More than 300 people of all ages gathered in Adelaide on September 24 calling for world leading concentrating solar thermal (CST) technology to replace Port Augusta’s aging coal fired power stations. The action was organised by several environment groups, including the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, the Climate Emergency Action Network, the Socialist Alliance, Resistance and the Young Greens. The crowd met in Adelaide’s Rymill Park and then took to the streets in a colourful, rhythmic parade, featuring a moving solar thermal tower.
A report released on September 24 by Friends of the Earth has revealed that the new Victorian planning laws restricting wind farms are costing the state dearly in jobs and investment.
More than 100 locals attended a public meeting in Forrest, in Victoria's Otway ranges on September 16 to show their concern about coal seam gas (CSG) exploration in the area. Two companies, CFT CBM Holdings and ECI International, have CSG exploration licences over large areas in the Otway Ranges.
In recent debates around solutions to the climate crisis, several ideas hold the largest share of government support and media coverage. These include: green consumerism, carbon offsetting, carbon taxes, carbon trading, geo-engineering and carbon capture and storage. But do these “solutions” take, as their frame of reference, the full extent of the problem? Here are some reasons to be doubtful. Green consumerism is one variation of the argument whereby “your dollar is your vote”.
Cuba is a world leader in ecologically sustainable practices. It is the only country to have begun the large-scale transition from conventional farming, which is heavily dependent on fossil fuels, to a new agricultural paradigm known as low-input sustainable agriculture. Thriving urban organic farms feed and beautify Cuba’s cities, strengthen local communities and employ hundreds of thousands of people thanks to government support.
With climate change, humanity basically doesn’t get any second chances. For a recognisable climate to be preserved, net global greenhouse gas emissions need to peak within the next decade, then decline to zero by around mid-century. It’s a tight call, so we have to get things right first time. If we delay, the laws of physics will not be kind.
Several community environment groups released the statement below on September 22. * * * Environment, health and community groups have gathered in Sydney on September 22 to discuss the future of wind energy in NSW. As electricity prices continue to rise for most NSW households, the groups have welcomed reports from South Australia that wind power is cutting pollution and lowering the wholesale market cost of electricity.
Activists from the Climate Emergency Action Network (CLEAN) in Adelaide, accompanied by Mark Ogge from Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE), went on a road trip to Port Augusta over September 15 to 18 to campaign for solar thermal power. Port Augusta’s two ageing coal-fired power stations, Northern and Playford B, are due to be replaced in the near future. CLEAN and BZE argue that concentrating solar thermal power plants are the logical way forward for Port Augusta and its workforce.
This is a country in serious denial. Australia is a world leader in per capita greenhouse gas pollution and in fossil fuel exports. It produces 30 tonnes CO2-equivalent a person a year and 54 tonnes if Australia’s exported CO2 pollution is included. Pakistan produces 0.9 tonnes and Somalia produces 0.1 tonnes. Yet in these two countries people are dying from climate change as we speak.
Students from the University of Wollongong have campaigned over the past three years for the university to switch to 100% renewable energy by 2015. They have collected more than 3000 signatures from students in support of the plan. The university administration has instead begun plans to build a trigeneration plant on the campus, which would generate electricity through burning natural gas.