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News & Events, 29th, August 2010

August 28, 2010


Climate Action Canberra

News & Events, 29th, August 2010

Hello to Climate Action supporters.

For those who haven’t heard Our Convenor Ann O’Brien has resigned to take up a position in Sydney. We all would like to congratulate Ann and thank her for her hard work over the last few years and wish her all the best in her new job.

Walter as returning officer for the election to replace Anne as Convenor has put out ‘call for nominations’ from members wishing to stand for the position of convenor on 20 September 2010 as well as nominations for another executive member should one of the current executive be elected on the 20th. Please send your nominations to Walter walterjehne at

The next Climate Action Canberra Newsletter deadline is 12th September midnight. Please send anything relevant to climate and Canberra to rebeccahorridge at

Next Climate Action Canberra Action Meeting,  Friday 10th September 2010, 6pm-7.30pm, at the ACT Conservation Council, 17 Childers St Acton. Please send agenda items to leon-arundell at

Next Climate Action Canberra General Meeting,  Monday 20 September 2010, 6pm-7.30pm, at the ACT Conservation Council, 17 Childers St Acton. Please send agenda items to leon-arundell at

Sweet Victory: Australia’s Capital Sets 40 Percent Carbon Cut

The Australian Capital Territory government made history on Thursday by setting greenhouse gas reduction targets of 40% by 2020 and 80% by 2050 based on 1990. This milestone level is the most ambitious of any Australian state. Kitchen table campaigning to express community concern and support for tackling climate change has put the wind in the sails our political representatives. Canberra’s future is looking cleaner, more ethical and exciting. The Love Forty Percent campaign achieved all it has lobbied for over the past few months. Congratulations  all the organisers. Love it. We won and now move onto the next stage of this campaign.

See the news report

 What a week!

Climate Action Canberra supporters strained to hold to the big Vote Climate banner in the wind outside the Press Club while Gillard made announcements inside. Climate elephants sang and danced. Three times we held the banner up on the roadside during peak hour for the hundreds contained in their cars to see. Thousands of Vote Climate leaflets letter boxed, handed out and sticky taped. On Saturday we were wind burned attending polling booths
For all of this effort, combined with efforts of climate activists all over the country, the political reality has changed. Independents who believe in climate action have been elected and now hold the balance of power, while the Greens gained balance of power in the Senate. [See Paddy Manning:’s article Climate change forecast with Greens power shift

We still still don’t know if Abbot the denier or Gillard the delayer is PM. However now everyone knows that millions opted not to vote for neither. The media has noted this was partly due to the
major parties endless delay on really achieving anything substantial about the climate emergency or making a credible greenhouse policy.

Hooray for all we have achieved.


Climate Action Canberra

Next Climate Action Canberra Action Meeting, Friday 10th September 2010, 6pm-7.30pm, at the ACT Conservation Council, 17 Childers St Acton. Please send agenda items to leon-arundell at

Next Climate Action Canberra General Meeting,  Monday 20 September 2010, 6pm-7.30pm, at the ACT Conservation Council, 17 Childers St Acton. Please send agenda items to leon-arundell at


Saturday 11th September, Inner North committee meeting

11:00am Charisma Café, North Lyneham

SEE Change at Floriade

Along with the SEE-Change stall at Floriade this year, they will also be presenting 6 different seminars throughout the week starting on the 20th of September. Each presentation covers a specific topic and will run for around half an hour. This is a great opportunity to support SEE-Change and learn about some interesting ways to reduce your environmental impact. The presentations are listed below in Events section.

Canberra 40%

Canberra  40% Meeting Monday 30th August at 6.30pm. 



The Australia Institute – has released a new paper:

Once more with feeling: Principles for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving the well-being of most Australians. -(attached to this newsletter).

Despite much of the election being allegedly fought on ‘economic management’ neither the ALP nor the Coalition were asked to explain how it was that they simultaneously claimed to be ‘good economic managers’ yet were determined to ignore all economic evidence about the best way to tackle climate change.

