February 2024 Dispatch

Welcome to the February edition of the DCAN Dispatch.


Planning day sets DCAN off to a flying start

DCAN has kicked off the year with a highly successful planning day held at The Bridge, Preston. Twenty-five supporters came together to brainstorm key opportunities and develop creative ideas to step up the pressure on our politicians and increase community efforts to fight dangerous climate change.

A highlight of the day was a presentation from Leigh Ewbank from the Climate Solutions team at CANA (Climate Action Network Australia). Leigh outlined the critical issues we need to be aware of in the year ahead and described how DCAN, as a strong grassroots community group, can be an effective contributor to national campaigns. He talked about three key campaigns:

  • The Big Ask - Campaigning for a historic investment in climate solutions
  • End Fossil Fuels - Campaigning for the govt to rule out new coal and gas projects
  • Climate Targets - Campaigning for a strong, science-based Emissions Reduction Target for 2035.

We also discussed local events such as the upcoming Council elections in October and the importance of reaching out to more community groups in Darebin. We generated lots of ideas for actions which will form the basis of our 2024 plan. If you would like to find out more about how you can get involved in our work please drop us an email. Many thanks to our wonderful facilitator Belinda Haydon for keeping us on track.


National Sustainability Festival 1-28 Feb

This year is the 25th National Sustainability Festival which runs over the entire month of February. The festival has a huge program of ideas and action for sustainability and is the largest sustainability festival in Australia. Fortunately for us it takes place in Melbourne and some regional centres. As the organisers say: it's "not just an event, it is a movement of change-makers. Its mission is simple: accelerate the uptake of sustainable living and address the global climate and biodiversity emergencies..... By showcasing cutting-edge solutions to ecological and social challenges, the Festival fosters and provides tools for the change we want to see and the difference we want to make in the world." Check out the program here.


EV Hub Initiative in Darebin

Darebin has an exciting opportunity to make the EV (electric vehicle) revolution affordable for everyone. Evolution Automotive, run by Craig Bishop, is pioneering the way forward by retrofitting an electric motor into a petrol car. The motor might even come from an existing hybrid vehicle.

DCAN recently formed a sub-group to work with Craig on the proposal. Firstly, his future at his current premises in the former Melbourne Innovation Centre in Alphington, which is owned by Darebin Council, needs to be secured. Help is urgently needed as a Council deadline of the end of April is looming - please contact Jim.

 


Revegetating Darebin Creek

The Friends of Darebin Creek hold monthly working bees on the second Sunday of each month from 9-11am at Arch Gibson Reserve, Kingsbury. This is part of the Revegetating Darebin Creek Project, where thousands of shrubs and grasses have been planted in the reserve with the intention of bringing back small woodland birds. The primary focus now is to maintain these plantings through weeding, mulching, removing guards and other activities through a monthly Maintenance Working Bee.
Afterwards, enjoy morning tea with your fellow volunteers and speak to FoDC committee members. Some months will include a special guest speaker who will talk about topics related to the creek.

When: Every second Sunday of each month
Meeting Time: 9am
Location: Arch Gibson Reserve, near Kingsbury Bowls Club
What to bring: Appropriate footwear, gloves, water, hat, sunscreen. Equipment and tools will be provided

Volunteers can just show up on the day or contact FoDC for registration.
For more information click here.


Rebel for Life

Extinction Rebellion have a number of events planned during February and March to draw attention to some topical issues: seismic blasting for new gas, the Atlas Network’s use of misinformation to undermine climate action, as well as the sitting-in-a-circle Mothers' Rebellion. For details and sign-up click here.

 

 

 

 


Summer Heat Survey - can you help?

Having just been through several days of sweltering heat and electricity blackouts now is an opportune time to register your experiences and thoughts via Australia's biggest community heat survey. The survey is a joint project between Sweltering Cities and the Healthy Homes for Renters campaign. This year the survey is focusing on cost of living pressures and how they impact on our ability to stay safe in the heat. Your stories will help form campaigns to inform real change within our communities. Fill out the short survey here.


Karla Grant Presents: Fading Sands

This award winning documentary is on SBS until the end of February. It is one of a series of documentaries presented by Karla Grant on SBS On Demand. The documentaries are from promising and established Indigenous filmmakers illustrating Indigenous peoples connection to Country. Fading Sands includes interviews with Solomon Islanders about the impacts of climate change they are already experiencing causing loss of land, crops, cultural places and internal displacement.

