Saturday, 12 December 2009

The 2009 Walk Against Warming in Melbourne



Lighter Footprints attended the 2009 Walk Against Warming in Melbourne, complete with our banner and the Turtles Against Climate Change.

The day was a great success - a strong message was sent to state and federal politicians that much stronger action is required to tackle climate change and move us back towards a safer climate future. Up to 90,000 people marched across Australia in capital cities and regional centres.






For more information and photos see: 2009 Walk Against Warming, Greenlivingpedia.





Friday, 4 December 2009

The Center for Biological Diversity and 350.org filed an historic Clean Air Act petition with the EPA today asking the agency to scientifically determine the safe atmospheric CO2 level, just as its does with six other pollutants judged to endanger to human health and welfare. We also asked that the safe level be set at 350 parts per million or less. The current CO2 level is 385 parts per million, indicating that the planet is already outside the safety zone.

Our goal is to establish a federal scientific standard that will inform state and federal emission legislation, administrative rulemaking, and international negotiations. One of the critical reasons why the United States has proposed much weaker climate legislation than much of the world is that U.S. policymakers and many environmental groups are negotiating without a clear scientific standard as to what's needed to stop runaway global warming.

Supporters of the current House and Senate bills were none too pleased at the prospect of a scientific panel that would conclude that both bills fall far short of the greenhouse gas emission cuts necessary to control global warming. Nor is the White House pleased that scientific standards have been raised as Obama prepares to ask world leaders in Copenhagen to only reduce emission levels 3 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. To stop global warming, we need to cut emissions by 45 percent below 1990 levels.

Source: Endangered Earth Online email alerting service, 'Weekly newsletter of the Center for Biological Diversity', 4 December 2009.

Monday, 30 November 2009

The Manufactured Doubt industry and the hacked email controversy

What has climate change got to do with tobacco, asbestos, and CFCs? All these products have been the subject of PR campaigns concocted by various industry groups. Their intention, and effect, has been to muffle and delay the impact of emerging research into the harmful effects of these products. Similarly, the recent hacked email controversy has been seized on by climate change deniers to allege censorship on the part of climate scientists. This is just part of the quite organised campaign to blunt the impact of mainstream climate science. This lengthy but quite fascinating post from Dr Jeff Master's Wunderblog is both an expose of denialist tactics and a review of 'Climate cover-up' by PR practitioner James Hoggan, which details the amorality of these manipulative campaigns.

Friday, 27 November 2009

China announces climate targets

China announced on 25 November that by 2020 it will cut its emissions per unit of GDP by between 40 and 45 per cent relative to 2005 levels. This announcement followed Barack Obama's announcement of US carbon emission targets. Read the rest of the story from New Scientist.

Past climate anomalies explained

Lead paragraphs from the BBC story:
"Unusually warm and cold periods in Earth's pre-industrial climate history are linked to how the oceans responded to temperature changes, say scientists.
The researchers focused particularly on intervals known as the "little ice age" and "medieval warm period".
In the journal Science, they report that these climate "anomalies" were likely caused by changes to El Nino and the North Atlantic Oscillation."

This story, interesting in itself, gained an addition dimension for me when I recognised the name of the lead researcher, Michael Mann. Professor Mann (as climate mavens will know) was one of the researchers named in the emails recently hacked and publicised on the Web. (These emails are being represented as evidence of a conspiracy to stifle dissent in climate research - see the NYT story here.)

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Climate change 101

Andrew Revkin, the New York Times blogger on climate change, has contributed a topics page on climate change to the NYT . Anyone who would like a basic and up-to-the minute guide on the science might like to check it out. In his blog post on this topic Andrew said it will be a work in progress.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

A surprising sneak peek at the clothesline revolution

Can we save the world by hanging our clothes on a line instead of using a dryer? Maybe not, but there is an interesting movement in the United States, Project Laundry List, to encourage line drying clothes. Maybe this is not such a big deal in Australia (we all hang our clothes on the line, don't we?). However, this article from Grist has some pertinent information about how the movement arose, some of the roadblocks in its path, and how it is trying to change people's behaviour and raise their consciousness of green issues.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Walk against warming 2009


Walk Against Warming

12pm Saturday 12 December

State Library, Swanston Street


Walk Against Warming is Australia's biggest day of community action on climate change. The Melbourne event will begin at 12pm, Saturday 12 December at the State Library, Swanston Street. As World Leaders are gathering to discuss what action they are prepared to take on climate change, we'll be walking down Swanston Street to Princes Bridge, where we'll form a giant human sign to send them a message that Australians want a safe climate future. Details at waw.org.au. Please RSVP if attending.




walk against warming human sign melbourne 2009

Run for a Safe Climate


Run for a Safe Climate

2pm Sunday 29 November

St Kilda Sea Baths, St Kilda


Run for a Safe Climate is a 6000 Kms run, from Cooktown to Melbourne. Twenty-five emergency workers, policemen and fireman, are running to raise awareness of the need for a strong government response to climate change. They are also running to highlight the solutions that already exist to deal with the problem. The run commenced on 2 November, and will finish at the St.Kilda Sea Baths, St.Kilda Beach, at 2pm on Sunday 29 November. Here, until 5 pm, there will be a free celebration, with bands, entertainers, celebrities and children's entertainment. Details at runforasafeclimate.org. Please RSVP if attending.




run for a safe climate

Friday, 30 October 2009

Melbourne Climate Policy Forum (MCPF)

After many years of debate, climate policy has moved squarely into the implementation stage. The next six months will be critical in determining what policies will be will be put in place and how effective they will be in containing global warming.

Leading experts from the
Melbourne Climate Policy Forum (MCPF) are presenting six briefing seminars on the key policy issues facing Australia:
1. Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change: The Dynamics of Global Action
29 October 2009, 5 - 7pm

2. Making Adjustment Payments to Electricity Generators Effective
5 November 2009, 5 - 7pm

3. Australia’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme: Can Carbon Markets Deliver?
12 November 2009, 5 - 7pm

4. Australia’s Approach to Renewable Electricity Generation
19 November 2009, 5 - 7pm

5. The Challenge of Adaptation: Victoria as a Case Study
26 November 2009, 5 - 7pm

6. The New Industrial Revolution: Implications for Australia and Victoria
3 December 2009, 5 - 7pm

Following each briefing, two distinguished discussants will comment on the policy issues and introduce general discussion.

The briefings will be held at the University’s City Flinders Campus.

Register now
Attendance is free. To register for the above sessions please email
nupur.sethia@vu.edu.au or phone 03 9919 1340.

