that restrict access to goods and services for the device. In the US, business competitors have used digital locks to try to block printer cartridge refill services, competing garage door openers, and to lock mobile phones to particular network providers.
  8. Ban parallel importation of genuine goods acquired from other countries without the authorization of copyright owners. This will allow local branches of overseas companies to fix prices to limit competition and it will stop people from buying cheaper versions of the same software or media from overseas suppliers. Definitely NOT free trade.
  9. Adopt criminal sanctionsfor copyright infringement that is done without a commercial motivation. In short it means LARGE PENALTIES perhaps thousands of dollars and gaol sentences for any person caught copying a single song, video, movie or anything under copyright even for use within the same household.

The final legally scrubbed version also had changes allowing for criminal charges under a wide range of scenarios. Is it really in Australia’s best interest to make large numbers of Australians criminals?

Increased Cost of Medicine and Drugs

Oxfam says that the “US [TPP] proposals will have dire health consequences across Asia and Latin America. Australia is a wealthy country but can we not consider the cost to others especially the poor in other countries?

Medicine Sans Frontiers (MSF) says this about the TPP effect on public health in Australia.

“US proposals would require the further patenting of modifications of old medicines, even in the absence of therapeutic benefits. They would also require patenting of surgical, therapeutic and diagnostic methods which could increase medical liability and the cost of medical practice and thus reduce access to medical procedures.”

“It would prohibit pre-grant opposition to patents. This would make it much more difficult and costly for local organisations to challenge patents and drugs protected by patents even if the patents were invalid.”

“It would also extend patents past the current 20-year norm and prohibit national drug regulatory authorities from approving generic medicine until patents have expired.”

“Finally it would prevent drug safety regulators from using existing clinical data to give market approval to generic or biosimilar drugs. These are all great wins for big pharmaceutical companies. But they come at the cost of public health.”

The Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provision

Australia is richly endowed with massive deposits of coal and coal seam gas but the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says that to avoid dangerous Global Warming exceeding 2 degrees Celsius, Australia must keep 90% of it in the ground.

The Transpacific Partnership (TPP) agreement  contains a special section called the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provision. This is a mechanism that allows a multinational company to sue a country like Australia in an external tribunal composed of commercial lawyers if the government makes any laws or changes to its laws in a way that might reduce the projected profit of the multinational company.

Now imagine a fossil fuel company like Santos which has licenses to mine coal seam gas in NSW and Queensland that is currently being blocked from producing gas by environmental activists who are concerned about the effects of the mining operations on the local agricultural land, water, air and people.

If the Turnbull government were to sign the TPP with the ISDS provision then Santos could sue any state government for loss of revenue that it could have made had it not been impeded by the activists.

The state governments will have their hands tied.  If they choose to use heavy handed tactics to stop the activists they are likely to cause increased civil unrest and face the possibility of being voted out of government as well as being sued for loss of company profit.

If they choose to change the laws to increase environmental protection demanded by the people they can be sued for loss of profit.

Even if they choose to cancel the company’s license to mine for coal seam gas they can be sued for loss of profit.  The same situation will apply for any foreign companies with coal mining licenses.

Effectively by allowing the ISDS clause ALL future state and commonwealth government in Australia will have their hands tied. Australia will lose its sovereign right to make its own laws about how companies operate in Australia. It will LOSE its sovereign right to make environmental laws that protect our country and the health of its citizens- you and me. It will weaken our democracy.

If you doubt that this will happen, then consider the case in Canada where the state of Quebec was worried about the health effects of coal seam gas on its citizens so it imposed a moratorium on CSG mining in 2011.  Using an ISDS clause in the NAFTA agreement between Canada and the USA, a US company is suing Quebec  for $250 million in lost profits because of the moratorium. If fact, the Canadian government are being sued by several companies for trying to introduce environmental regulations.

The USA is currently being sued for US $15 billion for blocking the XL pipeline by the Canadian developers.

Australia has already been sued under the provisions of an ISDS agreement signed between Australia and Hong Kong.  When Australia decided to introduce plain paper cigarette packaging to help reduce health damage caused by smoking the Phillip Morris Company challenged it in the High Court of Australia arguing that they would lose sales and profit. The High Court found in favour of the Commonwealth government stating that the government had the sovereign right to make laws protecting the health of its people.

So the company then sued the Australian government through an ISDS agreement in Hong Kong. We happened to win the case but on a technicality rather than the merit of the case.

Every time we are successfully sued by a foreign multinational company the people of Australia will have to pay the bill through increased taxes.

There are already hundreds of these types of ISDS cases where multinational companies are suing countries for loss of profit. A large proportion of them are held in secret with neither the details of the case or the decisions of the tribunals being announced and there is NO APPEAL mechanism. The rulings of the secret tribunals are final and cannot be challenged.

The possibility of being sued is already stopping countries from making laws to protect the health of their own citizens. The UK and several other countries  were going to introduce plain paper packages like in Australia but have suspended the laws pending the outcome of the Phillip Morris challenge to Australia.

Imagine now if the fossil fuel companies decide to use ISDS provisions in the TPP or its sister agreement the TTIP.  They could make all counties involved pay for their loss of profits resulting from them having to leave their fossil fuels in the ground. It’s been estimated that the fossil fuel companies will lose at least $20 trillion  if they have to leave 80% in the ground.

So how much will Australia have to pay?  Probably hundreds of billions!

The TPP and its ISDS provisions are an EXREMELY BAD IDEA for any country to agree to, especially Australia with all its fossil fuel leases.

The TPP, the Environment  and Global Warming

The environmental chapter of the TPP was leaked by Wikileaks who stated.

”the Environment Chapter does not include enforcement mechanisms serving the defence of the environment; it is vague and weak, and adheres to the lowest common denominator of environmental interests.” and

“The Environment Chapter clearly shows the intention to first and foremost protect trade, not the environment. The principle is spelled out in this draft that local environmental laws are not to obstruct trade or investment between the countries.”

Their assessment of the section was that it has no binding clauses that will allow any country to create any laws that will protect their environment and there is NO MENTION of Global Warming or Climate Change.

How can the world’s biggest trade treaty NOT mention Global Warming which is the world’s biggest threat?

The TPP is specifically designed to stimulate world trade.

Most world trade is carried by ships who just so happen to use the world’s dirtiest fuel for their engines. They use bunker oil which is the leftover gunk after everything else is extracted from crude oil.

Fifteen of the world’s biggest container ships contribute as much pollution as the ALL the world’s cars.

New research showing that in one year, a single large container ship can emit cancer and asthma-causing pollutants equivalent to that of 50 million cars. The low grade bunker fuel used by the worlds 90,000 cargo ships contains up to 2,000 times the amount of Sulphur compared to diesel fuel used in automobiles. The recent boom in the global trade of manufactured goods has also resulted in a new breed of super- sized container ship which consume fuel not by the gallons, but by tons per hour, and shipping now accounts for 90% of global trade by volume.

