America says: “We will do our part!” And Australia?

collage45_560

The 45th Sustainable Hour on 1 October 2014 reports from the UN Climate Summit in New York on 23 September 2014 and from the Gasrush Information Night in Geelong on 18 September 2014.

One of three speakers at the Gasrush meeting was Ben Courtice from Friends of the Earth and Beyond Zero Emissions. We listen to his speech in full length [14:18 min], and also talk with John Miro who documented the debate for Pulse TV.

Speeches from the UN Climate Summit in New York by Leonardo DiCaprio, actor [3:29], Barack Obama, President of the United States [1:15].


Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 45:

» To open or download this programme in mp3-format, right-click here (Mac: CTRL + click)


» Subscribe to ‘The Sustainable Hour’ podcast — via iTunes or via your own podcast/RSS software


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Ben Courtice about onshore gas extraction

Ben-Courtice200Ben Courtice spoke at the Gasrush information night in Geelong on 18 September 2014.

Ben Courtice writes for Yes2Renewables.org and has worked as a staff writer for Beyond Zero Emissions – a Melbourne-based climate solutions and renewable energy think tank. He is secretary of the Moorabool Environment Group who engaged with Moorabool Council on supporting a moratorium on new coal and coal seam gas in the council. The Council finally addressed this issue at a council meeting in May 2013.


Dr Rye Senjen about the chemicals used in fracking

rye-portrait200Dr Rye Senjen spoke at the Gasrush information night in Geelong on 18 September 2014.

Dr Rye Senjen is a senior researcher with the National Toxics Network and also works with a number of international NGOs. She has been involved in a variety of issues over the last 30 years. She is internationally known for her work on nanotechnology and has also written on coal seam gas, bisphenol-A, sustainable hospital flooring and the hazards of biochar. She also teaches business ethics and sustainability at the graduate and post graduate level.


Tv report from the meeting
Pulse Geelong TV produced this report from the public information meeting on 18 September in Manifold Heights where Michael Martinez from Diversitat was chair.

It will be broadcasted on Channel 31 / Digital 44 on Tuesday 7 October 2014 in the Geelong Lifestyle Program between 6:00pm and 6:30pm.


Videos we played in the 45th Sustainable Hour


Peoples Climate March – Report Back
Published on youtube.com on 24 September 2014

The UN’s climate summit in New York featured 16 hours of speeches from 162 world leaders. While most leaders are shying away from revealing their long term goal until next year, Uruguay came out with a specific target, saying it would reduce its emissions 85 per cent by 2030. Denmark’s Helle Thorning-Schmidt said that her country would be “fossil free” by 2050, while Sweden announced it was aiming for zero net emissions by 2050.
» Read more



‘Nobody gets a pass’ on climate change, says Obama
Published on youtube.com on 23 September 2014

President Obama’s speech was thin on new policy but strong on rhetoric.



Leonardo DiCaprio (UN Messenger of Peace) at the opening of Climate Summit 2014
Published on youtube.com on 23 September 2014


What’s Possible: The U.N. Climate Summit Film
Published on youtube.com on 23 September 2014


» The Guardian – 23 September 2014:
Sustainable corporations perform better financially, report finds
Analysis of S&P 500 companies finds that corporations with sustainability strategies outperform others on the index



The Axis of Carbon: Canada-Australia

According to Inside Climate News, Australia is seeking to derail the binding agreement on emissions reductions at next year’s talks in Paris that many view as the world’s last best hope to prevent catastrophic climate change.

» www.insideclimatenews.org

“Canada and Australia have turned themselves into an axis of carbon. If they attract others, this axis could become a potent force standing in the way of progress toward a universally binding pact.

It’s not terribly surprising that these two countries have staked out political positions as far from the mainstream as their continental edges are from the equator. 

As recently as June, when their prime ministers stood shoulder to shoulder after a bilateral meeting, they minced no words in their disdain for putting a price on greenhouse gas emissions.

“We should do what we reasonably can to limit emissions and avoid climate change, man-made climate change, but we shouldn’t clobber the economy,” Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott declared at that news conference. “That’s why I’ve always been against a carbon tax.”

“No country is going to take actions that are going to deliberately destroy jobs and growth in their country,” Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper chimed in. “We are just a little more frank about that.” ”


Quentins Julie Bishop letter

See the 5-minute video – how Australia presented its ‘climate action’ to the world:

» ABC – 24 September 2014:
Julie Bishop addresses UN climate summit (video)
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop addresses the United Nations Climate Summit in New York.


