Global Warming Activists Fighting the Resource Curse in Australia set up a People’s Parliament in the Nation’s Capital.

peopleparliament-jo-16

copyright Des Pensable 2015

On 2nd December 2015, more than 250 activists from around Australia and its Pacific Island neighbours staged a sit-in in the marble lobby of the Australian Parliament where they convened a meeting of the People’s Parliament on the elected government’s inaction on fighting Global warming. My friends and I from the Sutherland Environment Centre were some of them.

The meeting lasted about 90 minutes and during that period those present heard a number of speakers discussing the affects and ramifications of Global Warming on the people of Australia and the world. It called for strong action against Global Warming by the Australian delegation at the current Paris Climate conference and called for the government to put people before polluters.

News of the event attracted immediate wide mass media (Herald, Australian, 350.org, Junkee) and excellent social media coverage through the People’s Parliament web site and Twitter (#peoplesparliament). This was the first time so many people had staged such a large peaceful protest on Global Warming in the Australian Parliament itself.

However, the media particularly the TV coverage largely concentrated its attention on showing the People’s Parliament delegates being forcibly removed from parliament house by burly parliamentary police. Little was said about why it was held and what it discussed. So what was it really all about?

Australia has been called the lucky country as it has been endowed with vast mineral wealth and massive amounts of fossil fuels in the form of coal and gas. The problem is that in the age of Global Warming the climate scientists tell us that we need to keep our fossil fuel in the ground to prevent Global Warming exceeding 2C.

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.

Recently, when the ICAC in NSW found a massive network of political corruption and named 10 politicians as corrupt they called the NSW state government the most corrupt in Australia’s history. The corruption involved illegal back room deals with the mining industry and large political donations for favouritism.  Little has changed.

State and Federal politicians from both the major political parties and senior public servants are offered jobs with mining companies as staff or as lobbyists immediately they vacate their public positions regardless of whether they were found corrupt or not.  Political lobbying in Australia as elsewhere attracts the conmen and criminals and some of our politicians are among them.

A typical example is Mark Vale an ex-deputy Prime Minister in the Howard LNP government and ex- Leader of the National party employed as a “political fixer” by controversial massive predominantly foreign owned Whitehaven coal mine currently destroying the Leard State Forrest, a national treasure near Boggabri in NSW.

The mine was subject to several dodgy backroom deals, approval irregularities, has breached environmental regulations with impunity, is deeply unpopular among local famers is destroying rare and endangered wildlife yet rolls on relentlessly.

The Labor party politicians are into the mining pig trough as well. Martin Fergusen was the Labor Minister for Resources and Energy in the Rudd and Gillard Governments where he led a strong pro-mining lobby.

He is now the the Chairman of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA)  which is little more than a miners’ club which fosters Global Warming denial and lobbies for opening more coal mines, uranium mines, blocking finance for renewables and trying to get activist organisations delisted as tax free charities in order to stop activists using current environmental laws to block the opening of new mines.

The result is a revolving door between the government and mining industry. An old boys club of rogue ex-politicians and cowboy mining magnates aiding and abetting predominantly foreign owned extractivist companies in looting and polluting Australia regardless of people’s health or the environment.

Current government policy is to look after polluters before people. Needless to say, calls for a federal ICAC to help tackle corruption in the federal parliament have fallen on deaf ears.

It gets worse! Few Aussies realise that there are plans to open as many as 91 new coal mines around the country and over 50% of Australia is covered by Coal Seam Gas licenses (PELS).

Greg Hunt, the Federal Environment Minister has recently approved the Alpha coal mine project again which will be the world’s biggest coal mine that will endanger the Great Barrier Reef at the very same time the world at the Paris Climate Conference is calling for no new coal mines to be opened.

He has also approved the massive Shenhua coal mine in the fertile Liverpool plains in NSW much to the horror of the National Party voting farmers in the region. The farmers have been sold out by their local politicians.