The environmental impact of shipping includes greenhouse gas emissions, acoustic, and oil pollution. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) estimates that Carbon dioxide emissions from shipping were equal to 2.7% of the global human-made emissions in 2007 and expects them to rise by as much as 2 to 3 times by 2050 if no action is taken.

The TPP will substantially increase Global Warming as the TPP proposes NO carbon emissions offsets to account for the increased global trade.

Where are the clauses that OFFSET the carbon, nitrogen and sulphur to be released by the extra trade?

Where are the clauses allowing Australian citizens the right to sue transnational mining corporations polluting the Australian environment and desecrating aboriginal cultural sites?

The simple facts are that the TPP should NOT be used as an excuse to do less about mitigating Global Warming. It must also NOT be used as a convenient punitive measure to force countries to pay the fossil fuel barons to keep fossil fuels in the ground.

Geopolitics of the TPP

This section is primarily based on this article by the author.

Geopolitics is a game played by countries to give them and their people an economic or military advantage over other countries. The three “trade“ treaties, TTP/ TTIP and TISA appear to be part of a political game and the latest strategy of the USA to maintain its position as the world hegemon.

According Ashley J. Tellis (2014) in “The geopolitics of the TTIP and the TPP”, excluding war, the USA has four strategies that it could use.

The fourth strategy is to get in first and change all the trading rules around the world so that they will heavily favour the USA and disadvantage China. The strategy is to cement into place the capitalist neoliberal ideology that has made the USA the world hegemon by getting as many countries to realign their legal, commercial, labour, educational and cultural systems with the USA thus giving the USA the advantage over any changes that China might like to make.

This strategy seems to be the one chosen by the current US administration.

So how does Australia fare in this game? Unfortunately, very poorly. The problem is that Australia is naturally rich in minerals, fossil fuels and agricultural land but geographically remote from the USA/Europe.

There has been little discussion anywhere about how the massive European/USA TTIP trade agreement will affect Australia. That is perhaps because it will affect us adversely and the politicians and US aligned media are keeping quiet about it.

One German study was quite candid about the TTIP. There will be winners and losers. The biggest winners will be the USA and the UK and the biggest losers will be Australia and Canada. I’ll bet that’s a surprise!

Australia will lose the equivalent of 7.41% of its GNP growth which roughly equates to about $106 billion per year. Canada will lose about 9.48% of its GDP or about $153 billion /year in 2012 US dollars. I’ll bet the Canadians don’t know that.

All the members of the BRICS alliance lose out of course. In fact BRICS seems to be all about trying to offset the TTIP losses.

Perhaps Australia and Canada would be better off joining the BRICS alliance? The German study suggested countries outside the TTIP would lose 250,000 jobs. Presumably Australia and Canada will be hard hit losing tens of thousands of jobs.

The TPP has two roles to play in the Pacific Rim. Firstly it is a sop to Australia, Canada and Mexico, all losers from the TTIP to try and offset their trade losses caused by the TTIP and secondly it is to reduce Chinese influence (on Australia and New Zealand) in the region. However, it is likely to do the opposite.

If we lose significant trade from the TTIP block we will fight to increase trade within the Asian area thus further cementing our relationships within the Asian region

In a study of three possible scenarios comparing the outcomes for the 12 TPP counties with the current ASEAN trade plan and a future combined ASEAN + TPP trade plan from 2020, the TPP shows Australia will benefit by about $US 8.6 billion a year (0.2% GDP) and Canada $US 9.8 billion. This a far cry from what both countries will lose from the TTIP. In fact the BIGGEST winner with the TPP will be  the USA.  ALL the Asian economies will LOSE.

The best scenario is if we all (including the USA and Canada) join in an Asian Free Trade zone (without the USA rules). Everyone gains from this except it might mean the USA loses some of its coercive hegemonic power. However, this is unlikely while the neoconservatives have power.

Note that the people of the USA are also losers in the TPP deal. The TPP is about the US corporate POWER especially the transnationals gaining further power over governments. The US people will LOSE jobs like when they signed the NAFTA agreement which is a similar trade agreement to the TPP between US, Canada and Mexico. It’s believed they lost 700,000 jobs offshore.

With TPP and TISA Australia WILL lose control over our economy, commerce, banking, military, working conditions, education and environment. We become a true vassal state of the US transnational corporate empire for a potential gain of 0.2% GDP which may or may not eventuate as economic models use very rubbery figures.

recent World Bank study has confirmed that Australia will hardly benefit from the TPP gaining an increase in GDP of only 0.7% by 2030. In this study they confirm that Australia is likely to lose 35,000 jobs.

The Threat of a new Cold War

The section is based primarily on this article by the submission author.

ANY economist will tell you that there will be winners and losers with any international trade agreement. The TPP/ TTIP is DESIGNED to set up the international structure for which countries will be the winners and losers.

The TPP/ TTIP agreements specifically ignore China, Russia, Africa, many Asian and South American countries which have de facto been CHOSEN by the USA transnational corporate western alliance to be the LOSERS.

President Obama has stated openly that the TPP is designed to allow the USA to set the world trading rules not China. It sets up an unofficial declaration of a trade war between the USA and China which is a big problem for Australia as China is Australia’s largest trading partner. The possibility of a cold war between China and the USA is real.

For its part, China has set up the BRICS trading alliance and according to one report  “has been busy creating or deepening economic alliances with ASEAN, South Korea, and Australia, and spearheading a large multilateral FTA, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCPE), that would include India and other East and Southeast Asian nations.”

If the TPP and TTIP agreements are likely to speed up and increase global warming and increase world war tensions they should be scrapped as we all want a healthy happy future for our families.

Many sane and caring environmentally conscious people in the USA are currently fighting a mighty battle to kill off the TPP and massive numbers of similar people in Europe are fighting to have the TTIP scrapped. For the sake of our democracies and the world’s future let’s all hope they win.

In Australia surely our future is in protecting our environment not selling fossil fuel to help the world die or be a part of a new cold war between super powers.

Conclusions

In the Intellectual Property section I have shown that there are serious consequences for all Australian regarding intellectual property in all cases negatively affecting their consumer and human rights.

In the section on Effect of the TPP on Privatisation I have shown that the forced privatisation of all government services is likely to cause massive cultural changes most of which the Australian people do not wish and would not allow if given a choice.

In the ISDS section I have reiterated the cries of many that this section alone could economically cost the people of Australia much more than it will ever gain from the TPP. It is also a threat to the government’s sovereignty in making laws that protect the Australian people’s interests and wealth.

In the section on the TPP Environment and Global Warming I pointed out that the TPP will cause an increase in trade which will increase Global Warming. At the Paris Climate Change conference last year 190 countries agreed that Global Warming was the most urgent world problem to fix. Australia agreed. Signing the TPP contradicts both logic and our agreement to reduce carbon emissions.

Finally in the Geopolitics section I have shown that Australians gain little economic advantage from the TPP certainly not enough to offset all its negative aspects for the people of Australia.

Consequently, I support the alliance of 59 Non-government organisations representing millions of Australians and two petitions totalling 305,000 signatures that were presented to the opposition parties in the Australian government requesting an independent review of each of the parts of the TPP to be completed and disseminated to the people of Australia for their consideration before ratification.

