Sunday, 13 April 2014

Walking more lightly on the earth

Members of the public are warmly invited to join us at our next monthly meeting to find out what more each of us can do to contribute to a clean healthy future and to better manage climate change risk

Distinguished electrical engineer and renewable energy enthusiast Dr Peter Seligman, who played a key role in developing the bionic ear, with be our guest speaker.

Dr Seligman will focus on the most effective and efficient ways for households and individuals to lighten their carbon footprint.

So please visit us, share a glass of wine and find out more about what we do

WHO: Guest Speaker: Dr Peter Seligman, Melbourne Energy Institute, author of “Australian Sustainable Energy – by the numbers”.

  WHAT: “Cutting household emissions, energy use and                               bills”.

  WHEN : Wednesday 30 April, 7.00 for 7.30 start.

  WHERE: Guides Hall, 1 Faversham Rd, Canterbury.                       Entry by gold coin.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Defending renewable energy at Kew Festival

Lighter Footprints was out in force at Kew Festival on 29 March gathering support for a stronger Renewable Energy Target  and exhibiting our model of a solar thermal plant, which proved immensely popular with families

Solar thermal power plants can operate at night as well as during the day, storing the sun's heat in molten salt which can then be used at night to run steam turbines. Spain is the country best known for its early use of these plants which are now being built elsewhere, including in the USA.

We asked those attending the festival to sign a letter to our local Federal MP Josh Frydenberg and several other federal politicians.

The letter protested the cynical appointment of a self-confessed climate skeptic Dick Warbuton to review the target and expressed support for a stronger target.

About 95 per cent of those we approached were happy to sign, reflecting wide public support for renewable energy.


Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Scientists' warning: We are on path to irreversible climate hell

The scientists are warning us as loudly as they can.

 See this article below  from The Guardian
Yet in Australia the Coalition is tearing up clean energy laws and has cynically and contemptibly appointed a known climate skeptic, Dick Warburton, to review the Renewable Energy Target.

The target legislates for more renewable energy to come on stream each year in  a gradual, predictable fashion.

The Abbott Government went to the last two elections promising to retain the target.

Removing it, or watering it down,  would be the ultimate betrayal of the Australian people, who did not vote for its removal and who love renewable energy.

Monday, 17 March 2014

March General Meeting - Wed 26th March 2014

After the hottest decade on record, we are bracing for more extreme weather. It doesn't have to be this way.
 It's time to manage climate change risk

 “Protecting Victorians from climate change - how do we do it?”

well-known TV identity, climate and energy expert:

Wednesday 26 March
7 for 7.30 pm
Guide Hall
1 Faversham Rd

Lighter Footprints is a local climate action group, based in Boroondara and Whitehorse, committed to protecting families and the Australian way of life from extreme weather and dangerous climate change.

More information 0411 115 186

Friday, 14 March 2014

The BAD GUYS are winning on climate change

Age opinion writer Gay Alcorn has written another excellent piece on climate change today called "Climate change bad guys apply heat to Labor" (14/3/14).

Following on from the observations of  Climate Change Authority head Bernie Fraser that the good guys on climate change - climate scientists - have failed to prevail over the bad guys - the climate deniers -  she asks why Labor has gone missing in action.

Under Bill Shorten's leadership, the federal ALP has failed to land a climate punch, with the very occasional low-key climate skirmishes left primarily to the left wing of his party to fight, while the right is nowhere to be seen.

In Victoria, Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews appears to have missed the call to arms, as Ms Alcorn points out, with no hint of a climate policy or statement from him or his shadow climate minister Lisa Neville as yet.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government is recklessly and comprehensively trashing the world-leading clean energy laws of the Gillard Government.

The Climate Commission has gone. The laws putting a price on carbon - the only market mechanism likely to deter fossil fuel companies from spewing unlimited carbon dioxide into the atmosphere - are slated for repeal. Soon to go also are the  Climate Change Authority - which sets emission targets according to the science - and the profitable Clean Energy Finance Corporation which lends money to promising renewable energy ventures.

The  Abbott Government has now gone beyond well beyond its mandate, cynically appointing closet climate change denier, Dick Warburton to head the review of the Renewable Energy Target. Mr Warburton, who likes to call himself a "skeptic'' rather than a denier,  refuses to accept the findings of climate science that fossil fuels are primarily responsible for global warming.

