Geography Archives: Australasia

  • In Australia, not only forests are burning, but entire towns, and endangered and precious animal species. Photograph: State Government Of Victoria Handout/EPA

    Climate scientist: I witnessed Australia on fire. Climate change is already here.

    Prior to beginning my sabbatical stay in Sydney, I took the opportunity this holiday season to vacation in Australia with my family. We went to see the Great Barrier Reef—one of the great wonders of this planet—while we still can. Subject to the twin assaults of warming-caused bleaching and ocean acidification, it will be gone in a matter of decades in the absence of a dramatic reduction in global carbon emissions.

  • Wildfires rage under plumes of smoke in Bairnsdale, Australia. (Glen Morey via AP)

    Ruling class bereft of answers while catastrophic fires escalate across Australia

    New fires are expected to ignite, while strong winds are predicted to fan the hundreds of blazes that are already burning. Hundreds of thousands of people were urged yesterday to evacuate the most-at-risk areas.

  • ‘No one is coming to save us, except us’ – Sydney demands action on the environment

    ‘No one is coming to save us, except us’ – Sydney demands action on the environment

    In the face of climate crisis megafires and an air quality health crisis, 40,000 people rallied and marched in Sydney to demand action on Wednesday night. The city is choking, and New South Wales is on fire. In Randwick on Tuesday, the air pollution was 11 times higher than “hazardous”.

  • Bushfire crisis- welcome to life on a burning planet

    Bushfire crisis: welcome to life on a burning planet

    The chain of infernos stretches from Rockhampton in northern Queensland to the bush south of Wollongong. For the first time in history, Sydney’s fire danger forecast was made “catastrophic” for 12 November. All before summer has started.

  • Bushfires in Australia [Photo- Wikimedia]

    Australian bushfire crisis spreads as PM denies climate change link

    Even before summer has begun, bushfires and toxic smoke have threatened the lives, health and homes of millions of people in nearly every Australian state and territory this week. The fire emergencies that first erupted two weeks ago in two states have spread across the country, worsened by dust storms, asthma alerts and electricity blackouts.

  • Racism is Australian

    Why is society so racist?

    Slavery, while intensely profitable for the bourgeoisie, ran counter to capitalism’s ostensible ideology: liberté, égalité, fraternité. A resolution to this contradiction was needed, and came about in the concept of race

  • The Christchurch shooting and the normalization of anti-Muslim terrorism

    The real forces responsible for the destruction of many Muslim-majority countries and the current chaos present in many Western countries are not generated by civilian populations or religions but instead by the global oligarchy that engineers and profits from this chaos.

  • Scorched earth- capitalism, climate change and Australia’s bushfire threat

    Scorched earth: capitalism, climate change and Australia’s bushfire threat

    Bushfires have always been part of Australia. Even before the first human settlers arrived around 50,000 years ago, fires sparked by lightning strikes were a feature of the landscape for at least 30 million years.

  • Bike couriers and rideshare drivers often cannot earn the minimum wage, face risks from accidents and have no leave or other entitlements.

    Taming the gig economy

    On May 21 Australian Greens deputy leader Adam Bandt introduced a small but potentially significant private member’s bill into the House of Representatives.

  • Oil spill around ship.

    BP slip-up says its all about big business and the environment

    It’s like something from satirical website the Onion or Australia’s Betoota Advocate.

  • Recycling crisis

    Recycling crisis is capitalist business as usual

    Recycling isn’t complicated. Households and businesses separate their recyclables from the rest of their rubbish and put them out for collection. This material then is supposed to be sorted and made into new products–a small but important contribution to sustainability in a world awash with waste.

  • Berkeley free speech movement in 1964 PHOTO: Chris Kjobech

    The fight over free speech on campus

    On university campuses around the world, “free speech” is becoming the favourite slogan of the right, sure to be raised during campus political controversies.

  • Protest (Photo Credit: Charandev Singh)

    Melbourne protesters defy cops, challenge Milo Yiannopoulos

    Milo Yiannopoulos, an avid and notorious alt-right figure, ended his night with several hundred anti-fascist protesters. Joined by residents of the Flemington and Kensingston commission flats, protesting and showing the need for radical anti-capitalist defiance against fascists, such as Yiannopoulos.

  • Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, prepares to give a speech on his party’s foreign and defence policy at the Chatham House think-tank, during the 2017 UK general election campaign

    Jeremy Corbyn’s “Dark Past”

    This expert has some shocking revelations about @jeremycorbyn‘s past…

  • Measuring National Ecological Consumption

    Which Countries Live Within Their (Ecological) Means?

    The information contained within the 2017 edition of the National Footprint Accounts, and especially its elegant publishing platform, will be useful to critics of the status quo maintained by the major capitalist economic powers. To make sense of the data critically, however, one must go far beyond the explanation given below, as root causes are […]

  • Migration as Revolt against Capital

    The fact that a large number of refugees, especially from countries which have been subjected of late to the ravages of imperialist aggression and wars, are desperately trying to enter Europe is seen almost exclusively in humanitarian terms.  While this perception no doubt has validity, there is another aspect of the issue which has escaped […]

  • The Imperial War Museum in London: A Lesson in State Propaganda?

    In January 2016, I attended Tate Britain’s Artist and Empire: Facing Britain’s Imperial Past, a disappointing exhibition that in spite of its title did not face Britain’s past in any meaningful way.  On the contrary, as I argued in my review, it shied away from this bloody history in favour of quasi-glorification, non-committal wording and […]

  • The Spectre of Social Counter-Revolution

    5th Dr. BR Ambedkar Memorial Lecture, Indian Institute of Dalit Studies, New Delhi, September 27, 2014 I I would like to use this occasion to dwell upon a point to which Dr Ambedkar had drawn attention in his closing speech to the Constituent Assembly on November 25, 1949.  In that speech he had underscored a […]

  • Capitalism, Inequality and Globalization: Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-first Century

    I. The Piketty Argument Thomas Piketty’s book Capital in the Twenty-first Century embodies an immense amount of empirical research into the distribution of wealth and income across the population for a number of advanced capitalist countries going back for over two centuries.  In particular Piketty has made extensive use of tax data for the first […]

  • The Myths of Capitalism

    There is a pervasive view that growth under capitalism, though it may worsen poverty, even absolute poverty, to start with, eventually leads to a lowering of poverty.  The experience of the English Industrial Revolution is invoked in this context.  There has been a huge debate among economic historians about the impact of the Industrial Revolution […]