Climate Change Australia

Hastings Branch in New South Wales - Campaigning for a Safe Climate and Energy Security for all.

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News October 2016

A Message From Our President:
  
In late September, debate about climate and clean energy was dominated by the South Australia storm and power crisis.  I sent letters to editors and wrote a fact sheet for a meeting with Luke Hartsuyker MP which I attended with members of the Coffs Coast Climate Action, our sister group in Cowper.  Main points are:
 
Wild weather was to blame.  Dramatic pictures of power lines downed by the storm are ‘exhibit A’ (see below.)  I keep a list of extreme weather events across the globe and as someone said when I read from it at the AGM, it really puts things into perspective about what is happening.
 
Renewable Energy Targets.  The PM and ministers said that some states’ RETs are unrealistic and called for national standards.  The reason some states have ambitious RETs is they understand that to tackle dangerous climate change we must cut carbon emissions and transition to clean energy.  The Coalition has no RET beyond 2020, and fiercely resists any talk of this because it would mean an increase in the target, something they fought for two years to reduce.  The problem is that the current 23% RET is not nearly enough on its own to meet the emissions reduction target of 26-28% by 2030.
 
Carbon budgets.  The Paris climate agreement means we have committed to limiting global warming to +2°C, yet most politicians and other leaders are acting as if nothing has changed, as if business-as-usual is still OK. It’s not OK - climate science says that for a 66% chance of staying below +2°C, all developed nations must cut their carbon emissions by 40% by 2018, 70% by 2024, and, 90% by 2030.
 
Solutions.  A dramatic increase in clean energy is essential, plus regulations to close coal power stations, halt all new coal mines, phase out old road vehicles, more public transport, up-grade energy efficiency, etc.  A complete overhaul of all federal climate and renewable energy policies is urgently needed.  CCA-H will be making a submission to the 2017 review when this process begins
 
Harry Creamer
CCA-H President
 

Read more: News October 2016

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.

Harry Creamer

CCA-H President

Read more: News September 2016

News August 2016

A Message From Our President:
 
During some quiet time last Saturday morning, it occurred to me that I’m a climate realist. What does that mean and are we all climate realists? We need some criteria to help us decide. As a safe climate and clean energy group, we already have four official objectives, but I’m talking about criteria we can use as individuals - to guide, motivate and inspire us. Here’s what I came up with.
As climate realists, we:
o Understand the climate science and can see that impacts of a warming world are already happening and will get worse;
o Know what needs to be done, now and in the next decade, to fix the problem; and,
o Resolve to be activists to bring about the changes needed locally and globally.
 
We are now entering a climate emergency. The choice for the world and for our government is to act now, or face a crisis of survival for the earth and our human species. As individuals, in our communities, we can use our potential for goodness to make a difference. Elsewhere in this newsletter are details of the Climate Emergency campaign and petition. Together, we can be the change we need. Welcome to the world of climate realism
  
Harry Creamer
CCA-H President

Read more: News August 2016

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