Thursday, January 27, 2022

Big Business Backed "Let It Rip" Covid-19 Policy A Disaster For Working People

Written by: Ned K. on 27 January 2022

In November 2021 big business cranked up its demands on federal and state governments to "open up" interstate and international borders and to lift so-called "restrictions" such as social distancing, mask wearing, limits on number of people at indoor events and hospitality venues.

The federal government and state governments obliged to varying degrees with the NSW Government the most subservient to big business demands. The only government to hold the line was the WA Labor Government due to pressure from the people and the fragility of its hospital system.

The Morrison Government line was that people wanted government "out of their lives" so they could enjoy Christmas and New Year period and that people just had to "get used to Covid 19" which Morrison said was pretty well done and dusted as a serious health threat.

From late November the "let it rip" policy was in full swing. Within a week though public health authorities in one State after the other warned that the new Covid Omicron strain was spreading very quickly, despite being less severe than the previously dominant Delta strain.

Every night on the TV News, the number of cases of people with Covid 19 and the number of hospitalisations and deaths from Covid-19 escalated.

The impact on workers was severe. Christmas and New Year turned in to the opposite of what Morrison and his corporate bosses had promised. Families remained apart due to positive cases and others being close contacts of positive cases of Covid-19. Capitalism's supply chains started to fall apart as workers had to isolate due to the impact of the virus. Some small and medium sized businesses closed down altogether due to the spread of the virus. The get-used-to-living-with-Covid-19 line of big business and governments in order to increase profits was turning in to its opposite for small businesses in particular.

A good example of this occurring hit the daily media cycle in South Australia. Both the city and regional media reported that social events at a seaside hotel and restaurant at historic Robe in the South East of the State on New Year's Eve and the following weekend had become super spreader Covid-19 events. The number of cases jumped from a handful in early December to over 200 in a town whose population swelled from 2,000 to 15,000 in the holiday season. Most small businesses in the town either closed or were on restricted hours due to lack of available workers,

The largest hospitality venue that caused the outbreak in the first place was reported to have made $150,000 profit on the two nights when all the Covid-19 safety protections such as mask wearing and social distancing were ignored as the hotel owner was counting dollars coming in, not the number of potential Covid cases. The daily media reported that the impact of the spread of the virus due to the irresponsibility of the hotel owner so upset local people that the SA Health authorities were forced to step in and provide a Covid testing station and fined the hotel owner $5,000. Locals said that the owner shrugged off the $5,000 fine as chicken feed compared with the $150,000 profit from the two nights.

This small incident in a small seaside town in the small state of SA was a microcosm of the impact of the "let it rip" policies that impacted adversely people in all States, including to a lesser extent in WA. What happened in SA showed the class nature of the impact of Covid-19 and government policies with workers and small businesses, the elderly and people with disabilities being worst affected.

It was later reported that in SA, the Liberal Government Premier and the Police Commissioner (who some say ran the State, not the Premier and his government) disregarded the health advice of the Chief Medical Officer Nicola Spurrier. She wanted the SA Government to close the interstate again in November until the medical people knew more about the Omicron strain. However, in the name of profits over Christmas first for business, her advice was ignored. This is a commonly known fact now. It may well come back to bite the Marshall and Morrison Governments when they face election day in March and May respectively.

People seem to have no illusions that Labor Governments will be much better, but people still delight in kicking out governments that clearly serve the interests of the rich few.


Monday, January 24, 2022

Mourning, invasion, survival: January 26 on the Tent Embassy’s 50th anniversary


Written by: Central Committee, CPA (M-L) on 25 January 2022

Since British invasion, First Peoples have asserted in struggle that the land is theirs and that they WILL be in charge of their own affairs. As an ally in First Peoples’ anti-colonialist struggles, we follow their lead.

The invaders say to First Peoples, “You are not who you say you are. You don’t belong here. This is not your land. You must be like us.”
“For First Peoples, decolonisation reaffirms who they are and where they belong. It places them in their Country. It affirms their identity” .

Generations of Resistance

Divide and conquer has been a named strategy of invaders for nearly two and a half thousand years.  

The invaders say to First Peoples, “We are too powerful. Take the scraps we offer, or we will crush you and destroy your children.” 

In these lands it began with the kidnapping of Arabanoo and then Bennelong and others, to win them to the British side. Arabanoo instead died of the invader’s smallpox, after caring for his own and other clan members. Bennelong eventually turned his back on the British, and died respected among his People, counting an ex-convict as his dear friend.