The Abbott Government went to the last two elections claiming to accept climate science and promising to retain the Renewable Energy Target.

Lighter Footprints has conveyed its disgust over this appointment to Kooyong MP Josh Frydenberg,  reminding him that he publicly has said that he accepts climate science, as does his party.

We trust that the responsible forces within the Coalition will ensure that all  election promises, which include retaining the Renewable Energy Target, are honoured and that the Coalition will again show the commonsense and political nous to accept that the world's top climate scientists know more about greenhouse gases and global warning than laymen.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Monday, 24 February 2014

Defending Renewable Energy at Ashburton Festival

Several  of us were able to attend the Ashburton Festival on Sunday and demonstrate the BZE model of the Spanish solar thermal power station.
It attracted much interest!
We also had letters available for signing to our local Federal MP about supporting the Renewable Energy Target (RET) as it faces what looks like a rigged review process.
Please write a letter/email to your Federal MP to ask them to stand up for renewable energy in the face of a review that focuses mostly on financials, rather than what the renewables target was set up to do- to address the reduction of carbon emissions because of climate change.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Flier for Sustainable Living Festival Boroondara

 Protecting  Australians

Melbourne's recent blistering heat waves caused dozens of bush fires, destroyed crops, trees and gardens, led to hundreds of extra deaths and heat stress emergencies, overloading our hospitals, ambulances and the city morgue......

 In Queensland, three years of drought are pushing farmers to the wall.....

It doesn't have to be this way
 It's time to manage climate change risk

Lighter Footprints is a local climate action group, based in Boroondara and Whitehorse, committed to protecting families and the Australian way of life from extreme weather and dangerous climate change.

You are warmly invited to visit us at our monthly meetings, indulge in a glass of wine, listen to our guest speakers and learn who we are and what we do.

Wednesday 26 February 
to  discuss what we will focus on this year.
We have speakers, and for our next two meetings they are:-

                                         Wednesday 26 March
ROB GELL,AM,  well-known TV identity, climate and energy expert:  “Protecting Victorians from climate change - how do we do it?

 Wednesday 30 April
DR PETER SELIGMAN, distinguished engineer and energy expert:
          “Cutting household emissions, energy use and bills.“

Meeting venue:  Guides Hall,1 Faversham Rd, Canterbury, 7pm for 7.30 start.
   Entry by gold coin donation.
0411 115 186

Friday, 7 February 2014

What standstill? In case you need some recent evidence

Read this from a very conservative and respected body, and jump on anyone who thinks there has been a standstill -
"What standstill" they say? "The coldest year since 2001 is warmer than any year before 1998"
 This is a frightening on-going trend.
"What standstill?
The head of the World Meteorological Organization says there is no standstill in global warming, which is on course to continue for generations to come.
By Alex KirbyClimate News Network

The planet is continuing to warm, with implications for generations ahead, and temperatures are set to rise far into the future, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reports.

Global surface temperatures relative to 1951-1980. The Niño index is based on sea surface temperature in the Niño 3.4 area (5N-5S, 120-170W) in the eastern tropical Pacific for 1951-1980 base period. Green triangles mark times of volcanic eruptions that produced an extensive stratospheric aerosol layer.
It says 2013 was among the ten warmest years since modern records began in 1850, equalling 2007 as the sixth warmest year, with a global land and ocean surface temperature 0.50°C above the 1961–1990 average and 0.03°C higher than the most recent 2001–2010 average.

Thirteen of the 14 warmest years on record have all occurred in this century. The warmest years on record are 2010 and 2005, with global temperatures about 0.55 °C above the long-term average, followed by 1998, which also had an exceptionally strong El Niño event.

Global surface temperature relative to 1951-1980 mean for (a) 12-month running mean, and (b) 5- year and 11- year running means
El Niño events (which intensify warming) and cooling La Niñas are major drivers of natural climate variability. Neither occurred during 2013, which was warmer than 2011 or 2012, when La Niña exerted its cooling influence. 2013 was among the four warmest neutral years recorded, when neither El Niño nor La Niña affected temperatures.

