CCA NEWS: April 2017
A message from our President:
Happy birthday to CCA Hastings - 2017 marks our tenth anniversary! Looking back over the ten years since we started, a lot has happened but then again, not much has happened. How so? In 2007 Australia was without an effective climate policy and the Renewable Energy Target was 2%! In 2017 Australia is still without an effective climate policy but the RET is now 23%. In 2007 Australia was divided along party lines on climate change and the world was only beginning to wake up to its perils. In 2017 Australia is still divided along party lines on climate change but many nations and states have moved on and are embracing a clean energy future.
Of all the campaigns we have been involved with, few can claim to be more urgent than to stop the Adani mega coal mine in central Queensland. Across Australia, opposition is growing. The nation-wide movement is spear-headed by the Stop Adani campaign, and a local launch was held last Wednesday at Port Macquarie Glasshouse, attended by 120 people. The event was hosted by CCA Hastings. The size of the proposed mine beggars belief – about 450 km2, equivalent to an area from Port Macquarie to Kempsey, 9 km wide. If it goes ahead, it will greatly increase the risk of losing the Great Barrier Reef – directly, through damage from the coal port and bulk coal carriers, and no less harmful, by burning massive amounts of coal that will add to global warming. This coal will emit 180 million tonnes of CO2 p.a. (about a third of Australia’s total annual emissions from all sources). It will increase air pollution, contaminate and deplete underground water, take away Indigenous land rights and threaten 70 000 tourism jobs based on the Reef. Jobs claimed for this project are over-stated – indeed, there is likely to be a net loss of jobs nation-wide as a result.
Both federal Coalition and state Labor governments are aggressively supporting this dangerous and destructive project. The Coalition is keen to give $1 billion to Indian billionaire Guatam Adani for a rail link, while denying funding for numerous alternative and more deserving programs that would benefit the Australian community. The QLD government has granted all approvals, unlimited rights to any amount of underground water at no cost, and even perhaps, a royalty holiday. We can assume that as a multi-structured trans-national corporation, there will be no federal company tax payable.
A final decision is due soon – they need to raise $10 billion just for Phase One. Most banks have said no, leaving Westpac sitting on the fence. We will join in non-violent actions targeting Westpac in May. I hope you can join us.
President, CCA Hastings
Fake news, politicians' dishonesty skewing climate debate
Former Liberal leader John Hewson says politicians are getting away with flagrant dishonesty as a shift from fact to opinion colours the political debate around climate change. Read more at the ABC: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-22/john-hewson-pleads-for-politicians-to-go-back-to-evidence/8463782
Government climate policy review
For the policy buffs amongst us, the federal government’s long-awaited policy review is now underway. If you would like to contribute to CCA’s submission, please contact us. More information is at:
Climate Council report
Renewable energy can provide a secure, affordable alternative to new fossil fuels. Read the Climate Council’s new report here: http://climc.nl/priceofgas
Petition: a fair price for solar
Solar owners are getting ripped off. In some cases, the price they get for excess power fed back to the grid can be as low as 0c/kWh. And the retail companies on-sell this very same electricity for up to 29c/kWh — nearly five times the average amount solar households get back. It's time we had a fair price for solar, one that recognises all the benefits solar energy provides. Sign the Solar Citizens petition at: www.solarcitizens.org.au/fairprice
Video: The breakthrough in renewable energy
Renewable energy is becoming cheaper than fossil fuels. It means that progressively the choice for wind and solar energy is no longer simply an ethical one but also an economic one. And this will speed up the transfer to renewable energy. Watch this inspirational 2016 video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmyrbKBZ6SU&sns=em
The Pope’s encyclical
We just breached 410ppm
On 18 April 2017, the Mauna Loa Observatory recorded its first-ever carbon dioxide reading more than 410 parts per million. CO2 hasn’t reached that height in millions of years. It’s a new atmosphere that humanity will have to contend with, one that’s trapping more heat and causing the climate to change at a quickening rate:
Disengage from the spectacle
Richard Heinberg is the Director of the Post Carbon Institute in the USA. He is an incisive and entertaining commentator on current global issues, e.g. what a post-carbon world can look like, the problems of a continuing low-growth scenario, and solutions we can all take. His latest blog is called Disengage From the Spectacle in which he suggests avoiding the 24/7 news treadmill and offers 5 courses of action to build resilience in these troubling times: postcarbon.org/disengage-from-the-spectacle