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Working for the Environment

Why work and workers matter in the environmental debate                                                                                                                  

It is not hard to imagine that the world of work is a place of deep ecological impact that will be fundamentally changed by endeavours to green the economy. The implications of climate change for all workers and employers are enormous: the International Labour Organisation (ILO) suggests that 80 per cent of Europe’s CO2 emissions come from industrial production. Thus, the world of work is a critical site of ecological harm and therefore needs to be a site of deep environmentally focused transformation. Continue reading →

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Rebuilding the Public Sphere

For decades there has been concern in social and political theory about ‘the decline of the public sphere’. According to many prominent writers on the issue, an effective role for the public sphere in the exercise of political power is something that we have lost. For Hannah Arendt in her work The human condition (1958), societies in the modern age have lost the experience of politics. Arendt describes this ‘politics’ as the founding and preserving of political bodies that constitute a realm, the public realm, where people can be ‘seen and heard’ trying to find the right words at the right moment, trying to persuade others to agree on a particular course of action, trying to engage in deeds worthy of remembrance. Continue reading →

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World in Transition

The world is rapidly changing around us. It always has done. Change is one thing that is constant.

Although with global warming, rising sea levels, growing inequality, the digital revolution there is force behind the notion that we are living through a period of significant transition – both a time of fear and opportunity.

Transitions happen at a global, community and personal level. They can make the world, societies, the land and environment along with people healthier, happier and more sustainable. Or they can move us towards an ugly society and barren world.

A film festival occurring in Melbourne and Adelaide is dedicated to exploring the idea of transitions in the world through documentaries. Continue reading →

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Queer Liberation: an interview with Dennis Altman

Green Agenda editor Clare Ozich and member of the editorial panel Simon Copland sat down with the academic and gay rights activist Dennis Altman in September 2015. Altman is best known for his pioneering book Homosexual: Oppression and Liberation, released in 1971. He recently released a retrospective of his work,The End of the Homosexual?, in 2013. In this conversation Clare, Simon and Dennis discuss all things queer, with a mix of Australian politics in there as well. Continue reading →

cc licensed Flickr user Tori Rector

Resisting the ‘law of greed’

In 2011 in a small court in Ecuador’s Amazon jungle, a judge ordered the American oil giant Chevron to pay US$9 billion dollars in damages for pollution in the region that was caused by drilling activities in the 1970s and 1980s. The company quickly denounced landmark ruling as illegitimate. More than a year before the final ruling had been issued, Chevron had already taken steps to initiate an investor-state dispute against the Government of Ecuador under the terms of a US-Ecuador bilateral investment treaty (BIT). The company seeks to avoid paying the US$9 billion by convincing an international tribunal that the courts of Ecuador are corrupt and that the government is ultimately responsible for any environmental damage and associated health issues experienced by local residents. Continue reading →

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Democracy resides in participation in organisations

The story of the abolition of the Transatlantic slave trade reads like a modern NGO advocacy campaign. Most of us know of Wilberforce who was its parliamentary spokesperson, but the campaign was much more than Wilberforce. It was the birth of the modern community organising campaign. Continue reading →

Response by Ken Blackman to “No One is Illegal”

A Response: Stagnation and Closed Minds – Australian Refugee Activism Now                  

“No One is Illegal” is a very interesting attempt to move action in support of asylum-seeking forward in Australia. I especially agree with Brankovich’s conclusions about the impasse currently facing the ‘refugee movement’ here. However, her prescription for a divestment movement aimed at corporations benefitting from government refugee / asylum-seeker policy and practice faces real problems. Continue reading →

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No One is Illegal

Negotiating Free Markets, Closed Borders, and Refugee Activism in the Neoliberal Era

Rethinking borders, the state, and human rights

There is a paradox at the heart of the state’s play with, and negotiation of, the meaning ascribed to human rights, border-control and the inflated importance of protection against ‘terrorism’, in the context of a globalised neoliberal world economy. There is a weakening of state authority over controls that enable a free and unencumbered transition of capital across nation-states and continents, across maritime borders, and across artificial custom, ‘border protection’ and quarantine lines. And yet, the borders which people traverse, whilst escaping persecution, torture, or murder have never been stronger, and have never been so intensely policed, surveilled, or encumbered as they are now. Continue reading →

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Art and Activism

Green Agenda is very pleased to be publishing the following speech Alex Kelly gave on 27 June 2015 to the 2970 Degrees conference held on the Gold Coast. 

Radically Re-Imagining the World as our Climate Changes

Good afternoon. It’s an honour to be here at such a dynamic event. And what a pleasure to be in such a beautiful and creative region of the country. Continue reading →