I also reject and believe many others reject the concept of a trade agreement that has been

  1. Created in secret by transnational organisations without consultation of Australian consumer advocacy groups.
  2. That contains an ISDS clause that overrides and subordinates Australian law.
  3. That provides little economic benefit and will cost tens of thousands of jobs.
  4. That dictates trade is more important than actions to mitigate Global warming.
  5. That will have major detrimental effects on Australian culture and way of life.
  6. That could well drag us into a cold war between USA and China our largest trading partner which will have devastating consequences on our economy.

YOUR FREE COPY of Divinity Seeds Trilogy, ebook 2, AGENTS OF CHAOS is available right NOW!

two-books

By Des Pensable copyright 2016

Hi Everybody.

You’ve probably been wondering about my next environmental or political blog but as many of you know I write a wide variety of stories and poetry. I love science fiction and fantasy so last year I started writing that too.

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Hundreds on my readers on my blog last year took the opportunity to get a free copy of Divinity Seeds part 1 Visions of Chaos. Now it’s their chance to get a FREE copy of Ebook part 2. The paperback version is also available on the link below but that will cost you money.

Since last year I’ve had well over a thousand new readers join the Indespensable blog.  Why should you miss out on book 1? Well I’ve decided to let you have ebook part 1 for just US $0.99.

Yep that’s under one dollar for you to catch up with the 547 page story and you can still get the Ebook 2 for FREE. This offer is only available until the end of October. So get your copies quickly.

If you’re still reading my blog next year you will also get the opportunity to get a free ebook of part 3 of the trilogy due out mid year.  If that’s not a good deal I don’t know what is.

Here’s a short review of the story this far…

‘Lies, misinformation, deception, coercion, illusion, magic, shape changing are all the standard ingredients in this story set in a post apocalyptic jungle world attached to other strange worlds via magical gateways. The two main characters Aquitain, a male wizard and shapechanger with a Jekyl and Hyde character and his partner in chaos, a druid priestess with a magical tattoo that protects much more than her virtue continue on their chaotic journey.

In book one of the trilogy, Visions of Chaos, the two meet and create the starting conditions for the fulfilment of prophesy of a Time of Chaos. In book 2 , Agents of Chaos, the two are at first separated by a chance misfortune and while seeking to find each other trigger a cascade of chaotic happenings that can only signal the approaching Time of Chaos or does it? Our male hero discoverers his true nature but will he accept it. Will his lover Miranda accept him when she finds out? Things can only get worse before they get better.’

Here’s a BONUS. The first five people to write a good review of book 2 on the Lulu site will get a free copy of the paperback edition of the book.

Get your FREE COPY of Divinity Seeds Ebook 2,  Agents of Chaos HERE.

Get your COPY of Divinity Seeds Ebook 1, Visions of Chaos for US$ 0.99 HERE

Get your COPY of the paperback version of book 2, Agents of Chaos HERE

GET your COPY of the paperback version of book 1, Visions of Chaos HERE.

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We Stopped the Boats Didn’t We?

drone

copyright Des Pensable 2016

This story is fiction set in Australia a decade from now.

I was sitting in my apartment in Perth reading a newspaper article, that was discussing the Australia’s Conservative government’s claims that their latest policy to minimize illegal immigrants to Australia had worked. Global Warming was well advanced and we were seeing 1.8C and had no hope of staying below 2C.

All the tropical countries including our neighbours to our north were suffering food and water shortages and Climate Change had displaced over 100 million people around the world. Australia took almost none of them.

The new government had decided to grant food aid to Indonesia and other countries on the strict condition that they stopped any desperate Climate Refugees from leaving their shores seeking haven in Australia as we were already said to be overcrowded. They had recently reintroduced a white Australia policy.

A few pages later I noticed a small column stating that a Broome fisherman had seen an explosion on the horizon whilst fishing in a boat several km off shore and fearing some ship was in trouble, headed towards the location of the explosion only to be stopped by Australian Border Patrol officers on a US naval patrol boat. They had declared the area an operational ‘NO GO’ zone.

The fisherman returned to his port to be met by another two Border Patrol officers advising him to keep quiet about what he had seen or his fishing licence would be revoked. He ignored their warning and told the local police and a reporter on the local newspaper.

The reporter had asked the authorities why Australian Border Patrol officers were aboard a US vessel patrolling Australian waters and whether there had been an explosion or ship in distress. They claimed that there were no reports of any maritime incident and No US vessel with Border Patrol people aboard.

They stated that one of the fisherman’s friends had tipped them off that he had been drunk whilst fishing alone and risked an accident. They had cautioned him to stay sober and work safely.

I was curious and suspicious that there was more to this incident than reported. After tidying up my affairs at home a few days later I flew up to Broome asked around and eventually met the fisherman who didn’t wish to talk as his fishing permit had been revoked for three months.

After a couple of beers I managed to talk him into taking me for a paid tour up the coast as he was still licenced to take out tourists for a run. He was sensitive about my camera and mobile phone stating that he didn’t want anything recorded. So they were stashed in a sealed metal can while we motored out to sea.

I discretely told him that I was interested in the Government’s statement that they had stopped the boats coming using their Food for Suppression campaign as it was called in the media.  He didn’t say much as we motored out to sea about 10km. Then he pointed out to sea.

“I was about here when I saw the explosion. It was right on the horizon in that direction possibly 15 km away. I headed towards it and was stopped about half way there.”

As luck would have it, there was another explosion on the horizon. I had seen these before it was a missile. The faint vapour trail was still visible.

“It was just like that one.” he said. “Do you believe me now! “ he shouted as we headed off towards the area.

“Do you mind if I take a picture”. I asked. He agreed and retrieved my mobile phone took several pictures of the smoke and mailed it off to several friends with and explanation about my location, why I was there and what I had seen.

We made it there just as the US naval patrol boat arrived. There were people and bodies floating in the water wearing life jackets. We were ordered to stop and two Australian uniformed Border Patrol officers came aboard. They wanted to see any cameras and mobile phones and confiscated them, then ordered us back to port.

I asked what we had done wrong and why they were ordering us around but got no answer. We were met on the dock by another four officers and taken to the local police station where we were arrested for fishing without a licence and resisting arrest. We were not allowed to speak to anyone, handcuffed and hooded, then flown by private plane somewhere.

I was placed in a small cement cell not high enough for me to stand and several hours later the interrogations started by Border patrol men and plain clothes men with US accents. I asked what I was charged with but received no answer.

I was questioned over and over again for 48 hours straight. What was I doing there with the fisherman? What had I seen? I started by telling them I was just a tourist but eventually admitted that I wanted to verify the fisherman’s story in the newspaper out of curiosity.

What I didn’t tell them was that before I visited the fisherman I had visited an ex-serviceman who had flown armed drones in the Middle East. He had told me that the Border Patrol had hired some from the US Navy and were using them to spot refugee ships.

