Intergenerational call for climate action

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On United Nations’ International Youth Day, The Sustainable Hour gives voice to an intergenerational call for climate action. In brief: Grandparents for a Safe Earth’s advice to the youth: get involved! Alan Barlee’s advice to the elders: divest!

Guest in the studio: Alan Barlee

Phone interviews: Barry Cash from Grandparents for a Safe Earth and Bill Ryan, 93-year-old World War II veteran who is defending his country for the second time.

Producers and presenters: Jack Nyhof, Anthony Gleeson and Mik Aidt


Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 85:

» 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





 PETITION: 

Call for 100% renewables by 2050

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Sign Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s letter to Prime Minister Tony Abbott:
“Respond urgently to climate change by setting a renewable energy target of 100% by 2050”

Archbishop Desmond Tutu started this petition in the end of July. Three weeks later it had been signed by 223,000 supporters.
Desmond Tutu wrote in his letter to Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott, and Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon:

“Climate change is one of the greatest moral challenges of our time. It threatens the health of our planet and people; especially the poorest and most vulnerable. It threatens our children’s future and everything we hold dear. It is time for all of us to wake up and take action together — in our local communities, nationally and globally, as well as in our daily lives.

As citizens motivated by faith and other moral traditions, we recognize that there is a grave obligation to act on climate change.

We call on you as leaders to respond urgently to the threats of climate change and set a renewable energy target of 100% by 2050. We need bold action like this to keep global temperature rise below the unacceptably dangerous tipping point of two degrees, to phase out carbon pollution to zero, and to invest resources in sustainable development pathways to build a more flourishing, inclusive and balanced world.

We pledge to do our own part by embracing the moral responsibility to care for our world and for each other and by seeking to live better and more sustainable lives in greater joy and harmony.

Let us act now, boldly and together, to build a better life for all!”

» Sign the letter on www.change.org



 PODCAST-RELATED INFORMATION 

Quotes, excerpts and links

Notes and background information in relation to the 85th Sustainable Hour

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» Opinion piece by Mik Aidt: Sometimes progress is to say NO to something which is wrong



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Jack Nyhof

Jack Nyhof

» News bulletin and youth day report by Jack Nyhof: Listen to audio report



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“The federal government has known for decades that CO2 pollution from burning fossil fuels was causing global warming and dangerous climate change. It also knew that continuing to burn fossil fuels would destabilize our climate system, significantly harming my generation and generations to come. Despite knowing these dangers, defendants did nothing to prevent this harm. In fact, my government increased the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere to levels it knew were unsafe.”
Xiuhtezcatl Tonatiuh Martinez, Youth Director of Earth Guardians, challenging the federal government’s national fossil fuel programs, alleging the federal government of the United States is violating the youth’s constitutional rights by promoting the development and use of fossil fuels.





Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, 15-year-old indigenous climate activist from the United States, Youth Director of Earth Guardians, made these remarks at the high-level UN event ‘The United Nations General Assembly on Climate Change’. More information about the event on www.un.org

The video was published on youtube.com on 29 June 2015.

» www.earthguardians.org

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Where we are at

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Oxfam has warned the Australian Government – which has been aggressively parroting coal industry rhetoric – that it is time to end its love affair with coal, as it’s risking not only the global climate, but its economic and political future, given the growing emphasis on renewable energy in China, India, Africa and major economies like the US.

The human race has taken roughly 250 years to stoke global warming by 1°C. On present trends, we look likely to add the next 1°C far more quickly – across much of the world, many climate scientists believe, already by the middle of this century, according to new research published in the journal New Scientist, which commissioned it.

Even that 2°C global temperature rise which politicians have claimed would be a “safe” target, will have devastating consequences, according to professor James Hansen, former director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, who says:

“It is not difficult to imagine that conflicts arising from forced migrations and economic collapse might make the planet ungovernable, threatening the fabric of civilisation.”

James Hansen and colleagues wrote the discussion paper ‘Ice melt, sea level rise and superstorms: evidence from paleoclimate data, climate modeling, and modern observations that 2° global warming is highly dangerous’.