“The global temperature for the year 2013 is consistent with the long-term warming trend”, said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud:
The rate of warming is not uniform but the underlying trend is undeniable. Given the record amounts of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, global temperatures will continue to rise for generations to come.
Our action – or inaction – to curb emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases will shape the state of our planet for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Asked by Climate News Network how WMO regarded claims by some critics that there has been a "global warming standstill since 1997", Mr Jarraud said: "Which standstill? The coldest year since 2001 is warmer than any year before 1998:
Each decade is warmer than the previous one. There is global variability from year to year. You have to look at the longer period. If you do that, then the message is beyond any doubt...Despite the fact that there was no El Niño in 2013, it was still the sixth warmest year. This is significant.
The WMO says surface temperature is just part of a much wider picture of climate change. "More than 90% of the excess heat being caused by human activities is being absorbed by the ocean", it says.

It has released the temperature data in advance of its full Statement on the Status of the Climate in 2013, to be published in March. This will give more details of regional temperatures and other indicators.

Consistent findings

In contrast with 2012, when the US in particular experienced record high annual temperatures, the warmth in 2013 was most extreme in Australia, which had its hottest year on record.

WMO's global temperature analysis is based mainly on three independent and complementary datasets. One is maintained by two UK centres, the Met Office Hadley Centre and the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. The other two are based in the US: NOAA's National Climatic Data Center, and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), operated by NASA.

Each dataset uses slightly different methods of calculation and so each gave 2013 a different temperature ranking, but they were consistent on the year-by-year changes and the longer warming trends globally.

WMO also uses reanalysis-based data from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), which showed annual global land and ocean temperature to be the fourth highest on record.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Here comes 2014!

What have we planned for Feb 2014?

You might think that February would be a quiet month but we are starting the year with a bang! 

Here are our proposed events:

1. Saturday 15 Feb  - Sustainable Festival in Boroondara- Farmer's Market.  8am -1 pm  - Auburn Rd, Hawthorn

We have been selected as one of the few community groups to share a marquee from the Council.
This is a great opportunity to promote renewable power and to let people know what we do and add names to our email lists and invite people to our next few public meetings
We are bringing  a model of a solar thermal power set up with mirrors to demonstrate what solar power can do (We are borrowing model from BZE)
We need as many people as we can get to be buzzing around with clip boards, (as well as being able to look round the festival yourselves.)
And we need three people who know a bit about solar to do an an hour and bit each in the tent, and talk about the model  (The BZE guys will provide the info on this.)I think it is pretty straight forward as this is the men's shed version not the big grand one which will be in at  Fed Square. 

2. Sunday 16 Feb - Strategic Planning  Day 10am - 4pm - Guide Hall Faversham Rd Canterbury

This is a chance to meet people and contribute as much as you want to the proposed plan for this year.
We will have lunch together - bring something to add to the making of a sandwich - we'll provide bread and butter as well as  some salad and fruit, and some already made chicken sandwiches 
for those who prefer to bring some morning tea.
The day will be facilitated by Denise Boyd (who also worked with us in October) 
It would be helpful - but not essential, if you could let me know if you can come to this day ( I shall forward you an outline of the day.

3. Wednesday 19 Feb - Josh Frydenberg's office,  - Burke Rd, Camberwell

We had our scheduled meeting in December cancelled and this was re-scheduled at that time. 
A few of us will meet with Josh to discuss the current issues the Government is addressing that concern us, like the potential roll back of the Renewable Energy Target
We will report on the meeting at our first general meeting on 26th.

4. Sunday 23 Feb  - Ashburton Festival,  Burwood Road 10-3 (or part thereof) as part of Sustainable Community marquis 

 Mariette Tuohey has organised tents to cover us (from the Bendigo Bank,) and we are situated between the Breastfeeding Association and the bee keepers!
This again offers a chance to talk with people about the issues that concern us, (including wandering politicians!) and to gain names for our email lists and advertise our meetings. 
We are looking for people to do an hour or so each.

5. Wednesday 26 Feb - First Lighter Footprints general meeting - 7 for 7.30 - 9.30 Guide Hall Faversham Rd Canterbury

This meeting will be to discuss the outcomes of the planning day, to check out our calendar of known events,  and introduce the convenors of the different project areas we hope to have going. 
Once we have clear our overall plan, we'll work out how people can focus on what interests them.

Friday, 22 November 2013


7 for 7.30 PM

Speaker: John McDonald
John has been interested in the interaction between economics and environment for a long time. He has studied Maths, Physics, Economics and Philosophy and works as a software developer.He has been part of Lighter Footprints for many years.