 

 

 

 


That's all for this month - thanks for reading! If you have any feedback on this newsletter, please let us know.


December 2023 Dispatch

Welcome to the December edition of the DCAN Dispatch.


No new coal and gas!

DCAN supporters joined Move Beyond Coal and Extinction Rebellion to call on local MP Ged Kearney to push the Federal Labor Government to ban new coal and gas projects. While the Government has introduced some very good and welcome climate initiatives such as the doubling of renewable energy, they have also approved or supported 16 new coal and gas export projects since coming to power. These projects will generate 7 times more greenhouse gases than the Government's initiatives seek to reduce. In a climate emergency we just can't let this happen. In 2024 we will need your help to keep up the pressure on Labor. Join us at our annual planning meeting in February to help make plans for 2024. Please let us know if you would like to be involved.


Expanded Water Trigger Passes Senate

DCAN was excited to learn that the government has agreed to fast-track amendments to the EPBC Act so that its ‘water trigger’ can cover fracking for shale and tight gas. This is great news - it will give the Federal Environment Minister the power to assess projects such as fracking in the NT's Beetaloo Basin for their impact on water resources. Kudos to everyone who wrote, phoned or met with their local MP to apply the necessary pressure to bring this about. People power at work! Now we just need to encourage the Minister to use her new powers!

Another important agreement was also struck to exclude carbon offsets in the Nature Repair Bill, thus sparing our precious environment from destructive green-washing proposals.

 

 


Australia’s new Nature Positive Laws – consultation on proposed laws is underway

DCAN attended a webinar on the proposed new Nature Positive laws. The webinar provided an overview of proposed laws and was well attended. A recording and transcripts are available on the consultation hub here.

The government plans to introduce the new laws next year and there will be ongoing consultation. Public comments are invited and can be made via ‘have your say’ until 30 March 2024

 

 

 

 

 


DCAN writes a submission on the Duty of Care Bill

DCAN has put in a submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Climate Change Amendment (Duty of Care and Intergenerational Climate Equity) Bill. We argue that it is “inconceivable, and an outrage to our collective sense of fairness and responsibility” that the government is not only approving fossil fuel projects, but “is also prepared to argue that it does not have a Duty of Care to consider the consequences of those approvals and future decisions on our young people.” You can read the full submission here.

 

 


Solar and batteries for beginners

Tune into this great webinar presented by Ian Moxon from Watts Going Down. The webinar was organised by Boroondara libraries and there is lots of information provided that we can all benefit from. DCAN supporters attending the webinar described Ian as very knowledgeable, clear and easy to understand which tells us it's well worth listening to. Tip - start at the 2.30 minute mark when Ian begins his presentation as the earlier audio is a bit patchy. Please note the recording will only be available until December 30 so don't delay!

Don't forget to look at Darebin Council's Solar Saver Program for further information and support after you have watched the presentation.


Christmas Busy Bees and Ethical Market - Saturday 16 December 11am-4pm

Busy Bees for Wildlife and Mycelium Studios are holding a day of workshops, activities and a sustainable Christmas Market this coming Saturday at 10-12 Moreland Rd, East Brunswick.

Workshops include building nesting boxes ahead of a predicted scorching summer, making bird baths for Christmas gifts and other activities to provide our community with a refreshing antidote to Christmas consumerism.

The day will be very kid friendly and there will be food and music. Please come along. For more information click here.


December Rebellion

To coincide with COP28, Extinction Rebellion had a series of their own workshops and both peaceful and disruptive actions. It was gratifying that the various themes, including seismic blasting and the impact of war on both people and climate received attention in the media, including Channels 7 and 9.

Several DCAN members attended, as did the Climate Choir for the final street march and sit-in outside Flinders Street Station. Here 72 committed climate activists were arrested. They included the eminent philosopher Raimond Gaita (father of Katerina Gaita, founder of Climate for Change) and actor and writer Bill Garner. (Click here to view Channel 7's report on the mass arrest).

The words on the banner in the picture, “We need disruption to end the destruction”, are from UN Secretary Antonio Guterres.

Extinction Rebellion’s next “big” set of actions will be in March 2024. There will be many smaller events prior to this, including a stall at the Moreland Rd Mycelium Studio Christmas Market Saturday 16th 11-4.


Louise Harris singing “We Tried”

Watch this music video! The video that goes along with it is the best way to experience the song's emotional message.  There is a move to try to make this the number one hit song for Xmas so subscribe, buy, gift, download etc.

