CEN Annual Forum 2019

Climate Future attended the CEN Annual Forum: “Positive Pathways for Climate Action”, on 2nd June 2019. A short presentation was made by Richard Weller. Jo Muller also reported on the activities of Central Coast Community Energy Association.

The forum was attended by more than 120 people and included a packed schedule including a very interesting presentation by guest speaker Vanessa McCann (from Council) on Tuggerah Lakes Estuary and its water quality issues. Reports from leaders of various programs included Waterwatch, Land for Wildlife, Habitat for Wildlife, Bush Regeneration Team, Marine Discovery Centre, Seismic Testing for PEP11 (offshore gas), Mangrove Mountain Landfill, Wallarah II, COSS Lands (Council Open Space System), NCC Air Quality campaign (Coal Ash Community Alliance), Porters Creek Wetland, monitoring of Dora Creek biodiversity (by Terry Annables) etc.

Further presentations were made on Plant Based Alternatives, Food networks (PEG and FIG) Central Coast Community Energy, Take 3 for the Sea, Australian Seabird Rescue (ASRCC), CC Marine Debris Campaign (Sea Shepard), Greening of the Central Coast (Council program – Chris McLean) and Grow Urban Shade Trees.

A copy of Richard’s presentation can be accessed here:   20190602–CFv1–PosPathwys-pdf-version

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Climate Crisis Forum

The Climate Crisis Forum was successfully held on Monday 13th May 2019 at the Gosford Uniting Church. This was held in the run-up to the Federal Election and more than 40 people attended. Richard Weller opened the proceedings and set out the seriousness of the subject and then introduced Dr. Mark Diesendorf, Associate Professor at the UNSW Centre for Energy and Environmental Markets.

Dr. Diesendorf is well known for his expertise in the development of renewable energy and its implementation in Australia’s economy. He and presented on the need to reduce emissions, the easy implementation and cheapness of renewables and the policies proposed by the various parties during the election campaign. It appeared from the information presented that the Coalition Govt has essentially no plan to effectively cut emissions. Labor would need additional policies to push Australia towards effective cuts.

A target of around 65% cut below 1990 emissions levels was needed to meet the aspirations of the Paris agreement to keep the warming below a dangerous level. The Climate Change Authority had issued similar recommended levels of cuts in its 2015 report. Many questions were answered by Dr. Diesendorf following the presentations.

The presentations are available below.

Dr. Diesendorf:   Diesendorf_Gosford_13May2019

Richard Weller:   20190513–CFv3–ClCrisis-pdf-version

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The Uninhabitable Earth

“If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible.”

This is the opening line of a 2017 article by David Wallace-Wells published in New York magazine where he sets out his understanding of what is coming (http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2017/07/climate-change-earth-too-hot-for-humans-annotated.html?gtm=bottom&gtm=bottom ).

He paints a very murky view of the threats facing us. Now he has followed his original article up with a book.

“The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming” by David Wallace-Wells (Tim Duggan Books, to be released 19 Feb 2019)

In an interview with the author:

(https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/03/david-wallace-wells-on-climate-people-should-be-scared-im-scared )

” It … means we are engineering our own devastation practically in real time. How much will depend on how we act, how we behave, how we respond.   ” and ” … climate change is obviously an existential threat and it is naive to imagine we could respond to it without some people being scared. ”

Hard words indeed.

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Draft Climate Change Policy (CCC)

Draft Climate Change Policy (Central Coast Council)

The Central Coast Council, NSW has a proposed Draft Climate Change Policy. Council has issued the draft for exhibition and to raise awareness of the issue across the community. There are some workshops being held over the next few weeks. See Councils website https://www.yourvoiceourcoast.com/climatechange for the information pack (which includes the policy and workshop agenda) and follow the links to register).

Wednesday 20 February 2019, Mingara Recreation Club 6pm – 8:30pm
Tuesday 26 February 2019, Erina Centre, Erina Fair 6pm – 8:30pm
Wednesday 27 February 2019, Mantra Ettalong, 6pm – 8:30pm
Thursday 7 March 2019, Camp Breakaway, San Remo 6pm – 8:30pm
Wednesday 13 March 2019, Wyong Civic Centre 6pm – 8:30pm

The policy itself is critical to bring consideration of mitigation (the reduction of emissions) and adaptation (preparing for the impacts) into all activities of Council.

Increasing heat and other affects of Climate Change will impact on all Council’s infrastructure including roads, sewage and water, transport, buildings, parks, etc. Impacts on Council’s regulatory controls such as planning are also occurring. For example, provision of land zoned for business has traditionally been sited on flat, low-lying land. Such land is often more likely to be flood prone than residential areas. Increasing rainfall intensity (e.g. the Townsville flooding currently underway) is likely to impact more heavily on our business parks and therefore ultimately on our economic activity. Council’s responsibility to provide suitable land for business and commercial activity requires them to consider increasing flooding over time due to Climate Change. This policy is critical to supporting planning for an efficient and functional regional economy into the future.

While there are those who are concerned about the presence of one phrase in the policy (planned retreat) and regardless of how waterfront property might be protected, the broad scale of climate change demands a community wide response at all levels of government.

Central Coast Council must have an effective and broad-ranging Climate Change Policy that allows for flexibility in design of responses to impacts as well as for the rapid reduction of emissions. The draft policy does provide an effective step in the right direction.

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A Powerfull Message

A truly powerful argument from Marnie Cotton who travelled to Canberra to talk to pollies. Our leaders are letting us down on emissions reductions with Australia’s emissions rising again in 2017 following increases in 2015 and 2016.
Demand that your politicians take action.
 
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Climate Council Calls for more Renewable Energy

After a while in the wilderness, this site could see a bit more activity from now on. We start with this little post on renewable energy and the need for deeper cuts to emissions.

The Climate Council has issued a Report that sets out a program to have 60% renewable electricity in Aust by 2030. This, they say, is closer to what we need to do to meet our Paris commitments.

http://www.climatecouncil.org.au/renewables-roadmap-2018

They analyze the NEG (National Energy Guarantee) of the Coalition Government to show it is inadequate.

 

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Australia’s PM On The Spot

2,000 scientists recently endorsed an open letter to our Prime Minster Turnbull calling for a halt to coal to save the world’s coral reefs. With 50% of global coral already dead, and a global bleaching event that started in 2014 still underway and ready to hit the Caribbean next, the Coral Reef Symposium in Hawaii issued the urgent call for leadership from Australia (see https://www.scribd.com/doc/316753391/Letter-to-Australia-from-13th-International-Coral-Reef-Symposium).

Continue reading

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