Issue 114: 10 to 16 November 2022

# COP27

Australia criticised for resisting Cop27 push to end international fossil fuel subsidies
Adam Morton | The Guardian
Australia chose not to sign an agreement known as the statement on international public support for the clean energy transition partnership at a public event held at Cop27 in Sharm el-Sheikh on Tuesday. The partnership, created in Glasgow last year, is backed by 36 countries and five public finance institutions that have committed to direct export credit support towards clean energy and away from “unabated fossil fuels”. Felicity Wade, the national co-convener of the Labor Environment Action Network (Lean), said it made little sense for the government to not join the agreement […]

Treasury thinks the unthinkable: Yes, intervene in coal and gas markets
Ross Gittins | Age/SMH
At the heart of conventional economics – aka the “neo-classical model” – lies the “price mechanism”. Understand this, and you understand why the thinking of early economists such as Adam Smith and Alfred Marshall is still influential a century or two after their death, and why, of all the people seeking the ears of our politicians, economists get more notice taken of their advice than other professions do.[…] It assumes all buyers and all sellers know all they need to know about the characteristics of the product and the prices at which it’s available. It assumes competition in the market is fierce. And that’s just for openers.

What is being decided at COP27?
Mike Seccombe | The Saturday Paper
As the number of climate-related disasters almost doubles, and refugee numbers surge, the UN climate summit is finally asking a key question: How do you make the countries that caused the crisis pay? 

COP27 ignores rich countries’ carbon debt
Gideon Polya | Green Left
Climate criminal Australia has a carbon debt of $5 trillion that is increasing at $400 billion each year, and at $40,000 a head each year for under 30-year-olds. Climate finance for climate change-impacted countries includes finance for cutting emissions, adapting to climate change and for loss and damage. Rich climate criminal countries, such as the US and Australia, continue to oppose a “loss and damage fund” out of fear they will be held accountable for their huge historical carbon debt.


The Queen’s Coup
Jenny Hocking, Peter Cronau | Declassified Australia
Queen Elizabeth II of England advised the Governor-General he could overthrow the elected government of Australia – and he did. […] The letters confirmed that the Queen, through her private secretary Sir Martin Charteris, discussed the possible dismissal of the government with the governor-general and advised him on the use of so-called ‘reserve powers’ to do so, against the advice of both the Australian solicitor-general and attorney-general. No respectable historian or journalist could now accept that the Queen had ‘no part to play’ in the dismissal of the Whitlam government as the protectors of the royal family in Buckingham Palace continue to claim.

Nine Network perpetuates tired, politicised, militaristic discourse on refugees
Hannah Dickinson | Pearls and Irritations
There have been cases of LGBQTI+ people from Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Iran, and for people fearing persecution for religion, race or nationality in Pakistan, Myanmar, and Afghanistan, amongst many others. These people were found to be refugees, despite initial refusals. […] Putting aside questions about the integrity of decision-making, including ongoing concerns about independence, AAT statistics show that in the last financial year, the Department got it wrong in 50% or more cases concerning protection visa cases appealed from Ethiopia, Iran and Iraq, 45% of decisions from Pakistan, and nearly 75% of cases from Papua New Guinea. Even more troublingly, many people can’t or don’t seek review, because the process is complex, intimidating and punitive, with failure to act within strict deadlines resulting in loss of access to review.

The air is a little thick o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave
Guy Rundle | Crikey
In Manhattan, cash is everywhere and everything you need is a $15 taxi ride away. It’s the other city, other than DC, that is nothing like the country it rules, and from which America is incomprehensible. They should move Congress to LA, or somewhere like Des Moines, just some place that has been nothinged out. I watch Fox News and it’s like furiously optimistic radio broadcasts from the Führerbunker, and I watch MSNBC and it’s like a Harvard School of Government seminar on public policy, and CNN has finally reached a sort of zen state of boredom appropriate to its role as universal airport TV. 

Crypto and the end of the beginning
Alan Kohler | New Daily
The decline has been partly due to rising interest rates, but it’s also due to the fact that we’re at the end of the beginning of the fourth industrial revolution. The question of which is third and which is the fourth is a bit messy. The third industrial revolution (digital) tends to merge into the fourth (automation), so it might be better to talk about them as one thing.

Forget COVID — stupidity is the real contagion
Jennifer Wilson | Independent Australia
The face mask has become co-opted primarily as a symbol, rather than being acknowledged as a significant tool in an array of preventative options. The mask reminds us, uncomfortably, that we are in the midst of a pandemic, under threat from a virus with a vast array of unpredictable consequences. There is currently no more potent visual reminder of our precarious situation than the mask. And nobody wants to be reminded of our vulnerability to illness and its possible aftermath. […] That state and federal governments have refused to take responsibility for public health in the matter of COVID-19 is an astounding failure of governance.

Socialist realism, Overland and the politics of representation
Jeff Sparrow | Overland
The identitarian ‘left’ has enthusiastically embraced this model of political representation, with disastrous results. For instance, in the United States, as Jacobin’s Craig Johnson explains, Democrats have long ‘sought diverse faces in high places to carry out an agenda that leaves the miserably unequal status quo untouched’. The assumption that this kind of representation offers an alternative to a program for structural change has, predictably, enabled the right to make significant inroads into the communities of the oppressed. ‘Donald Trump,’ says Johnson, ‘actually gained ground among minority voters during his reelection campaign, despite four years of racist fearmongering, political violence, and his alliance with the far right.’


WA nurses fight for a real wage rise
Chris Jenkins | Green Left

SA Unions’ Strong Support For First Nations Voice
Ned K | Vanguard

Latin America: Unions denounce right-wing destabilisation attempts in Bolivia
Ana Zorita | Green Left