Friday, 31 May 2013


Wednesday 26th June  
7 pm for 7.30

Speaker: Michael Josephson
Ethical Investment Services

How to move your super to an ethical investment so that YOU can avoid patronising companies that deal in coal, oil, tobacco, alcohol, slave labour, coal seam gas and more...

Yes, you CAN invest ethically and profitably!

This is an opportunity to hear directly from someone who knows the answers to all the questions you have wanted to ask about ethical super. 

Canterbury Guide Hall, 
1 Faversham Rd (Cnr Shierlaw Ave)

Food and drink available from 7 pm and everyone with an interest in investing superannuation in an ethical but still profitable way is welcome. Gold coin donation.

Even if you have never come to a meeting with us before, join us for the first hour of our meeting from 7.30- 8.30, and stay to hear more of the work of the group if you want to. 

Contact for more info :
Carolyn Ingvarson
 0411 115 186

Julius Richard Petri's 161st birthday is today's Google feature [May 31st]

Why is his birthday important to me? He invented the petri dish used for cultivation of microbes. They used to be reusable glass and in my first job, as a lab assistant, I scrubbed hundreds of these smelly putrid things every day!

By 1965 we converted to single-use plastic (made from oil) petri dishes, syringes etc and stopped scrubbing benches, instead laying down a clean single-use bench cloth. Which leads me straight to the millions of uses we have for oil, other than as fuel.

But (short-sightedly) we did nothing about the massive increase in plastic junk because, for us, that was an "externality" for others to clean up.

This trend still continues worldwide, although some are becoming responsible. Please support them in "owning" their own rubbish problem!

Robbert Veerman

And here's the Google Doodle to mark his birthday...

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Lighter Footprints, the Fin Review and shortening the odds on a carbon price continuing

Lighter Footprints received its first mention in the news pages of The Australian Financial Review recently, following several emails from us to Bill Shorten strongly urging him to continue his support for a price on carbon after the election.

The following excerpt comes from the Page 4 lead story on Thursday 30 May.

"Shorten to block Abbott on carbon tax

Employment Minister Bill Shorten has indicated that should he lead Labor after the federal election, he would not be willing to roll over to Tony Abbott and allow a Coalition government to abolish the price on carbon.
In an email to a concerned lobby group, Mr Shorten said two recent articles which suggested he would lead Labor after the election and readily assent to the abolition of the troublesome policy were "misleading". "For the record, I told the journalist who asked me about carbon pricing that I'd always supported the government's carbon pricing policy and that hasn't changed," he said.
"A carbon price is the best way to do something about climate change, so we can pass on the planet to our kids and grand-kids in the best shape possible."
He says the election poses a "real choice" between competing climate change policies. He tells the group, Lighter Footprints: "Feel free to tell your friends I absolutely support Labor's smart and fair carbon pricing policy."
Mr Shorten was responding to an email from the group's convener who wrote: "We read that the ALP is considering (post a lost election) dumping its position on a price of carbon and possibly the ETS and we lose whatever hope we (have) in this government.
"Don't do it, even if you are thinking like this."
Mr Abbott has promised repeatedly that if the Senate does not allow him to abolish the carbon price, he will call a double dissolution election.
He said repealing the carbon tax would be his first legislative act. He believes Labor will abandon the policy as the Coalition abandoned WorkChoices after it was the principal cause of its 2007 election loss. What to do about the carbon price will be the first major decision facing Labor should it find itself in Opposition after September 14.
While this would depend on who was left and who was leader, there is a growing mood within the Labor Party that Mr Abbott, if he wins, will struggle in his first years, especially if the economy continues to decline and he institutes harsh budget cuts.
One MP said the school of thought was that Labor should adhere to its policy principles and force Mr Abbott to honour his promise and have another election. With the polls showing Labor needing a miracle to win, there is increasing internal focus on the post-election make-up of the Labor Party."

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Avoiding climate catastrophe: defending renewable energy and scrapping money for big polluters

Lighter Footprint volunteers collected a large swag of letters defending renewable energy at the Burwood Festival on Sunday 5 May.

Concerned members of the public signed letters to Shadow Energy Minister Ian Macfarlane strongly protesting the Federal Coalition's decision to review the Renewable Energy Target within six months of taking office - should it be elected to power in September.

The promise of an unnecessary review comes hot on the heels of the Climate Change Authority's recent review which recommended endorsing the current target to promote investor confidence.

The existing target ensures renewable energy would gradually increase to  41,000 gigawatt hours in 2020.

The Coalition move has prompted widespread fears that the target is likely to be weakened in response to strong lobbying from the powerful energy retailers whose profits largely derive from coal and gas.

As the planet hurtles towards four to six degrees of global warming this century, it seems entirely prudent to strengthen the target and sheer folly to weaken it.

Lighter Footprints volunteers also collected letters to Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan urging the government to scrap fossil fuel subsidies which now amount to a massive $10 billion a year.

These subsidies include carbon price compensation to our dirtiest power stations, diesel fuel tax credits to miners and the transport sector, accelerated depreciation for oil, gas and coal seam gas projects and aviation fuel tax concessions.

The International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the International Energy Agency are among the conservative international agencies calling on all governments to scrap fossil fuel subsidies in the desperate race against time to halt  catastrophic climate change.