Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein trav­els across Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea, the United States, Britain, Greece, and Australia to witness the reality of disaster capitalism. He discovers how companies such as G4S, Serco, and Halliburton cash in on or­ganized misery in a hidden world of privatized detention centers, militarized private security, aid profiteering, and destructive mining.

Disaster has become big business. Talking to immigrants stuck in limbo in Britain or visiting immigration centers in America, Loewenstein maps the secret networks formed to help cor­porations bleed what profits they can from economic crisis. He debates with Western contractors in Afghanistan, meets the locals in post-earthquake Haiti, and in Greece finds a country at the mercy of vulture profiteers. In Papua New Guinea, he sees a local commu­nity forced to rebel against predatory resource companies and NGOs.

What emerges through Loewenstein’s re­porting is a dark history of multinational corpo­rations that, with the aid of media and political elites, have grown more powerful than national governments. In the twenty-first century, the vulnerable have become the world’s most valu­able commodity. Disaster Capitalism is published by Verso in 2015 and in paperback in January 2017.

Profits_of_doom_cover_350Vulture capitalism has seen the corporation become more powerful than the state, and yet its work is often done by stealth, supported by political and media elites. The result is privatised wars and outsourced detention centres, mining companies pillaging precious land in developing countries and struggling nations invaded by NGOs and the corporate dollar. Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein travels to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea and across Australia to witness the reality of this largely hidden world of privatised detention centres, outsourced aid, destructive resource wars and militarized private security. Who is involved and why? Can it be stopped? What are the alternatives in a globalised world? Profits of Doom, published in 2013 and released in an updated edition in 2014, challenges the fundamentals of our unsustainable way of life and the money-making imperatives driving it. It is released in an updated edition in 2014.
forgodssakecover Four Australian thinkers come together to ask and answer the big questions, such as: What is the nature of the universe? Doesn't religion cause most of the conflict in the world? And Where do we find hope?   We are introduced to different belief systems – Judaism, Christianity, Islam – and to the argument that atheism, like organised religion, has its own compelling logic. And we gain insight into the life events that led each author to their current position.   Jane Caro flirted briefly with spiritual belief, inspired by 19th century literary heroines such as Elizabeth Gaskell and the Bronte sisters. Antony Loewenstein is proudly culturally, yet unconventionally, Jewish. Simon Smart is firmly and resolutely a Christian, but one who has had some of his most profound spiritual moments while surfing. Rachel Woodlock grew up in the alternative embrace of Baha'i belief but became entranced by its older parent religion, Islam.   Provocative, informative and passionately argued, For God's Sakepublished in 2013, encourages us to accept religious differences, but to also challenge more vigorously the beliefs that create discord.  
After Zionism, published in 2012 and 2013 with co-editor Ahmed Moor, brings together some of the world s leading thinkers on the Middle East question to dissect the century-long conflict between Zionism and the Palestinians, and to explore possible forms of a one-state solution. Time has run out for the two-state solution because of the unending and permanent Jewish colonization of Palestinian land. Although deep mistrust exists on both sides of the conflict, growing numbers of Palestinians and Israelis, Jews and Arabs are working together to forge a different, unified future. Progressive and realist ideas are at last gaining a foothold in the discourse, while those influenced by the colonial era have been discredited or abandoned. Whatever the political solution may be, Palestinian and Israeli lives are intertwined, enmeshed, irrevocably. This daring and timely collection includes essays by Omar Barghouti, Jonathan Cook, Joseph Dana, Jeremiah Haber, Jeff Halper, Ghada Karmi, Antony Loewenstein, Saree Makdisi, John Mearsheimer, Ahmed Moor, Ilan Pappe, Sara Roy and Phil Weiss.
The 2008 financial crisis opened the door for a bold, progressive social movement. But despite widespread revulsion at economic inequity and political opportunism, after the crash very little has changed. Has the Left failed? What agenda should progressives pursue? And what alternatives do they dare to imagine? Left Turn, published by Melbourne University Press in 2012 and co-edited with Jeff Sparrow, is aimed at the many Australians disillusioned with the political process. It includes passionate and challenging contributions by a diverse range of writers, thinkers and politicians, from Larissa Berendht and Christos Tsiolkas to Guy Rundle and Lee Rhiannon. These essays offer perspectives largely excluded from the mainstream. They offer possibilities for resistance and for a renewed struggle for change.
The Blogging Revolution, released by Melbourne University Press in 2008, is a colourful and revelatory account of bloggers around the globe why live and write under repressive regimes - many of them risking their lives in doing so. Antony Loewenstein's travels take him to private parties in Iran and Egypt, internet cafes in Saudi Arabia and Damascus, to the homes of Cuban dissidents and into newspaper offices in Beijing, where he discovers the ways in which the internet is threatening the ruld of governments. Through first-hand investigations, he reveals the complicity of Western multinationals in assisting the restriction of information in these countries and how bloggers are leading the charge for change. The blogging revolution is a superb examination about the nature of repression in the twenty-first century and the power of brave individuals to overcome it. It was released in an updated edition in 2011, post the Arab revolutions, and an updated Indian print version in 2011.
The best-selling book on the Israel/Palestine conflict, My Israel Question - on Jewish identity, the Zionist lobby, reporting from Palestine and future Middle East directions - was released by Melbourne University Press in 2006. A new, updated edition was released in 2007 (and reprinted again in 2008). The book was short-listed for the 2007 NSW Premier's Literary Award. Another fully updated, third edition was published in 2009. It was released in all e-book formats in 2011. An updated and translated edition was published in Arabic in 2012.