How is it that our elected leaders are willing to run this kind of risk? They – which means we – are literally playing with fire. The worst predicted impacts of climate change are starting to happen — and much faster than climate scientists expected. Detailed update by hundreds of scientists on climate indicators in 2014 reveals highest recorded rises in temperatures, sea levels and greenhouse gases.

As we speak, extreme heat is having deadly consequences across Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. In Egypt, 21 people have died and more than 60 others have been hospitalised due to unusually hot and humid weather. In Japan, almost 6,000 elderly people suffered from heat stroke, as Tokyo experienced its longest-ever streak of temperatures over 35°C degrees. Spain, Switzerland, the UK, and the Netherlands have all set new heat records this summer, and Germany and Poland have been particularly battered this week. Many expect 2015 to surpass 2014 as the hottest year in recorded history, according to Al Jazeera, Think Progress, and many other news outlets.


Where the Australian people is at
Globally, only 2 per cent of global research and development currently is invested in clean energy. Which is absurd, considering the seriousness of our current crisis.

Meanwhile, the Australian government continues to subsidise fossil fuels at a rate of $1,712 per person a year. Considering the data we receive from climate scientists, subsidising fossil fuels in the 21st century has got to be one of the dumbest things society has ever done. We have cheaper alternatives that don’t kill us and cause all kinds of health problems and suffering beforehand.

The Australian politicians clearly are on a different mission – dictated by corporate interests – as they, unlike normal politicians, are not listening to their voters, the Australian people. Only two out of ten Australians say they are supportive of gas energy, eight out of ten Australians say they like solar energy and want to invest and see government invest more in solar, according to yet another survey which shows that people in general understand what it is going on:

“Most (84 per cent, up 2 points) prefer solar amongst their top three energy sources, followed by wind (69 per cent, up 5 points). Gas and nuclear both crashed 7 points to 21 and 13 per cent respectively, with nuclear and coal now tied as least preferred.”

The figures are from the report ‘Climate of the Nation 2015’, which is based on a nationally representative online survey conducted by Galaxy Research 27-29 July 2015 among 1,016 Australians nationally aged 18 years and over.



The large majority (71 per cent) of Australians agree that it is inevitable that Australia’s current coal fired generation will need to be replaced. A similarly large majority (72 per cent) of Australians agree that governments need a plan to ensure the orderly closure of old coal plants and their replacement with clean energy. Only 7 per cent disagree.


Where prices are at
Alone for this reason it really should be a no-brainer for any politician to stand up for renewable energy. But it becomes even more absurd when you consider Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s most recent calculations of which types of energy are not only safest, cleanest, healthiest – all of which saves society huge costs – but also cheapest when looking at the production side:

• a new wind farm in Australia costs $74 a megawatt hour

• a new gas base-load station costs $92 a megawatt hour

• a new large-scale photovoltaic solar project costs $105 a megawatt hour

• a new coal-fired power station costs $119 a megawatt hour

“So both wind and solar are already cheaper than coal,” says the Bloomberg’s Australian head, Kobad Bhavnagri.

We can reach 100% renewables in 10-15 years, if we set our minds to it. For instance, check this brilliant report.

The transition to renewables presents a great opportunity to save money by becoming more efficient and to innovate new products and new industries. So, really, what are our politicians waiting for? It is time to “wise up” to the idiocy of the current federal government in Australia. Stand up for clean, renewable energy.


“We have lived through a credit hyper-expansion for the record books, with an unprecedented generation of excess claims to underlying real wealth. In doing so we have created the largest financial departure from reality in human history.”
Nicole Foss, This Is The Largest Financial Departure From Reality In Human History



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———- Message ———-
From: Alan Barlee
Date: 2015-08-11 16:24 GMT+02:00
Subject: -26% by 2030 – a joke?
To: Getup Geelong Google Group

Hi Folks,

I just had to get this rant off my chest tonight!


The Climate Change Authority responded to the Abbott government woeful Australian GHG target announcement today with an inconvenient truth.

To limit global warming to the target maximum of +2 degrees, Australia’s fair share of the world’s remaining burnable carbon (8-9 billion tonnes) would be fully allocated in only 14 years with the government ‘s announced target.

At that point, by 2030, Australia will have become an uncompetitive pariah among the developed countries – and since those countries will not accept Australia refusing to pull its weight in transitioning to a zero carbon world economy, trade sanctions would surely follow.