In a massive irony in the Liverpool Plains the conservative farmers are now NIMBY activists prepared to beg for help from tree huggers whom they used to treat with utter disdain. But the Global Warming issue is bigger than conservative petty biases. It’s no longer a city vs country issue. It’s about the future of our whole civilisation.

It’s no secret that large numbers of ordinary people are becoming environment activists in Australia. Groups like Lock the Gate have tens of thousands of members and there are hundreds of small environmental groups around the country. About 60,000 marched in Melbourne and 45,000 in Sydney recently for Paris Climate Change action.

Polls show that the majority of Aussies recognise that anthropogenic Global warming is a serious problem and strongly favour moving to renewables. They also fear the current LNP government is not doing enough to help fix the problem The polls also show that Australians hold little trust in either of the major parties or the main stream media.

There’s only one cure for the resource curse on Australia and that is for ALL Aussies to take back their government from the crooked batch bad apples in power today. The People’s Parliament in Canberra last week was the start of a long campaign for renewal in Australian politics.

We the People’s Parliament call on the Australian governments to put the people before polluters and keep out fossil fuels in the ground to ensure a safe future for our children and grandchildren or we WILL remove you and replace you with people that truly care about Australians.

 

If you like this post share it with friends and family.

Join the Indespensable blog for more comment relevant to the Australian people.

Check out the Des Pensable web site for a wide variety of stories and poetry.

Twenty Two Reasons Why the TPP will Adversely Affect All Australians and Should be Stopped

tpp meme3

Des Pensable  copyright 2015

The TPP regulations cover not just trade but almost every aspect of our lives. Only 3 chapters of 29 are about trade, the rest cover everything from the use of the Internet, to labour and working conditions, food and agriculture, medicine and drugs, environment and pollution to flow of money in and out of countries and it’s been completely done in secret. Hundreds of advisers from the multinationals are involved but no consumer organisations and very few of our own parliamentarians in Australia are privy to its contents.

If both the TPP and the TTIP are signed and ratified, without the people being a part of the process 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 similarly you and I in Australia have much to lose.

These so called “Free Trade“ agreements will cause a dramatic reduction in democracy around the world as no one will be able to instruct their own governments to make laws to protect them from corruption, pollution, environmental destruction and the often antisocial and malevolent actions of some of the multinational corporations.

Since we only know what’s in 3 chapters we can only list how the contents of these chapter will adversely affect the people of Australia. These reasons are a compilation from my previous articles.

The Ramifications for Australia 
(for intellectual property links  see here)

  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. It means Internet CENSORSHIP. It means that the Australian government will lose the rights to make laws regarding IP on the Internet. A similar rule to this was blocked by International protest last year.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Adopt criminal sanctionsfor copyright infringement that is done without a commercial motivation. In short it means MASSIVE 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. We will all be criminals.
  9. No more local content on the TV or at the movies.. Gone will be all the Aussie sitcoms, and Playschool as the government bodies won’t be able to subsidize local content or specify Aussie actors.
  10. Increased Cost of Medicine and Drugs in all TPP countries. Oxfam says that the “US [TPP] proposals will have dire health consequences across Asia and Latin America. Medicine Sans Frontiers(MSF), says this about the TPP effect on public health in Australia.
  11. “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.”
  12. “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.”
  13. “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.”
  14. “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.”
  15. The ISDS clause in the agreement sets up a court outside Australia which allows transnational corporations to sue the Australian government if they think any federal, state or local law affect their ability to make maximum profit. Trade is considered above all other matter including pollution of the environment or Global Warming. This will inhibit or stop action on pollution, health issues and Global Warming and inhibit action in Paris this year in all countries who sign the TPP/TTIP/TISA agreements. In short it will stop you from protesting about foreign companies polluting your backyard.
  16. If we sign the TPP every transnational will be able to sue us if we take firm action in the future. This could cost Australia $1 trillion to keep our 85% of our coal and CSG in the ground as required by the IPCC.
  17. Based upon previous trade agreements, the TTP will have little or no trade benefits. In previous agreements Australia has LOST trade. In the USA – Australia Trade agreement Australia has been estimated to have lost $53 billion.
  18. The TTIP will have a very strong adverse effect on our economy. It’s estimated that we will lose about 7.5% of our GNP. This is rarely discussed as most people believe that an agreement between the USA and Europe won’t cost us trade. The opposite is true It will cost us $105 Billion per year.
  19. The TPP and TISA agreements set up the mechanism to force all countries to privatize all government services. That means no ABC , SBS, no state owned banks, no state owned power grids, no public transport, no public schools, TAFEs or universities, no Medicare, no public libraries, no meals- on wheels, no needle exchange programs, no National Parks. Imagine Australia without all of these. I bet you can’t.
  20. The TPP is an attempt to force the population of Australia to accept the failing doctrine of neoliberalism and block any social society activities that the people of Australia might like our Federal and or state governments to offer.
  21. The TPP/TTIP/TISA are a template to create two trading/ political blocks within the world. One block controlled and administered by the USA corporates and a second block all those countries out the USA sphere of influence. It sets up the mechanism for a new cold war with Russia and China but China is our biggest trading partner.
  22. Loss of thousands of jobs all over Australia. Will it be your job?