The MCPF is a joint initiative of Victoria University, through the Centre for Strategic Economic Studies (CSES), and Carbon Market Economics Pty Ltd (CME).

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

CC Deniers and 'debate'

An extract from Monbiot, relevent to Australia in that he's on Plimer's case . . .

"Creationists and climate change deniers have this in common: they don’t answer their critics. They make what they say are definitive refutations of the science. When these refutations are shown to be nonsense, they do not seek to defend them. They simply switch to another line of attack. They never retract, never apologise, never explain, just raise the volume, keep moving and hope that people won’t notice the trail of broken claims in their wake.

This means that trying to debate with them is a frustrating and often futile exercise. It takes 30 seconds to make a misleading scientific statement and 30 minutes to refute it. By machine-gunning their opponents with falsehoods, the deniers put scientists in an impossible position: either you seek to answer their claims, which can’t be done in the time available, or you let them pass, in which case the points appear to stand. Many an eminent scientist has come unstuck in these situations. This is why science is conducted in writing, where claims can be tested and sources checked.

So when the Australian geologist Professor Ian Plimer challenged me to a face-to-face debate in July(1), I didn’t exactly leap at the chance. His book Heaven and Earth, which purports to destroy the science of climate change, contains page after page of schoolboy errors and pseudoscientific gobbledegook. As the professor of astrophysics Michael Ashley wrote, “It is not ‘merely’ atmospheric scientists that would have to be wrong for Plimer to be right. It would require a rewriting of biology, geology, physics, oceanography, astronomy and statistics.”(2) But never, as far as I can determine, has Plimer responded to the devastating points made by his critics. He just keeps shifting his ground"

The rest of the article.

Related Mobiot articles:

Correspondence with the Spectator

Correspondence with the Spectator

Sunday, 23 August 2009

2009 A.V.G. Lecture - Dr Paul Sinclair

Please see the below flyer for Camberwell High School's event "Our Environment - Time to Act Now!"

To be held at 7.30pm in the Sssembly Hall on Wed 2 September 2009. Pls RSVP to 9836 0555 by Mon 24 Aug.

(click for larger version)

Thursday, 20 August 2009

How psychology can help the planet stay cool

A perennial problem faced by people trying to promote environmental issues is how not to bamboozle people with environmental scare stories, thus bringing about a state of apathy because it's too late to do anything! The psychologists whose work is the subject of this article from New Scientist are obviously very aware of this trap. They are exploring the question whether an environmental (and obviously organic) carrot is more effective than a scary stick in changing people's behaviour. The answer? Read the article! But, generally ... yes.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Email from Bill McKibben

Excerpts from Bill McKibben's email (omission indicated by [ ... ] ):
****************************************************************************
Dear Friends,
I'm back home with my family for a few days, after the third long organizing trip of the past few months.In a way, this trip was the most extraordinary, because it took me to places where you wouldn't necessarily expect climate organizing to be going full force. But it is--people everywhere are figuring out that 350 is the most important number on earth, that October 24 is going to be the most widespread day of climate action ever, and that six weeks before the big UN talks in Copenhagen we'll stand together to change the debate on climate change.
The biggest lesson from my trip? That this movement is building in the most unlikely of places. India, for instance--whose people are not, by and large, big emitters of CO2, and whose leaders have so far been reluctant to even consider taking on international commitments to fight against warming. But from the Rotary Clubs of Mumbai to the temples of Varanasi to the lawn of Delhi's Nehru Museum and Library (where thousands of schoolkids formed a giant 350 and a gorgeous Bengal tiger), I found people gearing up for October 24, and determined to play their part in helping prevent the melt of Himalayan glaciers or the drying of the Ganges.
And in the oil-rich states of the Persian Gulf, I had no idea what to expect. But our friends at IndyAct, the Arab world's climate leaders, connected us with amazing organizers in places like Abu Dhabi and Oman. Some were in chadors or flowing dishdasha; all were eager to spread the word. [ ... ]
One of the messages I kept hearing as I traveled was: "we're eager to be heard!" In the developing world, especially, people are excited at the thought that the rest of the planet will be paying attention to them on October 24--that by taking action, photographing their local event, and spreading it online, they'll be collaborating with people spreading exactly the same message no matter where they are on this planet.
It's a beautiful vision--Kansas and Cancun, New York and New Delhi, Boston and Beirut, connecting and collaborating across borders. It's exactly what we need to do with this most global of all problems--thanks for playing your part!
Onwards,
Bill McKibben
**************************************************************************
350 now has a Facebook and a Twitter page .

350 organisation comes to Australia

Excerpt from Emily Mulligan's email:
**************************************************************************
New Website!
I wanted to let you know that 350 Australia is up and running, with our brand spanking new web-page: http://www.350.org/Australia
We're working on having Australia specific resources for you to use for your action. There are of course lot's of helpful things to be found on the 350.org site here; http://www.350.org/action-resources
Also a brilliant new resource and program has been developed by a 350.org volunteer in Melbourne. If you are interested in getting into schools and helping to promote 350 in that way, check out
http://www.350schools.com/
Film Screenings
A new film raising awareness around climate change, "The Age of Stupid" is coming to our shores. In global partnership with 350.org this film is travelling the world, in an environmentally friendly way, with the London premiere having just 1% of the usual Hollywood film premiere's emissions. To see where it's showing near you, or to host your own screening see below: http://www.ageofstupid.net/screenings/country/australia
PowerShift
I also wanted to tell you about Powershift, the Youth Climate Conference I and 1,500 young people from around Australia attended, hearing from speakers such as Al Gore and Tim Flannery. It all culminated in a Flash Mob dance outside the Opera House demanding an end to coal mining and a sustainable future, which you can watch here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9S2T5vPHjS8
Say G'day
With so many creative ideas flowing in, we'd love to hear from you! 350 Australia is here to support your actions and we'd like to let you know of one of the big actions for October 24th, the Sydney Opera House and the City of Sydney have given us the go ahead for a major action on the Opera House steps! Let us know what you're up to, and be sure to register your action on the main 350.org website so we can keep count!
Stay Connected
Join us on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=102269751129&ref=mf …and twitter: http://twitter.com/350Australia
In other 350 News…
We're not the only ones calling for a strong target of 350ppm…http://www.acfonline.org.au/articles/news.asp?news_id=2378
Can You Help Us?
We need someone to get underwater and snorkel or scuba for 350! If you live near the Great Barrier Reef or own an underwater camera and might be interested in getting wet for 350, or know someone who might, let us know at infoaustralia@350.org
Thanks for all that you do,
Emily & Blair
*************************************************************************
I will add the 350 Australia link to the sidebar of this blog. Refreshing to hear from someone afire with enthusiasm, not middle-aged and discouraged like me!