Promoted by Chrisitana Figueres in the latest episode of Outrage and Optimism podcast about COP 28, which is also well worth listening to.

 

 

 

 


'Elephant in the Room' Tee Shirts and Tote bags

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Get your order in quick smart for these great Tee shirts. Guaranteed to be a conversation starter!

More than a dozen different colours plus tote bags in the same design.

Let us know if you are interested by sending us an email and we will send you the order form which displays all the colours and sizes.

Message reads: It's the elephant in every room: The Climate Emergency


That's all for this month - thanks for reading! If you have any feedback on this newsletter, please let us know.


Nov 2023 Dispatch

Welcome to the November edition of the DCAN Dispatch.

While it was with a very heavy heart that DCAN received news of the defeat of the referendum proposal for a Voice to Parliament, we drew some comfort from the fact that 65% of the Cooper electorate supported a Yes vote. Many DCAN supporters took part in the Yes campaign. We believe that there can be no climate justice without justice for First Nations people. We look forward to working with First Nations people in their ongoing fight for justice, truth telling and treaty.


DCAN Annual Report - Hot off the Press

DCAN's annual report is packed full of information about the group's activities over the past 12 months. The report details our collective wins and the ongoing work needed to get fast action on the climate emergency: from working with Darebin Council to lobbying State and Federal pollies, working on campaigns such as getting off gas, strengthening the climate safeguards mechanism and stopping new coal and gas mines. Outreach into the community is also one of our core activities which we continue to do through chatting to people on bike paths, at markets and shopping strips or at wonderful events like the climate carnival. Our display at the Northcote library was a highlight featuring photographs of our work and included a doll's house full of toy elephants! Curious? Have a look here.

 


Support for a Climate Hunger Striker

On November 2nd former Ambassador and Threatened Species Commissioner of Australia, Gregory Andrews, started a #ClimateHungerStrike in front of the Australian Parliament. He explains: “The world is on the brink of climate collapse. Billions of people will die from heat stroke, starvation and fossil-fuelled disasters in our lifetimes if we don’t take real and fast action. But Australia is still digging up coal and chopping down forests."

“I want my children to have the same future and opportunities as the decision-makers in Parliament House today. That’s why I’m on a #ClimateHungerStrike until Prime Minister Anthony Albanese commits to real action.”

Andrews continues, “Join me in calling for a safe future. Please sign and share my petition.”

(More information available here).

 


School Strike for Climate - 1pm November 17

Let's support our kids as they strike for a safer world. You are warmly welcome to join fellow DCAN supporters at 12:45pm in the Flagstaff gardens just behind the Flagstaff metro entrance near the corner of Williams and La Trobe Street. See you there!  More info on the strike available here.

 

 

 

 


Darebin Solar Saver Information Session - 14 November 6.30pm - Reservoir Library

Shocked by your latest electricity or gas bill? Maybe you’ve started thinking about solar but don’t know where to start?
The Darebin Solar Saver Program has been running for 10 years and has helped more than 2,000 residents and businesses install solar.
Hear how solar works as well as how a system is designed and installed by Mick Harris, Manager Director of Envirogroup and local business partner of the program.

The Darebin Solar Saver Team will discuss how the program works and how easy it is to apply. They will also explain the state and federal rebates available. You can register for this free session here: Reservoir session. To find out more about the Solar Saver Program visit www.darebin.vic.gov.au/solar.


Upcoming events as part of the Move Beyond Coal week of action

Monday, December 04, 2023, 12:00 - 12:30pm.  Gathering at Ged Kearney's Office, 159 High Street, Preston, to call on her and the federal Labor government to support an end to new coal and gas approvals. Click here for more information.

Wednesday, December 06, 2023, 1:00 - 2:00pm. You are invited to visit the Member for Wills, Peter Khalil's Office, 466 Sydney Road, Coburg, together with Blinky (the giant koala) and the Red Rebels. Click here for more information.

 


Atlas Network -you need to know about this!

The Atlas Economic Research Foundation, founded in 1981, have supported climate science denial and have campaigned against legislation to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Atlas-affiliated think tanks have mobilised against climate activists on several continents. Notable members of the network include think tanks such as the Institute of Economic Affairs in the United Kingdom; the Cato Institute, Heartland Institute, Heritage Foundation, American Legislative Exchange Council, Manhattan Institute and Pacific Research Institute in the United States; the Fraser Institute and MacDonald-Laurier Institute in Canada and the Centre for Independent Studies in Australia.