" Economics & Environment: Can we protect our planet without destroying the economy.”
 Presentation (with short video) and discussion.

Food and drinks are available from 7 pm
The speaker takes the first hour and after a break, 
Lighter Footprints continues to meet and discuss issues relevant to the work it undertakes.

Everyone is welcome
Gold coin collection
0411 115186 for further information

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

SUNDAY RALLY- NOVEMBER 17, 11 am Treasury Place Melb.

In 2011 Australia faced a turning point. Climate scientists warned it was the beginning of the critical decade for climate change and stronger action was needed if we were to avoid the catastrophic effects of rising emissions. In response, tens of thousands of Australians united across the nation to demand stronger climate action.

Today, we're at another turning point. Australia is poised to go backwards on climate action at a time when the government's own independent climate policy advisory body has warned our current emissions reductions targets are "inadequate" and what we actually need is stronger and more ambitious targets.

This week, the Abbott Government will sit in Parliament for the first time ever. First on the agenda? Unwinding the steady progress we've made on climate, putting our health, environment, economic security and future generations at risk.

Will you stand by and let that happen? Thousands of Australians around the country have already let us know they won't. They'll be hitting the streets to unite for climate action. Will you join them?

What: Beat the Heat - a national day of climate action
When: 11am Sunday 17 November
Where: Treasury Gardens, Treasury Place, East Melbourne
Wear: Bright heatwave coloured clothing – reds, oranges, yellows
Bring: A hat, water bottle and lots of friends!
RSVP and map:

Two years ago, Australians rallied together in capital cities and regional towns in support of taking strong, measurable action on climate change. It was the biggest show of support for climate action Australia had ever seen.

Now, we need to do it again – this time, the action isn't just in major cities, it's in backyards, parks, churches and pubs all over the country. GetUp members from Dubbo to Alice Springs and all the way to Hanoi, Vietnam are coming out to beat the heat.

But if we're going to make it bigger, louder and more diverse than last time, we're going to need your help.

Already, thousands of Australians have committed to a huge show of climate action solidarity around the country. 

Will you stand with us on Sunday 17 November?

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

NEXT MEETING WED OCT 30TH - "CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE AUSTRALIAN WAY OF LIFE" A discussion on why global warming is a story about home and family, about food and water security, and about health, happiness and holidays."


7 for 7.30 PM

Speaker David Spratt co-author  Climate Code Red
David is a climate activist, author and blogger (check his blog)

David will discuss the research which underpins his views on how the climate movement might tackle action in this era of a hostile government, and a divided community.

Food and drinks are available from 7 pm
The speaker takes the first hour and after a break, 
Lighter Footprints continues to meet and discuss issues relevant to the work it undertakes.

Everyone is welcome
Gold coin collection

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Letter published in Progress Leader Sep 10

The New Way?

With all the talk about a new way, where is the vision for a real new Australia, one that is powered by a green economy driving renewable energy, one that values our environment as much as the digging up of our resources?

Where is the coherence between agreeing we must address climate change  (as all parties say they will) and what a low carbon economy looks like?  To get there means a government must ask, amongst other questions, how does this policy decision help to reduce carbon emissions. This means thinking about everything - policies like roads over rail, coal seam gas extraction over farming, big houses and extended outer suburbs over smaller tighter living.

I look for this coherent vision, and see only bits and pieces cobbled together as add-ons, while the juggernaut of not-rocking-the-boat powers on.

And when the next extreme weather event strikes us, and we mutter about the forces of nature and how powerless we are, where will be the voice to point out the connection between our decisions today, and disasters tomorrow.

Carolyn Ingvarson

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Next Lighter Footprints Meeting - Wed 25 September

The speakers at our next meeting are Sue King and Adam Majcher

The Climate Reality Project - what is it and where do we fit?

Sue King (Energy auditor) and Adam Majcher (Australian Conservation Foundation)
have recently returned from the training course in Chicago run by Al Gore and the Climate Reality team. They will give us an insight into the  course, and what it covered, what the whole Climate Reality project aims to do, and how we can be involved. 

Guide Hall
1 Faversham Rd

Wed Sep 25 th
7 pm for 7.30 start
Finish 9.30 pm

Some food and drinks are available
Come early to meet and talk with others.
Gold coin donation

Call Carolyn for further information  - 0411 115 186