Zero Net Emissions by 2025

E-news 22 August 2012

Posted on 22 August 2012 by e-news

Bringing it all together on wind

The figures are in, the feedback is being collated from our recent forums and survey, and Jarra Hicks, MASG’s Community Wind worker will present her findings from a recent study and speaking tour of Europe. You are invited to a great evening on Thursday, 30 August in Castlemaine to hear where we are and where this community wishes to steer the project.

Come to the Ray Bradfield Room Thursday evening, 30 August at 6pm to hear the findings and the latest on what’s happening. This is one of our biggest projects, and we want you to be a part of it.


Welcome Anna!

The MASG Committee of Management is pleased to announce the appointment of Anna Hedigan to the Coordinator position. Anna, from Chewton, brings local community connections and activism with a strong background in communication and administration.

Anna started on 20 August and one of her first priorities will be to meet and talk with staff, projects and members. We hope that you will welcome and support Anna.

The Committee would also like to thank all of the people who applied for the position.  The field was strong, reflecting MASG’s great purpose, its good standing and the hard work of all who have gone before.


Bubble wrap your windows?

Ever thought of bubble wrapping your windows?  It occurred to Chris Harris, and she and her family soon discovered that others have done it too (and claim it has R2 insulation value).

It’s easy to put anywhere and great for both renters and home owners who want cheap or temporary insulation. It may look a little 70s, but they have found it keeps the house snugger and reduces drafts. They bought a big roll of large diameter bubbles online for about $40 (the post office may be able to order it in too), cut it too size and stuck it to the windows.

And the beautiful thing is, all it takes is a spray of the windows with water and the wrap sticks to it.  Come spring simply peel it off and save it for next winter.  Or keep some on your east or west windows if the sun hits them.  The only challenge might be keeping kids from popping them!


Greenpower – is there a scam?

Anyone had trouble getting Greenpower through Origin Energy? Neil Barrett has had what he calls ‘pretty constant trouble’ at his house for about the past seven years. Without consultation, they take us off 100% and put us on 50% or, more commonly, they just take us off so we have no Greenpower at all. A kind interpretation is that it’s got something to do with the fact that they have trouble invoicing customers who have both solar PV panels and Greenpower for the rest. We could speculate that Origin may find the purchase of Greenpower a bit costly.

I’m currently making our second complaint to the Energy and Water Ombudsman and would like to add any other relevant information I can glean from local Origin customers.

Please contact Neil on: or 54 723094.


The Hub Plot garden group

Monday mornings from 9am, with cuppa and produce exchange at 11am. All welcome

The Hub Plot Jottings

The Hub Plot is where MASG’s volunteers are developing and maintaining a demonstration productive organic food garden in the heart of Castlemaine.

Not much planting but plenty to keep us busy in the garden. Some of the jobs we’ve been up to:

  • harvesting broccoli, rocket, celery, spinach and carrots
  • applying lots of lovely compost to the asparagus beds
  • keeping our chooks happy and collecting eggs
  • starting work on our new spiral herb garden

Monday morning events planned for the garden group:

  • a workshop on the principles of swales. We’ll see if we can come up with suitable ones for our fruit trees.
  • Lisa from Sustainable Gardens Australia, will be visiting us to see what we are up to and how SGA can help us.

If you are keen to make an early start with your spring planting, direct into the soil, you could plant seeds of beetroot, peas, radish and spinach and “under glass”, seeds of celery, lettuce, onions, parsley, leeks, sliver beet, kale, kohl rabi. And if you are adventurous you could start your tomatoes!  This information taken from our soon to be published Grow What  … When  Planting guide for the Castlemaine area … watch this space!

Thanks Margaret

We’d particularly like to thank Margaret for a wonderful supply of horse manure which keeps our compost makers very happy.