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Australian Greens Donation - CPRS Advertisement

Help Bob Brown talk to Australia about climate change

This week, Kevin Rudd is asking Parliament to pass laws that give polluters $16 billion and sets emissions reduction targets way too low to fix the climate crisis.

His CPRS – what we call the Continue Polluting Regardless Scheme locks in failure.

Bob Brown has recorded a message to explain why the Greens will oppose the CPRS if the Government refuses to toughen it up.

We need your help to get as many Australians as possible to see this message!

We need $30,000 to screen this ad 12 times on television so Bob can directly explain to hundreds of thousands of Australians why the Greens will oppose the CPRS: because it locks in failure on the climate crisis.





See the website/donate here: https://greens.org.au/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&id=27

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Take Action - Switch Off Hazelwood


On Sunday Sept 13, people from across Victoria will gather to protest the extension of life given to Australia's most greenhouse polluting power station.

More information on how to join the protest is here: http://www.switchoffhazelwood.org/

The organisers are also looking for the action to be endorsed by more goups . . . http://www.switchoffhazelwood.org/endorsements.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Slamming the climate sceptic scam

Post from Jim Hoggan's blog explaining climate change scepticism in the context of public relations. The PR practitioner's task is to move the public perception in the desired direction, i.e. one that is more favourable to the client. A couple of points he makes:
  • climate change believers include the 2,500 scientists in the IPCC, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Royal Society of London and the Royal Society of Canada, and the editor-in-chief of Science magazine;
  • University of California, San Diego science historian Dr. Naomi Oreskes had published an analysis in Science in which she had combed through 928 peer-reviewed climate studies published between 1993 and 2003 and found not a single one that disagreed with the general scientific consensus.
  • the environmental movement isn't blameless either: 'You could also criticize environmentalists, whose tendency has been to stray too far in the other direction, extrapolating scientific assumptions to create scare stories so dispiriting that they create apathy rather than activism. These, in turn, have made easy targets for the energy industry's climate change deniers.'

Read the rest of this post.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Top 10 environmental policies

The top 10 environmental policies in the Clean Energy & Security bill currently before the US Congress:
Invest in Clean Energy: Invests $190 billion into clean energy like wind, solar, geothermal and advanced coal technology.
Cuts Foreign Oil: Invests $20 billion in advanced fuel efficient vehicles like plug-in hybrids and all-electric cars and trucks
Reduces Carbon Pollution: For the first time, puts a cap on the carbon pollution causing global warming—reducing carbon and other heat-trapping pollutants 83 percent by 2050.
Creates Jobs, Trains Workers: Will create millions of new clean energy jobs that can’t be sent overseas to China and India, and provides $865 million in job training assistance for America’s new clean energy workers.
Builds a Smarter Grid: Encourages a Smart Grid that uses E-Chips—electricity computer chips—and other technologies in appliances, homes and businesses that will empower consumers to save money and energy using Internet and other telecommunications technologies.
Efficiency Savings: Saves consumers $69 billion annually by 2030 by making our buildings, homes, appliances, and lights use less energy. New buildings and homes will be 50 percent more efficient by 2016, and old buildings will be retrofitted with energy-saving technology.
Saves Families Money: Provides hundreds of dollars in energy rebates annually to low-income families and helps all families reduce their electricity bills. Cumulative energy cost-savings would total more than $4,000 per household by 2030.
Price Spike Protection: Over 50 percent of the program is dedicated to protecting consumers from the price spikes typical of the old energy economy.
Funds New Technologies: Establishes a “Clean Energy Bank” to leverage $75 billion in loans to fund established clean energy technologies like wind and solar, and to breakthrough technologies that have yet to be invented.
Fiscally Responsible: The Congressional Budget Office found Waxman-Markey will not raise the federal budget deficit.
Makes the CPRS look pretty lame! I have abbreviated this list - the full one is in Ed Markey's Daily Beast blog (scroll down). Brought to my attention in Al Gore's blog.

Syndication for these blogs:

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Politics, technology and the environment

Interesting post from the Dot Earth blog on geoengineering and research funding. The former is being advocated by the American Meteorological Society, the latter by 34 American Nobel Prize winners and the Federation of American Scientists. Geoengineering has its critics, and the AMS is not advocating it as the answer, but as a backstop strategy. (I came across a good post on carbon sequestration also, by way of contrast.)

As for funding - the climate and energy bill that recently passed through the US House of Representatives did not include research dollars. Unfortunately, while the development of technologies like photovoltaics requires continuing funding, "politics is about building short-term coalitions by satisfying demands presented by influential players, from coal companies to unions". We may not be able to do it without the scientists and engineers, but we can't do it without politicians either - although some may disagree there.

350 Climate Action in China

"This past weekend, students from all over China came together for the first-ever youth organized conference on climate change and energy. This event, put together one of our closest friends, the China Youth Climate Action Network, provided youth leaders with workshops, lectures and field trips, to educate and empower. You could feel the energy in the room, as the future leaders of China found new ways to make their voice heard." Rest of the post from the 350 web site. China gets some stick for being an A grade (aggregate) polluter, but there are also groups like the Network & the Green Long March which are trying to be part of the solution.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Kevin Rudd's blog and Twitter page

Kein Rudd has started a blog, with an RSS feed. (I have put the link in the link list for future reference.) The current blog "Focus on climate change" is only open until Wednesday 22 July 2009. The link to register and post your comments is here. KR obviously wants to be PM 2.0 as he also has a Twitter page.

Meet VicForests - Victoria's biggest Wally with water . . .


The Wilderness Society aims for at least 3,000 signatures to it's latest online campaign petitioning Mr Brumby to stop the logging of our water catchments. Please add your name.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Low carbon way 'to reshape lives' in UK

Ambitious plans to generate one third of UK electricity from renewables by 2020 form the centrepiece of government plans for a low carbon future.
Financial packages for wind and wave energy and changes to planning procedures are among key components of the Low Carbon Transition Plan.
"Smart" meters are to be deployed in 26 million homes by 2020. The government says the plan will create up to 400,000 "green jobs" without a major hike in energy prices. Hope Kevin and Penny read the rest of this story from the BBC Science & Environment web site. How about some targets, guys?

And a follow-up commentary on the LCTP containing a useful overview of the plan - introduction of special interest to cyclists!

Monday, 13 July 2009

Australian Town, State Government Ban Bottled Water

An Australian town has banned bottled water, claiming to be the first in the country to revert to the tap for the sake of the environment and prompting the nation's largest state government to stop buying bottled water.

