Tag Archives: climate crisis

YCAN opposes new coal-fired power station

The Brumby and Gillard Governments are supporting a new coal-fired power station in the Latrobe Valley, each promising $50 million and $100 million of taxpayer money to support it respectively. Building any new fossil fuel infrastructure is insanity when faced with the climate crisis it is causing, and the viable alternatives we have, like baseload solar. We put forward this short submission to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which is currently considering whether to allow the new coal plant to go ahead.
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Submission to the EPA – Dual Gas Demonstration Project
EPA Works Approval Application

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Submission from Yarra Climate Action Now (YCAN)
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YCAN is a climate action group based in the inner-suburban City of Yarra. We write to voice our strong opposition to the proposed building of the HRL-Dual Gas power station.
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The project is completely at odds with the stated intent of the Victorian government as outlined in a number of recent documents, including the Victorian Climate Change White Paper.
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On a per capita basis, Victoria produces four times the world average amount of greenhouse gases per annum. The proposed power station will barely meet the Victorian governments limit of 0.8 tonne of CO2e per megawatt hour for new coal fired power plants — a limit which is lax by world standards as the average across the developed world is 0.45 tonne per megawatt hour. The 600MW plant will make it highly unlikely, if not impossible, for Victoria to meet the new 20% emissions reduction limit by the end of this decade.
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Few jobs will be created during the construction process (an estimated 350 jobs), and the project will only create 40 ongoing jobs, very few when compared with the number of jobs that would be created from a similar sized renewable energy development.
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Not only will this project be producing huge amounts of greenhouse gases, it will also be wasting our limited water resources, requiring around 2GL of water a year. The Latrobe River and Gippsland Lakes are already very stressed and in a deteriorating condition. It would be extremely unwise to allow further allocations of water for energy production.
In contrast, a similar-sized renewable energy development would produce no greenhouse gas emissions, consume a negligible amount of water and create more jobs.
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YCAN strongly opposes this project and urges the EPA to refuse the application from HRL – Dual Gas.
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Yours sincerely,
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Yarra Climate Action Now
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There will be a rally this Monday 18 October, 1pm at 1 Treasury Place off Spring St against the new coal proposal.
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We also hope to see everyone at the rally to replace ALL of Hazelwood power station on November 6, 1pm, State Library, corner Swanston and Latrobe streets, City.

YCAN’s 40th Rebranding Birthday Party!

Wednesday 3 November, 5.30-6.30pm, 112 Smith St, Collingwood.
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For the last nine months, rain, hail or shine, committed members of Yarra Climate Action Now have been “rebranding” (i.e. protesting) Richmond Labor MP Richard Wynne EVERY SINGLE WEEK!
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We would like to invite you to celebrate the 40th rebranding in a row!
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There will be live music, a big birthday cake and fun for the whole family!
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This truly epic action has been calling on the State Government to put the interests of Victorians before those of the coal industry, and they are feeling the pressure. However, with a new coal-fired power station on the cards there is still work to be done.
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To RSVP contact us.

Green Earth Weekend

The Athol Gill Centre in Clifton Hill (100 Hodgkinson St) is hosting a fantastic weekend of community events on global warming, 22-24 October.

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Friday 22 October 7pm – Meet the Candidates

Richard Wynne MP (Labor)
Kathleen Maltzahn (Greens)
Stephen Jolly (Socialist)
Liberal candidate invited
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Come and hear state electoral candidates engage with issues concerning climate change and the environment. The evening will include Q+A and focus groups which will contribute to a report to be submitted to local council and all political parties.
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This is a chance to have your input and for your voice to be heard.

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Saturday Morning – Family Fun

Meet at 10am on Saturday 23 October. Click here for more information

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Saturday Afternoon – Business and Community Interaction

2-5pm, 23 October.

An expo of business and communities groups who are each working towards creating a green earth.
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Come and meet with with different people already doing it:
– learn about share car options in your area
– sign up for an organic food co-op
– find great ideas for Christmas presents that help others and the environment

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Saturday Night – Climate Change Panel

7pm, 23 October

Pr. Peter Christoff, Dept of Resource Management and Geography, Melbourne Uni
Beyond Zero Emissions
Luke Chamberlain, Wilderness Society
Clancy Moore, Oxfam
Pablo Brait, Yarra Climate Action Now
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Come and learn more from people in the know, evening hosted by Rod Quantock.

