Zero Net Emissions by 2025

sustainable e-news 1st Nov 2007

Posted on 2 November 2007 by e-news

MASG spring calendar event summary:
9th & 10th Nov: Renewables Expo – Dr Mark Diesendorf opening night
11 November: Walk Against Warming – MASG goes to Melbourne
3rd – 11th Nov: Castlemaine Garden Festival – MASG Garden open
16th November: Movie Fundraiser – The Bicycle Thief

Renewable Energy Expo: Campbells Creek Community Centrespeakers on Friday 9th in the evening and exhibits all day Saturday, 10th November

Friday Night’s keynote talk: ‘Greenhouse Solutions with Sustainable Energy’ by Dr Mark Diesendorf, one of Australia’s foremost energy experts. He will be discussing the future of renewable energy, greenhouse targets and energy policies in Australia. Mark says: “Current renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency can make huge cuts in our emissions, but the need for action is urgent. We need to start now, and once we are underway we may see new opportunities for greater emission reductions, but a 30% reduction in Australia’s total emissions by 2020 is possible”

ON SATURDAY, Dr Diesendorf speaks again at 11.30am. SO, if you are committed to seeing ‘Farmer John’ at the Theatre Royal on Friday night, this is your chance to do both. For all of Saturday, the Expo shows the latest in renewable energy that you can use now. What role is there for solar PV, solar hot water, biomass, electric cars in your domestic, school and business life? You can see, touch and ask all about renewable technology. With technical improvements happening all the time this is a great chance to talk to the manufacturers and get involved in the renewable future.

For the Kids, and kids at heart: Solar race-cars on the big track. Come and see the solar model racing cars on the big 70m racetrack. These model racing cars are sun-powered and really fly. They are locally-built by students at the Castlemaine Secondary College and MASG is very grateful for their exhibiting at the Expo. For more details on the Expo contact Jayson Burhop on 5470 6978 or

Full House for Diesendorf: 31 booking so far! MASG wants to fill the Campbells Creek Community Centre and demonstrate the support for Renewable Energy in our area. Tell your friends, and RSVP to We will be publicising the RSVP tally each week as we count down. Other good stories on renewables …

The EXPO Volunteer team has come together well, but we still need assistance with packing the solar car track into a trailer at the Castlemaine Secondary College early on Saturday – and to help dismantle the track and bring it back to the school at 4pm.

LOCAL INVENTION POWERS RENEWABLE EXPO The Friday night presentations will be powered by renewable energy from burning woody waste in a gasifier made by research engineer and local resident, John Sanderson who says: “We hope to start commercial production of these units soon – preferably in Castlemaine – come and see it working at the Expo and see how bioenergy can be your home-grown alternative to fossil fuels”.

Vegie 053rd – 11th Nov. Castlemaine Garden Festival – MASG demonstration garden open for the whole festival – please come by and admire the hard work and beauty!

Walk Against Warming – Sunday, 11th November. Walk Against Warming event in Melbourne. Local Rally at 9.30 and then take 10.10am train to Melbourne – email Local info from Heather Barrett on 0409 327791.

Cycling’s Big Night Out: Bookings for the fundraiser at the Theatre Royal on Friday Nov.16th are going very well. Downstairs is heavily booked, though there are still some good seats left. You can purchase tickets at the House of Fergus Frog in Barker St, $20 and $16. This will be a great night for cyclists and lovers of film, comedy and things Italian, as well as all supporters of a more sustainable Castlemaine. See the MASG website for further details. We’re aiming for a full house so get tickets early and avoid disappointment. Inquiries: Neil on 5472 3094

MASG in the NEWS:

CSIRO’s “ecos” magazine: Heart of gold: “Waiting around for someone else to do something about the reduction of greenhouse gases is not on the agenda for this highly motivated community group in central Victoria.” Issue 139.

The Big Issue ran an article about MASG in last week’s Carbon Footprint special edition.; thanks to member Chris Lambie from Taradale who wrote a very creative piece. Full article available from MASG.