But those who were able, refused the British “offer”. Using guerrilla tactics, their war of resistance spread across the continent and islands, lasting 150 years.

On 26 January 1938, when the blood from the last massacre was barely dry, a small group of leaders announced the Day of Mourning. It reverberated through the lands. 

Struggles small and large, too numerous to name, show Peoples who refuse to bow to invaders. 

On 26 January 1972, four young men travelled from Redfern, home of tens of thousands of First Peoples, to the heart of capitalism’s deception machine, Parliament House, bringing to life the Tent Embassy on its lawns. 

They spoke of an invasion, that treated them like outcasts in their own land. Invasion Day gave a name, a name of truth.

The Embassy remains a symbol of Aboriginal unity in struggle.

In 1988, First Peoples from every corner of this land converged in Redfern, and marched to Sydney, the first point of invasion. 

They announced, “We have survived.” 

The invaders had tried to wipe away all traces of First Peoples. Survival Day announced that the invaders had failed, that they would never succeed.  

So, we mark a Day of Mourning, of Invasion, and of Survival on January 26

It is a day of struggle for hope against the ongoing genocide of mining and gas exploitation, of land theft, of stolen children and incarceration, of welfare cards and Intervention, suicide, homelessness and overcrowding. 

First Peoples will defend this legacy of hope from any who try to claim it.  

Common enemies

We have common enemies. 

First, the colonial remnants of the injustice system, the state apparatus of laws from Constitution down, police, courts, jails. The meaningless lines across the maps of the former colonies now states, the governors and governors general, the federal and state parliaments. 

Second, US imperialism and the Business Council of Australia. 

US imperialism is built from monopolising capital and stolen mega trillions, using war as a weapon. It holds state power in Australia through economic, cultural, political and military dominance. 

The BCA tries to unite corporate rule, learning to co-opt and divide and assimilate individuals rather than always fighting First Peoples head on. These invaders want what they wanted since 1788 – all First Peoples’ lands and waters, and everything in and on them.

We take hope and strength from the outcome of the bitter 12-year struggle against FMG and Twiggy Forrest in Pilbara, that sliced Yindjibarndi People into two warring camps. Yindjibarndi met together to find common ground and a way forward in 2021 to negotiate with FMG rather than accept the scraps it threw. (See: Title Fight: How the Yindjibarndi Battled and Defeated a Mining Giant by Paul Cleary)

We have confidence in the tenacity and determination of First Peoples and the working class, their key ally, to overcome differences and continue to lead struggle for unity against invaders, colonialism and imperialism. 

We work for a day when those who rape and pillage these Lands and Waters are jailed, and First Peoples walk free, when reparations are paid and true reconciliation made.

These lands will be independent from foreign rule and serving all Peoples through a society that unites around collective interests in socialism. 

United we stand. On Aboriginal Lands. 

Always was. Always will be.

Crimes Against Nature

 Written by: Duncan B. on 18 January 2021

 Crimes Against Nature. Capitalism and Global Heating (Scribe Publications $30) by Australian writer, journalist and broadcaster Jeff Sparrow joins other books reviewed recently in Vanguard such as Sold Down the River and Wounded Country in exposing the damage inflicted on the environment by capitalism.

In the introduction Sparrow says, “This book presents a dozen interconnected essays offering a polemical indictment of capitalism’s role in the climate emergency.” 

His topics include the colonisation of the Americas, the birth of America’s car culture and the reaction of the tobacco industry, Big Oil and the plastics industry when their activities were exposed. Other topics include the growth of consumer culture, the care that Native Americans and Australians took for their environment, and the industrial revolution.

Sparrow refutes the theories put around by capitalism and its apologists that we are somehow all responsible for global warming and the environmental crisis, that they are an inevitable result of consumer society.

He says, “There’s another history - a true history - that doesn’t defame ordinary people, one in which the villain isn’t humanity per se so much as a particular set of social and political structures that didn’t exist in the past and needn’t exist in the future."

Sparrow quotes a statistic from a recent Oxfam report that says that the twenty-six richest billionaires own as many assets as the 3.8 billion people comprising the poorest half of the planet’s population. We see a world where billionaires can spend billions of dollars launching themselves into space while many countries experience famine and disease. 