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Sunday Morning – A Humane Response

10am, 24 October, Come and hear Deborah Storie address the impact of climate change on the world’s most vulnerable.
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Deborah Storie is Deputy Chair of the TEAR Board, and a member of the Program Review Committee, which makes decisions about funding allocations to established TEAR partners. A former TEAR fieldworker in Afghanistan, Deb travels regularly to TEAR projects in a monitoring and advisory capacity.

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Sunday Afternoon – Sustainable Lunch

12pm, 24 October.

To wrap-up the weekend festival there will be a community lunch which will feature foods and picnic equipment that are kinder on our environment. Come along for some great food and pick up some tips and recipes for your next picnic.
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For further information click here.

Tides of Resilience – Photography and multimedia exhibition

Friend of YCAN and photographer extraordinaire Rodney Dekker exhibits his work about the impacts climate change upon Bangladesh.
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Obscura Gallery
Opening: Sunday 24 Oct, 4-6pm
Exhibition dates: 24 Oct – 18 Nov
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First Floor, 285 Carlisle Street
East St Kilda, 3183

Melbourne, Australia
ph: +61 409 312 839
info -at- obscuragallery.com
Opening Hours
Tues – Sat: 12pm – 6pm
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“This is very strong work. It is work that should be seen by the widest audience possible. It addresses not only the crucial elements of climate change and the way it affects people’s lives, but the over-riding theme is human resilience, dignity and self-respect.”
Ms Julie Millowick, President of MAP Group.

TIDES OF RESILIENCE from Rodney Dekker on Vimeo.

Memories of Cyclone Sidr in Bangladesh still echo through the rebuilding efforts taking place and their way of life. This multimedia story will be part of the show at my forthcoming exhibition ‘TIDES OF RESILIENCE ‘. You can make a contribution to the exhibition and if enough of us get behind it, we can make this exhibition totally awesome. Time is running out so please visit www.indiegogo.com/TIDES
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This exhibition is proudly sponsored by the Climate Advocacy Fund, engaging with companies for improved climate performance www.climateadvocacyfund.com.au and Pixel Perfect www.pixelperfect.com.au for all your professional printing needs.

Switch Off Hazelwood, Switch on Renewables rally

Sunday 10 October, 11am-4pm at Hazelwood Power Station.

On 10/10/10, the International Day of Climate Action, join the peaceful community protest for renewable energy.

We demand:

  • The urgent decommissioning of Hazelwood Power Station.
  • Replacing its capacity with renewable energy and energy efficiency measures.
  • A just transition for coal workers through the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency manufacturing facilities in the Latrobe Valley.

To make it a success, we need YOU to help create Victoria’s “first” solar thermal power station – we’ll provide the mirrors, you help create the solar array, click here to find out how!

  • Hear from a range of inspiring speakers, including Mark Ogge from Beyond Zero Emissions, Deborah Hart from LIVE, and Rod Quantock as MC
  • Live music & food
  • Kids activities
  • Join the installation & opening ceremony of Australia’s first large scale baseload solar power plant (come & hold a mirror)

Location: Hazelwood power station – meet at cnr. of Brodribb & Nadenbouschs Rds

Transport: 8:30am train from Southern Cross to Morwell & we’ll provide a shuttle bus

See http://www.switchoffhazelwood.org/ for further information.

Vote Climate @ the Victorian Election – Info Session

Yarra Climate Action Now will be hosting an information session for people interested in being involved in the Vote Climate campaign for the upcoming Victorian Election. RSVP here to let us know if you can make it (and if you can’t but are still interested, get in touch). Details below.

When

October 13th, 2010 @ 6:00 pm

Where

Level 2, Kindness House, 288 Brunswick St, Fitzroy

The Vote Climate Campaign

At the federal election, the Vote Climate campaign in inner-Melbourne helped put the climate crisis back on the agenda in a big way. Come along to this session to find out about the Vote Climate campaign for the Victorian State Election coming up in November.

