author: Jeff Sparrow

  • INTERNATIONAL

    Climate crisis spawns clowns not statesmen

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 09 December 2019
    27 Comments

    If the dark days of 1940 provided an opportunity for a chancer and publicity hound like Winston Churchill to emerge as an inspirational leader and reputed giant of the 20th century, why hasn't the catastrophic breakdown of the natural world done something similar for the likes of Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and Scott Morrison?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Class and climate drive Melbourne Cup hostility

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 06 November 2019
    27 Comments

    I can't imagine how anyone could look at the Melbourne Cup and see a vision of the 'fair go'. On the contrary, much hostility to horse racing — this year's Cup attracted the smallest crowd since 1993 — stems from a perception that its rituals celebrate grotesque inequalities.

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  • MEDIA

    Campaigning journos are failing Assange

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 24 October 2019
    7 Comments

    Assange's latest court appearance coincided with the launch of the Right to Know campaign, backed by the major press organisations in Australia as well as the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance. To its immense credit, the MEAA has consistently defended him. But many prominent Australian journalists have not.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    No time to be polite about climate

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 08 October 2019
    20 Comments

    No-one should be fooled: the politicians and commentators who condemn civil disobedience are the same politicians and commentators who attack the UN for passing resolutions on carbon; who tell scientists to get back to the lab when they speak out on politics; who do everything they can to keep climate out of the parliament.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    The 'kettle logic' of climate denial cultists

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 19 September 2019
    13 Comments

    Like the flying saucer people documented in When Prophecy Fails, they don't change their minds based on new material. Rather, the discomfort fresh edvidence causes them results in a renewed proclamation of their denialism, as they double down on that identity. The rhetoric might change but the structure remains the same.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    El Paso shooting and the rise of eco-fascism

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 07 August 2019
    4 Comments

    The widespread despair about climate change, and the seeming inability of progressives to offer a solution, provides fertile soil for ecofascism to grow. In a sense, given the scale of the crisis, their apocalyptic vision of an environmental race war can sound more realistic than the pallid centrist nostrums that everyone knows won't work.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Religious freedom feint has Liberals in knots

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 17 July 2019
    9 Comments

    The conservative base wants religious protection for Christians, but has a long history of vilifying Muslims, who, presumably, could also claim protection from any new law. One struggles to imagine a law that might enable a footballer's right to send homophobic tweets, while enabling courts, parliaments and schools to ban burqas.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The west's fossil fuels problem is strategic, too

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 08 July 2019
    5 Comments

    When discussing climate change, it's easy to depict the world's reliance on fossil fuels as primarily a technological problem, to be resolved by new methods for harnessing renewable energies. But that's only part of the story, as the example of Saudi Arabia shows.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    'Climate emergency' endangers democracy

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 21 June 2019
    7 Comments

    Historically, a declaration of emergency, whether in response to war, civil unrest or natural disaster, allows the state to suppress debate to enable a militarised response to an urgent problem. You can see why that might appeal as a solution to the environmental crisis. But addressing climate change requires more democracy, not less.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What went wrong for Labor on climate

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 20 May 2019
    19 Comments

    Had Labor flatly opposed Adani, it would have been better positioned to sell a different model for the creation of local jobs and security. Instead, the lack of clarity prevented the ALP from articulating a persuasive economic alternative to a mine it wouldn't say definitely was closing.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Reckoning is due after Afghanistan endgame

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 31 January 2019
    18 Comments

    John Howard promised to 'stay the course' in Afghanistan. So too did Tony Abbott, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard. So complete was the political consensus that parliament didn't even debate the Afghan intervention until nine years after it began. Now that there's no longer a course on which to stay, we're due some accountability.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The myth of polarisation in modern Australia

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 10 December 2018
    12 Comments

    Why do so many pundits decry the divisions in Canberra at a time when, objectively speaking, the parties have never been closer? The short answer is that they're responding to a genuine polarisation — not between Labor and Liberal but between both parties and the rest of society.

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