This is NOT a scenario that our citizens should or will accept!

We need to commit to a trajectory that gets us to zero emissions – at the latest – by 2050, which is now only 35 years away, This requires at least 50% reduction by 2025 (i.e. after the first 10 years), 80% reduction by 2035 (the next 10 years) and 90% reduction by 2045 (the third 10 years).

Abbott claims to accept the 2 degree limit, but his target is completely inconsistent with the reality of achieving it. He’s a joke!

Alan B

» More about the Australian emissions target



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94-year-old in non-violent direct action

“When I think about that I have seen my mates die in the defense of Australia, I just wonder, if they were alive today, what they would think of the destruction that is taking place by the coal and gas mining – and what future it leaves for their grandchildren, they would be taking the same sort of action that I have. I am a believer now that non-violent direct action is the way to go when the government sells you out. The government is sabotaging the renewable energy and we are not going to let them get away with that.”
Bill Ryan, 94

Telephone interview with Bill Ryan

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“Its been 100 weeks of Protests outside AGL. We think its something to be proud of and would love you to all come and celebrate with us. Bring a friend, some food to share & wear yellow and black.”

» Read more on Facebook



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Grandparents for a Safe Earth: Silent Procession

A group of grandparents and a coffin. A procession in the streets of Bristol. That is all it really takes to catch a city’s attention and create awareness about the moral failure of banks that invest in fossil fuel projects.

Grandparents for a Safe Earth’s coffin-procession concept can be easily copied elsewhere – anywhere, really, where there are grandparents who are concerned about their grandchildren’s wellbeing in the future.

Listen to the interview with Barry Cash from Grandparents for a Safe Earth:




“This Silent Procession in Bristol city centre to remember people killed by Climate Change was a moving experience for those who took part and for many observers. Participants walked in solidarity with the communities across the world most affected by Climate Change. They linked deaths from extreme weather to the continuing emissions of Carbon Dioxide from the human use of fossil-fuels and the massive worldwide investments in fossil-fuels by most of the UK banks.

They also linked the severe austerity programmes faced by many of the communities most affected by climate change with people facing similar measures in the UK. People brought flowers and carried a coffin to remember those who have died. They placed the flowers outside each city centre bank which makes such investments and took a letter in to be sent on to the bank’s CEO.”

» For two videos from the day and more about the event, see Grandparents for a Safe Earth’s website:
www.network23.org/gfase



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“Because we’re sick of empty talks and hollow promises.
Because we want our politicians to put our communities first.
Because we think the future is full of amazing opportunities.
Because we want to make the world a better place.
Friends, this is the moment. This is the time. The time is now. Let’s seize the day.”
Australian Conservation Foundation promoting ‘The People’s Climate March’ on 27-29 November 2015

Australian Conservation Foundation’s call for action

As Alan Barlee mentioned in The Sustainable Hour, some big climate action events are planned to take place in the last weekend of November. Kelly O’Shanassy,
CEO,
Australian Conservation Foundation wrote:

“This morning, after months of dragging its heels, our government finally announced how much it’s willing to cut pollution over the next few decades. It’s the same old story. The big polluters. The government doublespeak. The empty promises.

Enough is enough.

You know how they say ‘If you see something, say something’?

Astronomer Carl Sagan urges, “If you see something about the planet that you’d like to change, do something. You’ve been given the gift of being right here, right now. Make the most of it. Carpe that diem, folks.”

Friends, this is the moment. This is the time. Let’s seize the day. 

In the last weekend of November, will you help create the biggest mobilisation the world has ever seen?  We’re taking to the streets, in Australian capital cities and across the world, to demand action.

COUNT ME IN!

Pollution reduction targets exist because most of the world agrees, to keep global warming at below 2 degrees, all countries must massively cut pollution and grow clean energy.

But right now, Australia is part of the problem, not the solution. 

Our new pollution targets are woefully inadequate. While countries across the globe are leaping towards 100% clean energy, Australia is not even trying. We’re aiming to cut our pollution by just 26 to 28%. (The target’s actually 19%, but the government’s trying to make it look better with some figure fudging).

Our government seems determined to keep our economy handcuffed to last century’s energy sources – coal and gas. Have they no faith in our ability to innovate, adapt and create a better future?