Radio: Dean was on ABC Radio Hobart {93.6FM} on Wednesday morning. Dr Diesendorf was on ABC Bendigo {91.1 FM} on Friday 2 November at 7.15am

Greening the Meaning of Christmas – as a result of Finding Our Power, one of the action groups is looking for tips, stories, experiences and anecdotes around the theme of ‘Greening the Meaning of Christmas’. These will be collated, included on a website, as well as developed into a double sided flyer for circulation in our community. Stories and anecdotes should be 250 words or less, submitted before Nov. 16th. Please send to, or call Lucy on 5472 4842 at the Castlemaine Community House.

WANTED: old mobile phones. Please drop them at the MASG office. We will receive $5/phone from EnviroFone. Phones will be recycled: less toxic waste to landfill….and clean out your cupboard too! Proceeds to MASG’s Solar-on-Public-Buildings Fund.

OTHER EVENTS and NEWS, not endorsed by MASG

Relax after the Expo …

Sawpit Gully Food and Wine Festival, moving towards being a carbon neutral event. Elphinstone, Sunday 11th November, 10am-3pm, rain or shine – one of the best food and wine festivals in the State. This Festival is committed to reducing energy and waste, and will be reducing the use of non-recyclable and non-perishable products. Festival-goers are encouraged to bring their own wine glass for tastings. Enquiries 5473 3363.

… and FIRE up again:

Petition on Exemption for Watering Vegie Gardens: Bulleen Art & Garden has started a petition to lobby government to gain an exemption on water restrictions, to allow home gardeners to water their produce gardens. We can email you a copy of their full argument. You can sign the petition …

Federal Candidates Forums
Nov 4th – Uniting Church, Bendigo, 4pm;
Nov 8th. local ABC radio 9-10am.
Nov 14, Agitation Hill, Castlemaine, 7pm. All 3 of these involve the 3 main candidates.

Our local chance to quiz the candidates is on at the Anglican Church Hall. There will be opportunities for members of the crowd to ask questions, so the more people attend the greater the likelihood of asking those environmentally-related questions we all want answers to. To enable people to assess the greenhouse and nuclear policies of the various parties see and

Poll ranks results by electorate: What rank will “green” issues have compared to other factors (economy, health, education etc) in determining your vote?

Are trees the key to cooling climate?

Organic food “more nutritious than ordinary produce” and may help lengthen people’s lives. The evidence from the $27million four-year European Union-funded project should end years of debate and is likely to overturn official advice that eating organic food is a lifestyle choice and that there is no clear evidence that it is “more nutritious than other food”. From BFA’s ‘Your Organic Advantage’.

Audio from the Friends of the Earth/George Monbiot video conference in July is now available for download. A transcript is also being typed. Please contact for a copy.

Forecast for solar power: Sunny
“Solar power has long been the Mercedes-Benz of the renewable energy industry: sleek, quiet, low-maintenance. Yet like a Mercedes, solar energy is universally adored but prohibitively expensive for most people. The outlook for solar, though, is getting much brighter. A few dozen companies say advances in technology will let them halve the price of solar-panel installations in as little as three years. By 2014, solar-system prices will be competitive with conventional electricity when energy savings are figured in, Deutsche Bank (DB) says. And that’s without government incentives.” From: USA TODAY

Jane Goodall on Biofuel

BIOFUELS DEBATE…IS IT GOOD OR NOT? Last year, four Canadian researchers said that swapping canola-based biodiesel from Canada for petroleum diesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by at least 85 percent. Their conclusion: the biofuel’s environmental benefits are “overwhelming.” This summer, four different researchers said producing biodiesel from the fertilizer-heavy crop would generate up to 70 percent more greenhouse gas emissions than using regular diesel. Their conclusion: The use of some crops for biofuels, canola in particular, can “readily” lead to more greenhouse warming.


“I think with anybody, as we grow up, there’s a certain time in your life when you realise that, if you’re not useful to others, and not being actively involved with the world, then you’re not doing anyone a great service,” Angelina Jolie

Biofuel cart

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