Climate

Campaign group 100% Renewable Energy's key message for this year is “Let’s build big solar”. On its website, the group says: “In 2012, [we’ll] be focussing our efforts on finally doing what Australia should already be doing — building big solar!”   100% Renewable Energy ran a packed two-day activist training “Boot Camp" in Port Hacking, New South Wales, over the weekend of February 11 and 12. The Boot Camp attracted about 120 members of community and climate action groups from around the country.  
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Melbourne-based activist collective Quit Coal released the statement below on its website on February 6. * * * One Quit Coal activist has been released pending summons for “interfering with a motor vehicle” today after stopping drilling in Bacchus Marsh. Paul Connor locked himself to the top of Mantle Mining’s 8.5 metre-tall drill rig while hanging a banner that read “No New Coal Bacchus Marsh”.
In a big win for environmentalists and the planet, the administration of United States President Barack Obama announced on January 20 that it would deny a permit to build the Keystone XL pipeline to transport oil from the Alberta tar sands in Canada. Anti-tar sands activists in the US and Canada have been seeking to stop the pipeline, planned to transport oil from the Athabasca tar sands in north-east Alberta to refineries in the United States. Mining the Athabasca tar sands is one of the most environmentally destructive practices on the planet.
Stop Signs: Cars & Capitalism ― On the Road to Economic, Social & Ecological Decay By Bianca Mugenyi & Yves Engler RED Publishing & Fernwood Publishing 2011, 259 pages, $27.95 (pb) The car, say Canadian authors Bianca Mugyenyi and Yves Engler, who took a bus ride across the United States, is a doomed jalopy going nowhere. It fails, especially in the “home of the car”, on every green count. Cars are the single largest contributor to US noise pollution and 40,000 people in the US die from car accidents each year (one million across the globe).
The small town of Kerry, located on the Scenic Rim in Queensland's Beaudesert, is a prime food-producing area one hour from Brisbane. The land is now the site of a coal seam gas (CSG) exploration well. The community hasn't let this happen quietly. The property on which the drilling occurred has also been the site of a significant protest. A community blockade against foreign-owned CSG company Arrow Energy stopped work on the site for almost 10 days, until the company's trucks broke through by driving over dozens of hats laid down in protest on January 21.
Wind farms might appear controversial in the media, but they enjoy an overwhelming 83% support in affected communities, say several recent reports. The only noise worth worrying about is that from the small minority who vocally oppose them. Unfortunately, that noise is drowning out other voices in the public arena.
If you are an activist peacefully campaigning for a clean energy future, the federal Labor government believes you are a legitimate target for secret surveillance. Fairfax News’ Phillip Dorling reported on January 7 that resources and energy minister Martin Ferguson had asked for federal police help to spy on anti-coal campaigners. Even worse, documents released to Fairfax after a Freedom of Information request showed Ferguson acted after urging from coal industry lobbyists.
Green Left Weekly’s Chris Peterson spoke to Melanie Sluyter, an environmental activist from the United States who took part in Occupy Wall Street and is visiting Melbourne. * * * How did you get involved in the Occupy movement?
On December 12, Claire Anterea, a representative from Kiribati, and Good Samaritan sister Geraldine Kearney — members of the Edmund Rice Centre’s Pacific Calling Partnerships delegation to the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban — addressed a forum on the outcomes of the talks. Joining them was Edmund Rice Centre director Phil Glendenning. Claire Anterea expressed pride and admiration for her fellow Pacific Island people, who have campaigned hard to push the international community to listen to their needs. Low-lying Pacific Island Countries are the most vulnerable to climate change.

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