Climate ignorance responsible for teenage despair

Climate change can be linked to increase in Australia’s suicide rates, a study shows. In this the 29th edition of The Sustainable Hour on 94.7 The Pulse, we talk about what a city’s councillors could and should be doing in order to ensure that its teenagers don’t lose hope on climate change. Number one: allocate funds in the budget that enable the council as well as the community to take action and invest in the kind of solution-building that generates optimism and a feeling of community empowerment.

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Placing responsibility for the mess that the current political inaction is creating, which, when it comes to climate change, seems to only get more and more absurd as time goes by – isn’t this a matter of the law rather than just activism and letter-writing? Should these people and companies who are responsible for the climate damage, victims and suicides be taken to court? Will there come a day when this could actually happen?

We talk with a lawyer about that: Ariane Wilkinson. She works for Environmental Justice Australia, a citizen-funded, not-for-profit, public interest legal practice, using the law to protect and restore Australia’s environment.

Ariane Wilkinson attended a public forum on unconventional gas mining and ‘fracking’ on 28 May 2014 in Winchelsea, where Lakes Oil executive chairman Robert Annells gave a presentation along with four gas mining and health experts. She explains what she took home from that meeting.


Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 29:

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“Our politicians should be thrown in the slammer for willful blindness. I think that we are being willfully blind to the consequences for our children and grandchildren. It’s an intergenerational crime.”
David Suzuki, Canadian scientist, author and philanthropist

Dr. David Suzuki Talks with Bill Moyers on the Need to Get Real on Climate Change
Published on  vimeo.com in May 2014


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Freedom fighters of the 21st century

A new soundtrack is being written to the most fundamental and crucial battle in human history.

Musicians write hymns about it and pay tribute to the freedom fighters who call for energy democracy and an end to the reign of fossil fools. What is on the agenda is our common right to clean water, clean air and a safe climate.

What is at stake is life on Earth. It may look like a revolution, but what these citizens are asking for is really not at all radical. They ask simply of their leaders and law makers to respect life – all life, and future life – over profits and short-sighted personal gains.

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Crowdfunding for compilation album of Bentley Blockade Songs

The musicians are trying to raise $7,000 on a crowdfunding-site, and have raised almost $500 so far, with two months more to go

“The songs on this CD were important for the cohesion of the people of the Bentley Blockade and continuing anti-CSG actions. They tell the story of the blockade and were written around the fire, at the chai tent at Gate A, in camp ‘Liberty’?, at jams around Gate B and other places around Bentley celebrating life and the unified vision for protecting the land and waters. Growing the repertoire of resistance and building the chorus for change!”

» www.pozible.com


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► ‘Hand In Hand’ – a composition by Chris Fisher – was written after he attended a dawn vigil at the Bentley Blockade against fracking in late March 2014.

Through April and May this song was performed many times at Bentley and became a part of the growing repertoire of resistance manifesting at the blockade.

During this time this song was also recorded at Bush Rock Studios, Goonellabah, with many Camp Liberty musicians and singers contributing to the production. This recording is now presented on soundclouc.dom to celebrate the success of the Bentley Blockade and as a preview before it’s official release.

» www.soundcloud.com

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Photo: Gate A, Bentley blockade, on Monday morning 31 March 2014

» www.rjpoole.com

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…and there are so many similar stories of battles taking place around the world. Here is one that just came out from the United States:

USA: The deadly toxins

More than 90 million Americans live near at least one of the nation’s 143 oil refineries, which release over 22,000 tons of toxic pollutants, including benzene, lead and hydrogen cyanide each year.

The deadly toxins are associated with cancer, anemia, asthma and birth defects. It makes people sick and it makes Hilton Kelley mad. Hilton Kelley is a community activist and Goldman Prize winner from Port Arthur, Texas.

» Bringing the Fight Home To Refinery Towns

» Defending Fenceline Communities From Oil Refinery Pollution

 



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USA: First lawsuits over climate ignorance

A major US insurance company is filing lawsuits that are the first in what could be a wave of litigation over who should be liable for the possible costs of climate change.

