Australia earns first rebuke by civil society at UN climate change talks

Australia had the dubious priveledge of earning the first Fossil of the Day award at the United Nations climate talks in Warsaw, Poland. Civil society organisations confer the awards each day of the climate talks, and have been doing so since 1999.

Related: The Verb - Australia won't be missed | Australia the empty chair at the climate talks in Warsaw | Greenpeace protests at coal power stations as Warsaw Climate talks start | Dismay At The Coal Powered Negotiations of COP19 | Read more reports from COP19 Warsaw at Climate IMC


$25.4 billion spent on Aboriginal disadvantage is a lie

By Gerry Georgatos - courtesy of The Stringer - It has been touted that $25.4 billion annually is invested in Aboriginal peoples – in order to raise those among them out of abject poverty –“through 86 initiatives”. This claim has dangerously washed through the Australian consciousness as ‘fact’ but it is instead a crock of shit. It is claimed this $25.4 billion spend represents 5.6 per cent of the national budget – for 2.6 per cent of the population.


Tony Abbott in denial on bushfire climate change link

In a radio interview with Neil Mitchell, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that the Head of the UNFCCC, Christiana Figueres, is "talking through her hat" for connecting the NSW bushfires with climate change and that "these fires are certainly not a function of climate change, they are just a function of life in Australia." It seems Mr Abbott is in denial on all the wildfire research done on the increase in fireweather and increase in frequency and intensity in bushfires both in Australia and globally.

Related: Raging Bushfires surround Sydney with early start to Fire season | Mega bushfire feared as State of Emergency declared in NSW | Guardian Australia: Australian prime minister denies 25 years of research linking climate change to bushfires.


Rapid and intense Bushfires destroy 200 Sydney homes while Federal Government continues dismantling climate change policies

Widespread October bushfires in NSW are unusual, but have happened before, such as in 1991. This year there was an Early start to Australian bushfires, record temperatures in early September.

It is now the 7th time this bushfire season a total fire ban has been declared in Sydney. Very Unusual. If the fire weather is this bad so early in the season, it can get worse over the coming months as Summer heats up, especially if we have extreme summer heatwaves similar to 2013.

Update: Sunday 20 October: Premier Barrie O'Farrell has declared A State of Emergency across NSW for 30 days as weather conditions are now forecast to be worse than anticipated. Indefinite Total fire bans, and increased powers for emergency personnel. The State Mine fire in the Blue Mountains has burnt 38,000 hectares and is burning on a broad front from Lithgow to west of Bilpin.


996 Aboriginal deaths by suicide - another shameful Australian record

Gerry Georgatos - courtesy of The Stringer - Australia’s Aboriginal peoples are suiciding at the world’s highest rates. Standalone, racially Aboriginal peoples endure horrific statistics unparalleled by the rest of Australia and more voices are rising to highlight and address what they see as criminal neglect by Australian governments. In collating data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there have been 996 reported Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicides between 2001 to 2010.



Gerry Georgatos - courtesy of The Stringer -

Photo: National Empowerment Project: William ‘Biri’ Duffin (Kuaranda, Qld), Cheviena Hansen (Perth, WA), Angela Ryder (Perth, WA), Dezerae Miller (Northam, WA), Andy Charles (Mildura, Vic), Glenys McGrady (Toomelah, NSW), Terry Brennan (Mildura, Vic) – seated – Vanessa McGuire (Narrogin, WA), Donna Ingram (Sydney, NSW), Adele Cox (Perth/Kimberley, WA), Professor Pat Dudgeon (Perth/Kimberley WA)


Tony Abbott's plan to silence NGO’s

Just a few days in and the Abbott government has announced plans to make green boycotts illegal.

Parliamentary secretary for agriculture Richard Colbeck says he wants to “prevent green groups from holding companies to ransom”

This means environmental groups and community organisations will be gagged if they ask consumers to boycott unethical companies.

Less than a week in Government and Abbott is already showing his true colours – Free speech is under attack.

See the response from The Wilderness Society below.


Abbott Government's first actions: trash climate change education, carbon pricing

On September 7 Australia elected the Liberal National parties - the Coalition - to Federal Government, with Tony Abbott as our new Prime Minister. It is a Government firmly in climate denial, intent on winding back carbon pricing; undermining renewables; and closing down the Climate Commission setup to communicate and engage the public on climate science and its impacts.

Related: Early start to bushfires, record temperatures


How many more suicides will it take?

by Gerry Georgatos of The Stringer, The National Indigenous Times, the National Indigenous Radio Service - September 20th, 2013 - Two years ago, as part of my academic research into the prevalence of suicides in Australia, particularly among Aboriginal youth, to my horror I discovered that Aboriginal youth suicides are tragically at record high levels – that spates of Aboriginal youth suicides are proportionately the world’s highest rates. Aboriginal youth is suiciding at the world’s highest rates.