Due to government policies and personal habits, Australians have the highest greenhouse gas emissions rates per capita in the world. Each person contributed the equivalent of 27.9 tonnes of CO2 in 2000.This is 27% more than those of US citizens and more than double the average for industrialized countries
YOU CAN DO
Without fundamental political and social reorganisation, our personal actions will be of little use. So, to be effective and empowered, we need to both become politically active and let all political parties know that Australians insist on strong climate-friendly policies and find ways in our homes and workplaces to reduce our own carbon pollution. Furthermore, we need to educate ourselves, our family and our community.
* Join together
with like-minded people to educate yourself and your community and develop effective
actions. For a list of Australian groups working on climate issues, go to www.climatemovement.org.au
* Join Citizens Climate Campaign (www.climate.net.au/ccc.htm) for monthly letter writing tips. Join GetUp's climate cyber campaign: www.getup.org.au
* Protest the NSW government’s plans to build new coal fired power stations and coal mines. Most of Australia’s emissions are due to generating energy from coal and phasing this out should be our greatest priority. See the Climate Action Network website and find out how you can get involved.
* Talk with your local Federal MP http://www.aph.gov.au/house/members/download/PartyRepsHTML.htm. and Senator http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/senators/index.htm . Ask about mandatory renewable energy targets and binding emissions reduction targets for Australia. Protest the federal government’s energy policies and their pathetic 2% renewable energy target. Even China has 15%. The Australian Cooperative Research Centre for Renewable Energy was not funded beyond June 2003 and funding for the CSIRO’s atmospheric research department has been cut. Protest policies which have led to the cancellation of the Roaring 40s wind farms in Tasmania and South Australia and the Pacific Hydro wind farms in Victoria. Now the Vestas Nacelle wind turbine assembly plant has announced it will be closing with 100 jobs lost.
Nuclear is NOT the answer. (See www.peakoil.org.au/nuclear.co2.htm)
* Talk with you
local State MP (http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/members.nsf/V3Home).
Tell them that NSW
risks losing $9 billion in energy investment if it fails to make a quarter
of the state's electricity green by 2020. Protest the NSW government’s
plans to build new coal-fired power stations and coal mines. Most of Australia’s
emissions are due to generating energy from coal and phasing this out should
be our greatest priority. www.smh.com.au/news/national/eco-companies-to-quit-nsw/2006/10/21/1160851182456.html
Email l Morris Iema firstname.lastname@example.org and Peter Debnam too email@example.com
* Tell all political candidates, state and federal that you will be voting for the party with the best climate policies, then educate yourself to make sure that you can recognise a good climate policy when you see one.
* Challenge the
billion per year subsidies for the fossil fuel industry in Australia. Tell
your super fund you don’t want your money going to the fossil fuel industry.
* Demand that Australia ratify the Kyoto Protocol and thus take responsibility for our contribution of greenhouse gas emissions. Send a Kyoto form letter to Mr Howard
* Lobby for improved public transport, especially rail. Moving goods by rail produces 1/10th the greenhouse gasses as road transport.
* Save the rainforests. The destruction
of the world tropical rainforest releases the carbon stored within its biomass
into the atmosphere. 20 to 30% of global annual Greenhouse gas emissions is
caused by the burning of tropical rainforests. Saving tropical rainforests ensures
the carbon remains locked in the trees and other plants in the tropical rainforests.
* Reduce greenhouse gas emissions in your household, transport use and recreational activities, BUT don’t be secretive about it! Tell people (family and friends; sales people; work colleagues; your kids school teachers, scout/guide leaders, sports coach; your church and social groups) that you are doing this because of the impact of global warming on the environment and people across the world. great websites on how to reduce your impact are www.myfootprint.org and www.redefiningprogress.org/footprint/reducing.html and www.acfonline.org.au/greenhome
Embrace the principles of eco-efficiency and eco-sufficiency in your home, business, church and school. Energy-efficient appliances and practices will reduce your greenhouse footprint. Better yet, switch to a 100% green energy supplier: this can save about 1,300 kilos of carbon dioxide per person per year.
If you can afford
to do so, generate your own electricity with solar panels on
your roof. www.rainforestinfo.org.au/climate/solar.htm
Replace electric hot water heater by solar and reduce your electricity use by 26%
Change all your light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs. Turn appliances and computers OFF rather than “standby” and reduce electricity consumption by 9%. If it blinks, switch it off at the wall. Adjust your thermostat. A difference of just 1 degree at the thermostat can reduce your energy consumption and greenhouse pollution by 10%!
