Thursday, 29 January 2009

Upcoming Workshops – Cultivating Sustainability in Australia, March 2009

Copied from Tim Cotter's newsletter.

Planning is underway for Cultivating Sustainability workshops in the main centres of Australia throughout March. Dates are yet to be confirmed, but will be advised to all Wake-Up Call subscribers asap. Any requests for dates and locations are welcome and greatly appreciated to assist in planning.

If you are part of an organisation, green team, or community network that would benefit from an in-house workshop, contact Tim (see below) to discuss.

Cultivating Sustainability is a 1-day workshop which provides sustainability advocates with insights, models and practical tools to support their behaviour change efforts. Anybody who has taken on the challenge of influencing others to live and work more sustainably will find this workshop a valuable addition to their skills.

For more information about the Cultivating Sustainability workshop, see If you would like to discuss running a workshop in your organisation or community, email timc at or phone +61 3 9387 1181

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Key Strategies

These are the Key Strategies of Lighter Footprints.

1. Analyse opportunities and set clear priorities from our lists of projects.
  • Communicate them to our 'supporters'.
  • Research which groups are 'leading edge' in priority areas and join with them.
2. Contribute to the development of the coalition of climate groups ("convergence") in Victoria and then Australia.

3. Compile a skills inventory and consider which supplementary resources are needed and how to access them.

4. Use action plans to control projects and drive implementation.

5. Develop an extensive database.
  • Distribute a monthly LF e-newsletter.
  • Mount an active, attractive website.

Our Mission

Our Mission statement describes what we are setting out to achieve.

Lighter Footprints aims to influence national, State and local decision makers and Australian citizens to take action in priority focus areas to halt global warming as a matter of urgency.

Our Vision

Our 'Vision' is what we want the group to be like and to have achieved by 2010.

A six month action plan will outline projects and actions to be investigated for possible implementation that will take us towards achieving the vision.

Lighter Footprints is a local Climate Action Group which aims to be a leader in stimulating action to ensure a safe climate future, influencing a paradigm shift in the attitudes and opinions of the community and all levels of government. To do so it will construct links with the community, support the formation of new groups and be active in significant projects that are moving with urgency to prevent a global catastrophe.

"In the long term you should be doing more than mining for the Chinese"

The titled quote was taken from the article 'Solar industry cash dries up' by Royce Miller in The Age.

Here's the introduction:
AUSTRALIA is forfeiting billions of dollars in investment and thousands of jobs through its lack of support for solar energy, according to European companies that have shunned the sunburnt country.

- Potential investors reject Australia
- Lack of incentives for solar projects
- Problem 'lack of government policy'

An Age investigation has found that potential investors courted by federal and state governments have rejected Australia, the world's sunniest continent, citing a lack of business incentives such as tax breaks and the nation's unwillingness to regulate in favour of renewable energy.
When our politicians defend their support and handouts for the carbon polluting industries in the name of 'preserving jobs and our economy', perhaps we should be asking them about the new jobs and new economy we are missing out on as a result?

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Getting into 2009

Originally sent as an email to our members.