He says that each year the world spends over $1,900 billion on armaments and $325 billion on advertising. Industrialised nations also waste $680 billion each year on food. Imagine what could be achieved if all this money was directed to saving the environment.

Sparrow also exposes the Malthusian ideas that were popular in the 1960’s and 70’s which blamed over-population for environmental problems. These ideas were reflected in books such as The Population BombThe Limits to Growth and the Zero Population Growth movement. He points out the racism inherent in these ideas. It was poor coloured people whose numbers needed to be reduced, not well-off whites.

Sparrow says, “Capitalism will kill the planet. It must be replaced. That sounds daunting. It is daunting-and it would be foolish to pretend otherwise. Nevertheless there are reasons for hope.” He sees the working class as the major force in stopping capitalism from destroying the planet. We wholeheartedly support these views!

Crimes Against Nature is another must-read book for all Vanguard readers.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Spooks! And gearing up for war


Written by: (Contributed) on 13 January 2022

A major statement about Australia's intelligence services and the division between analysis, action and bureaucratic functions in the corridors of power has revealed problems arising with the rise of Chinese social-imperialism as a serious competitor to traditional US hegemonic positions. (1) 

The statement, however, can best be viewed as sadly deficient in two fundamental ways: it completely overlooks Australia's relationship with the US and the significance of the so-called 'alliance'; it provides no evidence of any understanding of the nature of the present US-led Cold War in relation to the previous one.

Changes to Australia's intelligence services appear an agenda item in Canberra; it was noted they 'may need to be seriously tweaked to demand a more sophisticated national security set-up to handle our current and future strategic environment'. (2) It was not idle pontification; the statement was prepared by a senior government official who introduced himself as 'a generator and user of intelligence'. (3)

Concerns have apparently arisen with the relationship between accurate intelligence assessments and 'what our plan or strategy should be'. (4) It was suggested that those employed with national security required a 'multi-disciplinary office … through a staff of perhaps 20 or 30 of the nation's brightest … to … produce options for the prime minister'. (5) The options, however, would appear, in practical terms, very limited.

At no time in the massive three column article was Australia's relationship with the US even raised, leading readers to conclude it was not a factor. Perhaps senior figures in Canberra did not want to draw attention to the role of the US; chicanery and subterfuge, it should be noted, have a long history in the 'intelligence community'. Elsewhere, however, information in the public domain has already provided ample evidence that the US are senior partners with intelligence considerations.

A recent media release about the new Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA) between Australia and Japan, for example, drew attention to Canberra and Tokyo being the two regional hubs linked directly to a team of 'China watchers' and spooks who reside in the West Wing of the White House and 'work with allies and partners to create external constraint on China'. (6) There would appear little question about the nature of power relations in the diplomatic relationship between the three major players: it was noted, for example, it was 'a coalition designed to blunt Beijing's desire to dominate Asia … whereby … the US must play the role of cornerstone of this coalition'. (7)

Moves to upgrade Australia's intelligence system have also been accompanied by the Kishida administration in Tokyo to begin similar moves, revealing a co-ordinated approach. The Japanese government 'will upgrade all three fundamental security policy documents – the National Defence Program Guidelines, the Mid-Term Defence Plan and the National Security Strategy'. (8) There would appear little doubt that the US remains the dominant partner in the three-way diplomacy; their major concern would appear the very real prospect of China displacing the US before the end of the decade as the world's biggest economy. A major part of China's good fortune will be its ability to 'dominate Asia without fighting a massive war'. (9)

At no time in the recent intelligence statement from Canberra, however, was any time taken to explain the nature of the supposed threat by China to US-led positions using contemporary history narrative. The previous Cold War against the former Soviet Union was largely waged against what had been assessed as a geo-strategic threat with defence and security considerations. Soviet foreign policy was largely conducted through sympathetic governments and movements which identified ideologically with the Soviet system. Trade, with western countries, was rarely, if ever, an agenda item; the Soviet Union traded largely through Comecon countries and the Socialist bloc. China's trade relations, by contrast, are conducted in a globalised world economy, largely through economies previously dominated by US-led diplomacy.

A recent study has shown quite simply how China has been able to enter US-led trading blocs and increase its regional influence through mutually beneficial trade across the wider Indo-Pacific region. (10) And despite problems arising with the present Cold War, Australia's trade relations with China continue to get stronger; latest trade statistics show exports to China rose 24 per cent in the year to November, imports rose by 8.3 per cent. (11) During the same period Australian exports to Japan, the second trading partner, were less than half of those to China, and in long-term decline for nearly twenty years. (12)

(Above: China's view of the tank purchase, with Morrison spouting the Nazi command "Tanks, forward!")