See something you want to change?


I’LL COME TO THE RALLY

Millions of Australians want change. Polling just yesterday showed that seventy per cent of us want our country to transition from coal to clean energy, and the vast majority of us are deeply worried our government is underestimating the importance of global warming.

We care deeply. But our government’s not listening.
Let’s seize the day. Come to the People’s Climate March!

We, the people, come from all walks of life. We will gather in capital cities across Australia to demand action. We will march alongside millions of people in hundreds of major cities around the world, at the same time as Australian politicians meet global leaders to negotiate how to really address global warming.

When: 27-29 November
Where: In capital cities across Australia
Find out more: Sign up to our mailing list and we’ll be in touch soon.

Will you help make our movement so big, diverse and beautiful, we cannot be ignored?

We are marching because we know we can change the world when we work together.
Will you come? www.action.org.au/Peoples-climate-march

I hope to see you there,

Kelly
Kelly O’Shanassy,
CEO,
Australian Conservation Foundation


“Australia’s pollution reduction targets are woefully inadequate”
» Read ACF’s full coverage of what the government’s targets announcement mean for Australia:
www.acfonline.org.au



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 EVEN MORE INFORMATION 

Recommended reading

Recent articles and videos we stumbled over in our research for this program

“…The story of how a deeply dysfunctional political class (both politicians and media) have betrayed our future.
Dominated by two intellectually moribund and ethically vacuous political parties, the second highest paid politicians in the world have undermined public confidence in democracy and led us into political cul-de-sacs on every major policy issue from climate change, asylum, education, health care, and Aboriginal affairs, to tax reform and the management of the nation’s finances.
The basically progressive instincts of the Australian people have been manipulated and subverted for the political interests of a tiny self-serving elite and their corporate sponsors…”
Maria Taylor, author


» Echo.net.au – July 2015:
How Australia buried the will to act on climate change
Author Maria Taylor explores how Australia went from being at the forefront of climate change action to the world laggards.


This article about climate change impacts from Rolling Stone is not uplifting or optimistic but it is edifying and it is important:

» Rolling Stone – 5 August 2015:
The Point of No Return: Climate Change Nightmares Are Already Here
The worst predicted impacts of climate change are starting to happen — and much faster than climate scientists expected
By Eric Holthaus


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How our governments betray us

IMF says a fossil fuels subsidy reform is as ‘urgent as ever’, with countries like Australia still paying more than $1,700 per capita for heavy polluting energy sources.

“In a week punctuated by heavy criticism of financial support for renewable energy in Australia, a report from the International Monetary Fund has reminded us that the age of entitlement for fossil fuels never really ended, with subsidies to the sector averaging at around $US1,000 a year for every citizen living in the G20 group of the world’s leading economies.
New figures from the IMF have revealed that Australia still provides $US1,260 per head – or $A1,712 – in fossil fuel subsidies in 2015, while the US – the second-worst offender (in dollars), behind China – provides $US700 billion a year, equivalent to $2,180 for every American.”
Sophie Vorrath


» RenewEconomy – 5 August 2015:
Australia still subsidising fossil fuels at rate of $1,712 per person a year
Article by Sophie Vorrath


Fossil subsidies: the dumbest things society has ever done

“Ah, society — takes us decades to turn a simple, life-saving corner. Subsidizing fossil fuels in the 21st century has got to be one of the dumbest things society has ever done… (and we’ve done a lot of dumb things). We have cheaper alternatives that don’t kill us and cause all kinds of health problems and suffering beforehand. We’ve got locally available, renewable resources that don’t have us exporting billions of dollars a year to countries in the Middle East, Venezuela, etc. We’ve got zero-emission technologies that won’t fry our planet and burn much of the human race. But we choose to continue subsidizing dirty, toxic, expensive fossil fuels instead.

The G20 “wised up” to the idiocy and agreed two years ago to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, but a new study from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) finds that we continue to subsidize fossil fuels with trillions of dollars of citizen-earned cash. According to the study, the US dumps a ridiculous $700 billion a year on the dirty subsidies for the dirty piles of coal, gas, and oil. That’s $2,180 per American per year. Yep, aside from your electricity and gas bills, you are essentially sending $2,000+ to oil, gas, and coal companies because… because… well, they need our help, no?