Atlas “strives to provide personal assistance to individuals who are starting a free-market institute”. They list 500 plus organisations, such as the IPA, that belong and contribute financially to the organisation.

Listen to the podcast by Philip Adams “What is the Atlas Network”, an interview with Dr Jeremy Walker (Broadcast 30 October 2023). Walker has written an article on the connection between Atlas and the “No” campaign for The Voice (Silencing the Voice: the fossil-fuelled Atlas Network’s Campaign against the Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians). Very worrying.


Sign on to the Climate Council's submission to the Duty of Care Bill

The Climate Council is making a submission to the Senate inquiry into the Change Amendment (Duty of Care and Intergenerational Climate Equity) Bill 2023 (Duty of Care Bill).

By signing onto the submission and supporting the Duty of Care Bill, you can tell the federal government that they should take a duty of care to ensure current and future generations of Australians have a safe and liveable climate.

Click here to read the submission and add your name.


'Duty of Care Bill' Teacher and Student Resources

The Duty of Care Bill aims to ensure that Government protects the health and well-being of children in Australia when making decisions contributing to climate change.

For teachers, or folk with teacher friends, David Pocock’s team have prepared a Teacher Student Resources Guide! This package includes a range of teacher resources to introduce students to the Duty of Care Bill.

Let's help young people get their voices heard. The guide is adaptable and suitable for years 5-12.

Find it here.


A message from Rising Tide: The People’s Blockade of the World’s Largest Coal Port - November 24 to 27, Muloobinba (Newcastle) NSW

Join the Naarm/Melbourne contingent travelling to Muloobinba (Newcastle, NSW) this November for the Rising Tide People's Blockade! For months, volunteer teams in Newcastle/Muloobinba and around the country have been organising for the People’s Blockade of the World’s Largest Coal Port in November. It’s shaping up to be one of the largest peaceful civil disobedience protests for climate action in Australia’s history: blockading coal ships for 30 hours, and stopping half a million tonnes of coal from being exported and burnt.

Hundreds of people from Naarm/Melbourne and Victoria are travelling to the blockade. Make sure you register to let us know you're coming to the Blockade and join the Naarm contingent Facebook page to stay up-to_date with the latest information. We’ve also put together a handy travel guide with all the info you need to get to Muloobinba/ Newcastle. Register your travel plans with us to be part of the Naarm convoy or join a carpool.

Can't make it to the blockade this time but want to help? Support students and people on low incomes to travel to the blockade by contributing to our crowdfunding campaign. If financial support might help you get to the blockade, send us an email at [email protected] by Sunday 12 November.

Got questions? Check out the Rising Tide FAQs or contact us at [email protected]. We’d love to help!


Dangerous exploration for gas we don’t need or want

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"The Warrnambool council formally opposed seismic blasting recently and hundreds turned out to say the same." (Robin Sharrock, Warrnambool Standard)

DCAN is concerned about a range of serious problems presented by seismic blasting over vast offshore areas in search of new gas fields in the Otway Basin.

With hundreds of other concerned members of the public, including First Nations people, fisherfolk and some Extinction Rebellion Spirits of the Sea, DCAN members gathered in wild weather to voice our concerns.

We then got warm in the local community centre and wrote letters of protest to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority, the agency considering giving approval to this awful idea.

The Spirits of the Sea will emerge again as part of the Extinction Rebellion six-days of action, 5-10th December. Everyone is welcome to attend all of the many creative pro-climate action events. Find details and sign-up here.


Facing Collapse Sharing Circle (Peer discussion)

As we increasingly face the realities of ecological and social collapse these experiences are felt deeply within us. It can feel isolating if people around us are not available for us to communicate our feelings with or we are unable to investigate our own personal coping strategies. This peer sharing circle invites you to connect in person, to witness and be witnessed, and to explore how your inner world is responding to the outer turmoil. Limited numbers and booking is required. Pay-as-you-feel cash donation on the evening with all funds going directly to keep Black Spark going. For more information click here.

To send your commitment to attend, email [email protected] (include your mobile #) and a confirmation will be sent to you.

Friday 17 Nov – Blackspark Cultural Centre, 235A St Georges Road, Northcote, 6.30 – 8pm (8-8.30pm after cuppa)


That's all for this month - thanks for reading! If you have any feedback on this newsletter, please let us know.