This election has shown just how much of a challenge new issues such as climate change are for old political structures.

This paper spells out the economic principles that should underpin an effective, efficient and equitable approach to reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions at the lowest possible cost. In addition, it also provides evidence to support the claim that the introduction of a carbon price would benefit most Australian families. Put simply, the collection of a carbon tax should not be seen as a cost to the economy but a redistribution within the economy.

If the proceeds of a $25 carbon tax were provided directly to Australian households rather than returned directly to the polluters a family of four could be paid a ‘carbon dividend’ of $2,100 per year. Other options for how the revenue from a carbon tax could be spent include lowering the Goods and Services Tax (GST), lowering the company tax rate, investing in renewable energy and other low carbon infrastructure.

 Sustainability Challenge [from the Canberra Environment Centre]

Always wanted to do your bit for sustainability but can’t get motivated? Not sure what you can actually do?
Get a team together and join the 30 day sustainability challenge! You can do it with your housemates, your gym buddies, your classroom or your self.

Five Steps Forward…

It’s easy!
Have a quick think about your everyday life.  Would you prefer not to drive to work every day? Like locally grown and produced food but never get around to buying it? Think you could put on a jumper and turn down the heating? Can’t remember to turn off appliances at the wall and save on stand-by power? Always wanted to make friends in your course and think car-pooling would be a good way to do it?

There are hundreds of ways we can lessen our impact on the environment. The Sustainability Challenge helps you to choose 5 things you can do for 30 days.
Put the poster up on your fridge, write in the 5 things you’ve chosen for a more sustainable life, and track how you’re going over the 30 days of the Challenge.

There’s a spot for you to write in how you’re going, what’s worked really well, and what hasn’t worked at all. At the end of the 30 days, send it back to us and we can find out the best ways for people to reduce their impact on the environment and help more people do the same!

See the website

Sign me up! ecsustainabilitychallenge(@)


Canberra 40%

Contact Details:

See for all background to the Love 40% campaign

You can now join Love 40% on Facebook

Letter-writing as a political tool

Why write a letter?

Writing a letter a politician is a way that you can make your representative/s aware of the existence of an issue or to promote your view on an existing issue.

This document ( focuses on letter-writing as part of a broader strategy to build community and political support in the ACT for a 2020 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of at least 40 per cent.

Download the attached letter-writing tool kit and start writing.

Knit Against Climate Change

Calling all woollen artists. We need your help to make a giant woollen banner for an upcoming event we have planned. If lots of people make a few small squares then we can sew it all together into something huge and wonderful. Email please drop off knitted squares at the conservation council at 17 Childers St, Acton and/or mail them to “Love 40% c-/ ACT Conservation Council, GPO Box 544, Canberra ACT 2601″. If you are particularly keen you could try knitting some patterns or messages Go to . for a heart shaped pattern to get you started and a discussion forum.

Working Groups

Climate Action Canberra

  1. 100% Renewables by 2020: See these wonderful websites for more info: and
    Contact: Valerie: 048 899 1074, swheatst at

    Beyond Zero emissions has released their plan for 100 per cent renewables in 10 years. The Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan, showing the feasibility and affordability of 100% renewable energy for Australia is now out and popping up all over the place. Help it go viral by getting yourself an electronic (free) or hard-copy ($30) and sending it to family, friends and colleagues. We can only shift the debate on energy and climate in this country by breaking the many myths that the public holds true about renewable energy and fossil fuels.
    Click here to download or purchase the plan.