WE are not alone, many Australians have spoken out and activist groups all around the world are fighting against the TPP/TTIP/TISA agreements.

Here’s some suggestions… verify this story by reading more articles. Watch the videos linked below. When satisfied there is a problem become active. Fight to block these agreements and help save your family, our country and its future from corporate tyranny.

short video on TPP by Getup (3 min)

short video on loss of democracy and ISDS. (6 min)

short video on TTIP (Us/Europe) agreement (8 min)

Australia anti-TPP activist groups AFTINETStop the TPP- Australia, Stand Up Australia

If you liked this story check out others here.

TTIP/TPP/TISA Trade Agreements Mandate Corporatism and Sound the Death Knell of Social Democracy

corporate USA

Des Pensable (c) 2015

The TTIP, TPP (TPPA) and TISA are three international trade agreements that have been drafted in secret mainly by corporate America and are being pushed extremely hard by the USA Obama government at the moment. They might well have gone unnoticed by most of the world’s people had it not been for Wikileaks who released three chapters of the 29 chapter TPP agreement, a good portion of TISA and are now offering $100,000 for someone to leak more important chapters of the TPP and TTIP.

The three chapters of the TPP and the TISA information have raised alarm bells all around the world and Australia among the left wing of politics, religion, the unions, social welfare, the environmental movement and social economists. The ramifications of these three trade agreements are world changing but not in a socially benevolent way.

They have attracted considerable attention by the lawyers, independent media, social media, the Australian Productivity Commission and in Australian politics by the Greens and Labor. There have been mass rallies against the TPP in many countries including Australia and New Zealand. There has been very limited attention in the right wing corporate controlled mass media in any of the western alliance countries. This is curious as these trade agreements have the ability to change almost everything we take for granted in our world democracies.

Perhaps the scariest aspect of the three new agreements is that they will irretrievably bind most of the world’s western leaning countries into both an economic and military block that will most likely bully the rest of the world.

All world political, economic and military policy will be set by the USA which is already considered to be no longer a democracy but a corporate autocratic oligarchy. It means a US corporate empire spanning the globe asserting itself as a geopolitical hegemon over the rest of the world. It will change everything.

These agreements will lead to a loss of sovereignty which will lead to the demise of our democracies. We, the people will be powerless in puppet vassal states of the US corporate hegemony and likely cannon fodder in a new cold war with Russia and China. Meanwhile, the US mining and energy multinationals will loot the resources of the Middle East, Africa, South America and Australia leaving only pollution and a toxic environment in their wake.

Even more important is that the world will be stopped from tackling Global Warming in a meaningful way as the three trade agreements make it quite clear that corporate “free trade” is more important than ANY other matter including the environment and Global Warming. Even US Senators are worried about this. These trade agreements will force countries like Canada and Australia to pay massive sums in compensation for fossil fuels not mined if they decide to genuinely tackle Global Warming.