Who hides behind the sceptics?

Mother Jones has tallied some 40 ExxonMobil-funded organizations that either have sought to undermine US mainstream scientific findings on global climate change or have maintained affiliations with a small group of “skeptic” scientists who continue to do so. Beyond think tanks, the count also includes quasi-journalistic outlets like Tech CentralStation.com (a website providing “news, analysis, research, and commentary” that received $95,000 from ExxonMobil in 2003), a FoxNews.com columnist, and even religious and civil rights groups. In total, these organizations received more than $8 million between 2000 and 2003.”

So begins a timely report from this classy American magazine. Here in Australia we are constantly bombarded by Green scepticism dressed up as reasoned debate. This anti-Green hysteria is defeated by mountains of fact but the self-appointed conservative commentators create a left-wing conspiracy and routinely dismiss the evidence. Much easier to laugh at environmental damage than actually examine the facts.

As Mother Jones discovers, the political and financial affiliations of these sceptics should always be considered and investigated. Besides, ever wondered why virtually all Green-sceptics hang onto every word of the genre’s master, Bjorn Lomborg? Professor Ian Lowe, emeritus professor of science, technology and society at Griffith University, explains the true reasons behind his following:

“Propaganda units like the Institute of Public Affairs fund the travel of people like Lomborg to muddy the water and obscure the harsh reality that we are not using our natural resources sustainably. The facts show that we desperately need a new approach. Trusting business and the magic of markets has caused the problem; it cannot solve it, even in principle.”

UPDATE: The UK Independent provided a useful summary yesterday of why the environment should feature prominently in the current election campaign and beyond. We should take note:

10 of the hottest years in the world on record have occurred since 1990

3.5C predicted rise in average UK temperature by 2080. For every one degree rise, Spring advances six days

1.5 per cent rise in UK carbon dioxide emissions in 2004

In its 2001 manifesto, Labour reaffirmed its pledge to cut greenhouse emissions by 20 per cent from 1990 levels, by 2010. They are currently 12.6 per cent lower than in 1990

8.6 months is the estimated reduction in lifespan of average European due to pollution

434,000,000 tons of waste is produced in Britain each year – enough to fill the Albert Hall every two hours

50cm average distance between pieces of litter on UK beaches. Levels of rubbish on beaches have increased 82 per cent in a decade

Rubbish is dumped illegally in UK every 35 secs

22m tons of rubbish from British homes sent to landfill sites every year

10 species of wild flower are believed to be disappearing from each county in Britain each decade

21 native flowering plants have disappeared from Britain in the past 150 years

50 per cent fall in the population of birds living in agricultural fields since 1970 (with tree sparrows down by 87 per cent )

95 per cent of our important, wildlife-rich lowland peat bogs have been destroyed in the past half century

97 per cent of our flower-rich lowland grasslands have disappeared since 1930

17 per cent of household waste was recycled last year. The target is 35 per cent by 2015

19 per cent of municipal waste recycled last year

50 per cent of household and municipal waste is recycled in Austria, Germany and the Netherlands

97m passengers flew between the UK and the rest of Europe in 2003 – almost double the 51m in 1993

32.26m vehicles were on Britain’s roads last year, a rise of 3.2 per cent on 2003

100 tons of CO2 will be released by each of the main party’s helicopters during the campaign, say the Greens

2 comments ↪
  • Jozef Imrich, Esq.

    Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last fish has been caught, only after the last river has been poisoned, only then will you realize that money cannot be eaten.- Cree Saying

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Jozef, such true words. Caught between the loud huffing and puffing of the Green-sceptics lies a daming reality – we, as humans, surely havn't done this to our world. Rather like the denial that Australians could ever have killed, massacred and destroyed the Aboriginal people. Why such faith in humanity when the facts speak for themselves?Let's hope our children have more sense than us….