  2. .ACT campaign for 40%+ Emissions Reductions by 2020.
    Canberra 40% is a group of community organisations and concerned Canberra residents who believe that the ACT should lead Australia and commit to a cut of at least 40% in our greenhouse gas emissions.
    Contact: Anne 0422 913 165, anneobr at
  3.  Public Transport in the ACT
    Lets improve it!: Contact: Anne 0422 913 165, anneobr at
  4. Molonglo Valley Development – these new Canberra suburbs currently being planned. We need to act fast to get strong environmental standards on public & bike transport, passive solar homes and management of the river to ensure there is no dam,but a chain of ponds.
    Contact: Lance Chapman 6254 3874
    lanceandglenda at
  5. Arts Action for Climate. Calling all types of artists.
    Contact: artclimate at
  6. Climate Tax Working Group, contact: rebeccahorridge at


29th August, Sustainable House Guided Tours

Be quick to get a place on the last of this years winter season tours of Canberra’s Sustainable House.

This inner Canberra home showcases the very best in sustainable housing, appliances and lifestyle. A fabulous way to gain ideas to make your own home sustainable. Canberra’s Sustainable House also offers an advisory service for householders who need assistance or coaching to reduce their energy, food and water expenses. A tour is a great way to begin this journey.

Bookings are essential, 10 am 29 August,

30th August to 1st September, Conference on “Biodiversity and World Food Security: Nourishing the Planet and its People”

Biodiversity and World Food Security: Nourishing the Planet and its People” will be held in Parliament House, Canberra over the period 30 August to 1 September.

This will be the key event in the Australasian region and one of very few international events focusing on food security imperatives in relation to biodiversity conservation.

The conference will highlight the value and vulnerability of biodiversity in agriculture, food security and rural livelihoods, especially for developing nations and Australia; address the additional pressures that climate change impacts will bring to bear on both the conservation and use of biodiversity, and offer some policy directions for Australia and the developing world.

Confirmed key speakers include:

  • Dr Cristián Samper, Director, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution;
  • Professor Steve Hopper, Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew;
  • Dr Emile Frison, Director General, Bioversity International;
  • Dr Megan Clark, Chief Executive, CSIRO;
  • Dr Meryl Williams, Chair of Commission, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research;
  • Professor Hugh Possingham FAA, Director of The Ecology Centre at the University of Queensland

Where is it On?: Parliament House, Canberra

RSVP?: Yes Contact Details:

30th August to 1st September, 3rd International Urban Design Conference

Designs On Our Future”

What impact will the debate over sustainable population for Australia have on our existing cities?  The conference will examine how our new cities are conceived and our existing ones are adapted, re-designed and managed.

The conference will focus on a variety of themes and topics:

  • Growth
  • Demographic change
  • Housing diversity and affordability
  • Settlement patterns
  • Preparedness
  • Resilience
  • Infrastructure and sustainability in the “New” Australia
  • Transport system requirements
  • Energy efficient building design
  • Effective governance and leadership
  • Sustainable higher density development
  • Renewable development
  • Managing the carbon footprint of new and existing cities
  • The future of public spaces
  • Food and resource vulnerability

Where is it On?: National Convention Centre- Canberra.

RSVP?: Yes Contact Details:

31st August 2010, Evolutionary biogeography and conservation on a rapidly changing planet

Evolutionary biogeography seeks to uncover patterns of biological diversity and to understand how evolution, in response to environmental change in time and space, has generated these patterns. Given rapid global change due to human activities, it is both relevant and urgent to combine evolutionary principles with environmental data to predict hotspots of endemism – biologically unique areas – and to understand how they developed and persisted through periods of past climate change.
In this talk, Professor Moritz will outline some general principles and illustrate their application, focusing on case studies in tropical rainforests of Australia and Brazil. The results suggest new approaches, combining spatial modeling and molecular phylogeography, with potential to improve biodiversity prediction and conservation planning in as yet poorly understood, biodiverse regions of the planet.


Speaker/Host: Professor Craig Moritz
Venue: The Robertson Lecture Theatre, R.N. Robertson Building (no. 46)
Date: Tuesday, 31 August 2010
Time: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Enquiries: Audra Johnstone on 6125 2866

2nd September, How do we manage terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity on private land?