Oct 2023 Dispatch

International litigation on the climate emergency

Legal cases are an important way to get action on the climate emergency, and the number of international court cases is growing. Here are two examples to which DCAN is contributing:

On 27th September, before the European Court of Human Rights, six young people from Portugal took 32 countries 
to trial for failing
 to do their part to avert climate catastrophe. DCAN’s convenor, Ann Sanson, contributed to an expert report supporting the case, documenting the psychological impacts of climate change on young people. You can read more about the case on the Youth for Climate Justice website.

Another case is being brought by the Governments of Chile and Colombia, who have submitted a joint request for an Advisory Opinion from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on “The Climate Emergency and Human Rights”. Ann is contributing to an ‘amicus submission’ focusing on the impacts of climate change on children’s physical and psychological health, and their right to a healthy environment.


Support for the 'Duty of Care Bill'

Currently the Australian government has no duty of care to protect young people and future generations from climate change.

The Duty of Care Bill builds on the case of Sharma v Minister for the Environment, a legal challenge by brave Australian children who argued that all young Australians are owed a duty to take reasonable care to protect them from climate change harm.  

Although the case was initially successful, the federal government appealed the decision and it was overturned.

The lead litigant in that case, Anjali Sharma, together with Senator David Pocock have joined with Australians of all generations to support the Duty of Care Bill and to ensure that Government protects the health and well-being of children in Australia when making decisions contributing to climate change.

For more information and to sign the petition supporting the bill click here.


Shift the Power - National School Climate Strike - November 17

School Strike 4 Climate (SS4C) is gearing up for a national climate strike on November 17 so please save the date. They are striking to demand that the Federal Government #ShiftThePower away from fossil fuel companies and listen to the demands of the people. SS4C are calling on the Government to stop subsidising and approving new fossil fuel projects. Keep an eye on the website for more details as they become available.

 

 

 

 

 


Fix the ‘water trigger’ to stop fracking

DCAN supporters have been working with Extinction Rebellion and other groups to pressure federal Labor to act on their election promise to bring fracking under the ‘water trigger’ of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act . This would allow the federal government to stop massively destructive projects like the Beetaloo Basin.

Next week Teal Independent Sophie Scamps will move amendments to the EPBC Act that will implement Labor’s election promise. Labor has the option of supporting Sophie’s motion, or moving a similar amendment. Labor is also being called upon to ensure that Traditional Owner cultural values and knowledge are properly considered in water assessments.

DCAN has requested an urgent meeting with local MP Ged Kearney. A mega-fracker is already doing exploratory work at Beetaloo, drilling through precious groundwater aquifers and potentially damaging the sacred sites of Traditional Owners. This massive carbon and methane project cannot be allowed to proceed. Production approvals are likely to be given soon and once fracking at scale is underway it will be too late. Any subsequent change to the ‘water trigger’ won’t be able to rectify the damage.

Read more about fracking in the Beetaloo Basin and messages from NT Traditional Owners in these briefing papers from our friends at Beyond Gas Network.


Heat Pump Hot Water Systems 101 Webinar - Tue, 17 October, 7.45pm – 8.30pm

Want to reduce your energy bills while looking after the environment? Join the Geelong Sustainability Group for a free information session with a Reclaim Energy expert who will unpack heat pump hot water systems, the latest products and technologies, what it costs and how much you could save on your bills. Register here to secure your spot.

 

 


DCAN AGM 7pm Thornbury - November 2

DCAN’s Annual General Meeting is a great way to hear about what we have been up to in the past year and where you can best contribute to the ongoing fight for urgent climate action. If you have been thinking about how you can step up, the AGM is a great way to find out. Come along and join our friendly crew for a chat. The meeting will be at the Bridge, 131 Shaftesbury Parade on Thursday 5th November starting at 7pm. Please contact Karen on 0425 753 266 to let us know you are coming or if you have any questions.

 

 


A message from Rising Tide about the People’s Blockade

Join the Naarm/Melbourne contingent travelling to Muloobinba (Newcastle, NSW) this November for the Rising Tide People's Blockade! Take positive action for a safe climate future in one of the largest peaceful civil disobedience protests for climate action in Australia’s history.

We're calling for thousands of people to gather and demand an immediate end to new coal projects and the end of coal exports from the world’s largest coal port by 2030. It will be a fun and family-friendly gathering, with live music and speakers and food shared by donation. Borrow one of our kayaks, or bring your own vessel – a kayak, tinny, yacht or surfboard!