Reactions on Julie Bishop’s UN speech

» Sydney Morning Herald – 27 September 2014:
Australia’s climate stance savagely condemned at New York summit
Article by Nick O’Malley, US correspondent for Fairfax Media

» Sydney Morning Herald – 24 September 2014:
Pressure on Australia to boost targets
Article by Lisa Cox

» Business Spectator – 24 September 2014:
Australia disappoints at UN climate summit
Article by Olivia Kember

» Sydney Morning Herald – 19 September 2014:
Julie Bishop rejects UN request to strengthen Australian climate targets
Article by Lisa Cox

… and one for Tony Abbott:

» Sydney Morning Herald – 2 October 2014:
Merkel adviser lashes Abbott’s ‘suicide strategy’ on coal
An adviser to German Chancellor Angela Merkel on climate policy has attacked Australia’s complacency on global warming and described the Abbott government’s championing of the coal industry as an economic “suicide strategy”.Article by Lisa Cox


No measure to control fossil fuel production

Leaders “gathered in New York to stress the urgent need to control greenhouse gases, but remain mute about the US$1 trillion a year spent bringing yet more fossil fuel reserves into production. In 25 years of negotiations, no measure to control fossil fuel production has ever been discussed. It does not exist anywhere in the official narrative.

For the general public, too, there are gaps and blind spots. Most people have never discussed climate change with anyone outside their immediate family. A third cannot recall having talked about it with anyone at all.”

» Continue reading: www.theguardian.com



Australia: The 500-year Coal Realm

To understand why the leaders of Australia are implementing on anti-climate action policy after the other at federal level, take a minute to see if you can understand how this country’s federal minister for investment is thinking.

In a speech last week, Andrew Robb wasn’t shy about openly declaring his love affair with the brown coal and fracking industry. Andrew Robb believes coal is going to continue to be extracted, sold and burned as an energy resource for the next 500 years. Nothing less.

He said, for instance:

“Coal remains a pillar of the Australian economy. It is our second largest export earner, generating around $40 billion of export earnings, supporting 200,000 jobs directly and indirectly. It serves as the bedrock of our electricity supply as the fuel source for over 70 per cent of our electricity. And of course it’s the fuel for around 40 per cent of all generation worldwide…”

He also stated:

“The coal of the La Trobe Valley is a resource that is often demonised, particularly by those who oppose growth and development.
They say that demand for cleaner forms of energy will eclipse coal.
The implication here is that coal is a commodity of the past, not the future.
This is an unduly pessimistic and indeed naïve view of the role of coal, now and into the future.”

…and Andrew Robb apparently loves the idea of ‘fracking’ the nation, including Victoria:

“In the United States, technological developments in shale oil and gas have helped to drive a manufacturing renaissance by providing more affordable energy. And I suspect Australia stands close to surfing a similar wave of opportunity from the development of our own shale gas fields, starting with the Cooper Basin.”

When it comes to what coal’s potential is for our future, Australia’s minister for trade and investment sounds like he knows what he is talking about:

“Instead of thinking brown coal’s day has passed, we need to bear in mind its potential to support new industries and jobs in the future.”

» Speech by Minister for Trade and Investment The Hon Andrew Robb AO MP at the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) on 25 September 2014: www.trademinister.gov.au





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Meanwhile, The World Bank states, simply:

“We are running out of time”

Obviously, Australian ministers for trade and investment couldn’t care less about what some obscure and demonising ‘World Bank’ out there and far away from Australia is saying to (the rest of) the world that it is bloody urgent we stop this fossil fuel madness now:

» Read The World Bank’s call: World leaders must take climate action now


New analysis: King Coal’s days are numbered

Companies risk wasting billions expanding out-dated, risky coal.

“Coal companies are on track to waste $112 billion of investors’ money on mine expansion that will be excess to requirements as China’s slowing demand for the fuel sends shockwaves across the world. That’s the warning of new analysis from the Carbon Tracker Initiative, which shows that coal is already proving unprofitable, and will be an increasingly risky option for investors as renewables become cost competitive and governments take action to reduce growing emissions.

Companies most at risk are those pursuing high cost, new mines, such as Australia’s Galilee Basin and the US’ Powder River Basin, both of which require vast investment, face intense opposition and will never see a return in a carbon-constrained world. And as new research from Climate Action Tracker shows that the phase out of coal could play a vital role in limiting temperature rise, the CTI report adds to the growing body of evidence that King Coal’s days are numbered.”

» www.treealerts.org

Goodbye to Old King Coal

“Reports that China will stop importing brown coal from Australia didn’t surprise Peter Newman, a professor of Sustainability at Curtin University in Perth, WA. He says figures from Bloomberg Investment Services show that investment in fossil fuel infrastructure such as coal fired power stations peaked in 2008.

Emerging economies are now choosing renewable energy, with China showing the way and setting the agenda. New coal fired power stations are banned in the European Union and the US. The World Bank won’t finance them. China is closing coal fired stations around Beijing because the air quality is so bad.