Australia, where the recent G20 meeting was held, has its citizens helping these poor industries to the tune of $1,260 per person. The UK gives $41 billion a year, which comes to $635 per person. Developing countries Mexico, India, and Indonesia average $250 per person per year.

As a percentage of GDP, the subsidies come out as follows:

UK: 1.4%
Australia: 2%
USA: 3.8%
India: 12%
China: 20%
Ukraine: 60%

Staggering.

The world as a whole subsidizes fossil fuels with $5.3 trillion in subsidies per year. Subsidies included in the report go beyond simple tax breaks, direct subsidies, etc., and also include externalities (something I consistently argue should be done). Those include the pollution that causes innumerable health problems and premature deaths as well as the harmful effects of global warming and climate change.

If we were brave enough to cut these subsidies, the IMF estimates that 1.6 million premature deaths from outdoor air pollution a year would be prevented, about 50% of those that occur, and global CO2 emissions would be cut 20%.

It seems like common sense, no? Cut the damn subsidies. Stop giving companies trillions of dollars a year to kill us faster.
The UAE is doing it… somewhat.”

» Gas2 – 6 August 2015:
$5.3 Trillion A Year In Fossil Fuel Subsidies Is Idiotic
Article by Zachary Shahan


Subsidies of dirty energy

A 2012-analysis showed that fossil fuel subsidies in rich countries are, on average, five times greater than those same countries’ pledges towards climate finance – which means support to developing countries to address climate change and its impacts.

Sometimes pictures speak louder than words, so here’s a graphic that lays it out:

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Reorienting “killingry” to “livingry”

“At a time when global energy ministers and the World Bank are helping countries scale up their renewable energy programs the Australian Government is back-pedaling making investment in new solar or wind projects unattractive.
With an obvious bent on “killingry” our Australian Government released plans to spend $40 billion on construction of new war ships and patrol boats and our investment in 87 renewable energy projects totaling an unimpressive $1.3 billion.

Much more focus must be placed on reorienting “killingry” to “livingry” if we are to turn around the threats and effects of global climate change.”
Ruanna Segal, trustee of the GENI Foundation




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“If we want to contribute to some sort of tenable future, we have to reach a frame of mind where it comes to seem unacceptable – gauche, uncivilised – to act in disregard of our descendants. Such changes of social outlook are quite possible – it wasn’t so long ago, for example, that we accepted slavery, an idea which most of us now find repellent. We felt no compulsion to regard slaves as fellow-humans and thus placed them outside the circle of our empathy. This changed as we began to realise, perhaps it was partly the glory of their music, that they were real people, and that it was no longer acceptable that we should cripple their lives just so that ours could be freer. It just stopped feeling right.”
Brian Eno, musician, in The Big Here and Long Now, January 1995



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“It was a choice to throw a trillion dollars at the bankers. And it is a choice not to throw a trillion at tackling climate change. Our politicians pretend that it is a choice made by “the markets”. It’s not. It’s a choice made by our politicians.”

“BHP has been in debt for most of its 130-year history and has no plan to change that. Indeed, during the mining boom, when coal and iron ore prices were at all-time highs, BHP was running budget deficits, and its total level of debt rose from US$16 billion in 2004 to US$66 billion in 2013–14.”


» www.themonthly.com.au
Good article about economy, banks and debt



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» Green Agenda – 27 June 2015:
Radically Re-Imagining the World as our Climate Changes
Great speech by Alex Kelly





Climate inaction: Australia’s pathetic emissions target


Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says cutting emissions by 2030 to 26-28 per cent of 2005 levels will “protect both the environment and the economy”. The government funded Climate Change Authority chair Bernie Fraser however says Australia’s targets put the nation “at or near the bottom” of comparable countries. Australia is well behind Britain, who will seek 61 per cent cuts in the same period, and below the United States, which will pursue cuts of 35-39 per cent.

» The Age – 15 August 2015:
Climate Change Authority head Bernie Fraser issues blistering rebuke to Abbott government
“Climate Change Authority chair Bernie Fraser issued the strong statement late on Friday, responding to the government’s post-2020 emissions targets announced this week.”

