Monday, October 27, 2008

it's the end of the end of history!

bring on the regulators! - link to the 'the end of the end of history' set on flickrSo, Alan Greenspan has admitted he was wrong.

But why stop there?

Bush and Cheney are wrong. Tony Blair was wrong. John Howard was wrong. Ronald Reagan was wrong. Francis Fukuyama was wrong. Margaret Thatcher was wrong. Milton Friedman was wrong. Ayn Rand was wrong. Friedrich Hayek was wrong.

The entire neoliberal program is melting down around us, and taking our prosperity with it.

But the economic collapse is nothing!

The damage this noxious coterie and their toxic theory have wrought on our environment is literally catastrophic, and we've barely even to begun to see the deadly fruits of their labours.

What this planet now needs is leaders who aren't crippled by the paradigm that has dominated western thought since the 70s.

We need far-sighted regulators. To stabilise our economies and get them working for the benefit of the whole community again, not just making the ultrarich ultraricher.

And to ensure our economies don't continue to systematically wreck the very living systems without which neither they nor we can conceivably exist.

it's the end of the end of history - link to the set on flickrBill Clinton's famous line needs one simple - but profound - modification for our times: It's the (mixed) economy, stupid!

With banks and the finance sector being frantically nationalised (or renationalised!) across the globe, and with major industries looking set to follow suit, turbo-capitalism has reached its "Fall of the Berlin Wall" moment. Less than 20 years after hubristically proclaiming its ultimate triumph!

Neolberalism is as dead as Communism, and the sooner we face up to that the better we'll be able to rebuild our lives. And our planet!

the starbucks theory

There's a notion doing the rounds that the more Starbucks a country has, the more it's reeling in midst of the economic meltdown. Because the more Starbucks a country has, the more it's swallowed the globalised neoliberal agenda, and the more it gets sucked under into the vortex created by CEOs, CDOs, and CFDs!

I'd go further, and argue instead that the more commentators a country had profoundly pontificating over Fukuyama's famously risible notion of 'the end of history' the more it's in trouble right now!

We've just reached the end of the end of history - and it's a scary place to be. But there are opportunities, too.

The 'sophisticated' west has functioned as an effective one party state blinded by a triumphalist, utopian 'free market' ideology for the last 3 decades. As a result there is a tremendous dearth of both ideas and leaders actually capable of properly conceiving, let alone dealing with, either the economic, or the (much more serious) environmental, crisis.

Notably it's the 'backward' South American nations that are now showing us the way. Only by restoring government to it's proper function - securing the livelihoods of populations and the natural systems they depend on - will we emerge from this morass...

Government must once again intervene to ensure that markets bring about a sustainable prosperity for all citizens. Deregulation and privatisation of key strategic services and industries has been trialled for 30 years and has failed miserably. Enough is enough. Wherever it makes sense to rigorously reregulate or renationalise governments must not be afraid to do so.

The corporate press and its 'insider' journalists and commentators - who did so much to sell us all this noxious package of ideas - may disapprove, but they are now only the relic mouthpieces of a moribund system.

It's whats genuinely good for people - that's all the people, not just the executives - and the planet that counts.

We have a lot of work to do - and so very little time in which to do it! Wasting more time attempting to revive palpably failed notions - for neoliberalism has been the real political correctness of the modern era - is simply a route to more disaster...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

mark parnell calls for complete exploration ban at arkaroola

euro at a waterhole in the mawson plateau section of arkaroola  - link to my 'Arkaroola Sanctuary - would U mine it?' set on flickrGreens member of the State Legislative Council (upper house) Mark Parnell has just issued a press release calling on the state government to halt any return by Marathon Resources to exploration activities of any type in the Arkaroola sanctuary.

Mark has also introduced a bill into parliament designed specifically to ban mining in the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary (with minor excisions on the eastern margin allowing for Alliance's Beverley 4-mile project).

The company is still suspended from drilling, and any other 'invasive' activities, pending its approved clean-up program - which has not actually begun as yet! (You will probably remember the controversy surrounding finding a dump willing to accept the waste.) Yet the company has announced a gravity survey in Arkaroola commencing today -

Work at Marathon continues on all non-drilling parts of our exploration activities and we are pleased to announce that the Company will tomorrow commence a gravity survey program at our Mt Gee uranium deposit in South Australia.

As mentioned in our resource upgrade announcement released in September, we believe there is potential for further mineralisation in the region of the Mt Gee deposit in EL3258 and this gravity survey will add to the evidence base of the uranium resource.

As announced in August, our Rectification Plan for the clean up at Mt Gee has been approved and we are awaiting instructions from PIRSA on a commencement date.

MARATHON RESOURCES Update to Shareholders 22-10-08

The company issued this statement in the light of a recent collapse in their share price which has seen the stock fall to a low of 21.5c - down from a historic high of $6.98 and a high of $3.28 in the last 12 months. The company puts this down to 'external market volatility'.

So, we're to understand that this year's persistently negative publicity surrounding the unauthorised waste dumping and still-pending clean-up has nothing to do with it, then?

Mark's press release -

Greens MLC Mark Parnell says Marathon must not be allowed to resume exploration of any kind in the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary.

The call comes as Marathon has announced it will start more non-drilling exploration in the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary from today, despite not even commencing rehabilitation of their old dump sites.

“How can Marathon be let back in to do more damage when they haven’t even started cleaning up their old mess?” asked Greens MLC Mark Parnell.

“As any parent knows: allowing more mess to be created before old mess is cleaned up is a recipe for disaster.

“The whole mining industry is watching the Government’s response to Marathon extremely closely. So far, all they are seeing is minor consequences for major breaches of environmental standards. To blithely continue exploration before completing any sort of basic clean up of past mistakes shows this company has still not realised how wrong their previous actions were,” he said.

Mark Parnell has introduced a Bill into State Parliament to ban all mining activity in the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary. Cross-party support for such a ban is growing with prominent Liberals including Senator Nick Minchin and Iain Evans vocal in their opposition to mining in Arkaroola.

“Marathon behaved appallingly, were caught out and now the Government must show them the door for good. They must not be allowed to re-commence exploration of any kind.

“It’s time, once and for all, for the majestic and magnificent Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary to be preserved for future generations without risk of future damage from mining cowboys,” he said.