Register to let us know you're coming to the Blockade and join the Naarm contingent Facebook page to stay up-to-date with the latest information and connect with other people travelling to the Blockade from Naarm/Melbourne/Victoria, including at a BBQ/picnic on Melbourne Cup Day (more details to be announced!). More information about transport options from Naarm/Melbourne can be found here. Keen to carpool? Fill in your details in our transport info-sharing page. If you've got any questions, we'd love to help! Please contact: [email protected].


“Climate Changers”: A Film by Tim Flannery

Acclaimed scientist Tim Flannery searches for the missing ingredient in our fight against climate change – that is leadership.
Where are the leaders who will drive change? Are they strong enough to triumph where others have failed?
Tim poses these questions as he meets leaders past and present in the hope of finding answers.
Watch a wonderful trailer about this new film here.

Sep 2023 Dispatch

Let’s Walk for Yes together this Sunday

At DCAN we believe there can be no climate justice without justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.  Please join us and thousands of supporters on Sunday to show your support for a Voice to Parliament.  The Walk for Yes is a great opportunity ahead of the referendum to show how powerful and uniting a vote for Yes can be.  Bring your friends and family. Together we will Walk for Yes. 
When: September 17, 2023, at 12:00pm - 2pm 
Where: State Library, Swanston St. Melbourne. 
Register to walk here

The Voice Referendum: Food for Thought!

You are invited to a  special evening with Mary Crooks AO (author, public policy specialist and Executive Director of the Victorian Women's Trust). This is a chance to bring a friend, family member, colleague or neighbour to learn more about what the Voice Referendum means (ie. invite the undecided or the unengaged). 

The Leadbeater Hotel is turning the band room into a dining room to encourage dinner table discussion and engagement in respectful, honest dialogue.  This event will be a space where every person feels able and safe to share their experience, ask questions and build their own knowledge and, ultimately, clarify their thinking about the Referendum.

Entry is free but please reserve your spot here!


Would you like to join a fast response team to help build pressure for climate action?

Given the evidence all around us that we are in a climate crisis, climate emergency groups and the broader climate movement are working hard to create rapid response teams of volunteers to take quick action against any new coal or gas approvals at the national level. This involves making phone calls, visits to politicians and other activities. In the lead up to the next Federal election we want politicians to understand that it is never okay on a heating planet to keep giving out licenses to build and expand more fossil fuels.  If you would like to be part of DCAN’s fast response team please send us an email. 

XR is also building a fast response team as part of their Tell the Truth campaign which targets federal politicians. Campaigners have been busy distributing information packs on the climate emergency and the still secret Office of National Intelligence climate-risk assessment.  The campaign is now moving into actions at politicians' offices - recently outside Tim Watts’ office (pictured) a few days after the latest coal mine extension was approved by the Federal Government.  If you would like to be part of the Tell the Truth campaign you can join the Tell theTruth Signal chat.  

Pressure will be mounting on the Federal Government in coming months.  We are heading into an El Nino period, which will almost certainly mean fires and extreme heat over the summer. Pacific Islanders are stepping up their campaign regarding Australia's bid to co-host international climate talks and in March next year the Senate will vote on David Pocock’s Duty of Care bill, a piece of legislation that could put an end to fossil fuel development.  This is an important step towards the emergency action we so desperately need - and very winnable with your help. 


Village Power funded for Community Battery in Alphington

A new community battery is coming to Alphington, thanks to community group Village Power with funding from the Victorian Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action. A community battery can store excess rooftop solar generated electricity from across the community to be used at a later time. It will enable the community to use the stored electricity instead of importing it from the grid.

The Minister for Energy and Resources Lily D'Ambrosio recently announced the funds at a gathering of Village Power, local MPs and Councillors. Congratulations to all the volunteers at Village Power who have worked for many years to make this happen.

 

 

 


Support Imprisoned Tasmanian Forest Campaigner

As the climate emergency and environmental destruction grows worse, anti-protest laws are being passed around the world, including Australia.

In Tasmania, forest defender Dr Colette Harmsen is currently half way through three months in prison for peacefully defending Tasmania's native forests and drawing attention to the ongoing destruction of habitat for threatened species like the Swift Parrot, Masked Owl and Tasmanian Devil. It is certain that Colette’s imprisonment will not be the last for passionate climate and environmental campaigners. 

Colette, an experienced veterinarian, says, “We will continue our acts of civil disobedience because our planet is worth it. A jail term will not deter us. If I can inspire just one person to stand up for Tasmania's forests, that will make me very happy.”