“Should Australia’s emissions reduction targets be based on the scientific evidence about what is needed to prevent dangerous climate change or should we trust parliamentarians to make up their own number?
While Tony Abbott is adamant that the Parliament is not well suited to address issues of who can marry who, he is adamant that the Parliament, in which he leads the majority party, is best placed the “balance” the interests of future generations against the profits of the coal mining industry today.”
Richard Denniss



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Friends of the Earth Melbourne’s comment

Friends of the Earth Melbourne wrote:

“Labor’s proposed emissions trading scheme does not equate to a new carbon tax and the Abbott government assertion that its emissions cuts are akin to the U.S. is incorrect.

This is not political spin – it comes from the federal government’s own climate change advisers the Climate Change Authority, chaired by respected former Reserve Bank Governor Bernie Fraser.

It’s clear that the Abbott Government is incapable of developing sensible policies on climate & renewable energy. This means that State leadership is critical. A ‪#‎VRET‬ will signal that Victoria is serious about clean energy investment & jobs.”



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GetUp’s comment

Sam R and Adam from the GetUp team wrote:

“Our Prime Minister has chosen to protect his big polluting friends over the Australian people.

Ignoring the urgent, ambitious changes by major global economies, The Australian has reported Prime Minister Tony Abbott intends to support a measly target of 26 – 28% reduction on pollution levels by 2030 ahead of the UN Paris Climate Summit.

It is nowhere near the 40–60% change the world needs to keep global warming below 2°C.1 The target has been unanimously condemned as ‘pathetically inadequate’, and falls well short of the commitment Australia should be making as a responsible global citizen doing our fair share.2

If Abbott locks these targets in, Australia will have one of the weakest targets of all developed countries, but the highest carbon emissions per capita.

It’s not good enough, and we won’t stand for a Prime Minister beholden to the vested interests of the fossil fuel industry over our climate, the world, and the Australian people.

Right now, Abbott’s sure to be aware his poll numbers are slipping. But if we can react hard and fast with a giant, crowdfunded billboard in his electorate, we can show him just how much more he’s got to lose by backing such inadequate targets. We might even be able to show the Liberal Party the way to a stronger pollution reduction target by December.

The Government’s measly targets show our Prime Minister is not only out of touch with the Australian people, he’s out of touch with science, and with the rest of the world. It defies the ambitious, desperately needed action from huge players like the UK, US and Germany, who are all aiming for reductions of between 40 – 50%.3

And it’s even worse than it sounds. Abbott has attempted to sneakily inflate our targets by shifting the baseline measure from 2000 to 2005 — a year when Australia’s emissions were particularly high. Against 2000 levels our puny 26% target drops to an even more paltry 19%.1

Our Prime Minister is willing to put his big polluting friends in the fossil fuel industry ahead of the Australian people — and we need to call him out on it.

In the lead up to the UN Climate Summit in Paris we’ll be doing everything we can to influence him to adopt a more ambitious target. Let’s get the ball rolling with a strong, public message in his own electorate calling out his relationship with big polluters.

Today, when the Government was questioned on its emissions targets the Prime Minister gave a long, impassioned defence of the coal industry. It made clear whose side he’s on. Abbott said, “In fact, one of the things that will benefit the world in the years and decades to come is if there is a greater use of Australian coal.”4

What planet is Mr Abbott living on? It can’t be the planet where scientific consensus and world leaders are urging a rapid transition to clean renewable power in order to avert a climate disaster. The planet where coal pollution causes thousands of premature deaths in Australia every year, and many more in the developing world.

Abbott continued, “the only way to protect the coal industry is to go with the sorts of policies that we have.” That much at least is true. But those policies that protect big polluters fail to protect the things Mr Abbott should be really worried about, like our environment, our climate, and the health and job security of ordinary Australians.