The US and their allies, however, continue to equate the trade relations in a wider context of military and security considerations. In the same week the trade statistics were released, an announcement from Canberra confirmed Australia will purchase 127 army tanks from the US at a cost of $3.5 billion.  They include: 75 MIA2 Abrams tanks, 29 M1150 assault breacher vehicles, 17 joint assault bridge vehicles and six armoured recovery vehicles. (13) Despite the claim the tanks boosted 'Australian sovereign defence capabilities', interoperability with the US in command control, communications, computers and intelligence systems was also noted, and partly justified because 'vehicles were vital for Australia's ability to integrate with coalition forces'. (14) Others within the military were not so pleased, “with some national security experts arguing that heavy armoured vehicles would not be needed in a maritime and air conflict with a major power such as China. Australia has not deployed a tank in combat since the Vietnam War.” (15)

The spooks are, in reality, faced with an intelligence dilemma of which there are very few, if any, credible options for planning and strategy to deal with China's economic, and globalised, position. The economic line of de-regulation, privatisation and liberalisation pushed by international financial institutions controlled by the US for decades, has proved counter-productive and has begun to unravel; they appear to have not even considered the basic factors of production at the onset. Their policies opened economies to increased levels of foreign trade, China stepped in. Its ready access to large amounts of capital and almost unlimited access to labour were decisive factors.

While the myriad of US agendas, was indeed murky, a well-placed source with high level connections in Westminster, has perhaps thrown light on intelligence considerations and related assessments during the period of the Sino-Soviet split. A confidential briefing, in the late 1970s, for example, noted, 'go a bit carefully on the Chinese. The South Africans are too inclined to lump them in with the Russians. The day may come when we need the Chinese … it's what the politicians call a realistic policy'. (16)  

It is also interesting to note that there is no reference in Spycatcher by Peter Wright of any official interest in China or the Chinese by the British intelligence services, despite the strategic significance of Hong Kong. (17) The demise of the Soviet Union and rise of China has, however, established a new dynamic; China is now regarded as an adversary.

The present US-led position is, therefore, a dangerous line: as China continues to increase its regional economic influence, the US imperialists are likely to consider and eventually opt for 'real war scenarios' in order to deal with the serious challenge to their position. The US-led option to leave a trail of damage and destruction across economic systems in the Indo-Pacific to reduce China's regional influence has moved higher up their agenda list.

Before such scenarios take place: We need an independent foreign policy!  

1.     Intelligence must evolve to meet our growing threats, The Weekend Australian, 8-9 January 2022.
2.     Ibid.
3.     Ibid.
4.     Ibid.
5.     Ibid.
6.     Nuclear subs pact 'has China rattled', Australian, 4 January 2022.
7.     A coalition will blunt Beijing's ambition, Australian, 31 December 2021.
8.     Former foe Japan could and should be our next ally, Australian, 6 January 2022.
9.     A coalition, Australian, op.cit., 31 December 2021.
10.   See: Closer ties with APEC members, China Daily, 8 December 2021, which has provided statistical information about mutually beneficial trade relations with APEC members.
11.   China-Australia trade booming despite political tensions, Australian, 12 January 2022.
12.   Ibid.
13.   US tanks and combat vehicles to boost defence, Australian, 11 January 2022.
14.   Ibid.
15.   See: REPORT: Australia to buy US tanks, other armoured vehicles - APDR (
16.   The Human Factor, Graham Greene, (London, 1978), page 65.
17.   See: Spycatcher, Peter Wright, (Australia, 1987), pp. 1-382.


An Australian Owned Electric Vehicle Manufacturing Industry Will Have Wide Support

 Written by: Ned K. on 6 January 2022

 General Motors and other multinational car manufacturers destroyed the vehicle manufacturing industry in Australia by transferring production to other countries to make more profits. The only politician in Australia who ever came out strongly in favour of a nationalised car industry was former Whitlam Government Minister Mick Young who said "Nationalise GMH".

Many years later in 2022 the former General Motors Holden plant at Elizabeth in South Australia is still there, an empty shell waiting to produce something, with hundreds of unemployed or semi-employed young people in surrounding suburbs looking for a secure job to build a life for themselves and their young families.

