Debate about the Labor-Greens carbon price has dominated Australian politics for the past year. So it is little surprise that the passing of the carbon price laws through parliament on November 8 received widespread media attention. But the media’s coverage overshadowed two shocking new reports on the climate emergency released in the past week.
Climate action group Rising Tide Newcastle has released a website that spoofs the NSW Minerals Council’s new advertising campaign, which claims the state’s mining companies are “world class”. Rising Tide’s parody uses a similar layout and design to the NSW Minerals Council website, but points to the industry’s poor track record in the areas of environment, community, economy, health and innovation.
Port Augusta Mayor Joy Baluch gave the speech below at an October 29 community forum sponsored by the Climate Emergency Action Network SA, Beyond Zero Emissions and the Port Augusta City Council. * * * Australian history shows that visionaries are few and far between when it comes to building the infrastructure of this nation.
The Hepburn Community Wind Farm, at Leonards Hill in Hepburn Shire, was declared officially open yesterday when 10-year-old Neve Bosher of St Augustine’s School in Creswick cut a massive ribbon wrapping the girth of a 68m high wind tower, in front of more than 760 people. Bosher beat a field of 147 other school children in the region, in a competition to name the 2 REpower wind turbines. Her winning names are Gale and Gusto.
The statement below was released by Tar Sands Action on October 31. The group is seeking to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, built to transport oil from the Athabasca tar sands in north-east Alberta, Canada, to refineries in the United States. Mining the Athabasca tar sands is one of the most environmentally destructive practices on the planet. For more information, visit . * * * Yesterday we got some of the strongest confirmation yet that efforts to stop the Keystone XL pipeline are having a long-term impact on the tar sands industry.
A new manual by six Europe-based NGOs calls for an end to forest offsets, whereby carbon emissions in one country can be supposedly “offset” by protecting forests in another. Forest offset programs are largely organised through the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) mechanism, which receives support from the World Bank and other financial institutions. The report says there are two motivations for forest offsets: “reducing the pressure to do something about fossil fuel emissions and the short term profit motive.”
In the context of Australia’s struggling climate movement, the achievements of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) have been significant. When the Murdoch press would rather report Lord Munckton’s denialist nonsense, a group that connects more than 70,000 young Australians to raise awareness and combat climate change is commendable. However, AYCC’s politics are not without problems.
“When I meet with [climate change] minister Greg Combet next week I will be taking my prescription pad with me and I will be writing a prescription for solar thermal for Port Augusta, not just three times a day but permanently,” said Dr David Shearman of Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) to a 120-strong crowd in Port Augusta’s Cooinda Club on October 29. Shearman was one of several speakers at the forum, which was organised by the Adelaide-based Climate Emergency Action Network (CLEAN), the Port Augusta City Council and Beyond Zero Emissions.
What if rising sea levels are yet another measure of inequality? What if the degradation of our planet’s life-support systems — its atmosphere, oceans and biosphere — goes hand in hand with the accumulation of wealth, power and control by that corrupt and greedy 1% we are hearing about from Occupy Wall Street protesters in Zuccotti Park? What if the assault on the US's middle class and the assault on the environment are one and the same? Money rules


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