Business Spectator – 13 June 2014:
The start of the climate change class actions?
A major insurance company is accusing dozens of localities in Illinois of failing to prepare for severe rains and flooding in lawsuits that are the first in what could be a wave of litigation over who should be liable for the possible costs of climate change. Farmers Insurance filed nine class actions last month against nearly 200 communities in the Chicago area. It is arguing that local governments should have known rising global temperatures would lead to heavier rains and did not do enough to fortify their sewers and stormwater drains. By Reuters

“The court found that these young people deserve their day in court to establish that their government has an obligation to protect their public trust resources, including the atmosphere.”
Chris Winter, a Portland attorney representing the teenagers in their lawsuit.


Olivia Chernaik, then 12, and Kelsey Juliana, then 16, appealed a Lane County judge’s 2012 ruling against their lawsuit to force Oregon to more aggressively reduce carbon emissions. They alleged that the state is violating the public trust by failing to take adequate steps to stave off climate change. On 11 June 2014, the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled that a local judge should not have dismissed a lawsuit filed by two Eugene teenagers.

» Continue reading on:  www.registerguard.com

“Our futures are at stake. Climate change is the biggest issue of our time.”
Xiuhtezcatl Roske-Martinez, 13, member of Kids vs. Global Warming, a plaintiff in the suit

“Young people across the country are suing several government agencies for failing to develop a climate change recovery plan, conduct that amounts to a violation of their constitutional rights.”
Julia Olson, lawyer


Al Jazeera America – 4 May 2014:
Youths sue U.S. government over climate inaction
An unprecedented massive legal campaign led by young Americans is playing out in courtrooms across the nation

The Conversation:
Will the climate debate end up being fought in court?
With the IPCC so clearly stating the need for action, could politicians and even scientists be charged with ‘climate negligence’ in the future? Neglecting to take action can be considered criminal. In the same way that doctors who fail to diagnose an illness may be charged with malpractice, politicians can face similar charges for failing to adequately do their jobs. These crimes may seem more clear-cut – but what happens when it comes to accountability for environmental issues, and more specifically, climate change?



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Honest and serious response to global warming


On 10 June 2014, Mik Aidt submitted a letter to the City of Greater Geelong Council about the proposed budget for 2014-2015. The following is an slightly edited version of it.


Dear councillors of City of Greater Geelong,

In addition to the submission from Geelong Sustainability Group, which I think pinpoints some important problems with the new draft budget for the city council, I would like to add just a few more perspectives.

Firstly, let me tell you a little story which illustrates the kind of development we are up against if we don’t begin to take the threats of climate change more seriously. And even though this has everything to do with our economy and budgets, this is not a story about economics.

On ‘Blokes Day Out’ in April, we were broadcasting live from the event at Eastern Beach, and I was interviewing a woman who runs a hotline in Geelong where young people can call in and get help if they are in trouble, feel depressed, and so on. She told me that the gloomy perspetives of climate change – which I asume you are fully acquainted with (i.e. sea level rise, refugees and conflicts over water and food scarcity, heat waves, bush fires, extreme weather events, and so on) – is taking a heavy load on some teenagers, and that the hotline staff now operate with such terms as ‘climate depression’ and even ‘climate suicides’.

The challenge of climate change and curbing carbon emissions is a huge one, and it can seem rather hopeless. It is the responsibility of parents, decisionmakers and leaders in our society to create that constructive atmosphere of action and hope, which comes from engaging with solutionbuilding.

Not to be addressing the sustainability challenges we are currently faced with in Australia and in Geelong, is – among many things – potentially equal to having an increasing amount of teenage climate suicides on our conscience. Suicide is already Australia’s leading cause of death for 15 to 44 year olds. Has it occured to any of our councillors that it could get worse?

 

Now, in spoken words and media releases, Council does seek to create an image of sustainability and environmental awareness – approving a new principal bike network, launching a new Environment Management Strategy, and so on. That’s all very good. But as the draft budget has now made it very clear, these are unfortunately just empty words, because they are not followed up with funding. The city’s ‘flagship’ sustainability initiatives – including the two I just mentioned – are getting little or no funding in this budget and that’s utterly wrong. In the following I will try and elaborate on why, and even though this is a complex issue, I stall try and be brief.

Funding of sustainablility initiatives is becoming increasingly more important. Above all because of the urgency we have with solving the dangerous issues with global warming and climate change – which means: relatively quickly stopping our pollution of the air. This is no longer just an issue of “being nice to our environment” – as we have been used to thinking about it: something which is regarded a side activity in the ‘nice-to-do’, not ‘need-to-do’ category. Time has come where sustainability needs to step into the centre of all thinking, strategy, and funding. This is a matter of securing the long-term livelihood and prosperity of the entire city and its citizens of all backgrounds and income-levels.