Vote Climate is a non-partisan campaign run by a number of local climate action groups. It highlights where the parties’ stand on this issue and encourages voters to consider climate and energy policies when deciding who they choose to vote for.

A scorecard will be produced to rate the parties’ performance. This will be distributed to voters via letter-boxing, leafletting and at polling booths on election day. We will also be running fun and creative actions and events.

The results of the federal election shifted the debate on climate. We need your help to do the same for Victoria.

How much proof do the global warming deniers need?

“When you stare out over the wave of Weather of Mass Destruction we are unleashing, who looks crazy – the protesters, or the people who have yet to join them?”

Originally published in the UK Independent, by Johann Hari

Thank God man-made global warming was proven to be a hoax. Just imagine what the world might have looked like now if those conspiring scientists had been telling the truth. No doubt Nasa would be telling us that this year is now the hottest since humans began keeping records. The weather satellites would show that even when heat from the sun significantly dipped earlier this year, the world still got hotter. Russia’s vast forests would be burning to the ground in the fiercest drought they have ever seen, turning the air black in Moscow, killing 15,000 people, and forcing foreign embassies to evacuate. Because warm air holds more water vapour, the world’s storms would be hugely increasing in intensity and violence – drowning one fifth of Pakistan, and causing giant mudslides in China.

The world’s ice sheets would be sloughing off massive melting chunks four times the size of Manhattan. The cost of bread would be soaring across the world as heat shrivelled the wheat crops. The increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would be fizzing into the oceans, making them more acidic and so killing 40 per cent of the phytoplankton that make up the irreplaceable base of the oceanic food chain. The denialists would be conceding at last that everything the climate scientists said would happen – with their pesky graphs and studies and computers – came to pass.

This is all happening today, except for that final stubborn step. It’s hard to pin any one event on man-made global warming: there were occasional freak weather events before we started altering the atmosphere, and on their own, any of these events could be just another example. But they are, cumulatively, part of a plain pattern where extreme weather is occurring “with greater frequency and in many cases with greater intensity” as the temperature soars, as the US National Climatic Data Centre puts it. This is exactly what climate scientists have been warning us man-made global warming will look like, to the letter. Ashen-faced, they add that all this is coming after less than one degree of global warming since the Industrial Revolution. We are revving up for as much as five degrees more this century.

Yet as the evidence of global warming becomes ever clearer…

To continue reading click here.

Costs of the climate crisis multiply in lives and dollars

Two excellent articles in today’s Age describe the increase in natural disasters caused by global warming, and the economic cost of last year’s bushfires.

The calamities are upon us as the world warms

THEY are the extreme weather events that climate scientists have been warning about – the simultaneous catastrophes of flooding in Pakistan, wildfires in Russia and landslides in China.

Many scientists say these events are all unprecedented and that such disasters, taken together, are proof of climate change. They warn that widespread and devastating flooding will become more frequent and could be considered normal by the middle of the century.

Almost 14 million people have been affected by the torrential rains in Pakistan, and more than 1600 have died, making it a greater humanitarian disaster than the south Asian tsunami and recent earthquakes in Kashmir and Haiti combined, the United Nations says.
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In Russia, firefighters and soldiers were battling to stop wildfires from engulfing key nuclear sites while Prime Minister Vladimir Putin took to the air in a water-bombing plane to join the effort. Morgues in Moscow are overflowing as officials estimate 5000 have died in the worst heatwave in 130 years.

To continue reading click here.


Climate change will cost us all

You don’t have to be Lord Stern to see how the costs of climate change are already compounding and spiralling, out of control.

Some costs are relatively benign – such as the devaluation of waterfront properties in Byron Bay as sea levels rise – a process starting in earnest whether estate agents like it or not.

Other costs are terrible, such as the conservative $4.4 billion figure put on last year’s Black Saturday fires by the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission, including insurance claims of $1.2 billion (property and vehicles), $1.1 billion spent by the Victorian Bushfires Reconstruction and Recovery Authority, $658 million in destroyed timber, 173 lives lost worth $645 million according to established formulae (not counting injuries) and about $593 million spent on firefighting (not counting volunteers).