And here we go for what promises to be a very interesting and important year ahead for 'Climate changers'!
  • Our first commitment of the year begins on Feb 4 with our first monthly meeting - (First Wednesday of the month) It is at 15 Faversham Rd Canterbury at 7.45 pm. Some of us will have travelled to Canberra for the Australian Climate Action Summit Jan 31 to Feb 3. This will include a public action on Tuesday Feb 3 to surround Parliament House in Canberra. I will attach the program for the 4 days fro those of you who might still be able to make it. There are also a couple of spots in a car still available. let me know if you are interested.
  • Our second February commitment is to attend the Sustainable Living Festival when we can, and offer support to the Climate Emergency Network (CEN) to help out with their stall. This is on from Friday 13 to Sunday 15 February. The CEN is asking fro volunteers fro two hour slots on any of the three days. If you can help out in this very big and significant event, then that would be very much appreciated - and if you let me know soon please, I will pass this on to the organisers.
  • Our third (and most important in my view) commitment in February is to our strategic planning afternoon which is on Sunday 22 February - and I am hoping to confirm soon that it is on at the Surrey Hills Neighbourhood Centre. ( If not I will let you know where it is). It will start with lunch at 12 pm and finish at 5 pm. I attach a proposed agenda put together yesterday by Rowan McClean and myself for your comment. Rowan has very kindly agreed to facilitate this planning session so I know it will be and excellent occasion and one you will be pleased to have been part of. It would be helpful to let me know if you can come to this as I will be making the lunch!
  • Also by the end of February we will be using our Topica mailing list ACTIONS not the Lighterfootprints members list, so that those who have not joined it by then will no longer be in touch with us by email. We are very keen not to lose you because you inadvertently fell off the list, so do let us know if you want to remain and as yet you are not on the Topica list. You can check if you are registered with Topica because you will have received this email twice - (or if you are also on the News group - then 3 times!) Do check out our website/blog for how to join our email lists.
I also include [a link to] the latest readings from Climate Equity once again the most up to date information you can get to keep on top of the science and the political journalism from around the world. A summary of events is also below, and a more detailed and wider ranging listing in the climate action calendar is also attached.

Regards, and contact me for any further information - there are many other events which may be of interest to you from the Calendars (-like Feb 14 Sustainability Convergence meeting which some of us will attend).

A summary list of important upcoming events is available here.

Carolyn Ingvarson
Lighter Footprints

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Boroondara Sustainability Network (BSN)

BSN was founded in late 2008. Heinz Kreutz (who also happens to be a Boroondara City councillor) called for expressions of interest from local residents, with the aim of promoting greater sustainability. This is an independent group, not linked with the Boroondara City Council.

The organisation has already held a number of meetings to discuss and agree fundamentals such as group structure, mission, aims etc. Members and attendees have included concerned individuals, representitives of local environmental groups and council staff.

A website has been established with some basic public information. Details of the initial meetings and progress can be obtained from the site once one registers a personal account. The introduction to the draft BSN Mission currently reads:

To link community-based environment action groups in fostering behavioural change and influencing policies, structures and resource allocation at Boroondara, State, national and international levels.

Lighter Footprints actively supports the BSN and is well represented at the meetings. We encourage Boroondara residents to join us in supporting BSN.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Supporting Certain Levels of CO2 ppm

Two campaigns to recalibrate and communicate our expections of how much CO2 in the atmosphere is appropriate to the earth's wellbeing. 350 parts per million (ppm) is one message, the other is 300 ppm.

In 2008, we'd reached 387 ppm. Article here.

Both are considered 'aggressive' by the recommendations we've been used to from reports such as Garnaut (450-550). The higher targets are usually set by those who believe that climate action (reductions of GHG emissions and of atmospheric levels of GHGs) can only take place within a 'business as usual' (and/or a 'politics as usual') scenario. In other words, we can only reduce GHGs if it does not significantly impact on our current lifestyles/profits.

Unfortunately, the science of global warming indicates that these targets are not low enough. The climate does not care about maintaining our lifestyles and will respond to the laws of chemistry and physics and not the laws of economics.

As we are often reminded, a satisfactory response to climate change requires that we address the science. No amount of discussion about the rights and wrongs will fix the problem, only a reduction of GHG emissions will do that.

A snappy (90 second) animation:

Negative emissions needed for a safe climate

An article from Crikey which highlights a new report out on climate change.

"The latest State of the World report from the globally respected World Watch Institute is one of the highest-profile and credible calls for emergency action on climate change yet released.

The report concludes that the old scientific and environmental target of constraining warming to 2C is now well out of date and that we must do everything we can to bring warming back to no more than 1C if we are to pass on a safe climate to those who come after us. It makes it clear that those who think we can get away with stabilising CO2 equivalents at 550 parts per million are knowingly condemning the planet to catastrophe."

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Climate change is more than abstract idea

An article from the Sydney Morning Herald succinctly describing some of the issues surrounding climate change and why we should act.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Join the Climate Action Summit in Canberra

Australia's Climate Action Summit has been organised to take place in Canberra from 31 Jan - 3 Feb 09.

More details are available here:

"Let's make 2009 the year Australians turned the tide of climate change!"