Author Archive: roman

Nuclear Industry on trial?

“If the Royal Commission brings a genuine spirit of independence and rigour, and is willing to take evidence on the nuclear sector’s performance in Australia and overseas, the report will provide a valuable contribution to domestic energy and industry policy.

It will paint a picture of an industry in terminal decline; a uranium market in a state of chronic oversupply; 60 years of high-level nuclear waste still awaiting a coherent management solution; ongoing contamination hazards at destroyed reactor sites; unresolved weapons proliferation risks from ‘civilian’ enrichment facilities in Iran; a stalled disarmament agenda and a handful of countries persevering with new plants plagued by cost overruns and safety fears.”

Scott Ludlum, providing a nice example of the nuclear industry on trial in New Matilda, a piece well worth reading.… Read more >>

Don’t trade away the right to keep our food safe

Chinese imported frozen berries linked to a number of cases of hepatitis A in Victoria and NSW has led to a national call for stronger food safety regulation and country of origin labelling.

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 12.59.01 pmHowever under the new China Free Trade Agreement and pending Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), this could be unfeasible. Friends of the Earth’s Fair Trade spokesperson, Sam Castro said “like other similar trade agreements the TPP could make it impossible to set higher standards on imported foods or labelling, because labelling regulation can be deemed a ‘barrier to trade’.”

“The Investor State Dispute Settlement process included in the China Free Trade Agreement enables foreign corporations with the ability to sue the government for legislation that may harm future profits. We know Philip Morris is currently suing the Australian government for our cigarette plain packaging legislation, the same could happen if the government decides to enact stronger food safety and labelling laws,” explained  Ms Castro.

“These trade agreements are a Trojan Horse that threaten our food safety and environment. Trade officials, whose primary objective is to increase trade and boost corporate profits, will have first say over future food safety rules. A trade agreement is not the place to decide about our food safety.”

“The TPP trade agreement is currently being negotiated in secret with 12 other countries, including the US, Chile and Malaysia.  We call on the federal government to release the text of the agreement so the public and health professionals can properly assess the impact it will have on health and safety standards. We have a right to know” said Ms Castro.

The European Union has recently committed to publicly releasing the text of a similar trade agreement called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).Read Friends of the Earth’s analysis of the TTIP’s impact on Food Safety.… Read more >>

US force feeds GM crops to African nations, says new report

OHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA, 23 February, 2015 – US agencies, funders such as the Gates Foundation, and agribusiness giant Monsanto are trying to force unwilling African nations to accept expensive and insufficiently tested Genetically Modified (GM) foods and crops, according to a new report released today. [1]

“The US, the world’s top producer of GM crops, is seeking new markets for American GM crops in Africa. The US administration’s strategy consists of assisting African nations to produce biosafety laws that promote agribusiness interests instead of protecting Africans from the potential threats of GM crops,” said Haidee Swanby from the African Centre for Biosafety, which authored the report commissioned by Friends of the Earth International.

The new report also exposes how agribusiness giant Monsanto influences biosafety legislation in African countries, gains regulatory approval for its product, and clears the path for products such as GM maize (corn).

Read more >>

Divestment, Nukes and Royal Commissions

In a week in which the SA premier has announced a Royal Commission into Uranium Mining and Enrichment, it’s probably appropriate to talk about energy and the anti-nuclear movement. (Incidentally, has anyone else noted how unusual it is for the government to call a Royal Commission? They’re usually called when there’s suspicion of wrong-doing and corruption, requiring the extraordinary powers of a royal Commission to compel people to give evidence. It all depends, of course, on the terms of reference. Perhaps FoE needs to call a people’s Commission?)

If anyone’s inyerested in goping to  the national anti-nukes meeting in melbourne, please let robyn know ASAP.

If you have a moment, you might like to fill out the simple survey for the nuclear free movement (see below)… Read more >>

350.org notes re Global Divestment day

Some weeks it’s hard to keep up with how quickly the world is changing.

Yes, part of that is the climate crisis: we live in a world that’s been profoundly and dangerously altered. But the politics of climate change are changing too, and some weeks you can feel a tangible shift in what is possible and what is not.

This is one of those weeks, and Global Divestment Day is a chance to be part of that shift. Together, we’re changing the game and putting fossil fuels on the defensive.

Click here to register for Global Divestment Day which kicks off at the end of this week.

But if you really can’t make it or don’t live near an event, here are 3 important things you can do instead:

1. Divest your bank

Click here to see whether your bank is financing fossil fuels

Click here for a step-by-step guide on how to switch banks

Click here for a letter to send your current bank to explain why you’re leaving

Click here for a letter to send your new fossil free bank to explain why you’re joining them

2. Divest your super

Click here to see where your super fund stands on fossil fuels. Via Super Switch, you can contact your super fund to ask them to stop investing in fossil fuels or search for a fund that is fossil free.

3. Change your profile picture on social media to demand divestment

Call on your bank, super fund, favourite celebrity, local council, faith group, politicians, school, university or other local institution to stop financing climate destruction. Click here to change your profile pic today.

I can’t wait to see what we’ll do together for Global Divestment Day this Friday and Saturday across the country and around the world.

Thank you so much for being part of the movement,

Charlie for the 350.org team

PPS: Did you hear that the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund just divested from dozens of fossil fuel companies including 40 coal companies?… Read more >>