Residents of rural Bundanoon, a picturesque, tourist destination 150 kms (93 miles) southwest of Sydney, voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to rid the town of bottled water to combat the carbon footprint from bottling and transporting it.

Local businesses in the town of 2,500 people have agreed to replace all single-use bottles with reusable bottles that can be filled from water fountains and to bear the loss of sales.

"Bottled water has a role to play in various parts of Australia and many parts of the world but we don't really need it as we have a wonderful municipal water supply," local businessman Huw Kingston, who led the campaign, told Reuters.

"We're not a bunch of raving greenies but this is us showing we can work together as a community for sustainability."

Full story.

Belinda Goldsmith, Reuters.

Is a two degree rise small enough?

The G8 leaders' recent announcement setting a limit of two degrees to global warming above today's global average (and cuts in emissions by 2050) is the subject of a blog post in the NYT's Dot Earth blog. Andrew Revkin explores the pros and cons of setting targets like two degrees; 'It’s not hard to find climate scientists and policy experts who strongly feel the world needs to move rapidly to curb emissions, but who say there are no such clean lines. Some go further, saying that setting such thresholds can be counterproductive.' Quotes from various sources illustrate some of the issues with the announcement.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Greenpeace publicises 350

Check out this 3.5 minute video of Greenpeace activists abseiling down Mount Rushmore to hang a huge banner saying 'America Honors Leaders, Not Politicians: Stop Global Warming'. Tweeted to the 350 Twitter site.

Cash for clunkers program

An federal program in the USA is offering cash incentives to drivers of petrol-guzzling old cars to upgrade their car. Owners of cars built since 1984, with fuel economy of 18 miles per gallon or less, can pe paid up to $4,500 purchase a new, more fuel-efficient vehicle. Details in this Reuters story.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Preserving biodiversity helps prevent the spread of disease

'New Scientist shows us another reason why preserving biodiversity is so important: Preventing the spread of diseases from animals to humans. A new paper from scientists at Portland State University looks at the spread of the Sin Nobre Virus, otherwise known as the Hantavirus (which kills about 500 people per year in the US) and found that increased biodiversity limited the spread of the virus among deer mice. It's the droppings of the deer mice which spreads the disease among humans:

Low Diversity = High Disease
The researchers made the connection between increased mammal diversity and lower infection rates among deer mice after conducting field work in Portland's parks for the past four years. In place where mammal diversity was lowest infection levels increased dramatically.' Read the rest of this post from Treehugger. Good to have some (more) positive consequences of successfully limiting climate change to point to.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Is climate the new asbestos?

"Just hours after the United States House of Representatives passed legislation curtailing greenhouse gas emissions, business groups were talking about going to court. The US Environmental Protection Agency proposition that greenhouse gas endangers public health and contributes to global warming is expected to result in a tsunami of litigation. [ ... ] Elsewhere, climate change litigation is shaping up as an issue that will tie up the judiciary, companies and politics worldwide for years. While other sectors of the global economy are bracing for the negative impact of government legislation on climate change, the litigation industry is set to boom." Among its clients may be 'climate refugees' like Torres Strait Islanders suing for relief. Read the rest of this article by Leon Gettler on the back page of the Business Age.

Energy independence day for US community college

The Taos campus of the University of new Mexico is completely powered by a 500kw solar array. Any unused energy goes back into the grid. (Hope they get a gross feed-in tariff!) Maravilloso! The Read the full story from Tree Hugger blog.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Science at the bleeding edge

A post looking at the role of controversy in science. All right, it may not sound that rivetting, but it's really interesting. A taste:

'The vast majority of mainstream media items about science are related to new hot-off-the-press studies, often in high profile journals, that report a new breakthrough, or that purportedly overturn previous ideas. However, while these are exciting news items, this preponderance of coverage given to these state-of-the-art studies compared to assessments such as from the National Academies, can give a misleading impression about the state of a scientific knowledge. The more mature and solid a field, the less controversy there is, and thus the fewer news stories. Ironically, this means the public is told the least about the most solid aspects of science.

One effect of this tendency is that quite often news stories are focused on claims that turn out to be wrong, or if not actually wrong, heavily reduced in importance by the time the dust settles.' Rest of the story at RealClimate blog.

Tropical zone expanding due to climate change

'Climate change is rapidly expanding the size of the world’s tropical zone, threatening to bring disease and drought to heavily populated areas, an Australian study has found.

Researchers at James Cook University concluded the tropics had widened by up to 500 kilometres (310 miles) in the past 25 years after examining 70 peer-reviewed scientific articles.

They looked at findings from long-term satellite measurements, weather balloon data, climate models and sea temperature studies to determine how global warming was impacting on the tropical zone.

The findings showed it now extended well beyond the traditional definition of the tropics, the equatorial band circling the Earth between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.' Read the rest of this story at Grist blog. Ironic that I'm reading about an Australian research study (James Cook University) from an American blog; they got it from Agence France-Presse.

Cement not in stone

A privately owned Melbourne company about to bring low-carbon cement into commercial production has taken issue with the government's proposed emissions trading scheme, saying it offers no incentive to the incumbent cement producers to lower emissions and might even allow them to collect windfall profits from gaming the system.

Zeobond, a company established and owned by the family of University of Melbourne professor Jannie van Deventer, has developed a product called E-crete. It claims 80 per cent less emissions are produced than conventional cement. E-crete is created by using geopolymers and a less emission-intensive chemical reaction than conventional cement, which releases huge amounts of carbon dioxide -- one tonne of carbon for every tonne of cement -- mostly when limestone is broken down using extreme temperatures. It is estimated that three tonnes of cement are produced per person, per year. It is now estimated as the third-largest human contributor to greenhouse gas emissions after the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation. Professor van Deventer's concern with the proposed ETS is that the cement industry has convinced the government there are no low-emission alternatives, and because it is treated as an emissions-intensive, trade-exposed industry, it will get 94.5 per cent compensation through free permits.

Read the rest of this story from The AustralianFurther story about Zeobond from Ecos magazine (NB .pdf file). Thanks Julia for forwarding these.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Safe Climate Australia - new group with a Climate Transition Plan

A new group with a practica; mission and approach. Found by people like Ian Dunlop and suppported by Al Gore . . .