Sign up for Green Power. To determine which provider will work best for you and the planet, check out www.greenelectricitywatch.com.au. We recommend you sign up for you a 100% government accredited product. See www.greenpower.com.au. Because of an estimated 6.5 billion dollars a year of government subsidies to the fossil fuel industry and lack of support for renewables, buying 100% non-polluting wind or solar energy will add 5 or 6 cents per kWh to your electricity bill. You can easily counter this by using energy efficient light bulbs and appliances as above.
MORE HOUSEHOLD INFO
Electricity breakdowns by type of appliance plus recommendations for decreasing electricity usage.:http://www.isf.uts.edu.au/whatwedo/Information%20Pack.pdf ~
Estimates of annual greenhouse gas emissions from activities associated with households. http://www.greenhouse.gov.au/local/strategic/chapter1.html
A series of graphs with Greenhouse gas emissions from Australian household fossil fuel use (including electricity) on a state-by-state basis. http://www.greenhouse.gov.au/local/strategic/chapter2.html
Lots more on the
greenhouse government index page http://www.greenhouse.gov.au/local/strategic/index.html
Buy locally and
avoid costly international or national transport emissions. In Australia, the
average bite of food travels 1600 km to your plate! How organic is it if there’s
a litre of diesel mixed in? Buy food from local growers. Grow your own.
Minimise driving. Walk or bicycle where possible, Use public transport where possible. If you’re buying a car, go for fuel efficiency, car-pool to work.
be of very limited use in combating climate change and may be a major source
of distraction and confusion... Beware the hype. See www.biofuelwatch.org.uk
Reduce air travel. Aviation is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions, already accounting for over 8 million tonnes of of carbon dioxide each year. At present aeroplane fuel is untaxed in the whole world by an “unbreakable” international agreement dating back to 1945, this has to change - See http://environment.guardian.co.uk/travel/story/0,,1924388,00.html and http://www.planestupid.com.
Ultimately, we needs solar, wind, tidal and geothermal energy not only for electricity, but also to generate the hydrogen that will power our transport.
EDUCATE YOURSELF AND OTHERS
Read Tim Flannery's "The Weathermakers" , Ross Gelbspan's "Boiling Point" and George Monbiot's "Heat – How to Stop the Planet Burning"
Check the links at http://www.climate.net.au/links.htm
Invite friends and family to a “house party” viewing of Inconvenient Truth (DVD available next month) or Ross Gelbspan's hour-long DVD "Boiling Point" available for $5 incl postage
WEAN THE AUSTRALIAN ECONOMY OFF COAL AND OIL
Remember, the carbon we produce now will be causing global warming for 200 years. Whatever else we do will be of little use unless we reduce the amount of coal and oil burnt. We need to leave it in the ground. Opening windfarms will be of little use unless they are accompanied by closing carbon-spewing coal-burning power stations. Act now at http://anvilhill.org.au/actions.php and www.greenpeace.org/australia/issues/climate-change/take-action
Tell your politicians that we need to cap, and then phase out Australia’s reliance on coal fired power, and coal exports. Australia’s biggest contribution to climate change is the burning of the coal we export overseas. Each tonne of coal emits 2.6 tonnes of CO2 and each tonne of CO2 causes A$110 damage to the global economy (according to the Stern Report to the British Government). Coal use is highly subsidized and does not add up. Call for an investment shift from dirty coal to clean, renewable energy.
Vast political change is required. We in the developed world could get rid of all our cars and electric appliances and it would achieve nothing unless we can also stop the pulse of carbon from China and India. This means rewiring the entire planet with renewables and this requires unprecedented political will. Join together with like-minded people at the Lismore Climate Action Group to create the public awareness and understanding without which the necessary changes are impossible. Australians are rallying to this cause. An Inconvenient Truth is already the 4th most viewed documentary of all time in this country.
CLIMATE ACTION GROUPS: www.cana.net.au ~ www.foe.org.au/nc/nc_climate.htm ~ www.acfonline.org.au ~ www.climatenetwork.org ~ www.greenpeace.org/australia/issues/climatechange ~ www.risingtide.org.au ~