Peter Newman says the green economy is taking off faster than expected and new investments in coal will likely become stranded assets. It means the much hoped for 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 now looks possible.”

» ABC Radio National – The Science Show – 27 September 2014:
Emerging economies driving renewables over fossil fuels



Leader of The Nationals delighted to open new gas connections

In this week’s Sustainable Hour we talked about the state government’s ‘double speak’ when it comes to gas.
Here are the media releases that tells its own story about how state leaders think about this fossil fuel.

—–Original Message—–
From: Vic Coalition [mailto:CoalitionMedia.Victoria@minstaff.vic.gov.au]
Sent: Tuesday, 30 September 2014 7:19 AM
Subject: MEDIA ALERT: Deputy Premier Peter Ryan and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh will be in Swan Hill TODAY to make a major funding announcement regarding natural gas

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan and Deputy Leader of The Nationals and Member for Swan Hill Peter Walsh will be in Swan Hill TODAY to make a major funding announcement regarding natural gas.

Regional Victoria will be cooking with natural gas

   Agreement reached to supply natural gas to the remaining priority towns
   Four Murray River communities will also be connected
   Victorian Coalition Government delivers on its election commitment
   and more

The Victorian Coalition Government has delivered another key election commitment, with agreement reached to supply piped natural gas to the remaining priority towns under the Energy for The Regions Program, as well as an additional four Murray River communities using a compressed natural gas delivery solution.

Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan visited Swan Hill today to announce Brookfield Infrastructure Group has been selected to connect gas to Heathcote, Invermay, Lakes Entrance, Maldon, Marong,  Orbost, Terang, Swan Hill, Kerang, Robinvale and Nathalia.

Mr Ryan said the gas connections would be delivered through the Victorian Coalition Government’s $85 million Request for Tender, which included two components:

$30 million to connect Murray River communities, comprising $15 million from the Commonwealth’s $100 million Murray-Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Program and $15 million from Victoria’s Regional Growth Fund; and $55 million from the Regional Growth

Fund to supply the remaining priority towns as part of the third stage of the Energy for the Regions Program.

“Today I’m delighted to announce the Coalition Government has successfully negotiated with Brookfield to deliver natural gas to 11 communities,” Mr Ryan said.

“We are now delivering gas to all 14 priority towns announced as part of the Energy for The Regions Program, as well as a further four communities along the Murray River.

“Many doubted our commitment to connect regional communities to gas, led by the Labor Party and their fear mongering regional spokesperson Jacinta Allan who falsely described our plan as a ‘monstrous hoax’.

“I am pleased to announce today that this is no hoax, we have honoured our promise and more, going over and above our brief by reaching agreement to  connect an additional four Murray River communities to natural gas.

“True to this government’s track record of success, we have under-promised  and over-delivered.”

Deputy Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh joined Mr Ryan in Swan Hill and  said connecting these 11 communities to reticulated natural gas using  compressed natural gas (CNG) was an Australian first and could provide the  future solution to connecting natural gas to other towns across regional  Australia.

“While natural gas has historically been transmitted via pipelines from  the main grid, the high cost of laying long-distance pipes has meant a  different approach was needed if we were to continue rolling out gas  across regional and rural Victoria,” Mr Walsh said.

“Brookfield’s proposal will involve initial supply of CNG from its  Derrimut facility and the creation of further Mother Stations to compress  the gas before it is trucked to Daughter Stations, to be located on the  outskirts of town, in each of the 11 communities.

“From the Daughter Stations the gas will be reticulated via pipes to homes  at a price comparable to gas supplied through conventional pipelines  connected to the grid.

“While applying this delivery method to residential homes is a first, the  CNG delivery solution is a proven technology, having been used in  industrial settings where the cost of a traditional pipeline has been too  high.

“Communities can rest assured, knowing our system will provide the same  level of capacity, reliability, safety and convenience for households,  small businesses and industry as connecting to conventional piped gas from  the grid.

“Today’s announcement is terrific news for regional Victoria, and to be  here in Swan Hill today alongside the Deputy Premier to announce two  communities in my electorate, Swan Hill and Kerang, will be connected is a  great moment.”

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government and Brookfield wouldn’t waste any  time, with work scheduled to begin before the end of the year.

Mr Ryan said reticulated natural gas would be delivered regardless of  which side of politics wins November’s election, with the contracts now  set in stone.

“Delivering gas to our regional and rural communities is vital to ensure  they remain strong,” Mr Ryan said.

“Having a reticulated natural gas connection will attract new forms of  industry to town, particularly job creating energy intensive manufacturing  enterprises.

“It will also support residents by providing a cheaper, cleaner source of  energy, whether that is for heating or cooking.”

