Fortnightly News Digest, Thursday June 25, 2009
Posted on 19 May 2009 by e-news
Key Dates – Summary
•Saturday 27th June, at 10am, climate change street theatre gathering. Theatre Royal, Castlemaine
•MASG Special General Meeting and Members forum. 6.30pm, August 7th, Uniting Church Hall, Castlemaine. Followed by Mark Diesendorf talk and book launch. 7pm
MASG News and Events
Climate change street theatre Saturday 10am:
Dean floated this a few weeks ago, and now let’s get the ball rolling on the street theatre idea. Winter is the time to drum up some acts and ideas ready for spring and the chance to be creative. We want some great skits and stunts that will get the message out that it’s time for action in the lead up to Copenhagen climate negotiations conference in December. If you’ve interested please come to the Theatre Royal this Saturday the 27th at 10am or contact the MASG office on 5470 6978 or email Dean on email@example.com
MASG Special General Meeting and Members Forum (Combined).
We are holding this event to propose some constitutional changes about membership categories, and to give an update to members on the achievements of recent months, and our plans for the next 12 months! We have decided to combine this with the visit of Mark Diesendorf, who will be giving a talk on climate change activism to launch his latest book on the subject. (see below for details). We hope you can join us on Friday August 7th at 6.30pm at the United Church Hall for the Special General Meeting and Forum. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us on 5470 6978.
DIESENDORF BACK IN CASTLEMAINE!
FRIDAY AUGUST 7TH 7-30pm Uniting Church Hall.
(Following MASG Special General Meeting at 6-30pm)
One of MASG’s most successful events was the public talk by the Uni of NSW’s Dr Mark Diesendorf way back in 2007. Over 200 people attended. Many became involved in other climate action activities as a result and Diesendorf was very impressed with MASG’s programs and member involvement.
Since then he’s been researching local action groups. The result is an inspiring book, Climate Action – How Citizens Acting Together Can Save the Planet.
We are fortunate to have Mark back here for the launch of his book. But this will be no ordinary book launch as it will be a call to non-violent action by one of Australia’s leading thinkers, an academic who is committed to action to reverse the slide towards climate disaster.
MASG members are urged to attend this important function.
Details of the book are available at www.unswpress.com.au
Office opening Hours: we are open from 1.30pm- 4.30pm on Mondays then 10am – 2pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays. We are closed on Fridays. To make an appointment outside of those hours ring 54706978. Reminder, we are now located in the back office of the Anglican Church Hall, between Moystyn and Forest streets.
CRAGS update: On-line launch of resource guides. Tues July 30th.
Deanna has put together an extensive resource guide to help you pinpoint the myriad of local food, retro-fitting and transport options available in our Shire, to help you reduce your ‘carbon footprint’. These have been compiled from contributions by MASG members and CRAG’s participants, so products are not directly endorsed by the MASG. From Tuesday, you can access these guides from the MASG website. www.masg.org.au. Then browse the CRAG link to the Local Guides section. Your contributions are also welcome to email@example.com
House Ceiling Insulation Rebate: You can apply now for the $1600 state govt. rebate to insulate your house ceiling. The rebate starts on July 1. But, the rebate for insulation excludes you from the rebate for a solar hot water system. Also from July 1st instead of having to apply to get your money back after paying any qualified insulator the government pays the bill directly. This rebate is available for rental properties!! As heating and cooling are the biggest energy users in the home, this is a great way to cut your energy bills, enjoy a warm home, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, all in one hit. Peter Gow 0407 532 678 and Felix Baker 0432 618 496 are accredited installers in this area. Call to find out more or get a quote done.
Feed in Tariffs: MASG keeps on keeping on
MASG chairperson Jim Norris and Dean Bridgfoot met with senior energy planners from the Department of Primary Industry, at the request of Mr. Bachelor, State Energy Minister. From the meeting we gained a greater understanding of how the costs of a feed in tariff are being proposed to be recovered, and how some of the “facts” that Mr. Bachelor uses to justify why we can’t have a real tariff were derived. The upshot of the meeting was, DPI staff are smart folk, they just do what the Minister asks them to do. So when Mr. Bachelor claims his policy is based on DPI advice he is right. The only problem is that he gives them the parameters in which they are to work up a Feed in Tariff to advise him!!
Anyway, with sustained public pressure on our political leaders we look forward to our DPI experts being asked to work out the details of the costs and benefits a real gross feed in tariff in the near future. Also next week MASG will be teaming up with our sister organisation in Ballarat, BREAZE, to meet with the Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Water, Mr Greg Hunt. We will be raising the CPRS, 100% renewable energy by 2020 and other policies to return to a safe climate.
