Issue 115: 17 to 23 November 2022


COP27: one big breakthrough but ultimately an inadequate response to the climate crisis
Matt McDonald | The Conversation
The loss and damage fund will almost certainly be remembered as the marquee outcome of COP27, but other developments were less promising. Among these were various fights to retain commitments made in Paris in 2015 and Glasgow last year. In Paris, nations agreed to limit global warming to well below 2℃, and preferably to 1.5℃ this century, compared to pre-industrial levels. So far, the planet has warmed by 1.09℃, and emissions are at record levels.

Agreement by ordeal
Michael Jacobs | Inside Story
Loss and damage was recognised as a concept in the Paris climate agreement, but with a huge caveat: the developed countries secured an explicit exemption from legal liability for the multibillion-dollar impact of a warming world. For the same reason the developed countries have held out against any kind of financing mechanism for loss and damage, which would require both more aid money and the tacit acceptance of moral responsibility. For the last six years, as developing countries’ demands for a loss and damage “finance facility” surged ever more strongly, the developed countries held them off with a variety of designed-to-be-useless discussion forums.


Victorian Elections: Liberals under siege from extremist religious groups
Lucy Hamilton | Pearls and Irritations
The list includes Rebekah Spelman who called for the Premier to be hanged, as well as co-orchestrating the rally featuring the gallows. Another is independent upper house member, Catherine Cumming, now standing for the “Angry Victorians Party,” who called for the Premier to be turned into a “red mist.” This term alludes to military jargon describing the impact of sniper hits. She was standing next to violent anti-lockdown protest organiser Harrison McLean, who has written that “Hitler had some good points”,  when she made the speech at the “worldwide” rally for freedom. One of the first acts of the next government should be the redesign of the upper house voting mechanism in Victoria. The state is alone in granting the voters a single choice above the line, allowing the parties to negotiate preference deals that are automatically allocated. Voters have to nominate a minimum of merely 5 selections below the line, but few choose to do so. 

‘Terrorist attack’: home of Bondi Beach media identity Jordan Shanks firebombed
Callum Foote | Michael West
Shanks’ residence is at the rear of a house that has been subdivided, with an elderly couple who live on the street side of the building close to where the firebomb detonated. Speaking to the list of enemies that Shanks has amassed Davies says that this attack is a retaliation “for his journalism, which has been some of the best in Australia over the last 12 months. He’s taken on some of the most powerful individuals and corporations in this state and in return not only does he have one of those organisations trying to put him in jail on a private contempt order now someone appears to be trying to kill him.


The grotesque inequality embodied by Musk, Bezos and Zuckerberg is a threat to democracy
Jeff Sparrow | The Guardian
The vast gulf separating Zuckerberg from the rest of the species perhaps explains his obsession with the virtual reality world of the metaverse. […] Unsurprisingly, most normal people do not want to work in the metaverse (think a three-dimensional, never-ending Zoom meeting, conducted in a nausea-inducing headset) and so, the more Zuckerberg throws money at virtual reality, the more Meta’s stock plunges. Its market value has dropped a staggering $700bn, with the result that 11,000 people are losing their jobs. It’s easy to mock the vanity projects of the tech elite. It’s also important.

What more do Australian governments need to see to realise children need help, not handcuffs?
Lorena Allam | The Guardian
Five years on from the Don Dale royal commission, here we are again. Locked in a “rollercoaster of crises”, according to the inspector of WA prisons, Eamon Ryan. “Banksia Hill, as the one-stop shop, has proven to be a failure,” he said. Once again there are reports of children destroying cells after being locked down for hours on end, reports of self-harm, reports of adults restraining children in bare cells, using techniques that are banned elsewhere and not used on adults.


MUA calls on Svitzer to drop tugboat lock-out 
Pip Hinman | Green LeftIndigenous children 10 times more likely to be removed from families, more likely to be abused in out-of-home care, new report reveals
Giovanni Torre | National Indigenous Times

Iranians continue to protest for change
Alex Salmon | Green Left