Zero Net Emissions by 2025

sustainability news 13th Dec 2007

Posted on 18 December 2007 by e-news

For more info call 5470 6978

MASG office closed on 24th December and re-opens on January 2nd. All welcome at our MASG barbeque, Friday 21st December from 1-3pm at the Botanical Gardens, Castlemaine.

A MASG Christmas gift! Could there be a better Christmas present than MASG membership? We don’t think so. If you have a relative, friend or acquaintance who shares our aims, you could change their lives by joining them up. This is the process:
1. You write a Happy Xmas/New Year letter or card addressed to the person with his/her name and address clearly shown;
2. You drop the letter or card and the fee of $15 for an individual or $25 for a family into the MASG office at Rear 233 Barker St or mail it to PO Box 1043 Castlemaine 3450;
3. We will immediately send the letter or card onto the person along with a membership form for signature. We will also enclose a stamp addressed envelope to make it easy and a ‘welcome to MASG’ letter, outlining our current projects and perhaps a few achievements.
It’s simple and it’s a great way to make Christmas just that little bit more meaningful. Inquiries: please ring Neil on 54 72 3094 or email:

Excess of fruit and veg? Any surplus this summer can be distributed through local networks. Please let Ian know about any produce that will become available after 14 January.

MASG congratulates Cr. Alan Elliot on his election as Mayor of Mt Alexander Shire Council and thanks outgoing Mayor Cr. Jim Norris for his leadership and support to the community in tackling the climate change crisis.

Carbon Trading Surveys: Apologies if you had trouble opening the carbon trading survey. It seems to it work on some systems and not on others. If you have had a problem, you can either come into MASG to complete it or try another computer. The carbon trading survey is here.

Here is a second and also-important survey: Hepburn Community Wind Park is Australia’s first community-owned wind farm, which has passed all approval processes. It will produce enough electricity to power more than 2,000 homes. Co-operative ownership of wind farms has been common in Europe for decades, but Hepburn Wind is the first such project in Australia. This 3 minute survey is important. It will help the Co-operative gauge interest in the project and provide information for the final public offer. It will also greatly assist the cause of community-owned renewable energy projects within Australia. You can complete the survey here. Please forward this email to anyone you know who is interested in renewable energy and a ‘cleaner, greener’ world. More info at:

Dealing with Stuff this Xmas: from Jane, MASG’s Low CO2 officer. The silly season of consumption is upon us again, providing a wonderful opportunity to reduce our footprint through thoughtful action. When thinking about climate change we often focus on our daily energy use and can forget the impact of our consumer choices. ‘The Story of Stuff’ is a great introduction to the topic: For those in need of fresh ideas about how to create a low impact celebration, try visiting the following site for some tips: – check out links from there

Christmas lights on renewable energy: Are your lights sustainably powered? Origin Energy and the Sustainability Group are sponsoring a $200 prize for the best Christmas lights display powered by Renewable Energy. Nominate any renewable energy powered displays to the Midland Express (5472 1788) or at the MASG office (5470 6978). Most importantly if you’re out viewing the lights ask if the display is renewably-powered, and if it isn’t, suggest how they might want to use GreenPower. MASG can help householders if they need advice.


Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has told world leaders in Bali that climate change is the defining challenge of this generation, and says Australia stands ready to respond to the problem. He told delegates at the United Nations climate change conference in Bali that Australia would commit to “real” and “robust” short and medium term targets to slash greenhouse gases, after the Garnaut review is finished next year. [More info on Garnaut in last week’s e-news]

Review of the Mount Alexander Shire Greenhouse Action Plan (GAP). Council is committed to a 30% reduction in Greenhouse gas emissions by 2010 and Council’s GAP is being reviewed to include strategies for reducing Council’s own corporate emissions and opportunities for achieving similar reductions throughout the community. A workshop for community organisations took place on 18th December. Please contact Dean or Ian for more information –

To tree or not to tree?
Christmas is coming and I’ve made a new choice about the tree. This year my family is starting a new tradition: we will be buying a beautiful mature fruit tree to share our home while we celebrate the abundance of the year. Then when all is done we will plant it out on the nature strip and water it through the summer whilst it settles in. We figure if we do this every year our street will start to look a little different, providing food for all who walk by. When we run out of room we might even branch out (forgive the pun) and start planting them in surprising locations. Fruit trees on the roundabout or outside the school perhaps? Now that is a vision that makes me want to celebrate! Jane Knight

Al Gore’s acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize. Audio: >
And an article with some excellent quotes and passionate motivational words:

PhD on peak oil. Excerpt from the intro: “In what will unquestionably be one of the decisive turning points in the history of capitalism, the peaking of world oil supplies is approaching … it is clear that such a peak will have far-reaching consequences for the whole of humanity and the world’s political economy … Once peak oil production is reached, industrial capitalism, in sharp contrast to the first 200 years of its development, will face a future of ever diminishing oil inputs at ever increasing prices. With global agriculture, transportation, industry and military capabilities heavily dependent on oil, and with no ready alternative as yet available to the fossil fuel energy regime, the implications of peak oil are not merely technical in nature, but profoundly social, as the problem dramatically impacts national and international processes of capital accumulation and class struggle, the nature of inter-imperialist rivalry, and questions of political ecology.”

Yallourn power station: washaway watcher John Sanderson writes: “It’s a bigger problem than I first thought. When the river found its way into the open cut it took out the main coal conveyors and although the river has now been successfully cut over to the diversion, the water remaining in the bottom of the open cut is preventing access to key areas of the mine. As a result, they will be operating at around 20% capacity until early in the new year.”

Big may be beautiful? Britain is to launch a huge expansion of offshore wind-power with plans for thousands of turbines in the North Sea, Irish Sea and around the coast of Scotland. John Hutton, the energy secretary, will this week announce plans to build enough turbines to generate nearly half Britain’s current electricity consumption. He will open the whole of Britain’s continental shelf to development, apart from areas vital for shipping and fishing. The Times

Green Conferencing: what is your experience of using conference calls, web meetings or video conferencing? Here is one offer from the web. “Reducing travel reduces carbon emissions. Less carbon emissions mean less damage to the environment. But, how do you conduct day to day business and reduce travel? One solution is to use conference calls, web meetings and video conferencing to connect with people across town or around the globe”.


** The Sustainable Living Festival showcases a huge range of exhibitors, talks, workshops, art, films and performances celebrating and inspiring sustainable communities. 15-17 February.

** EARTHHEART Sustainable Living Festival, at Moora Moora Co-op, Nyora Rd, 12km from Healesville; Saturday 1st March 2008 11 am – 12 midnight.

“Our challenge isn’t to preserve the status quo, but rather adapt to thrive in and shape for the better a world of constant change.” Thomas Homer Dixon (The Upside of Down)

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