Zero Net Emissions by 2025

February 11th newsletter 2011

Posted on 11 February 2011 by e-news

MASG review

40 members came to the Garden Room at Buda to discuss the MASG restructure and hear a report back from the Organisation Working Group on 7th Feb. The new MASG seed is germinating – see here for documents about the new structure and a video made by committee member Miles Bennet about the proposed new organisational structure.

Next members’ gathering

Friday 25th February, 5 to 6pm at the Hub. This is a regular informal forum held at the MASG offices (or in the garden, weather permitting) for people to meet and talk about issues around sustainability that inspire them, to share their thoughts and to learn more from each other and from what projects are happening with MASG.

Share that thought or good idea !

 Discussion around the review is also welcome then. Call the office 54 70 6978 for more or just show up!

Jottings from the Hub Plot

Growth in the garden at the back of the Barker St office has been spectacular and the tanks are full!! If you haven’t seen the garden for a while, please drop in. Thanks to Pam, Peter and Catherine for watering the gardens during the holiday. And thanks to Alex for staking the tomatoes and Bron for mowing the lawn. We will recommence our Monday morning gardening this Monday the 14th of February at 9.30am. Please come along. Tasks include preparing garden beds for autumn planting and harvesting the potatoes.

Gardening workshops

There will be a series of workshops in 2011, thanks to funding from the Mount Alexander Shire Council. Topics such as compost making, worm farms, wicking beds and fruit trees will all be covered. On Monday the 21st Feb at 9.30 a.m. we will meet in the garden to have the first planning group specifically about the workshops. We are keen to hear from anyone who is interested in being involved in this project. Either drop in on Monday morning to the garden or email Heather on  or Peter on  or phone 0409 327 791.

Thanks !

Betty Roach for the near new paper shredder for the MASG office.

Training in Sustainability and Permaculture

Castlemaine Permaculture Design Course – low cost, high quality. 16 Wednesdays over term 1 and term 2, starts 16 Feb. A State government subsidy makes this the cheapest PDC anywhere. [only $100 for $1,000 worth of training!] Tutors include Ian Lillington, David Holmgren and many local activists. Run by the Castlemaine Community House. Bookings on 5472 4842.

Diploma of Permaculture – the highest level of accredited training in permaculture in Australia, starts soon at Eltham College. Some subsidised places available. Details email

Local News and events

Job Offer

Helping get more locally made electric cars in use

 Blade Electric Vehicles is seeks a local Customer Relations Manager for immediate start and hope you may be able to assist getting the word out through your network. The person we seek needs sound interpersonal and organisational skills to deal with existing and prospective customers. The position has flexible hours and pay is negotiable. Contact Ross Blade, Director, Ph: 03 5472 2009 or 0410 49 2195,

Retrovision to offer a Digital Ready workshop

 February 11th (1-4pm) and 12th (10am – noon) at the Vincent St. store in Daylesford, the Digital Ready sessions will explain the different types of televisions available, their energy use and cost to run. The Digital Ready workshop is part of the Refit n’ Save project being run by SHARE for the whole of 2011. For more information about Digital Ready or the Refit n’ Save project contact Tanya Black on T:5309 2664 or  or visit the website at:

Beautiful salon show at lot19!!

 see you at the gallery for the summer salon of love and small works which opens on Saturday 12 Feb at 2pm. Running for three weekends from 12 – 4pm the exhibition features a sensational line up of artists Call 5472 2052 for more details.

Free Strawbale Building Information Night

At the Kyneton Community Learning Centre, Mollison Street, Kyneton. No details of dates but contact


Free pest control every night !

Fascinating Creatures of the Night – 19th February – 6:30pm to 9:30pm, free. Baynton Hall – Darlington Rd off Mission Hill Rd. The Baynton Sidonia Landcare group is very fortunate to have secured the expertise of Dr Lindy Lumsden Lindy has been conducting ecological research on bats for almost 30 years. Bats use all remnant vegetation in farmland, including trees scattered through paddocks and an important role in controlling insect numbers, including a range of pest species. Bookings essential ring: Clare 54 234 152.

“The Swift Parrots of Muckleford” – DVD Launch

The official launch and screening of The Swift Parrots of Muckleford DVD on Thursday 24th of February at 10.30am at the Castlemaine Market Building, followed by morning tea. Muckleford is a site of national significance for this endangered species. For more see the youtube video or RSVP to Beth Mellick on 54 721316 or

Community Building Workshop

the architecture of the future in the Here & Now.
Saturday February 12, 10am – 4.30pm, Yapeen. The program will include theory and hands-on sessions; plus Architecture Playhouse Workshop Sunday February 13 – 10am – 4.30pm. Yapeen. Workshop Fee: $75 Couples $135. Book online or ring 9005 5833.

National and International

Garnaut calls Australia ‘a drag’ on climate action

The Age has reported that the Government’s climate change adviser, Ross Garnaut, says Australia needs to catch up to the rest of the world in its efforts to address climate change.

Arctic winter ice is least on record

Arctic sea ice extent for January 2011 was the lowest in the satellite record for that month. See the artic ice website of the US National Snow and Ice Data Cente for images and links to time lapse satellite photography showing the fall in the sea ice extent in both Arctic and Antarctic.

 Cyclones and climate change

While no individual weather event can be directly attributed to climate change alone, increases in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events is exactly what climate scientists have predicted for decades. Download this Australian Conservation Foundation fact sheet on cyclones for more information. (101 kb) Cyclones fact sheet 7-2-11
Chris Ryan, director of the Bureau of Meteorology’s National Meteorological and Oceanographic Centre:

 “Of course climate change is a long term thing and the weather fluctuates on short time frames. We’ve had severe tropical cyclones before, but the severity and the frequency of the weather that we’ve been experiencing this summer is in line with what you would expect if the atmosphere was warming and that extra energy was being provided to the atmosphere.”

ABC radio, The World Today, 3 February 2011


Re-insurer Swiss Re has warned Australia is becoming a riskier place to do business after a string of extreme natural disasters over the past two years.

Energy production is slowly becoming less polluting but overall Australia’s emissions still set to rise.

The Climate Group Annual Report on Emissions from 2010 finds that:
Greenhouse gas emissions from energy-use fell in 2010 by 2.2 per cent, (thats good) but  the Federal Government has released new figures showing carbon emissions are expected to rise 24 per cent above 2000 levels by 2020 without new measures to curb emissions reports the Age.
Climate Change Minister Greg Combet says

“It’s only with a carbon price, which is essentially a price tag on pollution, that we will cut pollution levels, and drive investment in clean energy.”

Figures on global climate show 2010 tied 2005 as the hottest year on record

Since 1950 the trend is to just keep getting warmer

New government figures for the global climate show that 2010 was the wettest year in the historical record, and it tied 2005 as the hottest year since record-keeping began in 1880. The new figures confirm that 2010 will go down as one of the more remarkable years in the annals of climatology. It featured prodigious snowstorms that broke seasonal records in the United States and Europe; a record-shattering summer heat wave that scorched Russia; strong floods that drove people from their homes in places like Pakistan, Australia, California and Tennessee; a severe die-off of coral reefs; and a continuation in the global trend of a warming climate… (New York Times, January 12)


“All across the world, in every kind of environment and region known to man, increasingly dangerous weather patterns and devastating storms are abruptly putting an end to the long-running debate over whether or not climate change is real. Not only is it real, it’s here, and its effects are giving rise to a frighteningly new global phenomenon: the man-made natural disaster.”

BARACK OBAMA, speech, Apr. 3, 2006

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