This is likely as the fossil fuel industry controls vast wealth already, it has been intimately involved in drafting the agreements and is extremely reluctant to keep 90% of all fossil fuels valued at about 30 trillion dollars in the ground as stated is necessary by the world’s climate scientists. Greed rules economic decisions.

Let’s look at some of the evidence for these dire predictions. Firstly and very important is that all three agreements were drafted primarily by the US multinational corporate sector and pushed by the US government which is controlled largely by the corporate sector with NO input from consumers.

Consumers groups and citizens of all the countries involved are not allowed to see the text of any of the agreements until after their governments pass it into legislation. Most politicians in the countries involved have not seen the text of the agreements but are expected to approve it sight unseen. Some parts of the TISA agreement won’t even be available for viewing for five years after it is approved.

“Last year, Obama’s top trade rep, Ron Kirk, declared that locking out the people is necessary, because the deal’s details would outrage Americans and spook Congress from rubber stamping it. In short, to win public approval of TPP, the Obamacans say they must keep it hidden from the public.” states one political observer.

Would you sign an agreement that will change the world and consequently your life and future without having any input or even seeing the text? Even worse once approved it can’t be changed. Let that sink in for a moment. It can’t be changed by any country’s parliament. This is NOT democracy it is a demand, a decree, to sign it. The multinationals are saying WE KNOW BEST ! You don’t count!

These trade agreements have a provision called the ISDS that sets up a secret international court that is above every court in every country even the USA. Multinational Corporations can sue counties that change or make ANY laws that might affect the corporation’s future incomes adversely.

In the case of Canada which has experience with an ISDS through the NAFTA agreement they are being sued by 35 different corporations for billions of dollars for doing things the companies didn’t like such as trying to protect the health of the people or the environment.

The governments or people of the countries have NO appeal and must pay any penalties demanded by the secret court. The governments or people have no rights to sue the multinational corporation even if they have grievances against those corporations.

This is not democracy – it’s handing the people’s sovereignty to the multinational corporations. It’s been called a corporate coup, an attack on democracy.  It’s giving private unelected, unaccountable people power over every country and its people. Giving them immense power and we know too well that power corrupts.

These trade agreements have provisions that mandate that all countries must privatize all government owned and operated enterprises. This is capitalism and neoliberalism on steroids. The government must divest control of education, medicine, drugs, transport, prisons, power, water and working conditions and not be allowed to reverse its decision. The government will have to allow free flow and movement of foreign capital and have virtually no control of its banks.

These provisions in the trade agreements will effectively end all welfare state activities. Socialism will be banned. All benevolent social state activities banned. All activist opposition to any antisocial, sociopathic, immoral right wing conservative activity banned. The Australian Labor Party and Greens will effectively be left with nothing to do. The corporations will tell our parliament how to run the country, even more than they do now.

The free flow of foreign investment funds will mean that everything in the country will be for sale regardless of whether the people of Australia want that to happen or not. We will not be asked for our opinions. Land, farms, buildings, parks, national parks, companies, schools, colleges, hospitals, unis the ABC, the SBS, the NBN – everything can be and will be sold.

Since the free trade agenda also forbids local content rules. Locally made TV shows and movies will become a thing of the past. Buy local campaigns will be banned. All produce will have no indication of where they came from or whether it is of GMO origin. Food labelling will go. Plain packaging of cigarettes, warnings on alcohol products, all public health advertising is likely to go.

Jobs will go to third world countries. Education and medicine will become too expensive for the average person. Human rights abuses will become common. The police and military will be expanded to make the corporations more secure and to stop us rebelling. The Internet, social media and the main stream news will all be censored. You’ll be offered a job in the corporate’s military or police wings to fight the bad guys who will be your neighbours and relatives.

The TPP will severely affect access to all intellectual property. 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.”

There will be severe penalties including gaol and huge fines for pirating or even using anything that might be considered commercial without corporate permission and since everything will be privatised we will own very little and be paying the corporations for everything. The moment we stop working or are injured and uninsured we will be valueless to the empire, we will be left to starve, suffer and die.

