Climate Justice: A story of betterment and hope

Here you go, just kidding. Here you go, just kidding.

That’s kind of how it’s felt for those waiting for Australian Government action on climate over recent decades.

It’s time to change that.

For too long discussions about have focused on loss; loss of reliable high-paying mining and engineering jobs, with no replacements in sight. Loss of environment and species.

The story we need to tell is one of betterment and improvement.

Of guaranteeing a living-wage job, for every person who wants one in every community.

Of making sure every person, in every community has a roof over their head, drinkable water in the tap and food in their belly.

Of enabling First Nation people to manage their traditional land, in the best interest of us all.

Of embracing First Nations culture and history, unique in the world in holding stories which provide a living memory of managing and surviving a rapidly changing climate.

Of energy independence for every community in every state – no matter how remote – and for our nation as a whole.

Of reducing energy consumption and costs for every household.

Of reducing the burden of negative impacts from pollution for people with respiratory illness, immediately and permanently.

Of ensuring every person has access to affordable, safe and reliable transport.

Of helping our neighbours achieve Millenium Development Goals by providing access to cheap, reliable and zero-carbon energy via responsible renewable energy exports.

Of preparing for disruptions like automation, and making sure all jobs lost are meaningfully replaced, with reliable and well paid work making use of existing skills.

Of supporting regional communities to transition to self-sustaining local economies

Of protecting local ecosystems and communities for generations to come.

Of making sure nobody is left behind in the process.

We need to tell that story.

We also need to be honest with people; we can’t pretend coal, gas and oil are viable industries. We can’t pretend those jobs are still going to around in ten years. We need those jobs to be gone, for the betterment of all.

But those who have jobs on the line need to know how we will make sure their lives and livelihoods are not only protected, but improved.

If we fail on that count, we may never win the support of the very people and communities we need, in order to make our collective transition work.

Targeting demand – The 108 Regasification Terminals

Might actively slowing the burning of already sold fossil fuels be more effective than preventing new supply entering the market?

In reading a recent report from the LNG industry (as you do), I became aware of a surprising fact – there are currently only 108 LNG import terminals operating around the world. This makes the LNG export industry extremely vulnerable to ‘bottlenecking’ and LNG prices highly susceptible to artificial supply ‘gluts’.

If import facilities experienced slowdowns and stoppages, while production continued apace in exporting nations like Australia, the experience of ‘global demand’ for LNG would be negative and gas prices would fall.

Over recent years community actions targeting the supply-side of the fossil fuel industry has grown.  I fully support campaigns to #KeepItInTheGround. It’s important to stop and slow down fossil fuel production and export.

But would it be more effective to target demand? 

Are we not in a ‘supply glut’, with source-fuel stockpiles weeks long? Do supply-side actions have ANY impact on fossil fuel consumption?

The biggest depressor of growth in new gasfields is low gas prices. Low prices persist when available supply outstrips actual demand. When throughput at import facilities slows absent supply constrictions, global gas prices tend to go down.

Producers are then hit with a double whammy – a reduced capacity market to sell in AND a lower-value product to sell too.

While 70% of global gas production is consumed domestically – and pipelines account for the bulk of exports globally – Australian gasfield development is driven by LNG exports. Interruptions and slowdowns at import facilities overseas would have a HUGE impact on the rate of gasfield development here.

Why stop ships leaving port, when we can stop them coming in?

Imagine the flow-on impacts of preventing LNG ships from getting to port for a few days. Pretty soon the regasification plant will run at reduced capacity, and down-stream operators will have to burn less. The economic ramifications could be huge, the kind of thing people in high places would pay attention to.

It’s not necessarily going to be easy to non-violently prevent huge LNG ships from entering busy ports – but it could be highly effective.

 

Climate Mobilisation taking shape + Two Dogs update!

Tonight we had another very productive organising meeting for the People’s Climate Mobilisation in Perth on September 21.

I’ve been loving having two dogs, they’re hilarious together, they’re constantly play fighting and just as often falling over each other. Old dog Dan (he’s only 7) has been patient with the often annoying pup, but has also been teaching him the rules and telling him off when he breaks them.

Kind of cool to watch.

Got another bed for the dogs yesterday, as Watson (young pup) had fully claimed Dan’s bed since the first night he stayed here.

The goop that filled Watsons’ eyes prior to us adopting him is almost all cleared up now, he shouldn’t need any eye drops. Tomorrow we take him to the vet for a blood test and full health check, standard procedure and he seems pretty healthy and happy to me!

Alright, it’s almost midnight and I’m off to bed. 🙂

Two fracking free towns in Western Australia

double win waThere are now two towns in Western Australia to declare themselves fracking free zones, where fracking activities are not welcome.

Earlier this week the town of Greenough declared itself frack free and now they have been followed by the Shire of Coorow.

On Wednesday Coorow councillors unanimously backed a request to put a hold on all fracking work at energy company AWE’s Drover-1 well.

The request was submitted by residents from the local Green Head and Leeman communities.

Of course it drew the usual responses saying fracking is a ‘safe’ process and doesn’t need to be put through rigorous environmental assessment, despite our aquifers being at risk.

But neither the process of injecting high pressure chemicals into the earth, nor the resulting escape of methane is safe for our environment.

Methane is far more potent a green house gas than carbon dioxide in the immediate term, and fracking wells are notorious for creating methane leaks.

It’s simply not worth the risk.

I stand with the peoples of Greenough, Green Heads and Leeman in their fight to prevent fracking in Western Australia.

We will win the day.

Real life has taken a grip

Sleepy Kelpie
Image Credit: Maggie Sharp -https://www.flickr.com/photos/maggiesharp/6773363654/

Real life stuff has taken a grip on my energy and time for writing lately.

A lot of things happening in the world right now, but I’m focused on work and organising for the Perth Climate Mobilisation at the moment.

That and trying to take a bit of time for self care, I’ve enjoyed playing some games but been a bit short on sleep lately.

Need to fix that issue. Also need to do some shopping.

In a more exciting turn of events, hopefully this weekend we will finally get bring home the puppy I found a few weeks ago!

Also, I just received more hours at work, so that idea about sleeping more…

Not likely.