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.