Bad fairy at the wedding: @burgewords on the curse of #MarriageEquality activism

I’D like to briefly hold your attention in this short period before marriage equality is legislated in Australia, because nobody will ever give a second thought to the years of struggle that led to this week’s resounding public vote for same-sex dignity. The concept of marriage equality first hit me like a bullet in 2004, in the moment I realised I’d been completely and utterly duped by this ‘lucky country’. My partner Jono had died suddenly just weeks before, and I was struggling with acute, identity-killing grief. I had no idea that this profound amputation would come to be treated as though it was a paper cut. Unbeknownst to me, […]

First Fossil award shines a ray on everyone taking #climateaction at #COP23 – @takvera

Bonn, Germany: The first Climate Action Network (CAN) Fossil of the Day award at the UN Climate Conference COP23 was a small Ray of the Day. There is a certain leader who is on everyone’s mind at this UN Climate Conference, so the first CAN Fossil of the Day award is actually an award for the rest of us that have stayed committed, eyes on the horizon and not on the bumps in the road. For all the cities, states, universities, businesses and individuals that have not been deterred by the spectacle of a leader that absolutely craves attention like a 3 year old child.. The citation for the award […]

March for #climatejustice in Bonn at #COP23 calls for #endcoal by @takvera

Latest report from Nofibs reporter John Englart in Bonn Germany for the UN Climate Change Conference: In the immediate vicinity of the latest UN climate change conference COP23 and the largest lignite mining area of Europe, twenty five thousand people demonstrated for the immediate implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement in the city of Bonn, Germany, calling for climate justice and an end to coal. Just ahead of the 23rd World UN Climate Conference (COP23) a broad alliance of civil society groups made clear that the Paris climate agreement needs to be followed by further action to phase out fossil fuels such as coal. More than 100 climate, environmental and […]

Australia and coal at Bonn Climate conference #COP23 by @takvera

On an international level, the politics around climate action have moved substantially since 2015 and the signing of the Paris Agreement. I was at the UN climate change conference in Paris – COP21 – and it was a significant moment. But the politics in Australia is still heavily mired in the past, and the vested interests that make up our energy and mining sector. The Federal climate and energy policy of the Abbott/Turnbull government, including the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) is all built around prolonging coal use, impeding the growth of renewables and the energy transition, and doing as little as possible to meet Australia’s already ‘insufficient’ climate targets, let […]

The hate that dare not speak its name: @burgewords comments on #VoteNo to #MarriageEquality

It would make for a better, fairer and more entertaining match if #TeamNo owned the term ‘homophobes’. AUSTRALIA is fighting a very old battle. It’s been Trojan-Horsed into every household in the form of the Turnbull Government’s postal survey on federal marriage law. Like all wars, the propaganda is rife. We’re being asked to vote on altering the Marriage Act to allow equal access to couples of the same gender. Naturally enough for Aussies, we’re dealing with it by forming teams in a numbers game over the country’s oldest political football. In one corner we have gay-friendly #TeamYes in bright, inclusive colours, although the commentators can’t avoid the war references, […]

#VoteYes in the #MarriageEquality survey, just don’t expect a unifying moment: @burgewords comments

A sad, embarrassing uncle – let’s call him Malcolm – is trying to get us to pull his cracker, but we know what’s coming. A PUBLIC vote on marriage equality is delivering what some Australians have craved for years: an excuse to publicly trash LGBTIQ dignity. The usual pundits are hailing the Coalition’s survey as a victorious tipping point for the fortunes of the Turnbull Government, but at best it’s a hand-holding exercise for the prime minister. Because when the 122-million-dollar show comes to an end – and regardless of the result – if he wants to harness the voice of the people Mr Turnbull will still need to stand on […]

Tripartisan #Auspol launch of #ClimateHealthStrategy in Canberra reports @takvera

In a rare note of tripartisan support, Liberal, Labor and Greens politicians were all present at the launch of the ground breaking National Strategy on Climate and Health and Well-being for Australia by the Climate and Health Alliance. The world’s first health and climate framework policy initiative has been in development for over a year with a large degree of consultation with health professionals. It is endorsed by more than 30 medical and health professional organisations around Australia. Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health Ken Wyatt MP, Greens leader and health spokesperson Senator Richard Di Natale, and Labor’s health spokesperson Christine King MP all attended and spoke […]

Under Trump US goes rogue in leaving #ParisAgreement reports @takvera

This article was originally published at Climate Action Moreland by John Englart, who has attended COP21 and COP22 as an NGO observer. President Trump has announced the United States withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, but says he is also open to a renegotiation. Germany, France, Italy and other nations say that the Paris Agreement is a framework agreement and is structured in such a way that it is not open to renegotiation. The announcement brought condemnation from many world leaders, negotiators and civil society. British journalist George Monbiot described it as a crime against humanity. The UNFCCC Secretariat released a statement saying it was ready to engage in dialogue with […]

Dining over mining: Qld Land Court Rules against New Acland coal mine – @takvera

The Queensland Land Court has ruled against the New Hope application to expand its existing open-cut New Acland Coal mine (Stage 3) in Queensland’s Darling Downs which was proposed to operate for an additional 12 years to 2029. This is first time the Queensland Land Court in a contested case has outright rejected a coal mine. Queensland Land Court member Paul Smith on Wednesday recommended Mines Minister Anthony Lynham formally reject the proposed expansion. Land Court in Qld rejects #Acland Coal mine's expansion plans in Darling Downs @abcnews — Katherine Gregory (@KatGregoryABC) May 31, 2017 While it is a historic landmark ruling and recommendation, the mine extension will depend upon […]

Australia shamelessly backs #fossilfuel influence at Bonn climate negotiations reports @takvera

In a workshop on how non-party actors can boost climate action at the UN #SB46 climate negotiations in Bonn, Australia shamelessly supported business and fossil fuel interests in the discussion on development of conflict of interest policy for UN climate negotiations. The negotiations in Bonn started well, with Australia noting the need for sustained and focused work at the Bonn climate negotiations session this week. On the first day of the talks transparency & accountability were prominent in many discussions. Then it got worse for Australian diplomats, when conflict of interest started being discussed in a workshop. Norway, then Australia were in the fray supporting business and big polluter participation […]