The next thing that he said confirmed my worst suspicions. A drone pilot and good friend of his had told him that he was offered a contract to stop the refugee boats using drones armed with missiles. He had refused but said others were not so fussy.

I wrote a story about this before I went to visit the fisherman and sent it to several sources within Australia and overseas to be opened if I disappeared for more than a week.

On my second week of captivity the story was out in the social media. Australia was using armed drones to stop refugee ships landing in Australia. Indonesia leaked that several ships had eluded them and they had wondered why they never heard from them again.  A whistle blower confirmed the story and the US Navy refused to confirm or deny they were involved.

The Australian Civil Rights Commissioner demanded to know what had happened to me. After questions were asked in parliament it was revealed that I was charged with espionage, stealing National secrets and endangering Australia’s reputation. I was nominally in gaol for a minimum of 15 years without trial as seeing what you are not supposed to see was a National Security issue.

Eventually after a year of fighting in and out of parliament I was released on the condition that I said nothing to the media. I was not allowed to tell what I had seen. I was told that the fisherman had been released months ago and had drowned in a fishing accident. I resolved not to go fishing in the near future.

The most ironic part of the whole experience was just before I was released one of the senior Border Control officers said. “We stopped the boats didn’t we? You’ve gone and fucked our best policy yet.  Now we’ll have to use our submarines and they’re a bloody lot more expensive to run.

I wished the Australian public had had the courage to get rid of the psychopaths in the government a decade ago but perhaps their inaction, their fear and willful blindness told another more sinister story.

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Read the real story about the Australia’s Refugee shame in 2016 below

The worst I’ve seen – trauma expert lifts lid on ‘atrocity’ of Australia’s detention regime

German Study: TTIP Trade Agreement Will Cost Australia and Canada More Than $100 Billion Each Year Within a Decade

climate-change happens quickly

Des Pensable copyright 2016

There has been little discussion anywhere about how the massive USA- European TTIP trade agreement, (the sister agreement to the TPP) will affect Australia and Canada. That is perhaps because it will affect them adversely and the pro-trade politicians and US aligned media are keeping quiet about it.

One German Study was quite candid about the TTIP. There will be winners and losers. The biggest winners will be the USA and the UK and the biggest losers will be Australia and Canada. I’ll bet that’s a surprise!

Australia will lose the equivalent of 7.41% of its GDP growth which roughly equates to about $106 billion per year. Canada will lose about 9.48% of its GDP or about $153 billion per year in 2012 US dollars. I’ll bet most Australians and Canadians don’t know that!

The German study suggested countries outside the TTIP would lose 250,000 jobs. Presumably Australia and Canada will be hard hit losing tens of thousands of jobs. In addition to these losses Australia will lose about 39,000 jobs and Canada 58,000 jobs from the TPP.

In another study looking at different scenarios by the Petersen Institute in the USA, Australia, Canada and the USA would do the best if they all join the  ASEAN economies in an Asian Free Trade deal.

Everyone gains from this except it might mean the USA has to share world hegemonic economic power with China as a duopoly. As one analyst states It’s highly unlikely that the defence neoconservatives in the US government would wish to share power with China.

They see the TTIP and TPP as strategic parts of their geopolitical struggle to maintain US world transnational corporate hegemony. This could lead to an economic cold war between a US corporate aligned TTIP/TPP trade block and the China/Russia BRICS trading block. That would have negative consequences for everyone in the world.

Both the TTIP and TPP have only a few chapters that are specifically about trade, the rest are about restructuring all the counties internal structures to make it more amenable to control by the US /European transnational corporations.

We know that TTIP and TPP will affect every aspect of people’s lives through privatisation of government assets and changes in local health and environmental laws. Countries will not be allowed to make any laws that override the TPP laws.

It takes away the power of your elected political representatives in the future.  This takes away every country’s independence and sovereignty. All will truly become dependant vassal states of a massive USA/ European transnational corporate hegemony.

The people of the USA are also losers in these trade deals. The US people will lose jobs like when they signed the NAFTA agreement. It’s believed they lost 700, 000 jobs offshore in that deal. They will undoubtedly suffer greater inequality, more poverty and more corporate owned debt chaining them to ever worsening economic slavery, and of course less personal freedom.

There is another IMPORTANT factor that will substantially change all economic scenarios including the TTIP and TPP. Neither of these trade agreements mentions Global Warming.

This is said to be the biggest threat to our civilisation the world has ever known yet it is not mentioned in these treaties. The Paris Climate Change agreement was all about mitigating the potentially catastrophic effects of Global Warming.

The TPP has raised warning flags that it could have disastrous effects on efforts to mitigate Global Warming around the world. EVERYTHING our industrial world produces uses fossil fuels in its manufacture and fossil fuels in its transport.

International trade is mainly by sea trade which uses bunker fuel. This is environmentally the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel which already accounts 3-4% carbon pollution (more than the whole of Australia) and a large proportion of the world’s sulphur and nitrogen pollution. These gases are the prime cause of Global warming and ocean acidification.

World trade is expected to double in the next 20 years. More TPP/TTIP trade logically means the use of more fossil fuels, more environmental pollution and faster and more serious Global Warming threatening the world and YOUR family’s future. This has been CONFIRMED by a recent US sustainable development study.

In addition to the increased Global Warming from increased trade, the ISDS clauses within both the TTIP and TPP agreements create a private corporate legal system that can kill Global Warming mitigation. Both Australia and Canada are seriously at risk for hundreds of billions in costs here. Canada already knows the serious risks of the ISDS from the large number of ISDS claims from the NAFTA agreement.

The world is currently at a turning point. Global Warming threatens everyone’s future and the TTIP and TPP will add extra threats.

We have to VERY seriously consider whether the TPP and TTIP, which will cost us jobs, increase Global Warming, hamper our efforts to mitigate it and create new corporate controlled trade blocks that have the potential to create a new cold war with China / Russia aligned states is in the world’s best interest or not. Is it in YOUR best interest?

If we decide that it’s not in OUR world’s best interest then we must mobilise EVERY EFFORT to make sure these dangerous TTIP and TPP agreement are not ratified but instead placed in the dust bin of history where they belong.  Decide soon or forever rest in peace!

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Other similar stories by the author that relate to this story.

The Dangerous Relationship between TPP/TTIP/TISA, US Dollar and Global Warming

Will Malcolm Turnbull Use the ISDS in the TPP to Sell Our Souls to the DEVIL ?

The TPP/TTIP Agreements Mean More Global Warming and a World Trade War

The TPP/TTIP Agreements Mean More Global Warming and a World Trade War

thats home

Des Pensable copyright 2016

Now that the Australian elections are over we can get back to discussing the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) and Global Warming the two most important issues that will seriously affect the future of all Australians and indeed all of the people in the world.  These issues were purposely not discussed by mutual agreement between the two major parties during the election and we should all ask why?

The Australian LNP government with the agreement of the Labor party and WITHOUT ANY DEBATE in parliament signed the agreement to much protest on 4th February, 2016. However,  it will not come into force until it is ratified by our parliament expected to be later this year or next. Should we ratify it?