Mr Ryan said today’s announcement followed agreements to deliver  conventional piped natural gas to Huntly, Avoca, Bannockburn, Winchelsea,  Koo Wee Rup, Warburton and Wandong-Heathcote Junction, as well as the  augmentation of Mildura’s gas supply.

“Last month, Huntly became the first town to be connected to Victoria’s  natural gas network under Energy for the Regions Program,” Mr Ryan said.

“The $4.5 million project has already connected more than 180 Huntly  households to natural gas, with more expected to be connected soon.

“I recently visited Jan and Dale Johnson in Huntly to discuss their new  connection and I was extremely pleased to learn that Jan has been able to  heat her entire house for the first time, ensuring Huntly’s cold winters  are no longer something to dread.

“More importantly the gas connection means Jan can cook her delicious  scones in her gas oven without it costing her an arm and a leg.

“Thanks to this significant investment from the Victorian Coalition  Government, Jan and Dale’s story will be replicated right across our  regions, making all the effort and perseverance to get this project across  the line worthwhile.”

[ENDS]


From: Vic Coalition [mailto:CoalitionMedia.Victoria@minstaff.vic.gov.au]
Sent: Wednesday, 1 October 2014 4:26 PM
Subject: Statement from Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan (Media statement)

Statement from Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan regarding Maree Edwards’ comments on natural gas storages:

“Labor MP for Bendigo West Maree Edwards’ ridiculous scaremongering about the Coalition Government’s natural gas program cannot pass without comment.

“Ms Edwards has told the Bendigo Advertiser that having gas storage facilities in country towns is dangerous and could pose a threat to the community in the event of a fire.

“Just reflect for a moment on how silly that proposition is.

“Victoria is home to many thousands of kilometres of high pressure gas pipelines and many thousands of gas storage facilities including at most service stations. Many of our appliances and hot water services run on gas.
Many of our towns include household LPG storage cylinders.

“You’d have to shut down nearly every service station in Victoria if you believed this sort of rubbish.

“Compressed natural gas units are engineered, designed, manufactured and tested to withstand prolonged exposure to fire and other serious hazards.
This includes being completely engulfed in fire for an extended period of time and withstanding being shot with armour piercing bullets.

“Ms Edwards’ comments are a pathetic attempt to distract from the fact that in November 2010, John Brumby told regional Victorians that Labor would not connect any more country towns to cheap natural gas.
www.news.smh.com.au

“The Coalition promised to connect 14 country towns to natural gas, delivered it to 18, and augmented Mildura’s supply by 50 per cent.

“I again ask Ms Edwards and Labor to drop the scaremongering rubbish.”

[ENDS]


…which is why it is time to

DIVEST!

Get your money out of coal, gas and oil production. Move your bank account and your super annuation to a fossil free bank and super.

Divestment-oct18-2014

Find out where your current super stands:
www.superswitch.org.au

Australia’s new 100% fossil free super:
www.myfuturesuper.com.au

Find out where your current and future bank stands:
www.marketforces.org.au/banks/compare

Sign up for the 18 October campaign:
www.350.org/divestmentday
www.marketforces.org.au/divestmentday

Info about divestment:
www.gofossilfree.org.au

Have you joined Divestment Day? Show the world you’re part of Australia’s biggest ever day of divestment action targeting our biggest fossil fuel finding banks! Make your profile photo one of these pictures ahead of the big day!

Have you joined Divestment Day? Show the world you're part of Australia's biggest ever day of divestment action…

Posted by Market Forces on Tuesday, March 25, 2014




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The Australian government will do its part, unfortunately, but that doesn’t mean Australians aren’t willing to. Below is a newsletter from Victorian Climate Action Network, which highlights the numerous activities that take place in Victoria every month:

asdf
Print
newsletter_header-oct

 

People’s Climate Mobilisation

Around the world hundreds of thousands marched on 21 September, including 388,000 people filling 80 blocks in New York. Watch this short and inspiring video.

In Melbourne there were around 30,000 people, 900 in Geelong and smaller numbers in towns including Metung.

rally-collage_600

Eastern Climate Action Melbourne and the Baby Boomers did a great job of getting the Vote Climate message out. Have a look at the screen-printed placards featuring prominently in this picture below – the main photo in The Age’s coverage.

melbourne-rally-sign600

tony-dare_200However, Tony Abbott failed to join over 120 world leaders this week at the UN Climate Summit – despite 350.org’s dare. Julie Bishop tried to put a positive spin on the Liberal’s Emissions Reduction Fund.
» See the 5-minute video.

However, Australia’s stance was savagely condemned.

Australia and Canada have been described as an ‘Axis of Carbon’ and were rated last and second last on climate action amongst developed nations on the 2014 Climate Change Performance Index. According to Inside Climate News, it appears Australia may be seeking to derail the 2015 talks in Paris.