Events organised by other groups
Community gardening in Castlemaine? Do you want to dig in, grow food and have fun? Come along, share your ideas and get involved. Sunday 28th June, 2pm. Castlemaine Community House (Lyttleton Street). Info: Transition Mt Alexander, Susie 0428317894, Lucy 0400654242
Rocket Science at Dig Café, Newstead on Sunday 28th June. The community of Hopetoun in north-west Victoria have been active in exploring alternative energy options for their town and district. How they worked out their current and future energy needs, options for solar, wind, geothermal and biomass energy production, funding for their work, and how we might learn from their experience in pursuing future sustainable energy options for Newstead. Bookings essential – Phone Dig on 5476 2744
PERMACULTURE DESIGN COURSE: Castlemaine Community House is running its popular Permaculture Design course again from July. The course teaches the basic principles of permaculture – how water, soils and climate affect gardens, orchards and animals, and include visits to a working permaculture property. A two-term course, so you can work on your own project towards the end. You can gain a Permaculture Design Certificate (and can go on to State-Accredited Permaculture training). Tutor: Beck Lowe. From: Wednesday 22 July, 9am-3pm (16 sessions over two terms). Cost: $240 per term; Concession: only $50 for whole course! Sign up now in person at the Community House, by telephone 5472 4842, or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
350.org Global Day of Action October 24th
A worldwide movement and action day is building, to learn more and to view a great animation see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5kg1oOq9tY&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2E350%2Eorg%2F&feature=player_embedded
Interesting Information and Links
Climate Scientists and actors Arrested in coal mine Protest
SUNDIAL, West Virginia, June 23, 2009 (ENS) – West Virginia State Police today arrested demonstrators, including government climate scientist Dr. James Hansen, actress Daryl Hannah, and 94 year-old former West Virginia Congressman Ken Hechler, for trespassing on the property of a mountaintop removal coal mining company to protest the destructive practice. The protesters deliberately entered the Goals Coal plant to draw public attention to the destruction of mountains immediately above the Coal River Valley. “I am not a politician; I am a scientist and a citizen,” said Hansen, who is the director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City and adjunct professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University.
Don’t miss this speech to the National Press Club yesterday by Christine Milne –
Safe Climate Transition Plan to be developed for Australia: Nobel prize-winner Al Gore will be the keynote speaker at an event launching the development of a bold transition plan for Australia to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Safe Climate Australia has been formed by a group of concerned climate scientists, community and business leaders with a shared understanding of the need for emergency action to restore a safe climate. Mr Gore will help launch Safe Climate Australia to 1,000 of Australia’s key stakeholders at an invitation-only breakfast on Monday July 13 in Melbourne. For more information: http://www.safeclimateaustralia.org/
Carbon Toolkits in Agriculture Network: Victorian Agriculture Minister Joe Helper said farmers would increasingly have to plan for the impacts of climate change on their farms as well as dealing with the emerging focus on carbon emissions. “The Carbon Toolkits in Agriculture Network gives farmers access to relevant information and research so they can better understand their farm greenhouse gas emissions as well as developing tools and techniques to build their skills. For more information see www.dpi.vic.gov.au or phone DPI on 136 186.
THE NSW Opposition plans to introduce a much stronger feed-in tariff system, if it wins the next election. They would pay householders several times as much for the electricity they produce and put into the grid. Businesses want the Opposition’s plan to be extended to allow companies to be rewarded for covering supermarkets, corporate buildings and factories with solar panels. Woolworths said it had designed its massive new distribution centre in Penrith, to allow the roof to be covered with photovoltaic arrays. But the giant retailer said it could not go ahead with its power plans if the Government announces it will support a “net” tariff instead of the more generous “gross tariff”, a spokeswoman said.
Greenpeace mock newspaper catches the headlines
The International Herald Tribune is a respected journal. So last week when over 1 million copies were distributed which headlined “Heads of state agree historic climate-saving deal” and thanking the community of activists and campaigners whose actions enabled them to take such action it caused a big impact. The paper was a hoax, dated for December 2009 after the Copenhagen summit, and was put out by Greenpeace to show what the headlines COULD read if we can mobilize public opinion to demand real action and real agreements in Denmark. The paper also had great mock advertisements from automotive makers calling for the recall of all petroleum based cars due to their dangerous impacts on the climate. To download a copy, go to http://static.greenpeace.org/int/pdf/IHT-specialedition.pdf
The great disruption: Paul Gilding explains why physics and biology have determined that our current model for economic growth is finished, and how the human race will face its biggest challenge ever. http://www.abc.net.au/rn/backgroundbriefing/stories/2009/2592909.htm#transcript
Report: Global climate disaster is moving closer: the world faces a growing risk of ”abrupt and irreversible climatic shifts”, a scientific synthesis report warns. With unabated greenhouse gas emissions, the world faces a growing risk of”abrupt and irreversible climatic shifts”. This is one of the conclusions in a scientific synthesis report released Thursday. Based on more than 1,400 studies presented at a congress in March in Copenhagen that attracted some 2,000 scientists from more than 70 countries, the report presents the newest scientific evidence that has emerged, since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report came out in 2007. ”Weaker targets for 2020 increase the risk of serious impacts, including the crossing of tipping points, and make the task of meeting 2050 targets more difficult and costly,” the report warns. For more see http://en.cop15.dk/news/view+news?newsid=1561
Working for the earth is not a way to get rich; it is a way to be rich. (Paul Hawken)
MASG’s E News is compiled by Dean and Mike. If you would like to advertise an event or comment on any items, please send to: email@example.com or PH: 5470 6978