News September 2016
A Message From Our President:
This month I am talking about politics, but please don’t switch off. Our group must engage with decision-makers, and that means politics. The recent federal election, CCA visits to two state MPs, and the decision on ARENA make this topical. We must have both the personal and the political on our agenda.
Kerryn Higgs, Ken Aplin & I met with Melinda Pavey MP in Kempsey, and Stuart Watson, Steve Long & I met with Leslie Williams MP in Port Macquarie. I knew that talking about climate change with National Party MPs was not going to be easy. That got me thinking about the conceptual continuum we are all on:
Ø Know about climate science.
Ø Understand climate science.
Ø Accept climate science.
Ø Act on climate science.
Borrowing from the great US national parks interpreter Freeman Tilden: “Through knowledge, understanding; through understanding, acceptance; through acceptance, action.”
Neither federal nor state governments seem to have got past the first stage, even as the climate crisis deepens. Both say they are looking for a balance, but this often means their policies are contradictory, and sometimes even contradict what the other level of government is doing. Plans to make it easier for farmers to clear land, increasing carbon emissions, was the main topic discussed with the 2 MPs. The NSW government has also backed away from 20% of renewable energy by 2020, however the long wait (5 years) for the wind planning framework is nearly over (see under Campaigns below). At federal level, carbon reduction efforts seem to be about paying farmers and ad hoc groups to conserve vegetation and plant more trees, in contradiction to state policy. The claim is to have abated 143mt CO2 at a cost to the taxpayer of $1.7bn, but whose emissions are these? For more information about the ERF, see: www.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au/ERF Note the most common methods are ‘Avoided Deforestation’ and something called ‘Human Induced Regeneration.’
Governments will never have enough money to fix the climate problem. We must call for stricter regulations and for all major polluters to pay a price for the destruction they are causing to a safe-climate future.
A couple of photos from our Josh Gilbert event last month.
Membership renewal time:
If you haven’t yet joined CCA or haven't renewed your membership within the past 3 months, now is the time. The process is easy. Just complete the attached form, then either:
- make an EFT & email the form back, or
- post a cheque with the form, or
- go into the bank & deposit cash/cheque then either post or email the form.
Many thanks for your continued support and engagement with CCA – the only climate action group in the Port Macquarie-Hastings area.
1. You are all invited to the CCA 2016 AGM on Wednesday 12 October: 5:00pm, CWA rooms, Town Green, POrt Macquarie.
2. Port Macquarie Community Garden (The Lost Plot) is hosting a film about food sustainability followed by a panel discussion with people involved in food sustainability. Monday 17 October, 6-8pm at CSU campus, Room 2048 (next to Lake Innes shopping centre off the old Oxley Highway).
CCA sponsors a panel for Energy Forever:
Solar explained on Youtube. It's one of the most popular renewable technologies, but do you know how solar energy is captured, stored and converted? Get up to speed with this short CSIRO video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtbASIJmsjE
NSW Renewable Energy Map. The team at NSW Department of Industry has been busy compiling this interesting resource, available on-line or in hard copy (we have several to give away, just ask via return email): http://www.resourcesandenergy.nsw.gov.au/energy-supply-industry/renewable-energy/renewable-resources-map
Under Download you will find the links to download PDFs from the map. Links under Explore will allow datasets shown on the map to be explored further.
Beyond the coal rush. Plans for new coal mines Germany, India and northern NSW are being met by local people fighting back to save their traditional lands and agricultural areas threatened by the ongoing march of coal. There are three programs in this series from ABC Radio National:
Groundswell Gloucester - Rocky Hill campaign: Groundswell Gloucester are asking for your submission re the Rocky Hill mine - every submission for and against is counted and those numbers are used as part of the determination. So please consider doing a very simple 'I do not want Rocky Hill Coal Mine as it is too close to the community of Gloucester, the catchment and risks to health and downstream water recipients' submission, or take your pick from those offered in the link at the end of this paragraph. Keep it factual, respectful and consider asking your family and friends to do one too if you can. It is important to show the Government that people do not want this mine. Last day for submissions is Friday October 14. More info: http://www.groundswellgloucester.com/promotion.html
More wind for NSW: Improving NSW wind energy guidelines will encourage a shift to more renewables. The NCC is asking people to support an on-line campaign: Take this quick action now
Stop land clearing: The NSW Government wants to make it easier for farmers to clear more land. Join Josh Gilbert and his farming colleagues by signing onto their statement at: www.FarmingFuture.org.au
350.org AGL campaign.: AGL is Australia’s biggest climate polluter and plans to keep its coal plants open until 2050! (NB: last date for world to go fossil-free for a 66% chance of keeping to 2°C is 2032). 350.org is campaigning in the lead up to AGL’s AGM in September. For more info and to sign onto the campaign visit: http://dirtyagl.com/take-action/ They also have a closed Facebook Group: AGL Campaign Support Network.
ARENA: NGOs and other groups have been campaigning to save ARENA. Thanks to a solution negotiated by Labor with the Coalition Government, ARENA is to be saved, with a workable budget. The plan protects $800 million of funding and there’s also talk of a more bi-partisan approach to renewable energy. Listen to this interview with former ARENA chair and now Climate Councillor Greg Bourne: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/arena-saved-under-compromise-deal-with/7842832
Sea level sign in Darwin area