 

Breakthrough – The New Era of Climate Activism

breakthrough-flyer200Explore a new era of climate activism that is changing everything about the way we campaign on climate change. Here’s your chance to hear David Spratt presenting his important paper, Dangerous climate change: Myths & reality, together with Paul Gilding talking about the role of the market, activism and policy in making an emergency speed transition away from fossil fuels. This event is presented by Environment Victoria and the Sustainable Living Festival and Mark Wakeham will be the third speaker, exploring ways for environmental NGOs to respond to the extent of the climate crisis and the rapid economic transition required to restore a safe climate.
Monday 20 October at 6:30pm. RMIT University Building 80, Level 1, 80/445 Swanston St, Melbourne.
» Register at www.breakthrough2014.org

 

Campaigning for renewables

campaigning-for-renewables2There were Rally for Renewables protestsat the offices of several prominent federal politicians including around 200 people at the office of Andrew Robb. Great coverage in the Herald Sun including this picture!

One of Friends of the Earth’s main ‘asks’ this election is a call for a Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET). The Greens have come out in support on several occasions. At an electoral forum organized by a number of large environmental NGOs, Victorian Greens party leader Greg Barber and Greens candidate for the seat of Melbourne, Ellen Sandell, supported a VRET and made a number of commitments regarding climate action, renewable energy and phasing out fossil fuels.
» Read about the Greens forum.

At a similar election forum with the ALP, Lily D’Ambrosio, shadow minister for energy, and Lisa Neville, shadow minister for the environment, would not commit to a VRET when prompted. But now it seems that the ALP is getting close to supporting the policy. This week, Labor candidate for Ripon, Daniel McGlone, told The Maryborough Advertiser, “Daniel Andrews has made a commitment that should the RET be scrapped at a federal level Labor will re visit the VRET and re-instate it,” he said. “I’m obviously going to be deeply in favour of that.” A super majority of Victorians support state government policies to encourage more renewable energy.
» Please send a message to Daniel Andrews, Leader of the Opposition daniel.andrews@parliament.vic.gov.au.

Will the Liberals take up the offer of a Liberal Party forum on the environment, organised by the same large NGOs as the ALP and Greens forums?

Stay tuned. But don’t hold your breath!

 

Fossil fuel industry reports

qld-treasury200Billions of taxpayer dollars are being spent on fossil fuels. But exactly how much it all adds up to has been the subject of a heated public debate between The Australia Institute and the Minerals Council. In June 2014, The Australia Institute released research which estimated state governments spent $17.6 billion on the minerals and fossil fuel industries over the last six years. In mid-September, the various minerals councils released their own report arguing that most of the money is investment that gets paid back, so shouldn’t be considered as industry assistance. Australia Institute have fought back with some facts and figures based on what the mining states say when they go cap-in-hand to the Commonwealth asking for money (or trying to hand over less royalties) and arguing about the cost of the subsidies.





» Watch Richard Dennis debate the NSW Minerals Council on the 7.30 Report. Read more from Michael West in the SMH. More information from the Australia Institute coming soon or email:rod@tai.org.au

Another report well worth reading is Fossil Fuels, Global Warming and Democracy: A Report from a Scene of the Collision by Dr Kevin Taft from the Whitlam Institute, University of Western Sydney. Taft argues that democracy is caught in a collision between two forces: the need to respond to global warming by cutting carbon emissions, and the demands of the fossil fuel industry to increase carbon use and production. He says that the struggle to respond effectively to global warming is also the struggle to preserve democracy. “Neither democracy nor a healthy environment will prevail without a tough, smart, and prolonged effort. In both Canada and Australia that effort will need to be driven not by elites, but by the mass of citizens who demand a better future than the bleak and smouldering one that science currently says is on offer.”
» Download the report (PDF, 20 pages)

State election – in less than two months now

Find a first time voter and encourage them to go to Election Question 2014. The top three questions pitched by first time voters in each and every electorate across the State will be put to candidates for a direct response.

tunnel_200Public Transport not Traffic have continued their powerful campaign against the East-West Link. For coming campaigning opportunities, check their website. Watch this great new video clip made to combat the state government’s propaganda ads.

The Transport Forums have been well attended. Only one more to go now – in Monash. Videos of the presentations by politicians for each forum are available. The Darebin forum (in the marginal ALP/Greens state seat of Northcote) saw some tense moments as Fiona Richardson, sitting ALP member took on Cr Trent McCarthy, Greens candidate for Northcote, and Gladys Liu, Liberal candidate for Northern Metro. A Darebin Climate Action Now member was able to ask a question on the East-West Link and whether the ALP would use their temporary majority on this issue (with support from Geoff Shaw) to pass a motion opposing the signing of the contracts. The Moreland Transport Forum (in the marginal ALP/Greens state seat of Brunswick) was held just a few hours after Premier Denis Napthine signed the East West Link contracts. Climate Action Moreland members attended handing out their leaflet, East West Tunnel equals Climate Madness, and the VCAN climate science postcard. The most highly rated question for the night came from CAM and drew attention to deaths from heat waves, the effects of heat waves on public transport and the need to reduce fossil fuel use in transport.
» Read more here.

election-collage200The Vote Climate campaign in inner city marginal Labor/Greens seats is gathering momentum. Next step is the distribution of hundreds of Vote Climate house signs.
» If your group would like some, please email Darebin at CAN@gmail.com.

Environment Victoria, GetUp! And local climate groups are continuing to campaign hard in Prahran, Forest Hill, and three sandbelt electorates. There are lots of door-knocking and street stalls planned. See coming events for a list of Environment Victoria events. EV are also holding weekly phone banking sessions between 5:00pm and 7.30pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 60 Leicester St, Carlton. » Contact janestabb@gmail.com.

And there is an EV house sign – that’s it in the picture.

At the People’s Climate March, 400 GetUp members pledged to Vote Clean at this year’s Victorian state election on 29 November. Talking to voters directly is how GetUp intends to create the people power needed to shift all the major parties to do better by our environment. Thousands of GetUp members will be getting together to knock on neighbours’ doors, make phone calls to undecided voters, and hold stalls and community events that get our local politicians’ attention. In the last three weeks alone, Victorian GetUp members have already had more than 1,125 conversations with voters. This is a new style of grassroots campaigning for GetUp.
» For GetUp!’s coming events click here for Melbourne events, here for Frankston events, and here for Geelong events. » Pledge at voteclean.org.au.

The push for coal and gasfield free communities is gathering momentum in regional Victoria. The editor of the Weekly Times told ABC Melbourne that the number two issue for regional voters is onshore gas mining – second only to the usual concern, infrastructure, roads and public transport. He said communities are up in arms about gas, and every time they publish an article about it they get more letters about it than anything else. It would be very important for the parties to respond to it and that Victoria isn’t treating it like any other state has, he said.

The city of Greater Geelong appear to be close to making a statement opposing unconventional gas mining. Liberal Party councillor and former mayor Stretch Kontelj made a speech at the climate rally in Geelong. A great campaign by the Moriac, Freshwater Creek, Geelong, Grovedale and Torquay groups. Council’s call for submissions on unconventional gas closed on Friday with over 400 submissions from Geelong citizens and organisations. A number of them are posted here.

Shut It Down – the campaign to close the Anglesea Power Station have been approaching companies to rule out purchasing this brown coal dinosaur. So far nine companies have ruled themselves out. Read more.

In Gippsland East, climate activist and independent climate emergency candidate, Peter Gardner addressed a crowd of 200 at Metung.
» Read more.

 


October events

Saturday 4 October. EV Campaign skills training (field campaigning) held in conjunction with the VTHC, Victorian Trades Hall Building, 54 Victoria St, Carlton, 9:30am–1:00pm. » Contact jane.stabb@environmentvictoria.org.au.

Saturday 4 October at 7:00pm, Deans Marsh. Dance for Lock the Gate. Concert and Fundraiser with Mountain Grey & Rondo. At Deans Marsh Memorial Hall, Pennyroyal Valley Rd, Deans Marsh. » Contact Seona Gunn (03) 5236 3384.

Sunday 5 October. Rock 4 Renewables Fundraiser with Empat Lima, Alysia Manceau, Danny Walsh Banned, and Nun of the Tongue. Plus DJ Emma Peel (PBS) & DJ Knave Knixx (Shack Shakers). Gasometer, 484 Smith St, Collingwood.

Sunday 5 October, 1.00pm-4.00pm. EV door knock Vermont South. » claire.vanherpen@environmentvictoria.org.au.

Sunday 5 October from 12md. Meerlieu & Districts Declaration Day & Ute Sign! Including Goon Nure, Bengworden, Meerlieu & Perry Bridge. At Meerlieu Hall, Lindenow-Meerlieu Rd. Ute sign & speeches from 2pm. Cakes, sausage sizzle, kanga cricket, jumping castle, face painting and more. » Email gasfieldfreebairnsdale@gmail.com

Sunday 5 October. Nelson Unconventional Gas Information Night. »Contact Leila: leila.huebner@exemail.com.au.

Sunday 5 October 12:00pm.Gasfield Free West Alliance Meeting in Portland RSL, Percy St.
» Contact Chloe Aldenhoven 0432 328 107

Tuesday 7 October at 2:00–4:00pm. Symposium with Nicole Foss at 680 High Street, Thornbury. Nicole is an international speaker on the economy and environment. She was one of the keynote speakers at the National Climate Summit in Brisbane and was featured on Big Ideas last month. Organised by Women’s Health in the North.

Tuesday 7 October 7:00pm. Gasfield Free Torquay action meeting.
Patagonia, Sufcoast Hwy.
» Contact Elizabeth Packett 0414 891 766.

Thursday 9 October at 7:30–9:00pm. State Election Forum in St Anne’s Hall, corner Windella Ave and Beresford St, with the Kew candidates standing in the upcoming election attending. Organised by Kew East Residents Association.

Friday 10 October. TEDx Melbourne Conference Off the Grid. Find out more about speakers: www.tedxmelbourne.com/speakers. Venue: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (Plenary 1).

Saturday 11 October. Global Frackdown Day – an international day of action initiated by Food & Water Watch to ban fracking. The event aims to unite concerned residents everywhere for a day of action to send a message to elected officials across the globe that we want a future powered by clean, renewable energy – not dirty, polluting fossil fuels.Watch for local events: www.globalfrackdown.org/events-2014 including Warrnambool Global Frackdown: Venue and time TBC » Contact Nadia Collis 0426 261 344

Saturday 11 October, 10.30am -12.30pm. Shut It Down Action Meeting at the Anglesea Community Hall. The campaign to shut down the Anglesea coal-fired power station is at a critical juncture with the sale of the power station imminent and the state election approaching. » RSVPsurfcoastairaction@gmail.com.

Saturday 11 October, 9.00am-12.00md. EV street stall at Vermont South.
» Contact claire.vanherpen@environmentvictoria.org.au.

Saturday 11 October and Sunday 12 October at 10:00am–4:00pm. Lock the Gate Victoria Stall @ Garden Expo, Lardner Park (10 mins from Warragul). » Email: noah.bk@foe.org.au.

Sunday 12 October. EV Persuasive Conversations Training, 60 Leicester St, Carlton, 1:00–4:00pm.
»
Contact jane.stabb@environmentvictoria.org.au.

Sunday 12 October. Run with Doctors for the Environment Australia in the Melbourne Marathon Festival.Support for action to address the ill health resulting from damage from fossil fuels.Everybody from new runners to seasoned experts welcome. » Find more information and register here.

Sunday 12 October at 10:30am. Gippsland Alliance meeting. At Lavalla College, Traralgon, classroom at the back. Representatives from all over Gippsland get together every six weeks to work together on projects, support and inspire. » If you have not attended before please RSVP to: csgfreepoowong@hotmail.com.

Monday 13 Octpber at 6:00–7:30pm. ‘Climate Change: Are we up for the challenge?’ Miegunyah Lecture by Prof Sir Brian Hoskins, hosted by the School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne, the EU Centre on Shared Complex Challenges, the Melbourne Energy Institute and the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute.
» For more information, click here.

Wednesday 15 October at 7:30pm. Yarram Gasfield Information Night. At Regent Theatre, Main Street. Expert Speaker: Mark Ogge from the Australia Institute. » For more info contact Julie 0429 464486.

Wednesday 15 October at 7:30–9:00pm. Climate Change: Risks and Opportunities. Bayside Climate Change Action Group and Brighton Secondary College to present an evening of presentations and Q&A at Brighton Secondary College, 120 Marriage Road, Brighton East. Speakers: Rob Gell, David Karoly, Kirsty Albion, and Jennifer Lauber Patterson (chair). Gold coin donation at the door. » RSVP: Eventbrite (free ticket). Contact: Tim Forcey – 0419 019 864.

Friday 17 October. Pascoe Vale Uniting Church (Mel 17 B6) Q & A “What kind of Infrastructure for Victoria?” with Tony Morton (Public Transport Users Association), Carolyn Whitzman (Professor in Urban Planning, University of Melbourne), Andrea Sharam (former Moreland City councillor and affordable housing advocate).

Friday 17 October 7:00pm. Dartmoor, Drumborg and Lyons Declaration and Film Night. Dartmoor Hall – Dinner for farmers and VFF members preceding at Dartmoor Pub. » Contact Michael Greenham 0488 553 803

Saturday 18 October 10am onwards. EV and GetUp! Day of Action in all three sandbelt electorates.
» Contact jane.stabb@environmentvictoria.org.au.

Saturday 18 October. EV door-knocking Forest Hill. » Contact claire.vanherpen@environmentvictoria.org.au.

Saturday 18 October. Divestment Day. Market Forces and 350.org are calling on thousands of customers of ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac to turn out and publicly close their accounts if the banks fail to rule out further support for the dirty fossil fuel industry. » Sign up at www.marketforces.org.au/divestmentday

Saturday 18 October. The Macedon Ranges Sustainability Group pro-wind mountain bike ride – a Ride for Renewables from Black Forest Timbers, 988 Black Forest Drive, Woodend. The ride offers options for the semi-serious mountain-biker as well as those that are interested in a leisurely 13km ride through the pine forest. Starting at 10.00am (staggered start), riding to the site of the proposed community owned wind turbine and through surrounding forest. » Go to www.mrsgonline.org.au/events/r4r and book your tickets, or email R4R@mrsgonline.org.au. » Facebook event page: www.facebook.com/events/521386021326146/

Sunday 19 October at 1:00pm. South Gippsland Election Forum at the Football Clubrooms (Walter J Tuck Reserve) Strzelecki Hwy, Mirboo North. Confirmed candidates attending so far are Labor, Greens, Independent and Country Alliance. » Contact: coalandcsgfreemirboonorth@outlook.com.

Sunday 19 October at 11:00–4:00pm. Whitehorse Spring Festival in Nunawading. Environment Victoria market stall, with Concentrated Solar Thermal model on display along with a stack of yard signs for people to take.

Sunday 19 October. Nelson Information Night. Nelson Hall. » Contact Leila Huebner (08) 8738 4037



Monday 20 October 2014 at 6:30pm. Breakthrough – the new era of climate activism. Organised by Environment Victoria and the Sustainable Living Foundation. Explore a new era of climate activism that is changing everything about the way we campaign on climate change. RMIT Building 80, Level 1, 80/445 Swanston St. » Register here.

Wednesday 22 October, 7.00pm Macedon Candidates Forumat the Riddells Creek pub.The Forum will be open to all topics – transport, employment, infrastructure or environmental concerns. » Register here.

Wednesday 22 October from 6:30 PM. Pacific Warriors talk atRMIT Cinema (Level 1, Room 002, 445 Swanston St). The event will be part story-telling, part performance and a call to action.
» Registration page.

Friday October 24 to Monday 27 October. Beyond Coal and Gas Conference: Protecting our Heritage, Embracing the Future at Ivory’s Rock, near Ipswich Queensland. It has been a huge year for the campaign to move Australia beyond coal and gas, with the movement growing from strength to strength across the country. The national gathering is a chance to bring people together from all over Australia, to reflect, to share stories and experiences, to learn from one another and to plan how to take the movement to the next level. Speakers include US based solar entrepreneur Danny Kennedy, the founder of Sungevity, and Dr Anne Poelina, a Nyikina Traditional Owner from the Mardoowarra, Lower Fitzroy River. » Website and registration.

Sunday 26 October. State election candidates get chance to reveal CSG stance. Coal and CSG Free Mirboo North is holding a forum for candidates at the state election to explain their policies on unconventional gases. All parties contesting the seat of Gippsland South will take part, including the sitting MP and Deputy Premier, Peter Ryan.
» www.facebook.com/CoalAndCsgFreeMirbooNorth.

Tuesday 28 October, 7.00pm. Gasfield Free Bairnsdale meeting. Neighbourhood House, 27 Dalmahoy Street.
» Contact: gasfieldfreebairnsdale@gmail.com or call Debbie 0448 809 798.

Wednesday 29 October, 5:30pm-8:30pm. EV’s AGM and Environment Celebration night. Come and celebrate Victoria’s magnificent environment in style, as we recognise the incredible environmental leadership across the community and enjoy the hilarious musical stylings of special guest host Bob Downe. » Book here:

Friday 31 October, 6.30pm. Hamilton candidates Forum. Hamilton Performing Arts Centre.
» Contact Helen Henry 0428 742 287.

 


November–December events

Friday 7 November. Seat of Pascoe Vale Candidate Forum – Coburg Uniting Church commencing at 7:30pm.

Saturday 8 November. Due date for Monster Climate Petition.

Sunday 9 November. EV – Building and Maintaining Effective Teams Training, 60 Leicester St, Carlton, 1:00–4:00pm.

Wednesday 12 November 7:00–9:30pm. Lighter Footprints candidates’ forum. Q&A panel and breakout groups for candidates from Kew Hawthorn Burwood and Box Hill. At Hawthorn Arts Centre (formerly Town Hall), Burwood Rd.

Wednesday 12 November at 6:30pm for a 7:00pm start. Darebin Climate Action Now Northcote Candidate Forum, Northcote Town Hall.

Friday 14 November at 7:30pm, Brunswick Candidate Forum, Brunswick Uniting Church

Friday 14 November to Saturday 16 November in Brisbane. G20 summit.

 

_______________________________________________

Victorian election
Saturday 29 November. Will Victorians see climate as one of the decisive issues?

VCAN post-election celebratory lunch
Sunday 7 December 11.00am–2.00pm in Melbourne, venue TBC.

 

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