Abbott & Harper – Ideologues with no clue #100DaysOfBlogging #Day8

Cartoon by David Pope for The Canberra Times, 10 June 2014.

Today the ridiculous Prime Minister of Australia and his counterpart in Canada (Canadia?) sullied a great moment of opportunity for building momentum to prevent catastrophic human-induced climate change.

The USA has just committed to reducing emissions from power plants by 30%, albeit on 2005 levels. India recently committed to a massive nation wide solar-powered electricity drive. China is undertaking strong crack-downs on emissions as air quality in major cities becomes dangerously high, there’s even discussion of an ‘absolute cap’ on carbon emissions in China coming into effect in 2016. This is serious action!

It is hard to argue there has ever been a more opportune moment to achieve movement on climate change. At very least I would argue there hasn’t been this much momentum toward an international agreement on climate change action since inaction and lack of commitment by the USA & China lead to the failure of the Copenhagen talks in 2009. Continue reading Abbott & Harper – Ideologues with no clue #100DaysOfBlogging #Day8

Nail in the coffin for old coal – (thx Obama!) #100daysofblogging #day2

Barrack Obama delivered the sweet sweet goodness with this announcement. The US President announced carbon emissions in the USA will be reduced 30% by 2030. It’s pretty much the ‘nail in the coffin’ for old coal. The biggest economy in the world just tipped the scales. Coal is no longer a viable sources of electricity. With any luck Americans will start moving their cars away from oil pretty damn soon too.

But here we are, in Australia, trying to repeal a carbon reduction system that works. Who actually thinks repealing the ‘Carbon Tax’ – which will become a part of international emissions trading systems next year – is a good idea?

It makes me squirm to know that when Barrack Obama talks to his Australian counter part about climate change next week, the response he’s getting is probably like this:

Continue reading Nail in the coffin for old coal – (thx Obama!) #100daysofblogging #day2

Logging in WA’s South West

Recently I took part in a guided tour of our remaining native Karri forests with the West Australian Forest Alliance . I remember visiting these forests as a child, it is always inspiring. The first time I climbed the Gloucester tree near Pemberton I was barely in my teens. At 72m tall, the Gloucester tree was the highest 14-year-old me had ever been.

Clear Felling in WA's Challar Forest

When I heard the new Forest Management Plan will double the scale of logging in our remaining Karri forests (1), I wanted to see the implications of this for myself. I knew it would be painful to see, but I had to go. I had to bear witness and share the tragic reality of clear-felling with you.

Only 10% of our native Karri forest remain today, BEFORE logging expands.

After what I witnessed I have no doubt this new plan, if allowed to continue, will leave us with no pristine Karri forest left. It’s no wonder activists have begun taking direct action to halt the destruction (1,2,3).

I am very glad they have.

Continue reading Logging in WA’s South West

75 Ideas to Transform Australia (Response to the IPA)

Interesting to read conservatives at the Institute of Public Affairs suggesting the Liberal National Party coalition needs to ‘be like Gough‘ if they get a full majority of power in both the lower and upper houses of Parliament at the upcoming federal election.

Of course, they don’t mean the LNP should suddenly back-flip and start actually supporting free education and healthcare for Australian citizens or any of the many other positive, progressive policies brought about during the brief Whitlam era. Instead they only encourage transforming the country with the same speed and vigour Whitlam did, but this time to the detriment of the average tax payer, for the benefit of the super rich.

You can see the full list of 75 suggested changes on their website, but I will share a few of those I think clearly represent the dangers of current extremist policy trend among ‘conservative’ circles in Australia.

  • Close Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education
  • Halt construction of the National Broadband Network
  • Privatise Australia Post
  • Privatise CSIRO
  • Privatise Medibank
  • Privatise SBS
  • Privatise the Snowy-Hydro Scheme
  • Privatise the Australian Institute of Sport
  • Repeal the Fair Work Act Continue reading 75 Ideas to Transform Australia (Response to the IPA)

An Inconvenient Truth

What a name and what a book (haven’t seen the film yet). As some readers may know I have been on a holiday on the other side of Australia (the beautiful Gold Coast) for two weeks (got back Saturday night shortly before midnight). Before we left I spotted Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” in book form at the airport book-shop. I picked it up, flipped through and bought it. There was no iffing or butting about it. The book is an invaluable source of information with a level insight and research I have rarely seen in any discussion of Global Warming.

The book also has a personal “Al Gore” touch to it- relating the experiences of Al Gore and his family to attitudes about environment, human interaction and global changes. It’s amazing how an event involving a person or people close to you can cause an emotion or realisation which has across-the-board impacts on your life views. Al Gore describes how situations in his life have brought him to appreciate and understand the environment more, to fear losing places and a lifestyle dear to his heart, to want and be able to make a difference all of his own in the fight against global warming.

After winning Presidency and then losing it again during the Florida votes scandal, Al Gore did not relegate the rest of his years to fighting against the Bush family, republicans or any other personal vendetta. He asked himself (my interpretation) “Well, What CAN I do now?” Continue reading An Inconvenient Truth