Australia’s national strategy for biodiversity conservation is mostly concerned with the protection of ‘wild’ biodiversity from unsympathetic land use. This strategy both ignores the provision by biodiversity of ecosystem services that underwrite the sustainability of land-based industries and subtly shifts public understandings of the rights and responsibilities towards resource condition that inhere in private property rights.
Biodiversity has no respect for demarcations between agencies and portfolios, the lines on maps of land tenure, specialisation of research disciplines, or the short times frames of forward estimates. Conserving biodiversity across landscapes and time severely challenges our current policy thinking and capacities, but recent research and practice are indicating some positive and practical ways forward.

Professor Stephen Dovers- Director, Fenner School of Environment and Society, ANU College of Medicine Biology and Environment

Ms Deb Kerr- Manager of Natural Resource Management, National Farmers Federation

Professor Stewart Lockie- Head, School of Sociology, ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Speaker/Host: Facilitated by Penelope Marshall
Venue: Weston Theatre, J G Crawford Building, Lennox crossing, ANU
Date: Thursday, 2 September 2010
Time: 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
Enquiries: Penelope Marshall on 6125 2256, ANU Events on 6125 4144


18 th September, Canberra Electric Vehicle Festival

The second annual Canberra EV Festival will be held on Saturday, 18 September, 2010, and the Canberra branch of the Australian Electrical Vehicle Association hopes to make it bigger and better than last year’s!

In partnership with The ACT Electric Vehicle Council, they are planning an exciting event: they will have representation from both commercial organisations and private individuals as well as talks explaining what electrical vehicles are and how you can make one!

Where is it On?:

Near Old Parliament House (in front of it), Canberra, 10 am 18th September

Contact: SEE-Change Education Seminars at Flor

SEE-Change will be holding 6 presentations at Floriade this year!
Along with the SEE-Change stall at Floriade this year, they will also be presenting 6 different seminars throughout the week starting on the 20th of September. Each presentation covers a specific topic and will run for around half an hour. This is a great opportunity to support SEE-Change and learn about some interesting ways to reduce your environmental impact. The presentations are as follows: Monday 20th September11:30am – 12:00pm: Lish Fejer from ABC TV’s Carbon Cops and Green it Yourself (GIY) will present “Global Worming”. Lish will show you how to set up your own worm farm (or salvage a smelly slimy one) and microbe-munching unit  that will turn your kitchen scraps into delicious nutritious garden fertilizer. 

12:00pm – 12:30pm: Shirley Pipitone will be presenting “Good Morning Sunshine – My Retrofitting Experience”. Shirley will be speaking about her experiences retrofitting her home to make it more sustainable.

 Wednesday 22nd September

11:30am – 12:00pm: Jane Cottee, Education Manager from Building and Environment Centre at CIT will be presenting “Drought Tolerant Gardens”. Jane will be speaking about how to create drought tolerant gardens in Canberra’s current climate inlcuding plant selection and water saving strategies.

12:00pm – 12:30pm: Leigh Duxson – “Envisaging 2030“. Leigh will be speaking about how we can envisage Canberra in the year 2030.

 Thursday 23rd September

10:30am – 11:00am: Simon Gemmell from Capital Aquaponics will be presenting “Aquaponics – growing vegetables and fish!”. He will teach you how to grow your own fish and vegetables for consumption in your own backyard!

11:30 – 12:00pm: Jeff Knowles will be presenting “Sustainable Homes”. Jeff will be speaking about how to build sustainable homes within the ACT.


Australia’s Capital Sets 40 Percent Carbon Cut Law
The government of an Australian territory said on Thursday it will enact tough carbon cutting laws, a step that comes after a national election that punished the ruling Labor party over lack of action on climate change.

Fate of biofuel depends on oil price stability
Future oil prices will determine whether a biofuels industry can succeed in Australia, experts say.

