Dec 16th Newsletter
Posted on 16 December 2010 by e-news
Christmas and festive season office closure
Recycling of batteries
Batteries are a toxic hazard in landfill and can and should be recycled. MASG has arranged a recycling pickup from the Hub with a local recycling company at a cost of $6 per Kg of batteries…so drop off your batteries to the MASG office at the Hub and please make a donation to help them become reused not toxic waste in our local tip.
Growing Abundance in MA shire next year.
The Castlemaine Community House with MASG, Transition Mount Alexander and Castlemaine Permablitz is managing a project called Growing Abundance in 2011. The project will look at creative ways of strengthening our local food network and access to local food as a way of reducing our carbon foot print as a community.
Every year in our area, hundreds of fruit trees growing on both public and private land go unharvested either because people don’t notice them, aren’t physically able to harvest them or there are just too many fruits ripe all at once.
Through the Growing Abundance project, a Community Harvest Group is being formed to harvest the seasonal glut of local fruit and make it available to the local community. The Harvest Group is a team of volunteers who will find, harvest and maintain neglected fruit trees around town, sharing the harvest equally between the fruit tree owners, the harvest group and local community organisations, cafes, charities etc who can make good use of the produce. We will also be preserving the damaged fruit and turning it into chutneys, sauces, ciders, jams etc which can be sold to support the project (and ourselves).
Contact Sas Allardice at the Castlemaine Community House by email email@example.com or phone 5472 4842
Flying the flags for sustainability
Drop into the Phee Broadway (library foyer) over the festive season to see the 12 beautiful flags from the MASG flying the flags project. The flags are from local businesses and organisations and they visually show their commitments to sustainability. Artwork by Alice Steel, coordinated by Deanna Neville, funded by the Helen McPherson Smith Trust and Greensprings.
Deanna has held her first round of displays and presentations in the Loddon Prison, Castlemaine Health (Hospital), Victoria Carpets & Don KRC (George Weston Foods) and will be in the Shire Council and Flowserve early in the new year. For more information on how to make your home more comfy and lower your bills and access a solar city free home energy assessment contact Deanna on 54706978 or firstname.lastname@example.org or drop into the office to see our display of summer solutions products for your home.
Cancun meeting a success…but where was Australia ?
The Cancun UN talks on climate change were concluded last week, and despite the pessimism, did achieve some major advances, especially
1. the agreements to have emission reduction targets from all major polluting countries (including China and India)
2. The formation of a green climate fund to support low pollution economic development; protect tropical forests and help the world’s most vulnerable people build resilience to escalating climate change impacts as well as unlock billions of dollars of investment in clean energy.
3. Set up a transparent international reporting mechanism for emissions so that a common international reporting guideline is used to ensure the data provided by countries is complete, comparable, transparent and accurate.
Thankfully also the loophole that Australia tried to negotiate around forestry was NOT passed. This would have allowed us to increase our emissions from cutting down forests without penalty. Australia’s woeful 5% target, and attempts to have weasel room in forestry included highlighted how far behind Australia is on tackling climate change compared with the majority of the world’s governments.
See the Climate Institute’s assessment of the talks and a UK perspective from the Independent newspaper explaining why the Cancun deal was good news .
What participants have said about Cancun.
“The emissions cuts on the table could still lead to a global temperature increase of up to five degrees which would be catastrophic for hundreds of millions of the world’s poorest people.”
Asad Rehman, Friends of the Earth
“Cancun may have saved the process but it has not yet saved the climate.”
Wendel Trio, Greenpeace
“The Cancun agreement is a very significant step forward in renewing the determination of the international community to tackle climate change through multilateral action”.
David Cameron, British Prime Minister
More proof that relying on fossil fuels for energy is locking us into rising prices comes from the SA gas distributor Envestra. They want to increase the average annual household bill by $220 to almost $900 within five years in SA
The company has asked the Federal Government’s independent gas industry umpire, the Australian Energy Regulator, to allow it to increase its take by inflation plus another 10.6 per. Read the story in Adelaide Now.
Doing nothing on climate is a fool’s wager
Barry Jones, ex Labor MP and intellect clearly spells out the reasons for strong action on climate change in his own variant of ”Pascal’s wager”:
1 If we take action on climate change and disaster is averted, there will be massive avoidance of human suffering.
2 If we take action and the climate change problem abates for other reasons, little is lost and we benefit from a cleaner environment.
3 If we fail to act and disaster results, then massive suffering will have been aggravated by stupidity.
4 If we do not take action and there is no disaster, the outcome will be due to luck alone, like an idiot winning the lottery.
Failure to act appears to favour the present but it certainly prejudices the future. As the French diplomat Talleyrand acutely observed 200 years ago, ”Not to choose is to choose”. Read his full analysis in the Age.
Rising sea levels a billion-dollar threat in Australia
The federal Department of Climate Change has released a series of interactive maps showing the degree of devastation that is predicted to occur in Australia with rising sea levels. This has caused a stir in several cities around Australia.
The Age: Melbourne suburbs will be inundated regularly because of climate-change-driven sea-level rises, threatening billions of dollars in damage to homes, new projections show.
Riverside to turn new waterfront by 2100
The Australian: MELBOURNE’S southeast suburbs are among the parts of urban Australia most vulnerable to rising sea levels over the next century.
The Sydney Morning Herald: Sydney Rising sea levels will swamp parts of Sydney. A number of Sydney suburbs will be inundated regularly because of climate change-driven sea-level rises, threatening homes and community infrastructure worth billion of dollars by the end of the century, new projections show.
The Courier Mail: In Brisbane Climate Change will ravage parts of the southeast as sea level rises wash away homes in inner-city Brisbane and the Gold Coast, new modelling shows.
Interactive maps showing the sea level rise as predicted by the Department of Climate Change are available online via the OzCoasts website .
No new coal campaign in WA builds momentum
Over 8000 signatures on a petition calling for no new coal in WA were presented to the WA government at a climate rally on December 11
One particular focus was opposition to the proposed coal mine at Margaret River .
Another highlight was the message of solidarity from Mardoowarra (lower Fitzroy River) traditional owner, Dr Anne Poelina, who gave support to the campaign and also spoke out against the proposed coal mines in the Kimberley region.
For more about the work in WA to oppose Coal and Nuclear see the Safe Climate website.
Wind farms video…clean, safe and quiet.
If you haven’t visited a wind farm yet, and we would encourage that you do so, perhaps also have a listen to this YouTube clip by the Clean Energy Council on wind farms and noise.