I am aware that the expression “long-term” doesn’t sound interesting to most politicians. I am also aware that you most likely don’t feel you have time to even look at what I am writing to you here. So I shall do my best to be brief and speak in headlines only. Trust me, it is important that you take just a little bit of time to get yourself acquainted with this topic of sustainability, climate change and carbon emissions. Times are changing very rapidly, and whether you are right or left wing politicians really doesn’t matter: it is important to understand these urgent issues for all os us, regardless of our various political views.

 

In a recent interview about climate change, the American president Barack Obama put in words why you as a politician ought to be paying special attention:

“If you profess leadership in this country, at this moment in our history, then you’ve got to recognize that this is going to be one of the most significant long-term challenges – if not THE most significant long-term challenge – that this country faces and that the planet faces. The good news is that the public may get out ahead of some of these politicians, and I think that as the public start seeing greater frequency of extreme weather events, as they start seeing what used to be 100 years storms seem to be happening every year or two, and you start seeing the economics of inaction, then people start thinking: you know what, we are going to award politicians who talk to us honestly and seriously about this problem.”
U.S. president Barack Obama in ‘Years of Living Dangerously’ season 1 episode 9, June 2014.

 
Spend two minutes of your time listening to what the American president Obama has to say about climate change. In my opinion, a clip like this ought to be shown in the tv news again and again until every Australian – and in particular every Australian politician – had seen it:

 

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The world’s most known economist Jeffrey Sachs recently said something quite similar in an interview with the ABC in May:

“I am not pointing a finger simply at Australia, but I am saying to the public that the dangers [of climate change] are profound. Our politicians really dislike this issue. This is a serious issue for humanity, but it is of a complexity and a timescale outside of normal politics. Our governments are not up to it, yet. And yet they have to get to a place where they can deal with this.”
» Jeffrey Sachs in an  ABC interview



The above quotes are just to illustrate what I am talking about when I say that the world of climate change politics is changing rapidly – and that I am not the only one who believes this is rather important to take action on. The two quotes illustrate that the issues of sustainability and climate change are highly relevant to you as councillors, here and now, not only in a distant future.

 

Geelong Council needs to ensure that the city and its staff can keep up with this change – which in budget-terms means securing that entities such as Future Proofing Geelong and the Council’s Department for Environment and Waste are prioritized in terms of more funds – to back up the plans that have already been lined out – but also that more funding is allocated to community energy project, community sustainability projects and adult eduction in this field.

The point is that this is not just about “responsibility” and the livelihood of our children and future generations. This is about here-and-now opportunites for business for those who are first-movers.

Council is already engaged in the transition from fossil fuels to renewables, but could and should be doing a whole lot more in this field, because this is also a business opportunity for a city which has a long tradition in manufacturing.

Just a few examples of what has been happening in this field recently:

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CSIRO’s ‘supercricital’ solar: a game-changer for power generation

We need to add a new word in our personal dictionaries. Last week the news came out that “Supercritical Solar” is destined to become a game-changer for the renewable energy industry.

An Australian solar thermal plant has produced the hottest and most pressurised steam ever using solar power. It is powerful enough to replace fossil fuels and drive the power plants of the future.

Here is how it works:

CSIRO’s Energy Director Dr Alex Wonhas said: “It’s like breaking the sound barrier; this step change proves solar has the potential to compete with the peak performance capabilities of fossil fuel sources.”

» For more info, see:www.sciencealert.com.au

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Add to that last week’s other good news, such as:

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Technology reducing cost of solar panels by half – production is still five years away, though. (Click on the headlines to go to webpages with more info)

RenewEconomy:  Solar costs to halve as gas prices surge

Trillion Fund:   Onshore wind now cheapest energy source in Europe, says utility
(New report from one of Europe’s leading energy operators EDP)

Renewables currently meet almost a quarter of world electricity consumption
 – Global renewable electricity energy capacity rose to a new record level last year — more than 1,560 gigawatts, up 8% from 2012. More than 22% of the world’s power production now comes from renewable sources.
Growing numbers of cities, states, and regions seek to transition to 100% renewable energy in either individual sectors or economy-wide.
For example, Djibouti, Scotland, and the small-island state of Tuvalu aim to derive 100% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020. In 2013, an estimated 6.5 million people worldwide worked directly or indirectly in the renewable energy sector.
This data was published in the new ‘Renewables 2014 Global Status Report’.  
» The full report as well as the Key Findings can be downloaded at:
  www.ren21.net/gsr