Collette can be supported through her challenging prison experience by following her on her website, and by writing or sending a card to:
Colette Harmsen
OTS Number 116318
PO Box 24, Lindisfarne, TAS 7015


Public pressure wins inquiry into Middle Arm development

In the July Dispatch we described our utter dismay at the Federal Government's decision to provide a $1.5 billion subsidy to support development of the Middle Arm industrial precinct in the Northern Territory. The funds had been promised by the previous Government.  This development will pave the way for fracking of the Beetaloo Basin which is estimated to hold a massive 500 trillion cubic metres of gas.  We know that the planet is already too hot and we can't afford any new gas or coal projects. It was heartening to learn that the Senate has finally agreed to an inquiry into the Middle Arm development despite twice voting against it. This is a major win for climate campaigners and shows the successful pressure brought to bear by emails, letters and phone calls to politicians. Read more here.


Protest for safe bike lanes - ride, scoot, skate on Friday October 27 with Streets Alive Darebin

Critical Mass bike protests are organised rides that aim to raise awareness about cycling as a viable form of transportation and to advocate for better infrastructure and safety measures for cyclists and other mobility users. We ride as a group, to form a "critical mass", making the ride safe, family friendly, and inclusive to all.

Streets Alive Darebin are calling upon Darebin Council and the Victorian Government to invest in safe separate bike lanes along High Street and to reinstate the Streets for People investment program to deliver safe cycling across Darebin. For details click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Route 86 Tram Corridor Planning - Have Your Say

The Victorian government has opened up consultation for the building of new accessible tram stops along the 86 tram corridor, on High St in Northcote and Thornbury.

A community survey is available to gather insights from people who live, shop, visit, travel through or operate a business or organisation in the area. Submissions close on October 15.

Streets Alive Darebin have also prepared a Consultation Submission on the tram stop upgrades which is available here.

 


Want to be part of a peaceful people powered blockade?

This November, take positive action for a safe climate future in one of the largest peaceful civil disobedience protests for climate action in Australia’s history.
Rising Tide are calling for thousands of people to gather and demand an immediate end to new coal projects and the end of coal exports from the world’s biggest coal port in Newcastle by 2030. It will be a fun and family-friendly gathering, with live music and speakers and food shared by donation. Borrow a kayak, or bring your own vessel – a kayak, tinny, yacht or surfboard!  If you aren't keen on getting into the water there are lots of supporting roles you can play. Click here for more information and to register. 

Book recommendation - Climate Restoration by Peter Fiekowsky with Carole Douglis

In "Climate Restoration – the only future that will sustain the human race" Peter Fiekowsky argues that it is not enough to reduce our carbon emissions, but that we need to draw down the carbon already in the atmosphere. A scientist and entrepreneur, Fiekowsky explains the technology needed and maps a practical and cost-effective path that will allow humankind to survive and thrive.

For more information click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Keeping up-to-date

Easily keep up-to-date with a daily news digest from RENEW ECONOMY. You can read the headlines in a few minutes or delve into excellent up-to-date articles about all things energy.

Also a Facebook page "My Efficient Electric Home" has excellent discussions and previous topics can be easily searched for, including getting off gas, insulation, draught proofing etc. An inspiring podcast is "Outrage and Optimism" with Christiana Figueres.

That's all for this month - thanks for reading! If you have any feedback on this newsletter, please let us know.

 


Aug 2023 Dispatch

Welcome to the August edition of the DCAN Dispatch. News from overseas of deadly heatwaves and intense bushfires wrecking the lives of countless communities has been very distressing. The time for each and everyone of us to step up and take action is more urgent than ever - there is much we can do and achieve together.


Hope and action in a time of climate crisis

Here at DCAN we are feeling shocked and fearful at the climate crises happening to people living across Europe and the rest of the northern hemisphere. Record breaking heat, ferocious bush fires and cities choking on smoke is really driving home the fact that changes are happening far quicker and more dramatically than predicted. Now we are hearing that countries in South America are experiencing winters 10 to 20 degrees above what is normal leaving scientists in disbelief.

Meanwhile coal and gas companies continue to push for enormous new projects which will only worsen the problem. We already have the solutions and there is still time to act. Each and everyone of us needs to step up and take action to avert even more climate crises. You can help by supporting the actions suggested in this newsletter. You can also contact us at any time for a chat and/or check out the Take Action page on our website. It’s time to step up!