Safe Climate Australia and the Safe Climate Transition Plan will encompass an all-sector approach including stationary energy, energy efficiency, housing and commercial buildings, transport, industrial and extraction processes, land use and agriculture. The plan will be developed with the intention of protecting and enhancing the key economic, social and environmental parameters of Australian society, including the maintenance of a high standard of living, security of energy and food supply, access to mobility and comfort and well-being for all.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

ACF busts the big polluters’ climate myths

Press release from the Australian Conservation Foundation. Date: 3-Jul-2009

The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) will be busting the big polluters’ myths about climate change and the economy this weekend, taking out full page advertising space in some of the country’s largest newspapers.

ACF will place ads in The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, the Courier Mail and The Canberra Times tomorrow, Saturday 4 July.

“Leading scientists and economists agree that strong and immediate action on climate change will create jobs for Australians and help secure our economic prosperity,” said ACF executive director Don Henry.

“Big polluters are making mythical claims of financial disaster as a consequence of action on climate change in an attempt to weaken Australia’s response to the climate crisis.

“Big polluters are loading the problem of climate change onto the rest of us, instead of doing their fair share.

“We’re placing these ads to expose the big polluter myths and tell them it’s time to stop holding up progress and do their share,” Mr Henry said.

The advertisements follow the historic passing of climate legislation in the US House of Representatives, placing increasing pressure on the Australian Government to strengthen its climate legislation.

“Our politicians need to stand up to the plate and reduce assistance to polluters and put more money towards clean energy jobs,” Mr Henry said.

“We need investment in energy efficient production and effective climate legislation to cut greenhouse pollution, so Australia can have a credible voice at climate change negotiations in Copenhagen.”

Friday, 3 July 2009

Planetary Boundaries and the New Generation Gap

Long and thoughtful post from Worldchanging . An excerpt to give you the flavour:
'We can't simply plan to cut our own impacts down to a level that could be shared by everyone over the next four or five decades. Even if we had that long a time to reduce our impacts -- and we don't -- there is no way the rest of the word can get stable and sustainably prosperous in that time frame unless we lead the way right now. Anything less than an all-out effort now is morally inexcusable. Small steps, incremental reductions, slow plans -- unless these are tied to big, systemic and quick solutions, they will not be enough. We need a bright green future, right now.

All that is the bad news.

Here's the good news: We can build that bright green future. We have the technological prowess, the design insight and even many of the working examples we need to transform our systems and reinvent our cities. We have the money. We may even be gaining the most needed components, vision and political will.

Here's the better news: Not only can we build it, but we'll be better off when we live in it.'

How to talk to a climate change sceptic

Wish the Chief Scientist had a copy of this Grist blog post when she talked to Steve Fielding! (Although I think Steve is one of those people who look for evidence which confirms their prejudices and screen out evidence that contradicts them.) I think this piece is a useful summary of the major "But ..." statements and evidence refuting them. The author is following up with an occasional series tracking and responding to the latest misinformations.

Good news story: greening of China

China is usually seen as one of the black hats in the global warming movie, particularly when it comes to global agreements. ("We shouldn't do anything unless China does" being climate sceptic code for "we don't want to do anything".) But although China's aggregate emissions put it in the big league, the green movement in China is growing rapidly, and is in some ways ahead of the West. As this New York Times article points out, 'While the House of Representatives approved a requirement last week that American utilities generate more of their power from renewable sources of energy, [ ... ] China imposed such a requirement almost two years ago.'

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Good news story; cars, smart grid and clean tech

Encouraging post in Grist weblog about how the Obama administration has unblocked the US$25 billion in funds to the car industry that had been provided in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. To be used for supporting electric car manufacturing and increasing energy efficiency in car plants.

Why couldn't we have put aside a few billion for energy efficiency, retraining or green industry in Australia instead of giving everyone $900 to pay off their mortgage or buy a plasma screen TV! Someone please tell me I've missed an important announcement & I'm just an old whinger (OK, middle-aged).

Sea level rise estimates; too conservative?

A well-written but rather gloomy story from the New Scientist about estimated rises in sea level. The 2007 IPCC report forecast a sea level rise of between 19 and 59 centimetres by 2100, but this excluded "future rapid dynamical changes in ice flow". The Victorian Government climate change green paper (.pdf file) has assumed sea level rises in the forecast range. However, much more is now known, & it isn't looking good.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Boroondara low carbon strategy

City of Boroondara passed a low carbon strategy last night. The final plan is yet to be released but the draft plan (NB .pdf file) is available on the Low Carbon Future Draft Strategy page.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

A postage stamp a day

Al Gore's blog has a good way to put the costs of the American Clean Energy Security Act currently being debated in the USA. At an estimated $175 per family in 2020, that equates to a postage stamp a day. That gets you a $40 benefit for using less foreign oil and helps create green jobs. As they say in the States - you do the math!

Good News dept. - organic farming gets a boost

Organic farming has been derided as too inefficient to replace conventional agriculture, reliant on agrichemicals and biotechnology. However, a recent post in challenges this view. A report published in Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems (NB .pdf file) finds organic agriculture competitive with the agribusiness way. Originally posted in Grist blog in the context of a piece about Nina Federoff, Hillary Clinton's chief technology adviser (who supports organic farming about as much as Peter Batchelor supports solar power).

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Copenhagen Synthesis Report

'In March the biggest climate conference of the year took place in Copenhagen: 2500 participants from 80 countries, 1400 scientific presentations. Last week, the Synthesis Report of the Copenhagen Congress was handed over to the Danish Prime Minister Rasmussen in Brussels. Denmark will host the decisive round of negotiations on the new climate protection agreement this coming December.

The climate congress was organised by a "star alliance" of research universities: Copenhagen, Yale, Berkeley, Oxford, Cambridge, Tokyo, Beijing - to name a few. The Synthesis Report is the most important update of climate science since the 2007 IPCC report. [ ... ]

From a natural science perspective, nothing stops us from limiting warming to 2ÂșC. Even from an economic and technological point of view this is entirely feasible, as the report clearly shows. The ball is squarely in the field of politics, where in December in Copenhagen the crucial decisions must be taken. The synthesis report puts it like this: Inaction is inexcusable.' Read the full blog posting with links to other material at RealClimate.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

New York's Carbon Counter

click on the counter to view the live version

New Yorkers leaving Penn station and the tenor Andrea Bocelli's concert at Madison Square Garden stadium were confronted with an unusual advert yesterday – a huge sign showing greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere.

Updated in real time, using projections from monthly measurements of CO2 and other greenhouse gases by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Carbon Counter is designed to get everyone to reduce their emissions.

Kevin Parker, the global head of Deutsche Bank's asset management division, which put up the 21-metre sign, said: "Carbon in the atmosphere has reached an 800,000-year high. We can't see greenhouse gases, so it is easy to forget that they are accumulating rapidly."

