Welcome to the first DCAN Dispatch of 2023! Let's hope for – and work for – a peaceful and productive year with real progress on addressing the climate emergency. Read on for ways to get involved and some great climate book recommendations.
Reasons to be cheerful and work to be done
There were many signs of progress last year, such as those listed here. But emissions are still rising and we need much greater transformations in our economies and lifestyles to avoid climate catastrophe.
So there is plenty of work for DCAN to do this year! Locally, DCAN will be working to ensure that our Council’s new Climate Emergency Plan is ambitious, inspiring, and effective. And we will continue to encourage residents and businesses to reduce their carbon footprints.
At the State level, we will continue to oppose the new draconian laws against forest protestors and proposals for new gas developments.
And at the national level, we will argue for higher emissions reduction targets, support strengthening the laws that protect biodiversity and seek increased investment in infrastructure to speed the transition to zero carbon.
We hope you will help us shape this year’s action plans and support us in these initiatives. Email us to let us know your ideas and how you would like to be involved.
Calling on the Dirty Dozen to lift their game
Just before Christmas, DCAN joined with Lighter Footprints, Higgins CAN and Friends of the Earth to deliver a letter to three members of the Dirty Dozen – Shell, ExxonMobil and BHP, calling on them to pull their weight on climate. The Dirty Dozen are big coal, oil, and gas companies responsible for nearly half of the emissions covered by Australia’s Climate Safeguard Mechanism. This is the mechanism that the Federal Government uses to put a cap on industry emissions and to drive them down over time.
The letter was also published in the Age and Financial Review on behalf of the 48 organisations who have signed up to the national campaign to draw attention to the Dirty Dozen’s terrible track record on emissions. The campaign also aims to provide strong support for the Government in strengthening the Climate Safeguard Mechanism.
Planning is underway to develop community actions to turn up the heat on the Dirty Dozen ahead of a Government review of the Safeguards. Let us know if you would like to be involved.
Getting off gas - your experience?
Getting off fossil gas is an important part of decreasing carbon emissions.
DCAN is very interested to find out your experience. Have you tried? What were the challenges? How much did it cost? This could be in a domestic, industrial or commercial setting.
Please email Linda Bradburn and describe your experience or any attempts or road blocks you have faced. What would have made the process easier? All replies appreciated no matter how brief or what the outcome was.
Darebin Libraries has helped us curate a collection of a few of our climate action artefacts for their LibArt space. We chose several photos of some of our outreach activities, our 'What is Climate Change?' poster, fence signs and our big banner and put them with two doll’s houses filled with soft toy elephants. We hoped this playful point-maker might attract and entertain some of the younger Library visitors. We hope that you too might like to visit, and thank the library for their help.
As part of the project we collected a few book recommendations from the planning group. All these favourites are available to borrow or reserve on the Darebin Libraries Catalogue.
The Glad Shout by Alice Robinson is set in a not-too-distant, storm-damaged Melbourne.
The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson is reviewed as “a masterpiece of the imagination, the story of how climate change will affect us all over the decades to come. . . . one of the most powerful and original books on climate change ever written.”
Regenesis: Feeding the World Without Devouring the Planet by George Monbiot is a very interesting read from a brilliant researcher and writer.
Letters to the Earth is a 2019 collation of the writing of nurses, poets, nine-year olds and grandparents.
The Treeline: the Last Forest and the Future of Life on Earth by Ben Rawlence. Rawlence traveled to Scotland, northern Scandinavia, Siberia, Canada, Alaska and Greenland to discover what the trees and the people who live and work with them have to tell us about the future of our planet.
Fire Country: How Indigenous Fire Management Could Save Australia, by Victor Steffensen, tells of Victor's experiences and stories learning about landscape's alarming state of disrepair and devastation, and teaching the Indigenous fire practices which could bring ecological health to our country.
Humanity’s Moment by Joëlle Gergis is a climate scientist's personal guide to rekindling hope, and a call to action to restore our relationship with ourselves, each other and our planet. Joëlle’s 2018 book Sunburnt Country: the History and Future of Climate Change in Australia is also fascinating.
On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal by Naomi Klein was huge in 2019 and is still relevant.
Relevant to the recent controversy about using art to attract attention to the climate movement, and Extinction Rebellion UK’s announcement that they were suspending their tactic of disruption is How to Blow Up a Pipeline: Learning to Fight in a World on Fire by Andras Malm. Malm moves from the forests of Germany and the streets of London to the deserts of Iraq. He offers us an incisive discussion of the politics and ethics of pacifism and violence, democracy and social change, strategy and tactics.
And, for the littlies:
The Little Gardener, by Emily Hughes, is about a little gardener who worked very hard, but feared he was just too little to fix his overwhelming garden, and how he made a BIG difference.
Thanks for reading!