NUMBER 24 SPRING 2007
Editorial: Both the major parties are playing politics on global warming and Peak Oil. The ‘business as usual’ policies amount to greenwash and fail to recognise that the environment is the economy.
Harry Glasbeek argues that the hollowing out of working-class democratic institutions entailed in WorkChoices legislation is not addressed by the ALP plan.
Jim Stanford analyses prices, labor costs and profitability in the mining industry to show that the industry’s use of AWAs has made little difference to the industry’s profitability and the abolition of AWAs would make little difference to the future profitability of the industry.
Tim Moore discusses the Prime Minister’s political rhetoric in which he frames his commentary on contentious issues within a two part sequence - sympathetic messages to the various parties involved, followed by the sting so the hard policy is made more palatable.
Roy Williams compares the record of the Howard and Whitlam governments and assesses the accuracy of commonly-held opinions about the two periods of government.
David Spratt says that the weight of scientific opinion - based on current trajectories - is that global warming is likely to be closer to three degrees than two degrees because high emitters such as Australia are resisting the need for at least an 80 per cent cut in emissions to avoid uncontrollable positive feedback which would make the world uninhabitable for most of the human race.
Chris Bonnor examines the implications of the rapid growth in the divide between public and private schools (thanks to the growth in state aid) and argues that it is time this funding was assessed against the harm it does to public education and he examines what other countries are doing to prevent this.
Charles Livingstone describes how the Howard government has pretended to be a friend of Medicare while implementing changes designed to favour the rich with private health insurance. An ALP government can reverse these ‘reforms’ easily, given the continued public goodwill for Medicare.
Anna Hurlimann says the water crisis is one of management and excess, yet we delude ourselves believing it is one of infrastructure and resource constraint.
Melody Kemp says the sad fact of globalised Asian workplaces is that wages have been driven so low, and conditions are so consistently bad, that sex work has become an attractive alternative to factory work and the prospect of collateral damage from chemical or dust-related illness, rape, stress and overwork.
Joanne Knight compares Australian laws governing the detention of persons accused of terrorism with internationally recognised human rights principles.
John M. Legge explains why a privatised and deregulated electricity industry, as advocated in a recent report by the Energy Reform Implementation Group, is likely to deliver higher prices and blackouts as occurred in California in 2000 when Enron and others were able to game the market to maximise profits.
Allan J. Williams and Kevin Morgan respectively discuss the history of telecommunications and the current debate about broadband policy and show that Australia’s relative decline in the ability of the industry to meet Australia’s needs is due to a competition fetish and refusal to concede that telecommunications is a natural monopoly.
David Berger reviews The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.
Brian Martin points out that dissent is increasingly under threat in Australia but dissent is vital to challenge abuses of power by governments and corporations.
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