The vast majority of Australians are ready for clean energy. Help send Tony Abbott a message: a government that sells out our climate for big polluters could find itself back in opposition: https://www.getup.org.au/climate-action-now

For a safe climate,

Sam R and Adam, for the GetUp team”

[1] How The Coalition Is Trying To Make A ‘Defeatist’ Emissions Target Sound More Ambitious Than It Is, New Matilda, 11 August 2015

[2] Abbott government’s 2030 emissions target dubbed ‘pathetically inadequate’, The Guardian, 11 August 2015

[3] Emissions reductions target ranging from 26 to 28 per cent to be put to Coalition partyroom, Sydney Morning Herald, 11 August 2015

[4] What does Australia’s new 2030 climate target mean for the local coal industry?, The Conversation, 11 August 2015



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Climate Council’s comment

Tim Flannery wrote:

“The new target is way out-of-line with the science, leaving us free-riding on the efforts of our trading partners like the USA, UK and the European Union. Australia’s top climate policy body, the Climate Change Authority, has found that the bare minimum is 45 to 65% by 2030 on 2005 levels for Australia to keep pace with its major trading partners and do our part to tackle climate change. You’re bound to hear plenty of spin about the new targets, but no slippery slogans will hide the bottom line – these targets are wildly insufficient and do not represent a credible solution to keeping warming under 2°C.

Now more than ever, we need to change the national dialogue and build public pressure through providing accurate and clear information that cuts through the noise. We need to shift the conversation away from inadequate targets being offered as solutions, towards the credible, effective and scalable solutions that already exist to tackle climate change. (…)

Australian farmers are facing drought, our firefighters are worried about the intensifying bushfire threat, and our doctors are calling climate change the biggest global health threat of the century. But now, more than ever, we need to be a strong voice for science. A voice that is unrelenting in sorting truth from fiction, a force to be reckoned with, a champion for the solutions.

Across the world we’re already seeing an incredible, global response to climate change; record-breaking investment in renewables, huge international pledges to cut pollution, rapid job creation in solar and wind, and global momentum leading up to the Paris climate negotiations.

The rest of the world is making progress, let’s bring some down under.
Onwards, together.

Tim Flannery, Climate Council”



» Climate Council’s information about the emissions targets announcement with “the key details that will help you cut through the spin, and get straight to the facts.” Feel free to share it with your networks:
www.climatecouncil.org.au



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350.org Australia looks back

350.org Australia wrote in a recent newsletter:

“With 2015 already two thirds over, we wanted to pause a moment and reflect on some of the awesome things you’ve worked with us to achieve thus far.

And although we operate on the smell of a (low-carbon) oily rag, we hope you might chip in to help us achieve more big wins in 2015-16….

So here goes for a two-part snapshot of a few of the things we’ve achieved with you and our friends in the movement over the past six months:

PART 1: TAKING ON ONE OF THE BIGGEST BADDEST COAL PROJECTS ON THE PLANET

  1. Australia’s largest Bank pulls out of one of the world’s largest coal projects

Following a creative and concerted community campaign, Commonwealth Bank announced, last week, that their relationship with Indian mining giant Adani’s Galilee coal proposal had ended, adding another massive blow to this climate and Reef wrecker.[1]  Click here to support more wins like this.

 

  1. Then yesterday, the UK Bank advising Adani on the Galilee pulled out too

Working with our friends at Greenpeace, SumOfUs and Market Forces, we helped to get UK Bank Standard Chartered to withdraw its involvement in the Galilee coal proposals, making it the thirteenth bank in the world to do so.[2] Click here to support more wins like this.

  1. Australians took powerful action to halt Adani’s dangerous coal expansion plans

In June, dozens converged at Abbot Point to send Adani a powerful message that we’re willing to do what it takes to stop this senseless coal project going ahead. Click here to support more actions like this.

 

  1. Traditional owners and Reef town locals went head to head with a coal mining giant

Last month, traditional owners and Reef coast locals, visited Adani’s headquarters with pledges from thousands of Australians who have committed to take peaceful civil disobedience to stop this monster coal project seeing the light of day.  Click here to support more actions like this.

PART 2: GETTING THE BUCK OUT OF FOSSIL FUELS

  1. Local governments and the health community gave fossil fuels the flick

With our support, several local governments and the largest medical college in Australasia have left the fossil fuel industry behind and divested.[3] Watch this space for even bigger announcements before the year’s end. Click here to support more wins like this.

 

  1. Pressure builds for our universities to divest from fossil fuels

In April, hundreds of students and staff across Australia urged their universities to get coal, oil and gas out of their endowments.[4] Expect some big developments later this year. Click here to support more actions like this.