Yesterday the counter, which uses 40,960 low-energy LEDs and carbon-offsets its electricity usage, gave a figure of 3.64tn tonnes.


Thursday, 18 June 2009

The Climate Nightmare is Upon Us

This may go down as a landmark speech on the state of our planet. Not just on climate change but the bigger picture too.

Being given today at the National Press Club: http://www.crikey.com.au/2009/06/17/milne-the-climate-nightmare-is-upon-us/

Here's a video of the speech:

Senator Christine Milne - Press Club Address June 2009 from Christine Milne on Vimeo.

Significant new report on Climate Change in the US

Opening salvo in the Obama adminstration's attempts to steer a new course on climate change in said country? He's in the ship's control room, now he has to wrestle to get his hands on the helm.

Climate Change Impacts in the United States

Monday, 15 June 2009

Power Boss in Terror Threat

Green Terrorism has no place.

Fear and intimidation of individuals is abhorrent in a civilised society. The Power boss of Hazelwood does not consume all that electricity we all do. It is the fault of our government for failing to legislate higher emissions standards for power plants as Hazelwood , keeping it open when it should be shut, not the man who is providing for his family.

However desperation leads to desperate acts. Politicians are arguing amongst themselves about schemes which will make little difference whilst extinctions are happening now and our chances of rescuing the situation are diminishing with every day.

We need to demand an increase in energy prices. The Earth can no longer absorb our debt and has already exceeded her credit limit.

Climate Change Groups need to publicly state that this action is abhorred and demand it stop.

Green Terrorism has no place.

Sue King

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

How Carbon Markets Can Make Both Economic and Ecological Sense

"Preserving forests might make economic sense for governments and forest dwellers, and it could also help preserve the habitats of endangered mammals such as orangutans and elephants, according to a study released this week.
The study, published in the journal Conservation Letters, is part of a larger effort by conservation organizations to protect tropical forests from the industries that threaten them by using charismatic species to harness public support and generate money for conservation." Read the rest of this story from the New York Times' Dot Earth blog.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Values vs. Data in Environmental Care

"Some people attack the modern environmental movement for tending toward religious/values arguments these days. Is that trend, in fact, under way? Is it a bad thing?" Brief post about the role of values in environmental discourse from the Dot earth blog.

A Positive Post Carbon Society?

A bit of thinking has been going on at Lighter Footprints about how to positively visualise a "Post Carbon Society". How can people can visualise themselves living and working in a low carbon economy? How will it affect lifestyles? What will people actually be doing (rather than not doing)? What will we be taking on (not giving up)?

A book not specifically on "post carbon living" but with some linked propositions is

Wilkinson, R., & Pickett, K. (2009). The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better. London: Penguin Books.

Google books link here. http://www.google.com.au/books?id=qqt7OAAACAAJ&dq=the+spirit+level+why+more+equal+societies

Review link here. http://reviewsien.wordpress.com/2009/05/24/the-spirit-level/



Other more specific thinking on the Post Carbon Society can be found in journals like 'Future'.Some articles with abstracts below.

Low-mobility: The future of transport

Moriarty, Patrick; Honnery, Damon

Futures, Volume 40, Issue 10, December 2008, Pages 865-872

Abstract

Nearly all researchers into the future of global passenger transport assume that both car-ownership and overall vehicular travel will continue to rise. But they also increasingly acknowledge the environmental and resource problems facing vehicular transport, particularly global climate change and oil depletion. In order to meet these challenges, researchers propose a variety of technological solutions, including greatly improved vehicular fuel efficiency, alternative fuels and propulsion systems, and carbon capture and storage. In this paper we question whether these optimistic solutions can be developed and widely deployed in the limited time frame available, and argue instead that not only are ever-rising vehicular mobility levels unlikely to occur, but that the human costs of continuing this approach are also too great. Instead we argue that because transport is a derived demand, we must first articulate a preferred vision of the future, then design an appropriate, sustainable transport system. Finally, we briefly outline what such a low-mobility future transport system would look like, using our own city, Melbourne, Australia, as a case study.

What foresight! Understanding Australia's housing future

Burke, Terry; Hulse, Kath

Futures, Volume 41, Issue 5, June 2009, Pages 325-333

Abstract

Futures analysis has been little used to inform housing policy debate, despite the fact that historical precedent is becoming increasingly limited as a guide for policy direction. This paper examines the potential utility of ‘strategic foresight’ in considering possible housing futures for Australia. It examines the particular foresight methods employed, and processes used, to develop possible housing futures in the year 2025 and their policy implications. The paper concludes that foresight analysis, although not without its problems, creates the opportunity to move beyond current thinking and ‘path dependent’ policy parameters, enabling discussion of housing futures in a way that prompts critical discussion of the institutional arrangements and policies that shape housing policy in the present.

Future images of meat consumption in 2030

Vinnari, Markus; Tapio, Petri

Futures, Volume 41, Issue 5, June 2009, Pages 269-278

Abstract

The issue of meat consumption has been a subject of interest that has been looked at from environmental, animal and human perspectives. This paper contributes to the discussion by clarifying the diversity of views with regard to the future of meat consumption. Two round Delphi expert interviews and a consumer survey were conducted in order to collect information. Five coherent future images were constructed: Traditional Approach, Business as Usual, Humans First, Wellness and Vegetarian Society. The discussion part of the paper presents possible ways of influencing meat consumption according to the holders of these different images of the future.


How would you like to see a "Positive Post Carbon Society"? What aspects of society are the most important to keep positive? What would your community look like? Do you have any research or readings to contribute on the topic?
Add a comment below.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

How to shut down 93% of coal without building new plants or reducing power supply

In the USA, more MW are generated by gas than coal power stations. (MWh is another story.) As Sean Casten's story from Grist asks, 'When it runs, the natural gas fleet emits just 50% of the CO2 of the coal fleet, which raises a rather interesting question: what would we have to do to make it run harder? And how big a difference would that make in our national CO2 footprint?' Wonder what the gas vs coal breakdown is in Australia.

Growing biofuel without razing the rainforest

'You can't grow biofuel without cutting down trees, right? Not so, says plant scientist Marcos Buckeridge who tells Jan Rocha how Brazil can supply the world with green ethanol.' Could this work for Queensland too? Read the rest of this New Scientist article.