ALP leader Albanese promises a Very Fast Train will be built under a Labor Government. It will have widespread support if is largely designed and manufactured in Australia at places like the old General Motors plant at Elizabeth, alongside design and manufacture of electric vehicles designed for Australian conditions.

Australia has the engineering skills to design and manufacture electric vehicles here. What is needed is political will to do it.

The two biggest economic powers, USA and China, despite their intensifying political rivalry on a global scale, also collude when it comes to economics.

This is the case with electric vehicle manufacturing.

For example, Tesla Inc designs and manufactures electric cars, battery energy storage from home to grid scale, solar panels and roof tiles. Tesla was started by a group of engineers in 2003 committed to making profits from electric vehicle design and manufacture as they could see the writing on the wall for a fossil-fuelled economy.

Now the company has revenue of $31.5 billion from the productive work of USA workers AND Chinese workers. Tesla, despite the rivalry between USA and China, has a gigafactory in Shanghai which produces electric vehicles at the rate of 450,000 per year. It has another gigafactory in Austin Texas which is about to commence production.

Tesla also has a small outlet in South Australia at the advanced design and manufacturing hub at the former Mitsubishi vehicle manufacturing plant at Tonsley Park in Adelaide.

A couple of days ago Tesla announced it has opened an electric vehicle store in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China! 

This has occurred despite the political "air war" between Biden and Xi Jinping about US allegations of mass murder of Uyghurs. The set-up of the new Tesla store in the Autonomous Region of China comes at a time when Biden beats his chest about the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.
If a US multinational company like Tesla can set up a huge production plant for electric vehicle manufacture in the US's supposed "enemy number one", then workers in Australia have every right to demand that the promises by Labor about a new Very Fast Train be extended to guarantee government support for an Australian owned electric vehicle design and manufacturing industry. 

Such a demand will test whether Labor is willing to commit to break (in a small way) Australia's dependence on big imperialist powers for the people's basic needs, which include industries based on renewable energy, one of which is electric vehicles. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Dangerous plans of US Cold War hawks


Written by: (Contributed) on 6 January 2022

A recent statement by a US Cold War hawk, Elbridge Colby, has provided a fascinating insight into a plan to reassert traditional hegemonic positions across the Indo-Pacific region. A quick study of Colby's background shows a well-placed individual with one foot in either centres of US power: in the Pentagon, as a former assistant secretary of defence during the heady years of the Trump administration, 2017-18, and in Washington, as author of various studies circulating the corridors of power. His listed specialty would appear to be 'The Strategy of Denial', together with Island Chain Theory as a means of challenging China. (1)

A stated aim of Colby's is to establish a broad alliance across the region with 'the US … playing … the role of cornerstone of this coalition … designed to blunt Beijing's desire to dominate Asia, underwritten by a denial defence'. (2) No definition is provided of 'denial defence' although it can be safely assumed the US wants to use usual Cold War tactics and attempt to freeze China out of regional affairs by a general denial of their existence and participation in regional bodies.

Throughout Colby's study economic considerations merge with usual defence and security matters: China's rapid economic growth has created a serious challenge to traditional US positions, its military is regarded as aiming to 'project power far and wide'. (3) The aim of the proposed coalition is to force China to remain 'confined within the first island chain'. (4)  

The remainder of Colby's study then focusses upon the centrality of Taiwan for US regional foreign policy as part of the first island chain, together with a warning that 'Australia's fate will be settled in the Western Pacific, where the great bulk of Asia's wealth and power are concentrated'. (5) Fears apparently exist that Australia will eventually be forced out of the area due to strategic competition with China.  

The whole study by Colby is strangely at variance with factual information, easily accessible from within the public domain. China, for example, is not confined to the first island chain: as a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) organisation, China already has a large economic footprint across the wider region through 21 countries with three billion population, half of global trade and sixty per cent of world GDP. (6) China's recorded trade volume last year with APEC members amounted to $2.87 trillion, which amounted to 62 per cent of its total foreign trade. (7)

It has, furthermore, been officially recorded that China attracted $124.6 billion investment from APEC members last year, and also invested a total of $112.3 billion into the region, showing a relationship of 86 per cent to 73 per cent of inward and outward investment flows. (8) The figures reveal a country with a highly viable economy and workable diplomatic relations with regional counterparts who have a shared vision of their economic development programs. Why would APEC member countries, or those closely associated with it, even consider joining a US-led coalition aimed, specifically, at not co-operating with China?