Official Danish research proves that 100% fossil fuel free future is feasable
The government in Denmark has written a carbon emission reduction target of 40% by 2020 into law. The scenarios shows the goal is possible with existing technologies and cheaper than expected.
» More info:
  www.ens.dk

 

Geelong has an opportunity to benefit from this development, but only if the first moves are made now. Time is up to think out of the box and start making some real and visible changes in this city.

 

Sincerely yours,

Mik Aidt
Director, Centre for Climate Safety

Co-presenter of The Sustainable Hour on 94.7 The Pulse



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Picture 64

Related book

“National governments show little desire to preserve climate security and lack the legitimate authority to deal effectively with climate change. City leaders must now take a more prominent political role in insisting that governments act more forcefully. They must build on their strengths to innovate and integrate and play a larger political role in meeting the climate challenge.”

The new book ‘The Fragile City & the Risk Nexus’ by Charles Landry and Tom Burke is concise book on the future of cities and the risks of climate change.

» Read more



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Related articles

More about the interview with U.S. President Obama:

New York Times – 7 June 2014:
Obama on Obama on Climate

» ThinkProgress – 8 June 2014:
‘Science Is Science’: Obama Embraces Price On Carbon, Leaving Fossil Fuels In The Ground


More about climate change in Australia:

» ABC – 12 June 2014:
Climate change set to triple drought, bushfires and floods in Australia


About climate change, health and mental health:

If you are a parent with teenage kids, then this is probably a more important aspect to begin to look into than you’d like to admit: What is climate change doing to our mental health?

Queensland University of Technology – 19 February 2014:
Climate change linked to increase in Australia’s suicide rates, study shows
A Queensland University of Technology researcher is predicting suicide rates will rise as a result of climate change after finding a link between high and varied temperatures and people taking their own life.

» Xin Chester Qi  ‘Assessment Of Socioenvironmental Drivers Of Suicide In Australia’ (PDF)

» Read more about Xin Qi’s thesis on:  www.qut.edu.au and www.eprints.qut.edu.au

“We need to understand just what the full spectrum of consequences of human-driven climate changes are likely to be. There’s not much recognition beyond the damage that will occur to iconic species and to ecosystems and to tourism and the economy.”
~ Tony McMichael, recently retired from Australian National University and generally credited as the father of climate change and health research.


» Grist – 28 July 2014:
What is climate change doing to our mental health?
“Research on mental health and climate change in Australia pretty much starts and ends with a very modest and soft-spoken psychiatric epidemiologist, Helen Berry of the University of Canberra. She’s responsible for 27 papers and book chapters published on the subject since 2011.” Article by Joanne Silberner

» CAHA briefing paper:  Our Uncashed Dividend – The Health Benefits of Climate Action’ (PDF)

» Sydney Morning Herald – 10 June 2014:
Will we die if the world gets hot, daddy?
‘What do you say to a kid?’: the writer’s daughter was in tears after watching part of a new broadcast about climate change.

» Grist – 9 June 2014:
Three reasons you shouldn’t lose hope on climate change

Protect Health through Climate Action

Our politicians must act on climate change as part of their duty to protect health.
‘Act on Climate to Protect Health’ is a campaign which encourages Australians to send a letter to their representatives in the federal parliament and ask them to commit to the development of a national strategy on climate and health.

» Support the ‘Act on Climate to Protect Health’ campaign:  www.climateandhealth.good.do

“Health and medical experts say climate change is the biggest threat to global health this century. Australians are increasingly at risk from climate change. Act now to call on your candidates for the federal parliament to develop a national strategy to protect the health of Australians.”


