D!SSENT Number 32 - Autumn / Winter 2010

Editorial: Greenhouse gas emissions will only be reduced to a safe level by a significant expansion of government leadership, investment and regulation. Government directed, accelerated economic growth, committed to the environment, means neoliberal ideology is a danger to the planet. The irrational deniers’ attack on the science of global warming is an implicit recognition of this fact.

Ian McAuley observes how the roll back of the role of government over the last two decades has impoverished the common wealth. Small government and low taxes have become ends in themselves. This approach has been supported by the recent emphasis on financial accounting which fails to take into account the net economic and environmental benefits of government spending.

Max Whitten explains why Australia’s commercial beekeeping industry risks collapse, spelling disaster for many primary producers and food security.

Cam Walker observed the Copenhagen conference on global warming and discusses the next steps to save the planet.

Jenny Goldie also attended Copenhagen and discusses how the issue of rapid population growth was again kept off the climate change agenda.

Graham Palmer discusses the marked shift away from environmental protection by the political right.

Richard Denniss argues that we must introduce a carbon tax and mothball coal-fired power stations if Australia is serious about delivering cuts to greenhouse gas emissions.

Zoe Hutchinson and Holly Creenaune trace how state governments are criminalising non-violent protest.

Bob Walker and Betty Con Walker document the use of exaggerated data and inflated estimates by NSW and Queensland governments to justify unpopular infrastructure privatisation programs.

David Ingles and David Richardson point out that the average Australian spends $90 a month on superannuation fees and charges for very small returns.

Paul Mees contends that better management is the key to improved urban transport, not more money and higher urban densities.

John Stone demonstrates that Perth offers a political blueprint for those who want to revolutionise public transport in Sydney and Melbourne.

Guy Johnson reviews the evidence on homelessness and finds that a million households are suffering housing stress and 100,000 are homeless due mainly to financial subsidies promoting home ownership which exacerbate the problem.

Bernadette George argues that a policy of population growth based on immigration will only be politically palatable if urban planning is a lot better than any Australian city has seen in the last four decades.

Steve Keen explains that Australian governments are wedged between the need to appear concerned about the cost of housing for the young while the older, larger and wealthy class of home owners want ever-rising house prices to be a source of unearned capital gains.

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