Zero Net Emissions by 2025

News Digest – Thurs 16th Aug 2007

Posted on 16 August 2007 by e-news

A summary of news and events: for further details follow the links; or contact the office (03) 5470 6978.


Local Water Plan 2008-2013: Coliban Water has cancelled public informationsessions in Castlemaine and Bendigo for what it said was lack of interest. The Castlemaine session was due tonight, 16 Aug. Coliban Water is proposing to spend an average $42M each year on capital works during 2008 to 2013 to maintain and improve services to its customers. Coliban will organise a further information session in Castlemaine if it has enough interested people. Please call 1300 363 200 to register your interest.

Big picture water: Prof. Mike Young, Research Chair, Water Economics, University of Adelaide, writes: “Under the proposed National Plan for Water Security, the Commonwealth Government will invest up to $3 billion over 10 years to address over-allocation in the Murray Darling Basin and much more on infrastructure modernisation. Given the size of the proposed investment, what should be done first? To subscribe to Prof Young’s “droplet” email list send an email to with “subscribe” in the subject line.

Sustainable Living

Challenge to Change roll out is underway. The Presentation Team spoke to hundreds of staff, students parents and others this week at 12 different locations around the shire. The C2C website is now operational. AND: to underline the C2C message, see Nature magazine – with a multi-article section on climate change.

Local Food

Seedlings: we are beginning spring plantings at the MASG garden and are interested in help. Also, Ian has thousands of seedlings to give away. For info: email

From interstate, there are Food Alliance interviews ready to download (MP3 audio) – a series of seven radio interviews on urban agriculture and food security in Sydney are now available. The series was broadcast on Sydney educational radio, 2SER. Topics include: who’s living with hidden hunger; Urban agriculture – worth retaining; The true price of organics; community gardens: growing food in the city; increasing accessibility and involving children and young people etc.


Opportunities to offset carbon and connect with the earth: Tree planting at Guildford: fundraiser for Winters Flat school 26 Aug., contact Mark 0409 800 215; and at Vaughan, Sat 1 September with shindig at Guildford Music Hall afterwards. Contact Lisa 5473 4542


Please look at the big new red button on our website – the next step is self-explanatory!

Also wanted – indoor and outdoor plants of all sorts. Lend us the MASG plant of the month!

OTHER events, not MASG endorsed:

Castlemaine 500 news: CVGA has been granted a second year of funding to continue C500 AND to roll out the C500 model in 2 other townships. Later this year, our project team will step back from the coordination of household energy activities and “hand the baton” over to the Castlemaine community. As part of this process C500 will host a Castlemaine Household Behaviour Change Network Workshop on Tues 21st Aug – 9.30am to 1.00pm at Uniting Church Hall – Lyttleton Street, Castlemaine. RSVP: Geoff Brown 0403 763 660 or for catering numbers.

Also from C500: Toolkit for Facilitators’ Training: Mon 20th Aug, 6.30pm to 9.00pm, Castlemaine Community House: Some ripper activities and processes for your facilitators’ toolkit, to support the facilitation of Energy Smart Workshops with local communities. RSVP: Geoff 0403 763 660 or for catering numbers.

And more great stuff:

The North Central Catchment Management Authority (CMA): Holistic Management® – Healthy Land, Sustainable Future Training Program. Farming in a variable climate can be challenging on a number of levels; environmentally, emotionally, socially and economically. Conducted by Graeme Hand, there will never be a dull moment! Workshop aims to assist landholders in increasing the health of their land in a varying climate. A series of 2-day blocks over a 3-week period, with a follow up day early in 2008. From 17th October with a mix of ‘class-based’ sessions (at the Huntly CMA office) and ‘on-farm’ sessions. 5448 7124 email:

OTHER INFO from the wider world, not MASG endorsed:

German sun powers a revolution:
A vast former Soviet military training base under the often sullen grey skies of what was once communist East Germany is an unlikely new hub for the world’s solar energy industry.

Merkel rejects call to moderate emissions cuts: Erik Kirschbaum, Reuters, 3 July 2007. Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected industry criticism of her plans to cut Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions by a third by 2020 and dashed its hopes of a deal to prolong the use of nuclear power

‘Clean energy’ industry shows fast job growth: Massachusetts’ fast-growing “clean energy” industry — companies involved in fields such as solar and wind power, conservation, and high-efficiency energy technology — is poised to add as many as 3,000 jobs this year, according to a state survey released yesterday.

This time it’s personal: When Andy Ross takes a train journey, he does not just think about the cash he will have to spend, he also thinks about what it will cost him in carbon. That is because he’s a “cragger” – a member of a Carbon Rationing Action Group (Crag), a growing network of community groups dedicated to cutting individuals’ carbon emissions. “Personal CO2 emissions make up about half of the UK’s total,” says Ross, who lives in Glasgow. “Crags give us all an opportunity to start contributing our fair share to reducing them.”

If you want to be a local cragger, we can tell other members of MASG and you could set up a group. Email

Climate advocacy and the election: Federal Labor in Australia, following Nicholas Stern, has unofficially adopted the three degree (warming) target. At two degrees it will be too late for the Greenland ice cap, raising sea levels by 5 to 7 metres, over a third of species will be committed to extinction and the Amazon rainforest, Great Barrier Reef and Kakadu will be gone.

At three degrees the carbon cycle will be thrown into reverse so that large vegetation and soil sinks start to release carbon, boosting global warming even further by an estimated 1.5 degrees. Three degrees is a slippery slope to 4 or 5 degrees, so three degrees cannot be a target, but only a signpost on the way to catastrophe.


TONY JONES: “Prime Minister, what do you think living in Australia would be like by the end of this century for your own grandchildren and for the grandchildren and great grandchildren of others, if the temperatures, the average mean temperatures, around the world do rise by somewhere between four and possibly even more than six degrees Celsius?”

Prime Minister: “Well, it would be less comfortable for some than it is now.”

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