The 29 chapters of the TPP were finally revealed last year and we were told that WE CANNOT CHANGE ANYTHING within it, we can ONLY accept or reject it.

No commercial enterprise would ever consider signing up to a multibillion dollar deal without examining a cost/benefit analysis in great detail. In fact there was a cost benefit analysis on the economic aspects of the TPP which found that Australia will hardly benefit at all economically but will lose 39,000 jobs.  An analysis of the decade old Australia / USA free trade agreement show that we are worse off than we would have been without it.

There are no studies on the cost/ benefits for human society and people but many reasons to believe that the TPP/TTIP agreements will be bad for Australian people like you and me and indeed the people in the other countries as well.

So why is there so much secrecy and lack of transparency?  Why are we joining this agreement if there are little obvious benefit and lots to lose? There MUST be a hidden agenda?

MORE INTERNATIONAL TRADE MEANS MORE GLOBAL WARMING

There is an environmental chapter in the TPP. It is weak and ineffectual.  Here’s what Wikileaks said about the chapter.

“The Environment Chapter clearly shows the intention to first and foremost protect trade, not the environment. The principle is spelled out in this draft that local environmental laws are not to obstruct trade or investment between the countries.’ 

There is NO MENTION of Global Warming or Climate Change in the TPP.

The TPP has raised warning flags that it could have disastrous effects on efforts to mitigate Global Warming around the world.

EVERYTHING our international civilisation produces uses fossil fuels in its manufacture and fossil fuels in its transport.

International trade is mainly via sea transport which uses bunker fuel. This is environmentally the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel which already accounts 3-4% carbon pollution (more than the whole of Australia) and growing proportion of the world’s  sulphur and nitrogen pollution that is the prime cause of Global warming and acidification of the oceans and killing our Great Barrier Reef.

More TPP/TTIP trade logically means the use of more fossil fuels, more environmental pollution and FASTER and MORE SERIOUS Global Warming threatening the world and your family’s future. This has been CONFIRMED by a US sustainable development  study.

The ISDS clauses within both the TTIP and TPP agreements create a private corporate legal system that can block global warming mitigation. Australia is seriously at risk for hundreds of billions in costs here.

This is one HIDDEN AGENDA that the Australian (and other) global warming denier governments, which mainly happen to be fossil fuel producing countries such as the USA, DO NOT wish to discuss with their citizens.

The Paris World Climate Change agreement showed that  ALL the sane caring and environmentally conscious  people of the world DO NOT WANT global warming to happen FASTER, they want it slowed and stopped.

The millions of people that supported the Paris agreement do not have a collective death wish.  They have heard the message of the world’s IPCC scientists that say unless we stop Global Warming then it will cause irreversible changes to OUR planet Earth and doom OUR civilisation.

The EVIDENCE from the IPCC studies shows that if Global Warming continues at the business as usual rate (the current rate) a 3-4C world will mean the POOREST PEOPLE in the world WILL SUFFER and MANY WILL DIE. A 6C world will mean we ALL die.   Is that an acceptable trade deal to YOU ?

MORE GLOBAL WARMING MEANS MORE WORLD CONFLICT

Another hidden agenda is that the TTIP/TPP trade agreements have massive GEOPOLITICAL significance to the US corporate world empire. They are about maintaining and growing the US hegemonic empire.  I have discussed some of the consequences of this for Australia but it affects every member of  the world’s community of people.

ANY economist will tell you that there will be winners and losers with any international trade agreement. The TPP/ TTIP is DESIGNED to set up the international structure for which countries will be the winners and losers.

The TPP/ TTIP agreements specifically ignore China, Russia, Africa, many Asian and South American countries which have de facto been CHOSEN by the USA transnational corporate western alliance to be the LOSERS.

President Obama has stated openly that the TPP is designed to allow the USA to set the world trading rules not China. It sets up an unofficial declaration of a trade war between the USA and China which is a big problem for Australia as China is Australia’s largest trading partner. The possibility of a cold war between China and the USA is real.

Australian and other US vassal states have all presumably been TOLD to sign the TPP/TTIP agreements if they want to be on the side of the winners. Has the  Australian government ever in recent times said NO to the USA ? Does this explain why the Australian people have no say in whether the TPP is good or bad for us?

For its part, China has set up the BRICS trading alliance and according to one report  “has been busy creating or deepening economic alliances with ASEAN, South Korea, and Australia, and spearheading a large multilateral FTA, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCPE), that would include India and other East and Southeast Asian nations.”

If the TPP and TTIP agreements are likely to speed up and increase global warming and increase world war tensions they should be scrapped as we all want a healthy happy future for our families.

Many sane and caring environmentally conscious people in the USA are currently fighting a mighty battle to kill off the TPP and massive numbers of similar people in Europe are fighting to have the TTIP scrapped. For the sake of our democracies and the world’s future let’s all hope they win.

In Australia we need a massive pressure on the government and especially the Senate to NOT ratify the TPP. Our future is in protecting our environment not selling fossil fuel to help the world die or be a part of a new cold war between super powers.

This modified version of the story has been trimmed from 1500 words to 1200.

Are you ready to become a climate change activist yet?

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Mike Baird Chickens Out at the World’s Biggest Lock On Protest in Sydney

 

R2ProtestJune2016-23

photo by Des Pensable.

copyright  Des Pensable 2016

“Thank you for your courage !” people are saying all over NSW today.      #lockonwithme , #right2protest

It was a sunny day outside the NSW parliament in Sydney this week as a few hundred NVDA activists from all over NSW representing a wide variety of groups threw down the gauntlet to Mike Baird and challenged his new anti-protest lock on laws.  Mike Baird, the would be dictator keen on creating authoritarian, anti-social laws to restrict our freedom and dismantle our democracy CHICKENED OUT !

The police, on their best behavior, witnessed dozens of people wearing chains locking on and they did NOTHING. One policeman came over to the Knitting Nannas and said he felt useless standing on the road watching us protest against the dismantling of our democracy.  He doesn’t like being a policeman in a police state. He came over and CONGRATULATED us all.

It’s quite possible that the NSW police have given notice to Baird’s ultra-conservative religious zealot Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione that they are not prepared to arrest their own fellow citizens for protecting our Aussie democratic values. They might well have said to their political boss, THIS IS OUR STATE MATE – we’re here to look after the people of NSW not to take away their democratic rights with unjust laws created by your business buddies.

When the Tasmanian police were forced to arrest Bob Brown under the new anti-protest laws there, he immediately challenged the laws in their courts and the government backed down because they knew the laws were unjust.  Consequently, the Tasmanian police union has threatened to boycott the new anti-protester laws unless they are changed. They have families and friends too !

Victoria tried anti- protest laws and they were repealed  immediately after the change of government. You see its quite simple-  Aussies won’t knuckle under to authoritarian corporate owned thugs. Luke Foley of NSW Labor and Jeremy Buckingham of NSW Greens have promised to repeal the NSW laws when they get in after the next NSW election.

