26 February 2016

International climate solidarity is more than plane fares and conferences

By Nic Maclellan

For much of the Australian climate movement, international solidarity has focused on travelling to the UNFCCC Conferences of the Parties (COPs), or financing delegates from indigenous communities and the Asia-Pacific region to participate in global summits.

I want to suggest that there are other practical ways that we can work with our counterparts in the Pacific islands region, without just focusing on the COPs.

With the Paris agreement creating the framework for action for the next decade, there will be increasing focus by Pacific Island Countries (PICs) on implementation, and on forcing OECD countries to meet their pledges. This will see increased pressure on Australia through the Pacific Islands Forum.

08 February 2016

Global warming linked to spread of zika virus

Countries Where The Zika Virus Is Spreading. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Pan American Health Organization
Scientists believe that record average temperatures may be helping to create an environment that has led to big increases in the number of disease-carrying mosquitoes.

By Jan Rocha, Climate News Network

The Zika virus, transmitted by the same mosquito as dengue fever, has spread with alarming speed throughout South and Central America – and scientists in Brazil suspect that global warming is exacerbating the problem.

Although the virus, named after the Ugandan forest where it was first identified, usually causes only mild symptoms and often passes undetected, it has been associated with a surge in the number of cases of babies born with microcephaly, which can cause brain damage.

04 February 2016

Building common cause for social movement events

By David Spratt and David McKnight

Mass rallies, marches and protests have been and are a vital feature of social, liberation and democratic movements around the world: campaigning against injustice, exploitation and destruction and for fairness, democracy and conservation. The mass events organised by social movements are a public expression of common purpose and people power, helping to foster alliances, tell the stories of struggle, and demand change at important moments.

They are not just an event in time, but an expression of the political and organisation unity so far achieved, and a vehicle for extending that work. Coalition building is central to building powerful movements. Alliances between unions, religious and community groups, health and other professionals as well as environmental and climate groups are vital.