Green roofs compulsory in Toronto

' Roofs make up 21% of the area of Toronto, so it is logical that they should be put to good use. Now they will be green; by a stunning 36-2 vote, council approved new rules that require green roofs on residential buildings next year and on industrial buildings in two years. Like most good legislation, people at both ends don't like it; Steven Peck of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities says in the Globe and Mail that "We would have liked it [the Toronto bylaw] to be more aggressive,” while the real estate industry lobby group says Cost is an issue,The market is so price-sensitive now.” ' Read the rest of this post from Treehugger. Listening, Mr Doyle?

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Working Sustainably Workshop

In June Boroondara Council will be presenting the final workshop in the current Community OnBoard Program.

The Working Sustainably workshop will provide the essential practical strategies and advice that will assist you to reduce the environmental footprint of your organisation, group or club.

This workshop will be led by Council’s Environment and Sustainable Living team and Swinburne University's Centre for Sustainability who have developed and presented the Living for our Future Sustaining our environment program and the annual Boroondara Living for Our Future Sustainability Expo.

The workshop will include a range of information on the following areas;
  • Introduction to environmental sustainability
    waste, water, energy and biodiversity, sustainable transport, green purchasing and green cleaning.
  • Case studies
    sustainability in action.
  • Getting started
    integrating environmental sustainability into your organisation or club’s operations and policy a whole of organisation approach.
Working Sustainably, Tuesday 16 June, 7pm – 9pm Surrey Hills Neighbourhood Centre, 157 Union Road, Surrey Hills.

To RSVP for this workshop or advise on your access requirements, please contact the Community Planning Department on 9278 4753 or email onboard@boroondara.vic.gov.au.

Climate change and biodiversity

Animals have been used as bioindicators since canaries were taken down into coalmines (and probably long before that.) Now there is increased concern about the impact on animal and plant species of climate change, there are numerous projects and studies focused on biodiversity.
  1. A virtual book of all life on Earth is being created by UK and US scientists.
    The online reference work will create a detailed world map of flora and fauna and track changes in biodiversity ... Over time the database will log shifts in species and other data such as changes in the density of forests and when plants first flower. The backers of the idea hope that the vast, virtual book of life will eventually be comparable to the global system used to watch for and record earthquakes.
  2. More dolphins, porpoises and whales could be at risk from the effects of climate change than was previously thought, a new study has claimed.
    An Aberdeen University scientist said rising sea temperatures could affect 88% of areas where cetaceans are found. Dr Colin MacLeod said areas of suitable habitat for many were likely to shrink, meaning fewer animals.
    And he warned a decline in habitat could be so dramatic that it could increase the extinction risk for some.
  3. A bumblebee which is extinct in the UK is to be reintroduced from New Zealand under plans being announced. The short-haired bumblebee was exported from the UK to New Zealand on the first refrigerated lamb boats in the late 19th Century to pollinate clover crops. It was last seen in the UK in 1988, but populations on the other side of the world have survived.

All these stories from the BBC Science and Environment web page (RSS feed).

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Economic impacts of carbon pricing

How much extra will putting a price on carbon add to the household power bill?
The result of course depends on what price is set for carbon by the Federal Government. Currently this is $10 per tonne, although a recent report suggests the price is not expected to remain at this level. But even at $25 per tonne, the Government's fact sheet estimates a rise of, on average, $4 per week for electricity and $2 per week for gas and other household fuels.

Sean Casten has done some calculations for US electricity prices. The result? $13.60/MWh, or 1.4 cents/kWh. Given that the average price for electricity in the USA is 9.75 cents/kWh, this amounts to a 14% rate increase. (The US prices carbon at $20/ton.)

However, as he points out, electricity prices vary between states; this increase amounts to the difference between Maine (13.9 cents/kWh) and Massachusetts (15.3). On this basis, saying that Australia would be disadvantaged by setting a carbon price is like saying that Massachusetts would lose its industry to Maine because of this price differential. (As a recent post to this blog pointed out too, changeover costs tend to be overestimated because they don't take implementation efficiencies into account.)

Prince Charles is a greenie!

There may not be a huge number of royalists in the Australian environmental movement (although as an issue, the environment cuts across party lines). But when establishment figures like Prince Charles urge action on climate change, I think two things happen. First, and obviously, it gets the issue into the media, at least in Britain. Second, Charles has a history of using his profile for commenting on social issues. His comments normalise the issue; it's more difficult now to portray concern about climate change as alarmist or the preserve of a radical minority.

Excerpt from this BBC story: 'Hesitation over tackling climate change could be catastrophic, Prince Charles has told global warming experts. Speaking at St James' Palace, in London, the prince said: "It seems to me that in many ways we already have some of the answers to hand. "We know about energy efficiency, renewable energy, and how to reduce deforestation... but we seem strangely reluctant to apply them," he went on.' Read the full story.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Cap & trade: Carbon tax or wealth transfer?

Excerpt from this article by Sean Casten:
"It’s an article of faith that cap-and-trade will raise our energy costs, but it’s not necessarily true.

The ubiquity of this faith makes clear that the Smart People who write, talk, and vote about CO2 policy don’t really understand the issues. A quick discussion, and then some math to clarify.

There are two core problems with the theory that carbon pricing schemes will raise energy costs:
  1. We habitually confuse sector-specific wealth transfers with economy-wide pain; the two are not necessarily the same.
  2. Rather than admit our failure to imagine how the world would adapt to carbon pricing, we tend to assume stasis, thereby overstating the costs of compliance. "

Tim Flannery makes a similar observation in The weather makers. The rest of this article discusses both these points is well worth reading.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

New web site about economics of climate change

Excerpt from a Dot Earth post:
***************************************************************************
There’s a new star out there in the online constellation of viewpoints, a Web site called RealClimateEconomics.org. [ ... ] The people involved with the new economics Web site have a strongly stated point of view: “The peer-reviewed literature demonstrates that there is rigorous economic support for immediate, large-scale policy responses to the climate crisis.” They note that three themes reverberate through their work, all of which have been explored at one point or another on Dot Earth (the links in their statement are to relevant posts):
  • Risk and uncertainty are fundamental to the climate problem; the magnitude and the irreversibility of uncertain, but possible, worst-case climate impacts dominate the analysis of policy options.
  • Ethics and equity are inseparable from economic analysis; there are deep questions of fairness between rich and poor today, and between present and future generations, at stake in the debate.
  • The severity of the problem and the scope of the required response are so great that marginal analysis of small changes and modest adjustments of market-based instruments are inadequate to the task of understanding and protecting the earth’s climate.

