Archive for June 14, 2015


gbreef

excerpt from The Tree:

Two reports have undermined the Abbott Government’s rosy claims about the health of Australia’s World Heritage Great Barrier Reef. TheQueensland Auditor-General has released a scathing report on government efforts to improve the reef’s water quality, finding efforts to cut coral-killing runoff have been ineffective, and that information lacked transparency and misleading. A second report, by the Environmental Justice Australia and the US-based Earthjustice, has also found that the Reef’s current state meets as many as six of the eight criteria UNESCO uses in its “in danger” assessments. UNESCO only needs one for an “in danger” listing. Water quality and sediment issues are having a severe impact on the reef, but despite having knowledge of a report contradicting the government’s exaggerated claims of progress tackling these issues for several weeks, Environment Minister Greg Hunt pushed a misleading “report card” to UNESCO.

This move, part of a $218,000 lobbying effort detailed in documents obtained under FOI, resulted in a draft ruling not to list the natural icon as “in danger”, allowing massive coal projects to go ahead –assuming they don’t fall over economically first. The Federal government’s lobbying strategy may have avoided a negative listing for now, but UNESCO’s verdict was still not positive. The future of the reef and the $5 billion it contributes to the economy annually remains under serious threat if Australia keeps trying to export dirty coal to the world. Tourism operators are already being warned to stop using picturesque underwater photos of bright pink and yellow coral, as the reality is declining water quality is now so poor in places tourists cannot swim or snorkel…

inthesetimes

TOP STORIES THIS WEEK

President Obama insists there’s “nothing secret” about the massive trade deal–yet we aren’t allowed to know anything that’s in it.

BY JOEL BLEIFUSS

 

What happens in Baltimore isn’t going to stay in Baltimore.

BY MARTHA BIONDI

 

The movements of the 1960s challenged the Leave It to Beaver values of American life, producing the culture wars. But those wars are now finished.

BY MICAH UETRICHT

The human tragedies The Water Knife chronicles are already happening today; they’re just not happening to us–yet.

BY JESSICA STITES

Bernie Sanders Isn’t a Crackpot–He Favors Policies the Majority of Americans Want

Despite what corporate Democrats and the Bernie-bashing mainstream media might tell you, Main Street America favors left-leaning policies.

BY BILL MOYERS AND MICHAEL WINSHIP

The most formidable challenger for Jeb Bush is his own brother’s legacy.

BY SUSAN J. DOUGLAS

The public and even Congress are acting against mass surveillance. When will President Obama get the memo?

BY DAVID SIROTA

 

May’s elections delivered the familiar thud of disappointment.

BY JANE MILLER

 

The austerity-on-steroids measures currently taking place in Michigan may soon be coming to a state near you.

BY LAURA GOTTESDIENER

 

The economists called their letter a “plea for economic sanity and humanity.”

BY MARTIN DE BOURMONT

WORKING IN THESE TIMES

With Thousands Marching in the Streets, Chicago Teachers Union Declares ‘This Means War!’

After a successful citywide strike three years ago, the Chicago Teachers union is not giving an inch.

BY MARTIN DE BOURMONT

RURAL AMERICA

A war is underway between local farmers who support organic practices and want to ban GMOs, and the National Grange, which backs industrial agro-giants like Monsanto.

BY JOHN COLLINS
%d bloggers like this: