Your council is prepared to evolve. Are you?

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In the 47th Sustainable Hour on 94.7 The Pulse on 15 October 2014, we report from the meeting on 14 October where Geelong Council unanimously voted to advocate for a permanent state ban on fracking.

Our guests in the studio are painter and artist Mary Constance Black, and Jackray Black who is a former sustainability teacher at Centre for Sustainable Innovation at The Gordon in Geelong and a busy letter- and opinion-piece writer. Both are activists in GetUp’s Vote Clean campaign.



Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 47:

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Mary Constance Black
Mary Constance Black in front of her latest painting

Guests in the studio:
Mary Constance Black, artist
Jackray Black, former sustainability teacher at The Gordon in Geelong

Pre-recorded interview:
• Cr Andy Richards, Environment and Sustainability Portfolio

Youtube videos:
Kathy Jetnil-Kijine reads her poem about climate change
‘Mother Nature’ with voice-over by film actor Julie Robert


Topics we talked about:
Call for a permanent fracking ban
Geelong Council takes unanimous decision against fracking

Take the Green Pledge
Are you willing to take a pledge to help tackle climate change and raise awareness?

“Good for humanity”
Australia’s Prime Minister about coal

Divestment Day on Saturday
“We only get to vote every three years, but we can move our money every day. Go fossil free today!”



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‘Nature Is Speaking – Julia Roberts is Mother Nature’

Published by Conservation International on youtube.com on 5 October 2014.

“Nature doesn’t need people. People need nature.”
» www.natureisspeaking.org




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Geelong wants a permanent ban on fracking

Council and community in City of Greater Geelong now speaks with one voice: Geelong wants a permanent ban on fracking

On 14 October 2014, the City of Greater Geelong Council decided they would take a very strong position against onshore gas extraction – and it was unanimous in the chamber. So after a lot of hard work, we have got a position with both Council and community on the same front to advocate to state and federal government that we want a permanent ban on fracking in our region and in Victoria.

Eight councillors spoke against fracking during the debate. Cr Jock Irvine did a wonderful job in leading the way by proposing a motion that would ask not only for an extention of the existing moratorium, but for a permanent ban on fracking, as a petition of 1,170 citizens had requested.

“We have had a clear message sent from the community and we have a duty of care,” Cr Irvine said.

» Geelong Advertiser published a detailed report on the debate in Council.


What this means is that the City of Greater Geelong is obligated to lobby the State Government against any attempts by the gas mining industry to establish mining in the region. If the State Government chooses to override Council’s position (say next year), then local protest action will be needed to stop the trucks rolling into the region.

Cr Andy Richards’ comment about the decision in Council, recorded the day after the meeting

Facebook note by Quit Coal Victoria. Click to see it on Facebook
Facebook note by Quit Coal Victoria. Click to see it on Facebook


Councillor: Time to draw a line in the sand

Rod Macdonald
Rod Macdonald

At the Council meeting on 14 October 2014, several councillors talked warmly about investing in renewables, and it was decided that council will “write to the Victorian and Federal governments requesting support for the development of renewable energy sources to replace fossil fuels in the provision of heating, cooling and power.”

Cr Rod Macdonald, Knowledge Economy and Education portfolio holder, said that it is the time to look to the future and not backwards:

“It is very apparent around the world that the renewable energy movement is well and truly on,” he said.

“We look across the world and see the restrictions being placed on fossil fuels, and I think it says to us the time for us now is to invest in renewable industry and not the industries of the 18th and 19th centuries. I think it is time to send a message. This municipality can be amongst the leaders to say that we want a renewable sector developed, and we want it now!”

For this statement Cr Macdonald received what was probably one of the loudest applauses of the evening from the audience of approximately 40 Geelong citizens.

“We need to get our skates on, because renewables is the future. It is not something that runs out in 30 years with a potential to destroy our water supplies. It is time for us to move on and acknowledge the future. Ten minutes of sunshine is enough to run the world for a whole year. So I think it is time to draw a line in the sand and say ‘no fracking’!” Cr Macdonald stated.

The recommendation to Council, which was voted on, said that the councillors not only “reject onshore gas extraction, including fracking, and supports a permanent ban,” it also stated that councillors would write to the Victorian and Federal governments “requesting support for the development of renewable energy sources to replace fossil fuels in the provision of heating, cooling and power.”

Statements like these added some credibility to a saying which Geelong’s councillors are repeating in media again and again: that they intend to transform Geelong into “a 21st century smart city”. Until now, they have failed to explain exactly what that would mean. Would it for instance mean that the city is going to aim for a goal to become carbon neutral within a number of years, similar to what the Borough of Queenscliffe has done?

“So, let’s have a sun-powered Christmas tree,” someone said in the audience right afte the councillors had voted, and everyone laughed. What has become know as the Mayor’s Christmas tree, a 25 meter high floating Christmas tree at the city’s waterfront later this year, is an experiment which is supposed to attract tourists and attention to the city. Jokes aside – giving this tree an element of renewable energy would be the ‘smart’ thing to do now.

A group of architects has actually designed a wind-powered ‘Sea Dragon’ sculpture almost a year ago, which could easily power the lights on the Mayor’s Christmas tree. More importantly, while upgrading council’s buildings, as it is going to happen with a $60 million budget in northern suburbs, building a new pool and gym facility, among other things, and spending $40 million to revitalise Central Geelong – these new projects and the numerous popular and council-sponsored sports and football clubs in Geelong which have been upgraded in recent years, they all ought to be among the first to become fully powered on renewable energy.

This, indeed, would be “sending a message”, as Cr Macdonald requested. It will be noticed and create the kind of courage in the community which we need in order to create broader engagement and investment in renewables.


Read more:

» Frack Free Geelong – 15 October 2014:
Geelong rejects onshore gas extraction and supports permanent ban

 

“Democracy is the big winner in this – without such extensive community involvement, the result could well have been different. Now let’s giddyup & work together to have Geelong lead Oz into a post carbon world. With the old foundations of Shell, Ford & Alcoa gone or going, a golden opportunity awaits us via a clean energy driven transformation.”
Anthony Gleeson, commenting on Geelong Advertiser’s story




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greenpledge

The Green Pledge

The Green Pledge involves taking five personal commitments for one week to limit your carbon emissions to 50 per cent of the average Australian. And by getting friends and family to sponsor you for your efforts, you can raise awareness and funds to help tackle climate change.

This year The Green Pledge is taking place from the 17th to 23rd of October.

» Read more



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Poem to my daughter

On 23 September 2014, 26-year-old poet Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner from the Marshall Islands addressed the opening ceremony of the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit in New York, USA. Kathy was selected from among over 500 civil society candidates in an open, global nomination process conducted by the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service.

Published on youtube.com

Pacific climate warriors have a message for Tony Abbott
Pacific climate warriors have a message for Tony Abbott and Australia’s coal industry: Coal is NOT good for humanity

Pacific climate warriors stand up to Australian coal exports

As global Reclaim Power week comes to an end, climate warriors from small island Pacific states today blockaded a coal port in Newcastle, Australia, highlighting the threat Australia’s coal expansion poses to their future. Newcastle’s coal port is the largest in Australia and the world. If it were a country, the coal exported from it would make the port the 9th highest emitting country in the world.

The coal industry and its cheerleaders in the Australian government have recently taken to pushing the PR line that coal is “good for humanity”, but the reality is that Australia’s coal industry is hugely overrated economically, and Australian coal is doing global damage. Continuing to focus on coal for energy production will exacerbate the health, development and climate change challenges the world’s poor are struggling with, not alleviate them.
» www.treealerts.org




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“Coal is good for humanity”

Yes. This is really what the prime minister of Australia said this week. Sometimes, you have really to pinch yourself. The statement is going around the world now, while high-profile Australians are stating they are ashamed to be Australian.

“So let’s have no demonisation of coal. Coal is good for humanity.”
Tony Abbott, Prime Minister of Australia

» Read more in The Guardian

Coal exports are the source of Australia’s greatest impact on the global climate. In 2013 Australia exported 358 million tonnes of coal, equivalent to 907 million tonnes of CO­2-e. Australia is the second largest coal exporter in the world, accounting for 26 per cent of global exports in 2013.


“Totally unwilling to listen to logic”

“I think the Australian government must be one of the most ignorant governments I’ve ever seen in the sense, right across the board, on immigration or about anything else, they’re totally unwilling to listen to science or logic”
Lord Deben, former UK Environment Minister of the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom. He spoke to The Guardian about the Australian government’s repeal of climate change and environmental laws.

“A recent study by Globe showed that 66 countries, accounting for 88 per cent of global emissions, have passed climate laws. While most countries were already taking action to tackle rising temperatures – another reason why a deal might be achieved at the crunch climate talks in Paris next year – Lord Deben singled out two countries, Australia and Canada, for criticism.
Australia in particular, where the government has repealed climate change and environmental laws, was behaving ‘appallingly’.
“I think the Australian government must be one of the most ignorant governments I’ve ever seen in the sense, right across the board, on immigration or about anything else, they’re totally unwilling to listen to science or logic,” he said.”

Lord Deben is a former Environment Minister and a Conservative life peer sitting in the House of Lords with varied business interests including being a non-executive director of the Catholic Herald newspaper.

» The Guardian – 5 June 2014
www.theguardian.com


“Fighting the future”

“The Australian government took its strategy of fighting the future to a whole new level this week, with ministers lining up to attack the ANU’s decision to abandon many of its fossil fuel investments, and Prime Minister Tony Abbott taking the coal industry’s PR line to claim that coal is “good for humanity” and has a “bright future” despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

We know that we cannot burn the majority of our fossil fuel reserves, the international community is preparing for a low carbon future, and it costs more to mine and ship Australian coal than it can be sold for.

Couple this with China imposing a new 6 per cent coal import tariff, its steel industry being close to peak production, and forecasters saying the decline in prices will continue as China moves away from imported coal; it’s clear to see why the Abbott government’s vocal protection and support for coal has been dubbed a ‘suicide strategy’.”

» www.treealerts.org

Climate change: a ‘health emergency’

Now hold Mr Prime Minister’s shocking ‘coal-is-good-for-humanity’ statement up against this one:

“British Medical Journal says Ebola deaths will “pale into insignificance” compared to mayhem caused by global warming. WHO should declare climate change a ‘health emergency’”

» British Medical Journal – 9 September 2014:
‘The science of anthropogenic climate change: what every doctor should know’

“WHO director general Margaret Chan said: “The evidence is overwhelming: climate change endangers human health…
Solutions exist and we need to act decisively to change this trajectory.”

UN climate chief Christiana Figueres added: “Climate change is not the equivalent of a disease: it is a symptom. The cause is our unbridled dependence on fossil fuels.”

She encouraged doctors to lobby their governments for stronger action.

Earlier the same month, 12 Australian medical scientists had done just that. They published an open letter asking prime minister Tony Abbott to put climate change on the agenda at the next G20 summit in Brisbane.

» Read more: www.rtcc.org

» RTCC – 12 August 2014:
Put climate change on G20 agenda, medics tell Tony Abbott
Medical scientists urge Australian prime minister Tony Abbott to put climate change on Brisbane G20 agenda



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Two confronting sides

Charlie from 350.org Australia wrote:

“This week, I’ve seen two confronting sides of the coin that is climate change.

Last Friday, as thirty young Pacific Islanders arrived on our shores to stand up to the fossil fuel industry driving the destruction of their homes, I received an email from the President of The Marshall Islands College, asking for assistance in divesting his university from fossil fuels. Attached were thirteen photos of the frightening floods that have just hit the Islands and are evermore frequently scourging his home.

I sat, speechless. Here was a people suffering the worst impacts of climate change yet who had done nothing to cause the problem – offering to help, not just their country, but all countries, by standing up to the fossil fuel industry and divesting from climate disruption. This fighting, hopeful spirit of the Pacific brought tears to my eyes.

Meanwhile, back home, an announcement from Australia’s National University that they will divest* from two fossil fuel companies has prompted our Federal Treasurer to lambast ANU’s Vice Chancellor and our Financial Press to wage a condemnatory campaign, now into its eleventh day. It has even compelled our Prime Minister to exclaim, in his wisdom, that “Coal is Good for Humanity.” The contrast couldn’t be more stark.

But, albeit confronting, these events, I believe, are a major turning point for Australia.

They are laying bare the degree to which our politicians and our press are wedded to an industry whose activities will tank the planet. But more importantly, they’re highlighting the inexorable courage of our Pacific neighbours to tackle the heart of this problem and inspire all Australians to do the same.

And this gives me great hope as we move into times that will be more difficult and confronting than humanity has ever faced.

With the world’s largest coal port to blockade and millions more dollars to shift out of fossil fuels, the next fortnight will be 350.org Australia’s biggest and most challenging yet. We hope you will join us where and when you can by:

Because, to change everything, we need everyone.

Yours, with hope for the massive times ahead,

Charlie

*The attacks keep coming on ANU’s decision to divest. John Hewson, Malcolm Fraser, and a growing list of investors have signed an open letter of support. Add your name here for publication on Friday.

PS: Checkout the Pacific Climate Warriors on Prime TV here.



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Renewable investment collapse

A Bloomberg New Energy Finance analysis has shown that Australia will record its lowest level of renewable energy investment since 2002 following a reduction from $2 billion last year to $238 million this year (a fall of approximately 70%). This dramatic fall has resulted in Australia dropping from 11th to 31st in the world, which places the country lower than Algeria, Myanmar and Thailand respectively.

» www.envirocarb.com.au



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offshore-wind

Offshore wind power can save Americans billions of dollars

“Offshore wind power isn’t usually associated with lower-cost energy, at least not in the public imagination. But it turns out that installing 54 gigawatts of offshore wind power off America’s coasts can cut the cost of electricity in the U.S. by an astounding $7.68 billion a year. That’s right: $7.68 billion annually.”

» Switchboard.nrdc.org:
Offshore Wind Power Can Save U.S. Billions On Electricity, Recent DOE Study Finds

» Energy.gov:
National Offshore Wind Energy Grid Interconnection Study – Executive Summary (PDF)



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Sea level rise: Six Feet Under by 2100?

Melting ice sheets, increasing groundwater withdrawals, and rising ocean temperatures could trigger up to 180 centimetres of sea level rise in the next 85 years, according to researchers at the University of Copenhagen. This is the first upper-limit estimate on the potential future extent of rising sea levels.

» Read more: www.iopscience.iop.org




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NASA: September 2014 was warmest on record

The global average temperature in September was the warmest in a record dating back to 1880, according to an update from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. That makes it two months in a row: August was also the hottest on record by NASA’s reckoning.
www.blogs.discovermagazine.com


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Pentagon: We could soon be fighting climate wars

Read the new report that signals an ‘evolution’ in the American Defense Department’s approach to climate change.

“In one of its strongest statements yet on the need to prepare for climate change, the Defense Department today released a report that says global warming “poses immediate risks to US national security” and will exacerbate national security-related threats ranging “from infectious disease to terrorism.”

“The report is the first to frame climate change as a serious near-term challenge for strategic military operations; previous reports have tended to focus on long-term threats to bases and other infrastructure.”

» Pentagon: We Could Soon Be Fighting Climate Wars




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Open letter from Ray Black to Simon Ramsay

“Simon Ramsay has got me thinking. I am thinking, “What would a response from an environmentally concerned politician look like who saw what the concerned citizens of Get Up are trying to achieve in putting climate change and renewable energy on the landscape for the upcoming state election? What would his response look like if he clearly understood where we are travelling with climate change?” It would not look like his letter (Advocacy Unsurprising; Armstong Creek / Surf Coast Times, 9/10).

A concerned politician would keep abreast of the science and would well know we must go no higher than 2 degrees above preindustrial temperatures, and accordingly must cut greenhouse emissions by 25-40% by end of decade, and be carbon zero by mid-century. This politician would therefore applaud Get Up and make sure this grassroots organisation is facilitated rather than maligned. He would never dare to play politics with climate change but would form politics around the science. He would hear clearly the words of Leonardo DiCaprio in his address to politicians at the recent UN summit on climate change and be convicted by them;

“My friends, this body – perhaps more than any other gathering in human history – now faces that difficult task. You can make history, or be vilified by it.’”
Ray Black




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Divestment news – this week

Anglican National Super: fossil free
Working with AMP, Anglican National Super (ANS) – the superannuation provider for the Sydney Anglican Diocese and wider Australian Anglican Community – has resolved to divest from all areas related to fossil fuels.

» Read more: www.bit.ly/11hrgiw

» Don’t forget to join them by registering for divestment day: www.350.org/divestmentday


Australian National University: fossil free
Australian National University copped a lot of flak in the media for their recent decision to divest from fossil fuels. The outrage from the affected companies shows how much influence universities can wield when they put their money where their mouth is. The question is, will other universities follow suit, having seen the considerable criticism that greeted ANU’s decision?

» The Conversation – 13 October 2014:
Outrage at ANU divestment shows the power of its idea
Good article by Frank Jotzo, Director, Centre for Climate Economics and Policy at Australian National University

» Business Spectator – 16 October 2014:
ANU’s wise goodbye to fossilised companies
“Despite recognition that $16 million across seven stocks exited by the ANU will have “little practical impact”, the companies were apparently “blindsided” by this decision.” Article by Simon O’Connor



The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility have released a new report this week analysing how exposed the big banks are to fossil fuels: www.accr.org.au/big_banks

Australian singer Missy Higgins steps in
Australian singer Missy Higgins steps in

» ABC Radio National – 16 October 2014:
Why are people divesting from fossil fuels?

» Join us on Divestment Day to tell the big four banks: “If you choose fossil fuels, we’ll choose another bank!”
www.facebook.com/events/722147237855290/

» Read more about The National Divestment Day and how to divest:
How to divest Quick Guide



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Optimism in the United Nations

Even Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, is beginning to sound optimistic when she talks about all the various grassroots-level and city-level action that is taking place around the planet:

Video message delivered to R20 Summit of Regions for Climate last week in Paris

» Read more: www.regions20.org



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Action all over Victoria this Saturday 18 October

divestmentday250In the city of Melbourne: It’s 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 accountsTell the big four banks: “If you choose fossil fuels, we’ll choose another bank!”
Starting at 11:00am at Federation Square, opposite the Swanston St tram stop.
» Sign up atwww.marketforces.org.au/divestmentday.

dayofaction250In the sandbelt and Forest Hill: Environment Victoria and GetUp! are having a huge day of action with door-knocking, street stalls and bike billboards across the electorates of Frankston, Mordialloc and Carrum. They will be asking voters to sign pledge cards.

» To get involved email jane.stabb@environmentvictoria.org.au.

Environment Victoria will also be door-knocking in Forest Hill.
» Contact: claire.vanherpen@environmentvictoria.org.au

 

 

voteclimate-250In the ALP/Greens marginal seat of Northcote: join Darebin Climate Action Now at the Fairfield Farmers Market all morning, then come door-knocking to help with the 100 house signs challenge. DCAN are door-knocking priority areas for house signs, including main roads, and houses near schools, railway stations and polling booths. This is a very satisfying form of door-knocking with around one third of those who answer the door being willing to take a Vote Climate house sign. Then on Sunday, it’s house sign delivery day. And Monday will be data entry night! Altogether, grassroots groups aim to find fences for 300 Vote Climate signs. Inner city groups need help from climate groups in non-marginal seats.
» Please email DarebinCAN@gmail.com, climateactionmoreland@gmail.com or www.ycan.org.au/contact

macedoneanranges250In the Macedon Ranges: join the 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.

coal-and-gas-collage840

Lots of action against coal and gas

AGL offices were occupied in collaborative action by many groups – just the first of many such actions to come.

warnambool250In Warnambool, on Global Frackdown day, 50 people and a life-like drill rig paraded though town and posted a message on Denis Napthine’s electorate office. Gas exploration is heating up as a hot topic in the Glenelg Shire communities, particularly in Portland and Casterton. Unfrackabool are putting pressure on Warrnambool City Council take a stance against fracking.

Wellington600

ANOTHER Victorian district has labelled itself ‘gasfield free’.
More than 200 people from Wellington and East Gippsland shires converged at the Meerlieu and districts declaration day to celebrate with a ‘No gasfields’ sign made out of utes.
» Read more

mayor-plus-meeting-collage3Geelong: Several Frack Free groups in the region have been campaigning hard with film evenings, information nights, photo shoots, social media and radio shows, letterboxing, a survey in four communities, a petition, and endless streams of letters, media releases and newsletters in about a year, culminating with a submission process in Council, which received 447 submissions against fracking and only one in defence of it. On 14 October 2014 the city council made a formal decision to reject fracking and call for a permanent ban on onshore gas extraction in the region. On 28 October the council is expected to launch its new Environment Management Strategy which is based on the One Planet Living principles, one of which is the Zero Carbon principle.
» Read more:
www.frackfreegeelong.org

Moreland: The City of Moreland has become the first council in Victoria to rule out direct investments in fossil fuels and the first council in Australia to start developing a strategy to move investments away from financial institutions that fund fossil fuel developments. Moreland joins around 30 cities internationally which have made similar commitments, including Seattle, Dunedin, and Oxford.
» Read more:www.climateactionmoreland.org

The Pacific warriors have arrived

pacific250After months of preparation and planning, 30 Pacific Climate Warriors just launched their traditional canoes into the water in Newcastle. They are paddling into the oncoming path of coal ships in an attempt to shut down the world’s largest coal port for a day.
» You can follow the action on 350’s live blog right now

Send a powerful message to the fossil fuel industry that there are others who are joining the Warriors on this fight:
» Add your name to the petition

» Join the Pacific Warriors on Wednesday 22 October from 6:30pmat RMIT Cinema, Level 1, Room 002, 445 Swanston Street. The event will be part story-telling, part performance and a call to action.
» Registration page.

Lots of action on renewable energy

renewable250Yes 2 Renewables have been working with Macedon Ranges Sustainability Group to get renewables on the agenda in the state election. They asked local candidates, Jo Morabito (Independent), Donna Petrovich (Liberal), Mary Ann Thomas (ALP) and Neil Barker (Greens) their views on wind farm restrictions and a a Victorian Renewable Energy Target of at least 33% by 2020 and the candidates replied.
» There’s a petition calling for a Victorian RET. Please sign it.

On the last sitting day of state parliament, Yes 2 Renewables hand delivered a submission to the Victorian Red Tape Commissioner calling for the anti-wind farm laws to be investigated by Victoria’s Red Tape Commissioner.

Y2R supporters met with former Liberal Senator Peter Rae who is a strong backer of the 41TWh Renewable Energy Target and wind farms. It’s about time more Liberal politicians followed his lead.