More on green jobs

Excerpt from AAP story:
***************************************************************************
... Hoping to create a global carbon market, the organisers of a world business summit on climate change said 2 million new jobs would be created in the US alone if it increased its reliance on cleaner sources of energy.
The Copenhagen Climate Council study said the US would gain that many jobs, if its electricity use grew by just half of 1 per cent a year and a quarter of its electricity came from wind energy and other renewable sources.
EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told the CEOs of major international corporations that similar investments could produce a million new jobs in European Union countries.
"Change also brings big economic opportunities," he said.
In 2007, EU leaders pledged that by 2020 the European Union would cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other major warming gases by at least 20 per cent from 1990 levels, and increase its reliance on renewable energy sources to one-fifth of all its energy used.
"Achieving a 20 per cent share for renewables, for example, could mean more than a million jobs in this industry by 2020," Barroso said. Such a plan must be joined, he said, by "a satisfactory international climate agreement in which other developed and developing countries contribute their fair share to the limiting global emissions."

Friday, 22 May 2009

Copenhagen climate agreement

We all know world leaders and their delegates will be grinding out a new global climate agreement this December in Copenhagen. But have you ever wondered what document they will be arguing over? This post from the Dot Earth blog includes some excerpts from the United Nations negotiating text for the 192 countries to meet in Copenhagen. There is also some commentary about the likely "pinch points" in the agreement.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Green David vs brown Goliath

Of course environmental groups can't outspend the energy bloc when it comes to lobbying government. However we can work smarter and arm ourselves with some effective arrows. A recent post by Billy Parish looked comes up with four strategies for the smaller dog in the fight:
  1. Make it a battle of wills, not a battle of skills
  2. Empower people to think and act in real time
  3. Attack where they are weak
  4. Defy social convention (and be ready to do what is socially horrifying)

The full article from the Grist web site is definitely food for thought.

Biggest global health threat of the 21st Century?

"Climate change is 'the biggest global health threat of the 21st Century', according to a leading medical journal. The Lancet, together with University College London researchers, has published a report outlining how public health services will need to adapt. It also highlights the consequences of climate-related mass migrations. The authors aim to add their voice to the call for carbon mitigation and will focus on making clear the ways in which climate change will affect health."

Read the full article from the BBC.

They're worried out there

We may read that climate change isn't of widespread concern out in voterland. A recent survey by professional pollsters in the United States, however, reveals most people perceived climate change as "a serious threat, particularly to future generations". If these feelings are similar in Australia, we need to go on supporting and creating events to tap into these concerns. The takeaway - don't get discouraged!

An excerpt from the full article:
"A survey we completed in March reveals that nearly eight in 10 voters believe global warming is either happening now or will happen in the future, with 53 percent seeing evidence that it is happening right now. Gallup uncovered similar attitudes, as 53 percent told them global warming has already begun, while just 16 percent are deniers, expecting it will never happe.Over two-thirds of the electorate believes global warming constitutes a serious threat. In response to a different question, posed by researchers from Yale and George Mason universities, a similar number said they “worry” about global warming. A third believes it will harm them, while 61 percent foresee harm to future generations.Perhaps more importantly, voters are demanding action to reduce the carbon pollution that causes global warming. In the Yale/George Mason poll, two-thirds urge Congress to do more on the issue, and in our survey, 77 percent favor action to reduce carbon emissions. In an April ABC/Washington Post poll, 75 percent supported federal regulations on the release of greenhouse gases.In short, a strong public consensus has emerged on the reality and severity of global warming, as well as on the need for federal action."

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

'Coral triangle' a global emergency

"Australian scientists are warning of the possibility of a future wave of economic refugees from south-east Asia and the Pacific if one of the world's most important marine ecosystems is devastated by climate change." Rest of this story from the ABC.

A story to remember the next time someone says they think climate change isn't such a big deal for Australia. This story should inform them that acting against climate change isn't just good for the planet, it's in our interests too.

Friday, 1 May 2009

'Safe' climate means 'no to coal'

About three-quarters of the world's fossil fuel reserves must be left unused if society is to avoid dangerous climate change, scientists warn.
More than 100 nations support the goal of keeping temperature rise below 2C.
But the scientists say that without major curbs on fossil fuel use, 2C will probably be reached by 2050.
Writing in Nature, they say politicians should focus on limiting humanity's total output of CO2 rather than setting a "safe" level for annual emissions.

Read the rest of this article via the BBC report.

Hope Kevin Rudd is reading this and has a re-think about "clean coal".

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Human Sign - St Kilda Beach, Melbourne - 17 May 2009 - Part 2

This is a call to everyone who wants to be a part of something significant, climate change action on the beach in Melbourne!

LIVE are organising another, bigger, better sign after the success of the last one.

There are three ways to join in:

1. Promotion:
Distribute flyers and posters. Invite everyone you know to come along. More details here.

2. Be part of the human sign:
About 4,000 people have already expressed their desire to take part, how about joining them? The organiser's are expecting to accomodate upto 10,000 people. Express your interest here.

3. Help to organise the human sign:
They need 100 volunteers to help marshall all of those people arriving, parking cars. bikes and onto the letters on the beach. 40 more such volunteers are required. Start time is either 8am or 9.30am on the day, depending on duties. Details here.

Join something worthwhile, community action with a smile!

See our other blog entry.

Voices of our Young People

A really powerful video on Victoria's younger generations, speaking out on climate change and sustainability . . .

We should all watch this and be inspired . . .


Find the original at http://www.live.org.au/index.php/human-sign/children-speak

Download the Flash browser plugin if you cannot see this video clip above.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Brown Mountain - destruction complete!

An urgent message from Jill Redwood of Environment East Gippsland . . .
These were taken yesterday - VicForests mission accomplished. This ancient stand of 600(plus) year old forest has now been fully annihilated and ready for conversion to a palm-oil plantation. Or it might as well be. They'll actually be converted to a pulpwood plantation for the Japanese paper industry.

The other four remaining stands of old growth adjoining are on the logging schedule.

Please help in whatever way you can.

Jill
Please also see these articles:
You might like to contact your local polictician or VicForests to express your views . . .

Click on the pictures below to view larger versions:


public safety zone

fern glade management

cleansing

arson - government style

600 year old stump

sterilising the soil

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Moreland Climate Group Event

CLIMATE CHANGE: What should the Federal Government be doing?

A debate and community discussion on climate change.

Kelvin Thomson, MP, Labor Member for Wills
David Spratt, Co-author of Climate Code Red: The Case for Emergency Action

7pm, April 20,
Coburg Concert Hall,
90 Bell St,
Coburg

A chance to hear about the latest climate science and have your views heard. This is a free event.

Presented by Moreland Climate Group.
Contact Ellen Roberts on 0408 583 694 for more information.

www.morelandclimategroup.wordpress.com