And one for your diary:

HEALTHY SOIL WORKSHOP: covering the basics of building a healthy soil for your vegetable garden and fruit trees: the structure of soil, the importance of air, soil biology and other important contributors to a thriving garden.
Presenter: Katie Finlay, from the Mt Alexander Fruit Gardens
Date: Saturday 15 September, 2012
Time: 12 noon for a cuppa and a 12.30pm start.
Cost: $5
Place:  The Hub Plot, MASG’s demonstration food garden, rear 233 Barker St,
Castlemaine, info: Heather 0409 327791


Dr Penny Whetton

Climate, Sustainability and Society public lecture series: Dr Penny Whetton

Projections of future regional climate change: what might we expect in Victoria?

When: 6-7 pm, Thursday 23 August
Where: McKay Lecture Theatre, La Trobe University, Bendigo campus, Edwards Road, Bendigo

The global climate system has warmed by around one degree Celsius over the past century.  This rate of warming is likely to accelerate in the century ahead if global emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are not substantially reduced. In this presentation, Dr Whetton will review the scientific evidence for past and future global climate change, and will explore the implications for Australia and Victoria.


Help stop coal exports from World Heritage area

International social justice group Avaaz has initiated an action against Gina Rinehart’s Alpha coal project, to stop 60 million ton/year project.

The export terminal would be sited INSIDE the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage area, which is causing justifiable outrage. Sign the Avaaz petition here:

Win an iPad, share your data

The Moreland Energy Foundation in Melbourne is undertaking a research project investigating the impacts of solar PV on household electricity consumption in Victoria.

They need electricity consumption data from households with and without Solar PV. You need to have been in your home for a minimum of two years. As an incentive to complete the survey there is an opportunity to win an Apple iPad.


Carbon Expo Australasia 2012

Australia’s premier industry-hosted Trade Fair is coming to Melbourne. It’s a conference for emissions-intensive business and low-carbon product and service providers across Australasia. The Carbon Expo will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre 7-9 November.

Download the Draft Program here


Why are experts talking down renewables?

In 2000, the International Energy Agency (IEA) published its World Energy Outlook, predicting that non-hydro renewable energy would comprise 3 percent of global energy by 2020. That benchmark was reached in 2008.

In 2000, IEA projected that there would be 30 gigawatts of wind power worldwide by 2010, but the estimate was off by a factor of 7. Wind power produced 200 gigawatts in 2010, an investment of approximately $400 billion.
Read the full story here

China is headed to renewables

China National Energy Administration (NEA) published its 12th Five-Year plan for Renewable Energy, in which China plans to add 61GW of hydro, 70GW of wind, 20GW of solar and 7.5GW of biomass power. Renewable power generation should account for over 20% of total power generation and 9.5% of primary consumption by 2015.

The current Australian target is 20% by 2020.


Record-breaking La Niñas

El Niño is ‘the boy child’ (the Christ child to Peruvian fishermen) and La Niña is its opposite, at least in weather cycles.* The 2010–11 and 2011–12 La Niñas were two of the most significant in Australia’s recorded meteorological history. To read more about those La Niñas, go here:

*El Niño is the name given to the warm ocean current that appears some Christmases on the coast of Peru and Ecuador – heralding all kinds of climate surprises.

A word from David Suzuki

Imagine a sleek contraption for your backyard so powerful it has the cooling effect of 10 air conditioners, quietly filters dust, allergens and pollutants, runs for free on solar power, and its only byproduct is oxygen. Read more here


What a wonderful world

David Attenborough’s What a wonderful world is a breathtaking reminder of our shared world.


Solar Philanthropy: Five groups using solar to end energy poverty

About 1.3 billion people live without regular access to energy. People are forced to use fuels that pollute and cause respiratory illnesses, like kerosene and biomass, and spend long hours collecting fuel. This global crisis is harming the health and well-being of people in the developing world, and damaging our planet. Read more here


Heatin’ up in the USA

It’s not a new hit single. Virginia had the hottest July this year ever; many other states were near their maximum, making the country’s overall July its hottest. The USA just ended its warmest 12-month period ever recorded, and public opinion there may be swinging towards action on climate change. Plenty of graphs to demonstrate the great heating of the USA.

The Obama administration has announced it will speed up the approval of seven solar and wind energy projects in four of America’s western states that will produce electricity for about 1.5 million homes


Last word

‘We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times… and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK. That’s not leadership. That’s not going to happen.’

Barack Obama





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