Mayor wants wave-energy consultation
Grant District Council Mayor Richard Sage says there has been no consultation about a proposed wave-energy plant at Port MacDonnell.

Court upholds wind farm appeal
The Land and Environment Court has upheld an appeal against a $150 million wind farm at Glen Innes.

Appeal against wind farm upheld
The Land and Environment Court has upheld an appeal against a $150 million wind farm at Glen Innes, in northern New South Wales.

Colton mine should survive zoning proposal
Northern Energy Corporation says the Queensland Government’s proposed changes to agricultural land zoning would not impact on its planned Colton mine, near Maryborough.

Cougar Energy ‘not clear’ what information Government wants
Cougar Energy says it is at a loss to explain why the State Government has rejected its environmental evaluation of the Kingaroy UCG plant.

NZ seabed samples clue to global warming
The fossil record from oceans around New Zealand shows a sudden discharge of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at the end of the last ice age.

Cheap fuel ahead but only for chosen cars
Motorists at the bowser will start seeing a new type of fuel that is 20¢ a litre cheaper than petrol, but bargain hunters be warned: it could ruin your engine.

Richard Eckersley: Fiddling while Earth burns
No more ‘politics as usual’ should mean having enough courage to tackle the sickness of mindless consumption.

Paddy Manning: Climate change forecast with Greens power shift
Hopes surged this week that a swing to the Greens will result in meaningful action on climate change in the new Parliament.

Solar bonus generates a mega-load of energy
THE NSW Government’s solar bonus scheme, which pays householders for the electricity they generate from their rooftop panels, has proved so popular it has reached a 50-megawatt milestone 18 months before expected.

Review delay freezes solar projects

ROOFTOP solar cell projects are on hold because a  State Government review of how people are paid for the electricity they create has never been released.

Solar Storm
A geomagnetic storm (or solar storm) is a temporary disturbance of the Earth’s magnetosphere caused by a massive solar flares or related sun output. A geomagnetic storm is caused by a solar wind shock wave which typically strikes the Earth’s magnetic field 3 days after the event on the sun. The effect on the earth can be small or it can be large. Astronomers are predicting that a massive solar storm, much bigger in potential than the one that caused spectacular light shows on Earth earlier this month, will strike our planet in 2012 with a force of 100 million hydrogen bombs. This is far larger than average.

Policy reform to stop discrimination against farm trees could help poor farmers out of poverty
Millions of dollars worth of income could be unlocked for poor farmers in developing countries by changing existing policies that reduce investment in agroforestry. An Agroforestry Policy Initiative, involving a wide range of partners, would make agroforestry a key contributor to ensuring food security, reducing poverty and combating climate change.

Renewable power on a grand scale
An exhibition of photographs of the sustainable energy industry includes this shot of a huge hydroelectric turbine shaft

Sunrise boulevards could bring clean power
Could roads surfaced with solar panels bring renewable energy to our doors?

Analysis: Climate Aid Reaches $30 Billion Goal, But Is It New?
Aid promises from rich nations to help poor countries slow global warming are reaching the $30 billion goal agreed in Copenhagen but analysts say much of that is old funding dressed up as new pledges.

EU Sees Limit On Industrial Projects In CO2 Scheme
The European Union’s top climate official proposed on Wednesday new limits on the use of carbon offsets from industrial gas projects, under fire by green groups, in the EU’s emissions trading scheme after 2012.

Shell Tests Method To Reclaim Oil Sands Waste
Royal Dutch Shell Plc said on Thursday it was starting up a demonstration project to test a new method of speeding up reclamation of toxic waste ponds at oil sands operations, a source of tension between oil companies, environmentalists and regulators.

Chile, Suez Agree To Relocate $1.1 Bln Plant
Chile and France’s GDF Suez have agreed to relocate a planned $1.1 billion thermal power plant, following a public outcry over fears the project would harm a reserve that is home to endangered penguins.


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