Mike Baird showed where his strings are connected as a puppet of the state fossil fool industry, the hidden so called “de facto” government of our state. They ordered little puppet Mikey to introduce the new laws because the rabble in NSW were irritating them and causing a loss of profits for their mainly foreign owners.   He dutifully saluted “Hail Coal” and did so.

On Thursday the fossil fools consortium probably gave him clear instructions not to upset the peasants as there was an election near and they didn’t want any unpleasant public people beating until after the election.

Wouldn’t they be surprised if the Fossil Fool Consortium gave the order to the police to rough up a few protesters at the next protest and the NSW police did what the Tasmanian police did and said ‘NO!’ We are with the people. This is WRONG. They are our employers, not you.

There was a full spectrum of speakers from our aboriginal brothers and sisters, to politicians, farmers and taxi drivers present and they all had harsh words about the anti-protest laws and our chicken puppet dictator whose popularity has plunged all over the state in the last few months as vividly shown by the massive anti-Baird protest in Sydney just a few weeks ago.

The Knitting Nannas were there in force and very vocal. When they to have to fight for our democracy then you know something is really wrong. Here’s what Carrol Bennet representing the NSW Nannas said to the locked-on audience and attentive young police officers listening in.

“The Knitting Nanas are watching you, Mr Baird, and so far your report card is not one to be proud of. We have watched as among other things –

  • You continue to promote the fossil fuel industry, including coal and coal seam gas, against the wishes of the communities affected.
  • You increase the powers of the Police, and reduce the powers of the Attorney General.
  • You and your cohorts don’t merely whittle away at our democratic rights but take an axe to them.
  • You dismissed hundreds of honest, hard-working democratically elected mayors and councillors across the state, using flawed process, and replaced them with administrators, many of whom were heavily involved in that flawed process in the role of delegate, resulting in many small rural communities losing their voice on local issues, and paving the way for developers in the Inner city.
  • You stood by and aided and abetted in the destruction of centuries old landmark fig trees to suit the wishes of developers by doing nothing.
  • You introduced Lock Out laws , which are ruining many small businesses, but which do not apply to the large corporate owned casino.
  • You introduce new Bio-Diversity laws that sound the death knell for many of our endangered species, and will allow wholesale land clearing
  • You attempt to sell off our resources to the highest overseas bidders.

The Knitting Nannas are watching you, Mr Baird, and we think you’ve lost the plot. We don’t like bullies and scare-mongerers, and we think you’ve forgotten who you were elected to serve – that is the people of NSW not the self-serving greedy corporations, fossil fuel industry and developers.”

Our Nannafesto states – ‘We want to make sure that our servants, the politicians, represent our democratic wishes and they know they are accountable – to us

Carol Bennet  and many others at the World’s Biggest Lock On stated what we all think and feel. We are NOT HAPPY with YOU Mike Baird and you will be shown the door at the next election. In the mean while WE WILL RESIST the BAIRD BLIGHT and fight to regain our democracy at the next election in the true democratic way by PROTESTING !

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93 year old Bill Ryan was there! will you be there next time?

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Australia’s Most Corrupt State Government Brings in Laws to Stop Citizens Protesting CSG Mining

Thousands Protest in Sydney Over Baird Liberal Government’s Anti-Democratic Abuse of Power

by Des Pensable, 2016

mike-baird-unaus

 

There was a massive anti-government protest in Sydney earlier this month involving several thousand people from a coalition of groups which is significant as it is unusual for so many Sydneysiders to voice their grievances in the streets.

The reason involves multiple instances where the Baird government has been accused of  un-democratically forcing a wide range of unpopular changes on communities around the state.

It should be remembered that Mike Baird was the clean new face to what has been called the most corrupt government in Australia’s history.

In just a few months this year Premier Baird has gone from the popular “Teflon Mike” with an innocent boyish smile to unpopular “Casino Mike” involved in forcing people to accept his conservative dictatorial edicts much like Campbell Newman in Queensland and we saw what happened to him.

Aussies are not happy being forced. There is much unhappiness and discontent in NSW, so let’s look at the issues.

  1. Forced Council Amalgamations

In September, 2014 the NSW Government released its Fit for the Future (FFTF) program following a three-year Independent Review of Local Government. The Greens were highly critical of the terms of reference of the review.

In May 2016 the NSW Government announced the amalgamation of a number of councils across NSW. On the surface this seems to be an attempt to improve efficiencies of local government areas.

However, the announcement forced dozens of democratically elected mayors and council members out of a job to be replaced by Baird appointed administrators until new council elections can be held next year.

This has obviously upset the personal future ambitions of many in the councils which are often stacked with local business and real estate people. Previous council mergers have highlighted many pitfalls.

The people in merged council areas have been very vocal, disrupting councils and claiming a loss of identity and grass roots representation.  They have also been highly critical of government claims of public involvement and some of the appointed administrators.

From a state politics point of view the opposition leader, Luke Foley claims that it is all about gerrymandering council boundaries to help install Liberal councils. Whatever is true it has upset many people all over NSW.

  1. Westconnex

WestConnex is a motorway scheme currently in the early stages of construction in Sydney. The scheme proposes to build or upgrade some 33 kilometres to the Sydney motorway network. The total cost of WestConnex is estimated at $15 billion and has been described as “the biggest transport project in Sydney since the Harbour Bridge”. It opens the door for a lot of corruption.

It has been criticised by the NSW Auditor General over failures of proper governance.  and the Lord Major of Sydney, Clover Moore has called for an independent inquiry into it. The Greens strongly oppose it while Labor appears to be in favour of the project. It has been the subject of escalating public protest where residents in affected suburbs have predicted wide spread non-violent public disobedience.

You don’t make people happy by forcing them to sell their homes and running toll ways through their neighbourhoods Mike Baird.

  1. CSG Mining

Coal seam gas (GSG) mining has been very controversial in NSW for several years. With considerable opposition to it throughout the state of NSW especially in the Sydney catchment area and outer Sydney suburbs.

At Bentley in northern NSW there was a real battle to stop it being introduced with hundreds blocking the gas company’s drilling rig. The government threatened to send hundreds of police to break up the protest camp ‘Liberty’ but at the last minute pulled back from the confrontation.

CSG became an election issue with the Baird government promising to buy back the most controversial gas mining leases which it did but it refused to ban CSG mining altogether and later offered more leases for sale.

More than two thirds of Australians and 85%  NSW residents polled around the state are in favour of a CSG ban but the government refuses. Consequently, there are anti-CSG protests all over the state. You need to ban CSG mining Mike Baird.

  1. New Coal mines.

Australia has signed to the Paris Global Warming agreement to reduce carbon emissions.  Global warming scientists have called for more than 90% of fossil fuels to be kept in the ground to avoid catastrophic Global Warming. However, the Australian government has decided not to support keeping our coal in the ground but rather the opposite, to sell as much as possible as quickly as possible.

In NSW there has been much controversy and protest over the destruction of the Leard State forest to build the Whitehaven coal mine and recently the approval for the Shenhua company to build a large coal mine on fertile farming land in the Liverpool plains. Secret plans have also been leaked to build as many as 16 more new mines in the Hunter valley.