“The most radical thing any of us can do at this time is to be fully present to what is happening in the world.”
Joanna Macy, ‘Work That Reconnects’


“For me, the price of admission into that present was allowing my heart to break. But then I saw how despair transforms, in the face of overwhelming social and ecological crises, into clarity of vision, then into constructive, collaborative action.”
Dahr Jamail, Investigative Journalist, Truthout




Topics we also talked about this week

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► John Oliver hosts a mathematically representative climate change debate in the American tv show ‘Last Week Tonight’



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► David Mitchell’s SoapBox about Climate Change



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New coal power station in Queensland

While axing the RET and ignoring climate science, the federal government are talking about building a new coal power station

“Coal power plan will unlock potential”
“A base-load power station in North Queensland is viable and would deliver cheaper electricity and new jobs in the region,” wrote Anthony Templeton in Townsville Bulletin on 10 June 2014:

“Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss will arrive in Townsville today to publicly release the Federal Government’s green paper on developing Northern Australia and feasibility studies on building a base-load power station and an irrigated agricultural project west of the Great Dividing Range in North Queensland. The Bulletin understands the new base-load power station would be built in the Galilee Basin, near a coal mine, and connected to a the national electricity market.”

» Read the article:  www.townsvillebulletin.com.au

Dear Mr Anthony Templeton, like many of your countrymen, you need to begin acting as a responsible parent to your own children. Maybe you don’t have any? Well, I do. And I can’t accept “cheaper electricity and new jobs in the region” as an argument for building a new coal power plant in the 21st century. It is like the fool in a snow blizzard who pees in his pants to keep himself warm. We have all the knowledge and data right in front of us that tells we need to stop polluting the atmosphere with carbon unless we deliberately want to create immense problems for ourselves, our children and future generations in the years to come.

Electricity based on renewables, not coal, is what will create safer and healthier new jobs in the region.

The American president acknowledges it. The Europeans acknowledge it. Now it is your turn.


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The Guardian – 9 June 2014:
Unfortunately, Tony Abbott can’t cancel meetings with the climate
“The prime minister’s refusal to put climate change on the G20 agenda is yet another sign that he doesn’t understand the forces that will shape the next 30 years of global economic dialogue.”



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‘Rap News’ saw it coming. This spot-on video was produced one and a half year ago. Sadly, Tony Abbott is busy making this rap video into ‘current news’.

‘The War on Terra – Canada vs Australia [RAP NEWS 17]’ was published on youtube.com on 30 January 2014.


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“What that ‘World Needs Record Saudi Oil Supply as OPEC Convenes’ headline tells us, and what many other things do as well, is that we need to make up our minds about where we want to go, because the clock is ticking. If we want poetry instead of warfare, and Puccini instead of fields filled with rotting corpses, then we still have the option to make those choices.”

The Automatic Earth – 9 June 2014:
Stupidity Is Not A Valid Defense For Us



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“Scepticism is healthy, denial is dangerous, and intentionally dismantling the entire renewable energy industry of a country that is not only wealthy, sun blessed and windswept but also has the highest per capita CO2 emissions in the OECD is criminally reckless. Furthermore, it will cripple our future economic growth.”

“Given our abundant renewable resources, we should be leading the world in research and investment, instead Abbott would have us squander our competitive advantage and destroy massive economic potential.”
Ian Berryman, reading for a DPhil in engineering science at the University of Oxford

» Read more:  www.theage.com.au


“This is about the volatility of giving an industry with too much power the ability to manipulate politics in its favor despite the dangers to the environment and climate change. The situation is going to blow up in our faces, metaphorically, and already has for too many people – literally as well (remember the BP explosion and spill?).”
What To Do About Climate Change



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What people think about climate

45 per cent want action now ‘whatever the cost’, as survey reveals a nine-point rise in the strongest response since 2012.

The Guardian – 4 June 2014:
Lowy poll: More Australians ‘seriously concerned’ about climate

USA: Just over half of Americans (55%) say they are at least “somewhat worried” about global warming, while only 15% say they are “very worried” about it. Public worry about global warming has remained relatively stable, changing little over the past three years, and it is lower today than it was in 2008.



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» Dig deeper:  Headlines about climate



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The “polluter pays” principle

Demand that fossil fuel companies take their share of the burden: pay for damage and compensate victims of global warming.

The Heinrich Böll Foundation, a German think tank, is calling for major oil and gas companies to be made liable for the climate damage they have caused in order to fill a fund for loss and damage incurred from unavoidable climate impacts.

When the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform exploded in 2010, an estimated 800 million litres of oil flowed into the sea for almost 90 days in one of the most serious environmental disasters of its kind. The resulting damage to nature – flora and fauna – and the fishing industry was immense. Up to 2012, BP had to reimburse a total of US$43 billion for the consequential damage; an example of how important it can be to monetise loss.

