Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Fighting the good fight:defending renewable energy

Renewable Energy: the people's choice
Lighter Footprints quickly and easily collected more than 80 letters at the Kew Community Festival on Saturday 23 March defending renewable energy.
Local citizens enjoying the festival were only too happy to sign letters expressing their dismay that the Renewable Energy Target was under attack from electricity  power generators like Origin Energy.
Origin Energy's managing director Grant King has attracted the ire of the Clean Energy Council and of wind farm operator Infigen Energy, which have accused him of trying to protect Origin's investment in gas from clean energy competitors such as wind and solar.
Government confirms target:
Following a Climate Change Authority review,  the Gillard Government last week accepted its recommendation that the target of 41,000 gigawatt hours of renewable energy by 2020 would remain.
Coalition position less clear: 
The Coalition has said it supports the target of 20 per cent renewable energy by 2020 but has also said it will review the gigawatt hours target in the light of falling electricity demand.
Shadow climate minister Greg Hunt has promised a review within six months of taking office, heightening fears that the target will be weakened.
Stable, predictable future required
The Climate Change Authority, which took account of the fall in demand, recommended the existing target remain to provide stability and predictability for renewable energy investors.
Lighter Footprints views attempts to weaken the target as reprehensible given the urgent need to move to a clean energy economy.
It seems that many of the good citizens of Kew and its surrounds agree with us.
Letters were also collected addressed to Opposition leader Tony Abbott demanding a stronger climate action policy, which would protect and strengthen the renewable energy target.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

What price the truth at the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry?

Written by Robbert Veerman    March 13th 2013

I see it but I still don't believe it! 
With national polls repeatedly showing that the overwhelming majority of Australians want action on global warming, how can it be true that the huge membership of the ACCI (see list below, from Wikipedia) takes a different view? Were those hundreds of thousands of ACCI business folk excluded from the polling?
I think ACCI's recent stand against any kind of emissions trading/carbon price may well be a fraud on their own membership. I think it may be worth contacting each of their member organisations to confirm they are being fairly represented?
The ACCI offered no alternative to an ETS whereby we all might shoulder Australia's very large per capita share of Carbon Dioxide emissions. It just wants its members to avoid a tax that is actually mostly paid by ordinary consumers. 
The average effect of the current 'carbon price' across a broad basket of goods is around 1% . Is Australian industry so weak and on the point of collapse? Should I now rush in fear and take my superannuation investments overseas? It's time for ACCI either to identify which of its members are prepared to turn their backs on our beautiful country or to get real, get its hands out of OUR pockets and get back to business.
If that 1% is sufficient to "endanger" Australian industry then spare a thought for the effect of the massive increase in CO2
Robbert Veerman
(Sorry for the long list) 
Members of ACCI are state and territory chambers of business, and national industry associations. They include:
  • ACT & Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Australian Made Campaign Limited
  • Business SA
  • Chamber of Commerce and Industry Western Australia
  • Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland
  • Chamber of Commerce Northern Territory
  • Employers First
  • NSW Business Chamber
  • Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ltd
  • Victorian Employers' Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Agribusiness Employers’ Federation
  • Air Conditioning and Mechanical Contractors Association
  • Association of Consulting Engineers Australia
  • Australian Beverages Council Ltd
  • Australian Hotels Association
  • Australian International Airlines Operations Group
  • Australian Made, Australian Grown Campaign
  • Australian Mines and Metals Association
  • Australian Newsagents' Federation
  • Australian Paint Manufacturers’ Federation Inc
  • Australian Retailers’ Association
  • Bus Industry Confederation
  • Live Performance Australia
  • Master Builders Australia Inc
  • Master Plumbers’ and Mechanical Services Association of Australia
  • National Baking Industry Association
  • National Electrical and Communications Association
  • National Fire Industry Association
  • National Retail Association Ltd
  • NSW Business Chamber
  • NSW Farmers Industrial Association
  • Oil Industry Industrial Association
  • Pharmacy Guild of Australia
  • Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association Inc
  • Printing Industries Association of Australia
  • Restaurant & Catering Australia
  • Standards Australia
  • Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Global Warming and Visions of a Sustainable Planet

Facing the awful facts of global warming can be daunting and denial is a tempting option. But here is a heart-warming story of one woman's journey to climate action and her determination to leave her children and grandchildren a sustainable planet.
It is recommended reading.