If we break any rules we are likely to be sent to a private gaol and made to work as slave labour for some corporation hiring from the prison for long sentences for trivial offences as already happens in the US prisons. Welcome to world of George Orwell, the brave new world of totalitarian corporate control. Are you scared yet? You should be.

So what do we gain from joining the TPP and TISA. The government has been unusually quiet about this. You would expect massive charts showing the benefits in dollars. There are virtually none and where they are their figures are very rubbery and often over inflated. In one study Australia was found to gain an increase in GDP of about 0.2% by 2020. The National Farmer’s Federation stated that the TPP could increase farm exports to TPP countries by a couple of billion dollars.

In a study on the Australia-USA FTA, 10 years after it was signed, it has been estimated that Australia is $53 billion worse off than if it had not signed the agreement. This could well happen with the TTP. The TTIP has been estimated in a German study to cost us as much as 7.4% of our GDP in LOST earnings.

The people of Australia are likely lose out big time. Our way of life will be dramatically affected and it is likely cost us a good chunk of our economy as well. Should we really be a part of this corporate takeover madness? You will have to decide quickly.

Of course, if we fight together and stop the government signing the TPP and TISA agreements we might just survive this attempted coup to take over the world. So what are you going to do now?

Here’s some suggestions… verify this story by reading more articles. Watch the videos linked below. When satisfied there is a problem become active. Fight to block these agreements. Help save your family, our country and its future from corporate tyranny.

short video on TPP by Getup (3 min)

short video on loss of democracy and ISDS. (6 min)

short video on TTIP (Us/Europe) agreement (8 min)

Australia anti-TPP activist groups AFTINET, Stop the TPP- Australia, Stand Up Australia

Selling Off the Family jewels– about privatisation in Australia

If you liked this story check out others here.

Book Launch -Visions of Chaos

 

VisionsOfChaos-FB

Hi Friends,

About 200 of you have taken advantage of the free offer to download a copy of my new ebook – Visions of Chaos. Thanks for the great support. I hope that you’re enjoying it.

If you have any questions about the story, would like to hear more about it;  meet me personally or would like a signed paper copy- I’m having an official BOOK LAUNCH at

Caravan Slam Poetry on April 21st at about 9pm

As usual, doors open at 7, slam starts 8, Des Pensable will feature around 9 and we finish up round 10. Seating limited, so the earlier you arrive, the better!

Performers free, guests $5. All proceeds to future Caravan Slam projects.

location :

The Record Crate

34 Glebe Point Road, Glebe, New South Wales 2037

You can also find it on Facebook under CARAVAN SLAM APRIL SLAM @ THE RECORD CRATE

The next SERIOUS political/environmental blog will be out by next weekend – IT WILL SCARE YOU.

I hope that you’ve all had a nice Easter break. We have a world to save.

Best wishes.

Des Pensable

Welcome to the Indespensable Blog

des pensable

Hi All,

I’ve been around a long time and over that period I’ve observed much about the world, the people and our society society. Nothing stays constant, everything changes. I’ve learnt that we often get windows of opportunity to do something positive and useful that occur only for a short time in our brief lives. Now is one such time for me.

In this blog I hope to make some useful comments about our world that may give some of you a little insight that may help you understand it from a different viewpoint. If that happens I will have succeeded.

The Indispensable Man
Anon

Sometime when you’re feeling important,
Sometime when your ego’s in bloom,
Sometimes when you take it for granted
You’re the best qualified in the room.

Sometimes when you feel that your going
Would leave an unfillable hole,
Just follow these simple instructions
And see how they humble your soul.

Take a bucket and fill it with water,
Put your hand in it up to your wrist,
Pull it out and the hole that’s remaining
Is a measure of how you’ll be missed.

You can splash all you wish when you enter,
You may stir up the water galore,
But stop, and you’ll find that in no time
It looks quiet the same as before.

The moral in this quaint example
Is do just the best that you can,
Be proud of yourself, but remember—
There’s no indispensable man.

Des Pensable, April, 2015