 

  1. The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund kissed goodbye to coal

With petitions and letters, we helped our friends in Europe as they campaigned for the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund to divest coal from its $900 billion fund.[5] This groundbreaking move has had major impacts upon coal companies and investors from Sydney to San Francisco. Click here to support more wins like this.

 

  1. The fossil free movement goes global

In February, we supported thousands of Australians to participate in dozens of events as part of the first ever Global Day of Divestment action – the day received widespread media coverage and helped to shine a light on the growing and global power of our movement.[6] Click here to support more actions like this.

If you found that inspiring, just wait until you see what we have planned for the next six months…

From bold and creative actions demanding real ambition from world leaders in Paris, helping to win the Galilee coal campaign once and for all and divesting our universities and superannuation funds — to helping fight Australia’s next biggest fossil fuel projects and shining a spotlight on the crippling links between our politics and the big polluters in the lead up to the Federal election — we are SO committed to doing what it takes to get Australia off fossil fuels and on to 100% renewable energy so that we can all have a safe climate and fairer future.

But we can’t do this work without your support…

Chip in today to help us build a better, brighter future for all.

Warmest wishes and thanks,

Blair for the 350.org Australia team”

[1] Adani and Commonwealth Bank part ways, casting further doubts on Carmichael coal project, Sydney Morning Herald, August 5.

[2] Standard Chartered quits Controversial Carmichael coal mine in Queensland, The Guardian, August 11.

[3] Australasia’s largest specialist college to divest £1.2m from fossil fuels, The Guardian, June 5.

[4] Protesters to march on 15 campuses calling for divestment, The Australian, April 23.

[5] Norway Will Divest From Coal in Push Against Climate Change, The New York Times, June 5.

[6] Global Divestment Day: ‘We are ready for urgent action on climate change‘, The Guardian, 14 February.



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Sept-20-Frack-rally-poster_



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‘Merchants of Doubt’ – film screening in Colac

Movie screening of Merchants of Doubt as a Lock the Gate fundraiser on Friday 14 August at 6.30pm in Colac, Victoria.
Want to car pool from your area? Contact Judy 0409 417 562
» Tickets: www.trybooking.com/IKQL
» www.facebook.com/events



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Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

Pope Francis has declared 1st of September as the first annual ‘World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation’

“As Christians we wish to offer our contribution towards overcoming the ecological crisis which humanity is living through,” Francis wrote.

The World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation will take place four weeks before a similarly themed event, organised in the US by The Moral Mobilization (www.MoralMobilization.org).

» www.religionnews.com


Suggestion: Participate with the use of SILENCE as the theme, the “brand”. Creating awareness of what that silence means. In other words: Organise short but powerful special events in big cities which celebrate silence and our connection with the planet, each other and all life around us.

Which more specifically in most instances would mean: one minute of silence, followed by the interfaith prayer which Pope Francis published in his encyclical. To fully understand the depth and scope of this suggestion, you will need to listen to what Anglican Rev Peter Martin explained in this one hour podcast: www.climatesafety.info/thesustainablehour84



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brees-big-walk



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The Swiss e-bike

stromerbike-small-barcelona-560

“It’s true: the Swiss don’t build cars. But at Stromer we build something better, e-bikes. The e-bikes from Stromer offer incomparable range, power, and versatility, and are not only eco-friendly but stylish and chic as well. Experience the new standard for urban mobility with Stromer e-bikes.”




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The Great Cycle Challenge

Sign up and set yourself a personal ride target (kilometres) for the month of October.

» www.greatcyclechallenge.com.au



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Grandparent’s Climate Action Day: 9 September

In the US, they have The Conscious Elders Network which has an Elders Climate Action team, and they’re heading to Washington to lobby for a Carbon Fee and Dividend policy.
They also organise the Grandparent’s Climate Action Day which takes place 9 and 10 September, featuring keynote speakers Dr. James Hansen and Lynne Twist on the first day and meetings on the Hill the second day.

» www.eldersclimateaction.org/gcad_info

» www.facebook.com/pages/Elders-Climate-Action




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Hours and hours of sustainable podcasts

Listen to all of The Sustainable Hour radio shows in full length and in selected excerpts:

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“Participation – that’s what’s gonna save the human race.”
Pete Seeger, American singer




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