A victory on energy efficiency

VEET250The Napthine Government has been trying to introduce legislation to scrap the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET), which is undermining the profits of big coal generators by reducing energy demand. Environment Victoria ran a short, sharp campaign including more than 3000 messages to Denis Napthine, Daniel Andrews and key Frankston Independent Geoff Shaw. Hundreds of Frankston locals called Mr Shaw’s office. They garnered media interest in the issue with stories in the Age, the Frankston Leader, on ABC radio and elsewhere. And they worked to get commitments from the ALP to move amendments to defeat the government’s legislation and retain the VEET target. Knowing that they didn’t have the numbers, the Napthine Government buckled and withdrew their legislation from Parliament. This means that the existing VEET target of 5.4 million tonnes of emissions reduction will stand for 2015.However if the Napthine government is re-elected it has said it will again attempt in the next Parliament to pass legislation to scrap the scheme.
» Read more.


And in other election news …

An interview with Victorian energy minister, Russell Northe, on ABC talk-back with Jon Faine provides more hints that coal seam gas mining may go ahead under Liberals. Listen to what he had to say about the CSG moratorium here. He said that personally he’s on the fence about the industry. He got slammed in the text messages afterwards. He was on radio to launch a new tool on www.energyandresources.vic.gov.au which, if you give enough time to load, shows the most of the state covered in mining licences!

foresthill250At the Forest Hill candidates forum, run by Eastern Climate Action Melbourne and supported by Environment Victoria, about 140 people heard Liberal incumbent, Neil Angus, Labor’s Pauline Richards and Greens candidate Brewis Atkinson lay out their party’s environmental credentials and take questions on climate change, renewable energy and brown coal exports. Pauline Richards and Brewis Atkinson both unequivocally supported the scientific consensus on climate change, while Neil Angus avoided answering direct questions about his personal beliefs, instead referring to his government’s policies. On all climate change related questions, Neil Angus referred to the government’s Climate Change Adaptation Plan. He avoided responding to a question on why the state government emphasises adaptation over mitigation. Many in the audience laughed when he spoke of his government’s indirect support for national emissions mitigation efforts through the Commonwealth’s Direct Action Plan.
» Read moreForest Hill MP heckled as candidates quizzed on environment

Lighter Footprints continues to dominate letters pages

A sincere apology to Lighter Footprints for accidentally leaving out their group report last time. Their group of 26 champion letter writers have letters published frequently and on 9 October excelled themselves with four letters in The Age!
Is that some kind of record? Please support the hard work of this by coming along to their candidates’ forum on Wednesday 12 November at Hawthorn Arts Centre from 7:00–9:30pm. It’s a big venue!
There will be a Q&A panel and breakout groups for candidates from Kew, Hawthorn, Burwood, and Box Hill.



October events

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. » 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 atwww.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, 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



thegreatdisrution100Monday 20 October 2014 at 6:30pm. Breakthrough – the new era of climate activism. Already nearly 400 people have registered for this important rare opportunity to hear Paul Gilding, inspiring speaker and author of The Great Disruption, in Melbourne. Don’t miss out. Explore a new era of climate activism that is changing everything about the way we campaign on climate change. Hear from David Spratt on climate disruption and Mark Wakeham on ways for environmental NGOs to respond to the rapid economic transition required to restore a safe climate. Organised by Environment Victoria and the Sustainable Living Foundation. RMIT University Building 80, Level 1, 80/445 Swanston St, Melbourne. »Register at www.breakthrough2014.org

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.

pacificfighting250Wednesday 22 October from 6:30 PM. Pacific Warriors talk at RMIT 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, Brunswick Candidate Forum, Brunswick Uniting Church commencing at 7:30pm.

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

rallyt15nov250Saturday 15 November Rally4PT. A large coalition of community groups are organising a joint rally and further public transport campaign moves for the state election. Stay tuned.



_______________________________________________

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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