This has caused large numbers of usually conservative farming community to stage noisy protests against both the Baird and federal LNP governments.  The farmers are also unhappy with the Nationals which support CSG and coal mining in NSW. Ignoring the farmers will be your downfall Mike Baird.

  1. The NSW Anti-protest Laws

In March this year the Baird government bought in a law banning protests. Needless to say there were immediate protests about the law changes from the public, opposition party politicians and concerned lawyers worried about the trends in Australia to curtail citizen’s rights.

It sounds crazy to any sane person but it will be illegal for ordinary citizens to non- violently and peacefully protest about fossil fuel companies poisoning their air and water. A poll found that 61.4% of NSW citizens are opposed to the new laws.

Many farmers are furious that their elected National Party members of parliament sold them out by supporting the bill. It’s now illegal for them to take virtually any action that will protect themselves, their farms and the health of their rural community.

Actions as simple as locking a gate or blocking a driveway can be illegal. They are liable to $5500 fines for obstructing any company going about its business poisoning the environment and 7 years in gaol for their civic moral duty to take care of their neighbours and families.

It’s an attack on our civil rights and our democracy says the NSW Law Society and many people in NSW agree. You don’t make people happy by taking away their democratic rights Mike Baird.

  1. NSW TAFE Privatisation

There has been massive growing concern and opposition to the Baird government privatisation of the NSW TAFE and the subsequent loss of thousands of TAFE jobs. In a Vote Compass survey in 2015, 70.7% of 36,000 in NSW voted that TAFE should receive more funding while only 3.1 % that it should receive less funding.

A report highly critical of the Baird government’s privatisation of TAFE concluded that it was failing. NSW people are not happy with the destruction of the TAFE by the Baird government and unhappy with the quality of the private course judging by the increasing drop out rates.

You don’t make people happy by privatising a TAFE education system that has worked perfectly well for decades depriving our children of high quality skills and taking away teaching jobs Mike Baird.

  1. Lock Out Laws.

Perhaps the final nail in the coffin for many of the young in Sydney have been the Sydney lock out laws which led to a thousands  strong protest in February. These have dramatically curtailed the revelry in the centre of Sydney by restricting the hours for purchase of alcohol and closing the numerous pubs, bars, discos, clubs and restaurants at 3 am.

This has been widely criticised by not only the many businesses catering for the revelry but also many in Mike Baird’s own party.  A recent review was carried out where over 1800 submissions were made both for and against the lock out laws.

You won’ get the votes of the young Mike Baird by taking away their access to alcohol and entertainment.

Conclusions

Wherever you go in NSW at the moment people at all levels in our society are complaining about issues that affect them directly. The problem is that most of them seem to stem either directly or indirectly from actions of the Baird state LNP government which is becoming more authoritarian. Some are already calling it a police state. Consequently, it’s difficult to see how the current government will last beyond the next state election.

It will also be interesting to see if any of this malcontent helps to fuel a change in the federal LNP government in the coming elections already internationally known for its poor human rights attitude.

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Why Did Australians Take Part in the World’s Biggest Global Warming Civil Disobedience Action?

climate angel

Police removing Climate Angels from protest

Des Pensable copyright 2016

On Sunday 8th May about 1500 keen Aussies of all ages from around Australia moved onto the beach at Horseshoe Bay located by the mouth of Newcastle harbour armed with about 200 kayaks and canoes with the primary objective of stopping any coal boats from leaving. My partner Joanne and I were there. A secondary objective was to block a railway bridge denying access to coal trains.  Sixty six people were arrested there.

This civil disobedience action was organised as part of the world’s biggest week of civil disobedience involving 17 countries.  It shows the power of the Internet and passion and dedication of the activists.

So why did all these Aussies from all walks of life decide to protest using civil disobedience? Why were they prepared to risk arrest and heavy fines?

Last year along with over 190 other countries the Australian government signed an agreement at the Paris Climate Change conference (COP21) to phase out carbon emissions over the next few decades to help the world fight anthropogenic Global Warming which if unchecked posed an existential risk to the world.

This is a fancy way of saying unless we get off our rear ends and do something to move away from fossil fuel based economies and keep fossil fuel in the ground we’ll all die in a climate cataclysm in the not too distant future. This is not a scientific opinion it is cold hard fact backed by overwhelming evidence.

Global warming is not a scientific or technical problem as we have the means and technical knowledge to solve it. It’s a political and social problem.

The political problem in Australian is the LNP government which is a right wing conservative government full of climate change deniers who in a blatant show of hypocrisy immediately after signing the Paris agreement moved full steam ahead to sell more coal, open more coal and coal seam gas mines; and cut back and penalise any actions to move towards more renewable energy in Australia.

The LNP government’s anti-Global Warming stance has been savagely condemned around the world with Australia being called a leaner rather than a lifter and even more disdainful – a member of the Axis of Carbon (Evil) along with Canada.

Canada has repented and is now a leader in Global Warming action but only after the Harper Conservative government was replaced by a pro science liberal Global warming “believer” government. The sacking of Australia’s worst prime minister has made little change in the government’s dismal Global Warming denialist stance.

In an absolute debasement of science in Australia, the LNP axed the Climate Change Commission; eliminated the portfolio of Science Minister, which was later resurrected in title only, then proceeded to strip the CSIRO and Bureau of metrology of Climate scientists. It made large cuts to science in particular University research and climate science.  It made massive cuts to renewable energy and  finance.

The latest punishment handed out to scientists is to force the CSIRO to spend a large proportion of its future activities on finding ways TO SELL MORE coal and coal seam gas.

Hence, the civil disobedience actions in Australia can be seen as a direct result of the frustration felt by many Australians stemming from the LNP government’s reckless anti-science determination to deny the reality of Global Warming and set Australia on a disastrous economic course to SPEED UP Global Warming rather than help the world reduce it.

The activists are above all concerned about the futures of their families and the world’s environment which is our planetary life support system. There is no planet B.

So how did Australia end up with a global Warming Denier government?

Like many third world countries Australia is now suffering from the resource curse. We have fossil fuel wealth and greedy extractivist fossil fuel barons want it. As Naomi Klein has pointed out, in her book and movie “This Changes Everything”, the result in the third world countries has been extensive political corruption and environmental destruction fuelling Global Warming. That is precisely what is happening here.

The political problem in Australia originates from the fact both the major parties in concert with the local and foreign banking and mining plutocrats have chosen policies to allow the sale of as much of our fossil fuel mining assets to foreign investors as possible.

It’s not surprising then that the foreign owners of our coal mines and coal seam gas leases want to continue producing coal and coal seam gas for sale on the world market. It’s also not surprising that they would expect and help fund a denier government to avoid action to keep the fossil fuels in the ground.

A further complication is that the three eastern states Victoria, NSW and Queensland have generated most of their electrical power from burning locally produced coal for decades and this is continuing. It made sense until the world’s climate scientists discovered that it was bad for the world’s environment.

To make things worse, against the wishes of the majority of citizens, the state governments have progressively sold off most of the state owned power generation systems to private corporate owners in back door fire sale deals well lubricated by large donations to the main two political parties.