Climate change features minimally in the Commission’s final report, handed down a fortnight ago. That is interesting in itself, because when he announced the inquiry the Premier, John Brumby, said everything would be on the table, including climate change.

To continue reading click here.

Gillard: moving Australia backwards on climate


Yesterday Julia Gillard announced some of the Labor Party’s climate policies.

Debate amongst the YCAN team has centred on whether these are the worst policies ever, or the second worst.

The Labor Party cannot even pretend to care about climate change now. These policies will see Australia’s emissions continue to rise rapidly while the impacts of climate change keep worsening.

In summary, the policy announcements are:

1. A green light for new coal-fired power stations and existing ones to keep polluting indefinitely

Twelve new coal-fired power stations on the drawing board around Australia have been given the go-ahead. Any new plants beyond these will be subject to “emissions standards”, which will only block brown coal developments, but not black coal.

Further, all new coal plants (the phrase “new coal plants” shouldn’t exist in and of itself as we should not be building any) will need to be “carbon capture and storage ready” – something that is completely meaningless.

Existing polluting infrastructure, such as Hazelwood Power Station remain untouched.

2. More inaction and delay

The “citizens assembly”, due to report in over 12 months is just an excuse for inaction, when urgent action is desperately needed. Community consensus on climate action has existed for years, and scientific consensus has existed well before that. We want action, not more talk!

3. Money from solar energy to go to buying petrol cars

Money will be taken away from the solar infrastructure program to fund rebates for car owners to purchase a new car if their car is older than 1995.

For further information see the Vote Climate website.

And for further analysis, Bernard Keane from Crikey has expressed it well in his piece:

Citizen Gillard abandons basic leadership on climate change

It’s hard to describe just how truly wretched Labor’s new climate change policy is. It makes the CPRS, its dog of an emissions trading scheme, look like a model of best practice. It is a spectacular failure of leadership.

Julia Gillard’s “citizens’ assembly” has effectively outsourced responsibility for climate policy to “ordinary Australians”, on whose “skills, capacity, decency and plain common sense” Gillard will rely to tell her about the community consensus on climate change. In effect it institutionalises what is already apparent — this is a Government controlled by focus group reactions.

Labor has been playing politics with climate change for three years and it hasn’t stopped. But whereas for most of that time it used climate change to damage the Coalition, now it is having to defend itself against the issue. It will only be with the political cover afforded by this nonsensical Assembly that the Government will take any action on a carbon price.

Rarely has so much goodwill and political capital been wasted on such an important issue.

The consensus the Government insists it needs the protection of before acting already exists. It’s not just in the opinion polls, which show time and time again that the majority of voters want action on climate change and supported the Government’s CPRS. In 2007, let’s not forget, both sides of politics told Australians they were going to introduce an ETS. The 2007 election endorsed a community consensus on the need for action.

Instead, in 2010, neither party will commit to any sort of carbon price mechanism for at least three years. Instead, they’re offering excuses as to why they don’t want to take action. We’ve done anything but move forward on climate action.

Gillard’s interim actions are little better. The new emissions standard she proposes won’t even apply to four coal-fired power stations being built or brought back on line currently. They may not apply to two more, the massive Mt Piper and Bayswater projects in NSW, which will together add 4% to national CO2-equivalent emissions when they come on line. Holding the baseline for the CPRS at 2008 levels won’t give electricity generators any more investment certainty when it remains unclear whether there will ever be an emissions trading scheme in Australia. Nor does it change the simple fact that State Governments continue to drive Australia into a coal-fired future.

Labor’s craven pandering to key outer-suburban electorates in its population and asylum seeker policies was bad enough. But abdicating executive responsibility for action on climate change is a new low in cynical politics, beyond the depths even reached by NSW Labor. Politicians are elected to lead. Deferring every controversial issue back to the electorate is a clumsy variant of leadership by polling and focus groups.

So blatant is Labor’s refusal to lead that it raises serious questions about its fitness for government. The only problem is that the alternative is an economically-illiterate party whose leader doesn’t believe in climate change at all, but who insists on wasting $3b on the most expensive possible means of addressing it.

What a choice, two major parties incapable of leadership and unfit to govern.