The study by Colby can perhaps best be described as vacuous; the fact the editorial board of the Australian allowed almost a hundred column centimetres of their newspaper for its publication is a sad reflection on their own position and that of Canberra. So much for US-led regional sabre-rattling and related piffle and their cronies in Australia!

It, nevertheless, unfortunately has serious implications for Australia which could be drawn into limited and /or real-war scenarios at the behest of such people as Colby and the present US $778 billion defence budget.

                                        We need an independent foreign policy!

1.     A coalition will blunt Beijing's ambition, Australian, 31 December 2021.
2.     Ibid.
3.     Ibid.
4.     Ibid., and, see diagram: Island Chain Theory.
5.     Ibid, and, Study: US no longer dominant power in the Pacific, Paul D. Shinkman, Information Clearing House, 22 August 2019.
6.     Closer ties with APEC members, The China Daily, 8 December 2021.
7.     Ibid.
8.     Ibid.

Young People's Action On Climate Change Is A Key To Fight Against Pandemics


Written by: Ned K. on 3 January 2022

In the last few years, young people across the globe have led the people's struggle for decisive action by governments and big business on climate change. 

Media outlets owned by the likes of the Murdoch empire have ridiculed these young people, as have reactionary political leaders like Prime Minister Morrison. 

The lockdowns due to Covid-19 decreased the number of mass demonstrations temporarily. However growing evidence from naturalists and ecologists is that there is a definite between climate change and pandemics such as the current Covid-19.

During the Covid-19 outbreak over the last couple of years, well known naturalists, ecologists and other critics of capitalism such as Chomsky have spoken out about the link between climate change and Covid-19 in support of young people. Their proposed solutions are not always the same but all say the current growth for growth's sake imperative is the root cause of the problem.

Attenborough in his book Life On Our Planet says that in 1937 when he was 11 years old, remaining wilderness made up 66% of the world's land area. In 2020, remaining wilderness made up just 35% of the total land area. Carbon in the atmosphere during this period of his life had risen from 280 parts per million in the atmosphere to 415 parts per million in 2020.

Chomsky adds to Attenborough's observations in saying that during this same period of environmental destruction, there has also been a concerted effort by global capitalism to wipe out mass working class organization, the very force capable of forcing major changes on governments. Chomsky stops short of calling for complete change from capitalism to socialism and settles for what he considers the more immediate task of a "Green New Deal".

He is not alone in promoting a Green New Deal, as some capitalists think this is their only hope of maintaining ruling class power in the face of the climate change crisis.

What have these ideas got to do with Covid-19?

An ecologist from the Scandinavian countries, Andreas Malm, says that the deforestation rate has led to a spill-over of viruses from animals to humans such as the pangolins sold in Wuhan markets. He also points out that dependence of mega cities and advanced capitalist countries in Europe on food from other regions of the world will further accelerate deforestation. Germany, for example, imports 80% of its land based food resources. Malm also points out that coupled with deforestation in regions where cash crops to feed the West are grown, is increasing extremes of climate including severe drought.

The dependence on transportation of food resources across the globe has added to another major cause of carbon pollution of the atmosphere and also transmission of viruses like Covid-19. 

The polluters he refers to are transportation by air and sea. Aeroplane travel by the rich business class in particular are the worst offenders.

He doubts whether pandemics will disappear as long as the system of capitalism continues on its destructive way. He sees the solution as a form of ecological “war communism”.

He is sympathetic to the hope of capitalist social democracy advocates such as Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders, but says the problems cannot be solved by mere reform of capitalism due to the latter's inbuilt destruction of nature in search of growth.

The important point about the ideas expressed so widely by people like Attenborough, Chomsky and Malm (who also writes for Jacobin magazine), is that young people read them and that the likes of the Murdoch press do not have the monopoly of ideas when it comes to how young people in particular think and act.
Mao said “Once the correct ideas characteristic of the advanced class are grasped by the masses, these ideas turn into a material force which changes society and changes the world.”

The ideas about climate change and pandemics have moved past describing their impact  and on to people discussing solutions and organising action. 

Young people taking to the streets in their hundreds of millions across the globe over climate change contain the working class leaders of today and tomorrow. That is what scares the likes of Murdoch the most.