Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Australian Government’s Energy and Military Policies Fuel Deadly Floods

Thousands of Australians have been displaced by massive flooding. The government’s support for fossil capitalism and militarism must be countered by an internationalist, worker-led climate movement.

Samuel Karlin

March 12, 2022
Facebook Twitter Share

Flooding along Australia’s Eastern Coast has killed at least 20 people and displaced thousands. This is an unprecedented disaster which climate experts are referring to as a “rain bomb,” in which Brisbane experienced 80% of its average annual rainfall over the course of just three days. On March 9, Australian prime minister Scott Morrison declared a state of emergency and announced he would fast-track aid to the most devastated areas. This is too little too late from a leader whose policies are causing greater environmental degradation of the country.

Morrison is an outspoken supporter of coal and stood out as one of the few leaders of wealthy countries at the COP26 climate conference to candidly defend coal extraction, saying that the coal industry will be operating in Australia “for decades to come.” Coal is Australia’s largest energy source and the country is the fifth-largest producer and second-largest exporter of coal in the world. Morrison has continued to defend coal even as the country experiences devastating climate disasters like the recent floods and the deadly bushfires of 2019–2020. He has not only supported the coal industry in rhetoric and policy; he has attacked environmental activists and their basic right to protest.

As is always the case with climate disasters, it is the working class and oppressed communities that face the greatest risk of death and displacement. In terms of the threat to oppressed communities, neighboring island nations are particularly hurt by Morrison’s policies. Neighboring Polynessian, Micronesian, and Melanesian islands are already losing vast amounts of land and essential food sources as these islands sink into the rising Pacific Ocean. This crisis for the island nations, home to many Indigenous communities, is made worse by Morrison’s expansion of Australia’s border regime which subjects climate refugees to long-term imprisonment and deadly deterrence practices.

The same week that Australians were being displaced by flooding along the East Coast, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Australian government has plans to further militarize the East Coast by constructing a naval base that could help maintain American nuclear submarines. This itself is an attack on the environment and working-class communities as it takes resources away from climate-resilient infrastructure projects and puts those resources toward bases and military vessels which destroy marine life and further fuel the climate crisis. Morrison recently announced his plan to spend $38 billion on Australia’s military and increase Australia’s number of troops by nearly a third.

While Australia is pursuing its own imperialist ambitions to control the Pacific, these ambitions align neatly with U.S. imperialism’s increasing militarization of the Pacific. As a result, Australia is destroying the environment by expanding its own military and aiding the U.S. military which is one of the largest carbon emitters on the planet. As the United States and Australia place greater emphasis on competing with China for control of the Pacific, escalations of conflict pose an existential threat to working-class and Indigenous communities who face the greatest consequences of military conflict between major powers. After all, these communities are already dying from the escalating power struggle.

Morrison’s support for extractivism and militarism makes clear the need for a climate movement led by the international working-class and oppressed communities that places emphasis on anti-imperialism.

Facebook Twitter Share

Samuel Karlin

Samuel Karlin is a socialist with a background in journalism. He mainly writes for Left Voice about U.S. imperialism and international class struggle.


A hand holds a phone which displays the TikTok Logo

We Don’t Want TikTok Under Control of U.S. Capitalists — Put It Under the Control of its Workers and Users

The U.S. government wants to force the sale of the incredibly popular Chinese social media app. A TikTok owned by U.S. capitalists will only make things worse. We want TikTok under workers' control!

Nathaniel Flakin

April 6, 2024

China’s Rise, ‘Diminished Dependency,’ and Imperialism in Times of World Disorder

In this broad-ranging interview, originally published in LINKS, Trotskyist Fraction member Esteban Mercatante discusses how recent global shifts in processes of capital accumulation have contributed to China’s rise, the new (and old) mechanisms big powers use to plunder the Global South, and its implications for anti-imperialist and working-class struggles today.

Esteban Mercatante

September 22, 2023

Strike for Wages at Chevron-Australia Could Hit 5 Percent of Global Gas Production

Chevron workers in Western Australia are escalating a strike at two of the world's largest gas facilities. They are demanding wage rises and better working conditions.

Arthur Nicola

September 14, 2023

The Roots of the Rebellion at Foxconn

Jenny Chan is a researcher and professor at the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong. She is co-author of the book Dying for an iPhone. She spoke with La Izquerda Diario about the causes of the rebellion by workers at the Foxconn plant in Zhengzhou, China.

Josefina L. Martínez

December 7, 2022


Why Won’t PSC-CUNY Stand with Palestine Now?

While other higher education unions are going on strike in defense of their workers and against the genocide in Gaza, the bureaucratic leadership of PSC-CUNY just crushed a resolution calling on the university to divest from Israel and to drop the charges against Palestinian activists arrested on April 30. 

James Dennis Hoff

May 24, 2024

Attack on Pro-Palestinian Protestors at UMich Latest Example of Democrats Defending Israel’s Genocide in Gaza

Capitalist apologists from the Democratic Party have chosen their business partners in Israel’s far-right government over Palestinian lives. In Ann Arbor, those same so-called “progressive” Democrats decided to bring felony charges against protestors earlier this week, encouraging harsh police violence against the University of Michigan encampment.

Ryan McCarty

May 24, 2024
Activists in Detroit speaking at a press conference condemning repression of the pro-Palestine movement on May 20, 2024.

Detroit Activists Hold Press Conference to Condemn Repression of Pro-Palestine Protesters

Detroit Will Breathe organized a press conference to discuss the police violence and repression against pro-Palestine protesters. The movement must stand in solidarity and unite to combat the increase of repression.

Kyle Thibodeau

May 23, 2024
A sign for the University of California at Santa Cruz with a line of UAW signs in front of it

Dispatch from Day One of the UC Santa Cruz Picket Line for Palestine

Left Voice member and City University of New York worker Olivia traveled to Santa Cruz for UAW 4811’s historic strike to talk to workers. This is her dispatch from the first day of the strike.

Olivia Wood

May 22, 2024