The stench of corruption in these deals is strong with NSW being found by ICAC to be the most corrupt government in Australia’s history. NSW has recently made it illegal to protest about virtually anything involving fossil fuel corporations to stop people demanding actions on Global warming.

These private corporations don’t wish to close their newly acquired fossil fuel power plants or switch to renewable energy as they pulled a massive scam on the state’s citizens and are making a nice profit from their power supply monopoly using coal powered systems.

They don’t really care about Global Warming or the fact that the large majority of people in Australia want to phase out fossil fuel power, opting instead for renewable energy like solar and wind power. They care only about profit on their investments.

To stop any move away from the use of fossil fuels the mining lobby in what’s called the revolving door policy have hired a large number of senior public servants and ex-politicians to public relations and lobbying positions to ensure they can control any meaningful government attempts to limit coal and coal seam gas production.

The final major political problem is the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP).  This agreement subordinates Australian environmental laws to TPP trade law. Both the LNP and Labor have agreed to ratify it after the next election.

If we ratify the TPP agreement and wish to fulfil our international obligations to the Paris agreement to keep fossil fuel in the ground then we can be sued in a secret corporate court outside Australia by the foreign owners of our coal mines for loss of profit. This will cost us tens of billions.

Is it any wonder with a Global Warming emergency on hand and a totally morally corrupt anti-science anti-people conservative corporate puppet government that Australians all over the country are turning to non-violent civil disobedience in a desperate attempt to force our oligarchy to act?

One thing is for sure – there will be a lot more civil disobedience until we can get the kind of benevolent democracy that we at one-time claimed to have.

Check out the links below

What the Newcastle activists were thinking

Great coverage with lots of pix by the Newcastle Herald

Tens of Thousands Take Part in Global Actions Targeting World’s Most Dangerous Fossil Fuel Projects

A Pacific Islander’s View of the Protest Action

Jo Breakfree Newcastle 2

Jo and Des with Pacific Climate Warriors

 

An Aussie Cynics Guide to Politics Using Political Compass

cycle of Despair

Des Pensable copyright 2016

Part One – the Politics of YOU

Most Aussies dislike politics. It’s boring and confusing but we have a compulsory voting system which means we have to vote every couple of years for Federal, State and Council elections. Many people only decide who to vote for minutes before voting, they don’t know or care to know about the candidates and want to get it over and done as quickly as possible then forget about it.

If you are one of these people then this short guide is for you.

We’re all free people in a wonderful free Australian society aren’t we?

Let’s think about that for a few moments. If we lived alone on an island we could do as we pleased but we don’t. We mainly live in cities and towns with lots of others who have all sorts of strange personal and religious beliefs on how they want to live.

So to live together in harmony with a minimum of conflict some members of our society have created rules – lots of rules called laws which we are all obliged to accept and penalised if we don’t. You are free to do as you please as long as you obey the laws and don’t get caught breaking them.

In Australia we have a constitution which is simply a document that lays out a basic set of rules as to how the country will operate within our internationally agreed borders. Then we have laws that operate Australia wide, others that operate in each state and others that operate in your council area.

These laws have controlled everything you’ve done since before your birth and will control what happens every day of your life until you die.  When you were born you received a birth certificate which gave you certain rights but also obligations and responsibilities within our national boundaries.

You have to go to school from a certain age; you have to behave in certain socially accepted ways; you can only have sex after a certain age; you can only marry a person of the opposite gender after reaching a certain age; you can only drive a car after a certain age and must drive within the rules. You can only use certain drugs but not others.

You can’t assault or kill other people; you can’t steal their property; you can’t smoke in restaurants or public places. You can do or can’t do many things that other people outside our national borders can or can’t do BUT you are free to do whatever you like as long as you are prepared to accept the penalty if you get caught.

Your working conditions are controlled. You have to pay taxes on your labor. You have to pay your debt to the bank. You have to work every day to pay your way to be able to live where you do. You have to obey all these countless rules and laws so you really must love rules.

Wrong! Everybody hates rules but we are conditioned to accept them and many people even fear having no rules. So if we must have rules perhaps we should be sure the rules that we do have are tolerable.

Politics has created all the rules that control your daily behavior so you really do have a vested interest in any new rules or changes to current rules as they may affect you in a beneficial or detrimental way.

You can sometimes influence which rules you like and those you dislike through voting and lobbying your local politician. The trick is to choose the right politician that thinks the same way as you do.

This where political parties such as the Greens, Katter, Labor, Liberals and Nationals Parties are supposed to help. They are groups of people that are supposed to think alike.  They tell you a few of things you want to hear and expect you vote for them.

Unfortunately, political parties attract power loving people that are often corrupt dishonest and deceitful. The parties often have policies that you like as well as ones you don’t like. They have sneaky hidden agendas. They often do the opposite after the election to what they said they would do before the election.

Trust in politicians is very low. Only 31% of Australians have confidence in their political parties. Only 46% believe it makes a difference which party is in power. Its easy to ask do our politicians earn their pay but hard to get an answer.

The Aussie mass media doesn’t help as it is corporate controlled and coercive actively trying to manipulate our minds . It’s selective, presenting only issues that its vested interests wish to be pushed and often censors important news or information by omission. This leaves it to each Aussie to find out what is true or false.

Since it has becomes difficult to get the truth, it has become confusing, so many people become complacent, they don’t register, vote informal or take a punt because the law in Australia says you have to vote.

The question is how do your personal ideas, beliefs, wishes and desires align with the actual policies of the parties and politicians.

It turns out that there are several internet based sites that will do this. Some look at social/economic/ political issues from an international perspective allowing you to see how your political beliefs compare to those of other people around the world.

Other sites allow you to compare your political beliefs with those within your own country, state or locality. In this first article (part 1) we’ll look at how your Aussie personal political beliefs compare to those around the world.

This is where Political Compass can help. It’s a computerized method of mapping out the attitudes of both people and political parties to a variety of social /economic / political issues that influence every country’s laws and their people’s individual rights and freedom.

It’s run by an international non-profit organisation that uses the same set of questions for everyone around the world. You are not recorded so you remain anonymous. You can choose whether to tell others or not.

By knowing your own Political Compass coordinates and those of other people and parties you can immediately get an idea whether they have similar beliefs and personal values to your own.

It’s very simple to do.

  1. You go to the Political Compass web site answer a series of questions and get back your Political Compass X, Y coordinates that show where you fit on a graph of social / economic/ political attitudes.
  2. You can compare your results with other people, politicians and political parties in a wide variety of countries. The closer their coordinated are to your coordinates the closer their beliefs, attitudes and actions are likely to align with yours.

Political Compass coordinates are available on line for most political parties and many politicians and celebrities in many of the world’s countries. You can compare your attitudes to people both current and from the past. You can also see how people and political parties have changed over time.

You can get your coordinates here.

Here is an example showing a Political Compass graph containing high profile politicians past and present.

political people

In part 2    We will examine how to interpret your Political Compass coordinates.