Could a similar calculation be done for the loss of the Arctic, the loss of livelihoods of millions of people in the coastal areas of Bangladesh, or for the farmers in the Sahel who have no harvest due to drought caused by climate change?

Climate change is causing loss and damage – and will cause even more in the future. The impact will hit those hardest who have contributed the least to the causes and have profited the least from the extraction and burning of fossil fuels. In Germany, the very idea of compensation for destruction and loss of nature was born as a responsibility principle – responsibility of the destructor or polluter – but was later translated and inherently understood as the polluter-pays principle.

Money cannot bring back that which is irreplaceable, nor can it provide justice. However, if we direct attention to those who have contributed to causing the climate crisis and who have profited from it at the same time, can we not hold them accountable for it, stop them from doing further harm in the future, and force them to pay their fair share of the financial burden?

This proposal has many advantages including:
• providing a new and predictable source of finance for the most vulnerable countries and communities;
• adding cost to the extraction and use of fossil fuels, and thereby discouraging their use;
• ensuring that the entities whose products are responsible for causing climate change – the big fossil fuel-extracting entities – meet the costs of loss and damage inflicted on the poorest and most vulnerable; and
• being consistent with international law, precedents from other areas, and compatible with existing national systems such as emissions trading schemes, levies, royalties, etc.

Australian mining giant BHP Billiton accounts for more than half of one per cent of all global greenhouse gas emissions. The Heinrich Boell Foundation ranks BHP Billiton number 20 on its list of 81 major carbon emitters in its report.

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» Carbon Majors Funding Loss and Damage
A discussion paper by Julie-Anne Richards and Keely Boom. Edited by the Heinrich Böll Foundation

This discussion paper outlines the case for fossil fuel producers and cement manufacturers (the “Carbon Majors”) to provide funding via the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage for communities suffering loss and damage from climate change.

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Shell intends to keep polluting

Investors are being told by Shell, the biggest oil company in the world, that the world will go on burning more and more oil despite the threat of climate change. So Shell sees no reason to take action on climate change as it will damage its oil business.

Dr J. J. Traynor, executive vice president, investor relations, at Royal Dutch Shell, is confident that all its oil reserves will be needed and sold at a profit.

The company accepts that climate change is a serious threat that ought to be tackled, and believes − along with scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change − that the temperature of the planet will rise above the 2°C danger threshold by the end of this century. But it believes that it will take many decades to alter the world’s energy infrastructure to tackle it effectively. Meanwhile the world economy will go on demanding to burn oil and so safeguard the company’s current investments.

Well, as consumers we do have a choice. We can follow Shell’s irresponsible example and ruthlessly keep destroying the prosperity of our children and future generations. Or we can get our act together and start doing everything we possible can to prove Shell wrong.

» Climate News Network published the above report on:  www.climatenewsnetwork.net

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Chevron intends to keep polluting

The oil company Chevron is closing its renewable power group, even though the group’s after-tax profit for 2013 was $27 million.

Renewable projects’ returns of even 20 percent can be bested by oil and gas projects that can generate profits of 25 percent to 35 percent.

A Bloomberg article explains that Chevron’s executives say the money is needed for oil and gas projects.

“When you have a very successful and profitable core oil and gas business, it can be quite difficult to justify investing in renewables,” says Robert Redlinger, who ran a previous effort at Chevron to develop large renewable-energy projects before he left in 2010.

Chevron had $21.4 billion in profits last year.

www.businessweek.com

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ExxonMobil intends to keep polluting

ExxonMobil argued in a March report on carbon risk to shareholders that its laserlike focus on fossil fuels is a sound strategy, regardless of climate change, because the world needs vastly more energy and the likelihood of significant carbon reductions is “highly unlikely.”

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Coral reefs alone: $11 trillion

The coral reefs worldwide – as based on calculations by Robert Costanza and his colleagues – have a total value of $11 trillion.
By the time when the coral reefs have disappeared because of global warming and the rising acidic levels, how much should major oil and gas companies be made liable for?
www.nytimes.com



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FRACKING

Paul Mccartney And Yoko Ono Join Forces To Fight Fracking
Paul McCartney is spearheading a new green-oriented campaign intended to convince high officials in the United Kingdom to reconsider their plans concerning shale gas exploration. More precisely, it appears that the former Beatle, together with 150 other celebrities, scientists, and environmental groups, is now asking that a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing be implemented in the United Kingdom without delay.

» Read more:  news.softpedia.com



Fracking sucks investment from renewable energy in the United States
Renewable energy investment contracted 5% in 2013 as investors diverted funding into unconventional gas production.New investments in renewable energy sources in North America last year declined to $US56 billion (from $60 billion the previous year). By comparison, North American oil and gas companies spent more than three times as much – $US168.2 billion – on exploration and production last year, data compiled by Bloomberg show.



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» Read more on  www.frackfreegeelong.org

» New local group and Facebook page:  www.facebook.org/frackfreegrovedale



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CALENDAR


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‘Act up for sustainability’

Primary School students from across Geelong are having an exhibition at Geelong Performing Arts Centre on 12 June 2014. Their projects are all based on the theme of Sustainability.

Come along to see work presented by students from Barwon Valley School, Bellarine Secondary College, Geelong East Primary School and St Aloysius Primary School all based on the theme of Sustainability.

Act up for Sustainability is a collaboration between the Barwon Waste Wise Education Centre and GPAC education. The program offers students and teachers an alternative way to explore Sustainability within the curriculum by giving them access to factual information, interactive workshops and resources. The program is content driven and linked directly with the National Curriculum

Date: Thursday 12 June 2014
Time: 7.00pm
Location: The Drama Theatre, GPAC
Cost: $5 per ticket
Bookings: Phone 5225 1200 or buy your ticket here


FRACTURED COUNTRY – Film Screening and Public Forum

14 June 2014
Fractured Country is a film from Lock the Gate Alliance (Australia) about the risks to farming communities from invasive coal seam gasfields.
Speakers will include affected landholders, health professionals and economic experts. Local state election candidates and representatives from the Lock the Gate Alliance will discuss how Melbourne is placed to deal with this threat. There will also be a question and answer forum for the community to have a say.
When: 3.00 – 5.00pm Saturday 14 June 2014
Where: Astor Theatre, 1 Chapel St, St Kilda East
Details: www.lockthegate.org.au/prahran_film
Cost: Tickets $10/$15
Expected attendance: 1,000 people – with room for 1,300

Human sign on Anglesea beach

On Sunday 22 June 2014, Surf Coast Air Action is organising a HUMAN SIGN similar to the Hands Off one you may have seen at Wilson’s Prom a couple of years ago.

The sign will be photographed from above and will demonstrate the ongoing opposition of residents and visitors to the old and dirty Alcoa coal mine and power station.

Bring the family. Bring the kids. Bring your grandparents! The more the better.

» You can register on this  Facebook page
Here are the details:

Where: Meet on the beach below the Anglesea Surf Club
When: 11.30am on Sunday, June 22nd
What: Everyone who comes along will be part of forming a human sign on the beach, which will be photographed from the air. Please wear black clothing.

» petition



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Cultivating Sustainability – Behaviour Change Training for Sustainability Advocates

A 1-day workshop presented by Tim Cotter, a psychologist specialising in the psychology of sustainability, which provides sustainability advocates with insights, models and tools to engage and inspire people for sustainable action.

When: Tuesday 17 June 2014 – 9:30am to 4:00pm
Where: Meeting Room, Tiger Lily Cafe, Grattan St, Carlton, Melbourne
Cost: $160 for individuals

» More info and online registration:  www.awake.com.au



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Global climate action event on 21 September

“The UN has called an urgent climate meeting in just over 100 days with all major world leaders — if we greet them on September 20th with the largest ever global climate mobilisation in history we can break through the walls of mega coal, oil, and business that prevent even the best politicians from doing what is right.

It’s our “holy shit” climate moment according to a leading NASA scientist, and only a holy shit massive coordinated day of action response, right now, can change the future we’re facing.

Our greatest hope to tackle the challenge of global warming rests with us and our ability to demand greater action from world leaders. To change everything, it takes everyone — let’s get started!”

21 September 2014 could become the biggest climate campaign event the world has ever seen, demanding that urgent climate action is no longer being ignored.

» Read more on:  avaaz.org – a network which has 36 million members



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Over 24 sustainable hours of listening online

You can listen to all of the radio shows in full length as well as in selected excerpts. Use the links below. You will also find links to more information about the topics and sites that have been mentioned during the hour.

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