 

 


Huge win on gas!

We are overjoyed with Vic Minister Lily D’Ambrosio’s announcement to ban gas connections to all new private residential buildings and making them all electric. This is something that DCAN has been strongly pushing for in meetings with the Minister and Northcote MP Kat Theophanous.

The Minister has also announced that future State Government buildings will be gas free, that there will be a $10 million grants program to help residents get off gas and a $1 million reskilling package to assist workers in the transition to a post gas energy Victoria. While there is much more to do in this space, DCAN thanks the Minister for taking this big step forward.

If you want to get off gas and need support to make the switch then please consider taking the Get Off Gas pledge. There are also some great resources available from Darebin Council and Renew to help you make the switch. The Victorian Government also offers some incentives through its Energy Upgrades for households program.


Duty of Care proposed for Australian laws

Senator David Pocock has introduced a private member’s bill to Parliament that requires the Government to consider climate harm on young people when making decisions, particularly when it comes to approving fossil fuel projects.

The bill has been drafted in partnership with Anjali Sharma, a leading youth climate activist and the lead litigant in the historic court case, Sharma and others v. Minister for Environment.

Help build strong community support for the bill by signing the petition here.


How do I electrify?

For some very practical advice on how to electrify your home read this article from Switched On: Electrify Everything Everywhere

 

 


Rally for forests – Melbourne, August 12, 2023

This Saturday, August 12th, a Rally with the Bob Brown Foundation will be held in Spring Street Melbourne to call for an end to native forest logging nationwide.

For details and further information click here.

 

 

 

 

 


Mothers' Rebellion at the NGV in St Kilda Rd

The Mothers' Rebellion usually gathers from 11:00 to 12:00 on the second Saturday of each month beside the NGV, in front of the Arts Centre in St. Kilda Road.

This month it will be held on the 19th so that the mothers can support Bob Brown's Forest Rally at Parliament on the 12th.

Mothers’ Rebellion invite DCAN members, along with all mothers and allies, to come and join us in a moment of rebellion and solidarity.

 

 

 


“Save the whales” Rally on September 15th

A multinational gas and oil giant is planning, with state government support, to commence seismic blasting “exploration” for gas fields over an area of 55,000 sq km in the Otway Basin, off south-west Victoria. This means bursts of 250 decibels (louder than the Hiroshima bomb) every 10 seconds, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for months on end.

It is of course deadly for marine life; killing zooplankton more than a kilometre away and also deafening therefore killing whales migrating through the area. Given that the conservative international Energy Agency says we should not be considering any new fossil gas projects makes it even more distressing.

Extinction Rebellion, Southern Ocean Protection Embassy Collective, Gunditjmara First Nations People’s Ocean defenders, Surfers for Climate and Friends of the Earth Seismic Shift are planning a creative protest as part of a global Fight Fossil Fuels weekend. The rally will start at 5 PM on the Birrarung at Enterprise Park then march to Parliament via the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority, 140 William Street, with whale song, and “seismic” blasts. Everyone is welcome.


Taking Action

DCAN members handed out information leaflets in High Street Northcote encouraging people to sign up to our newsletter. If you are interested in helping please contact Linda Bradburn at [email protected]


July 2023 Dispatchhttps://darebincan.nationbuilder.com/admin/sites/1/pages/1184/blog_post/edit

DCAN says YES to the Voice

DCAN supports the reforms called for in the Uluru Statement from the Heart - Voice, Treaty and Truth.
Traditional Owners across the nation are leading many local fights against fossil fuel companies and for climate justice. Despite being the original custodians of this country, First Nations peoples are rarely invited to the table to contribute to decisions that affect their lives and lands. Together we can change this and move forward as a nation.
Later this year we will have the historic opportunity to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of Australia through establishing a Voice to Parliament, giving First Peoples a say on policies and laws that affect them. DCAN supports voting YES.
Want to help the campaign? Whether it's talking to your friends, family or colleagues, you have the power to influence the outcome of this referendum. Join the Cooper for Yes Local Group here and find a list of other groups active across Australia. You can find more information here.


Getting off fossil gas and coal - is the Federal Government failing us?

In The Northern Territory the Beetaloo Basin is estimated to hold 500 trillion cubic metres of gas to be extracted by fracking. Five hundred kilometres south east of Darwin, it covers 28,000 square kilometres. If it goes ahead it will increase Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by 22% putting at risk any hope of zero carbon by 2050.

Beetaloo is part of the Middle Arm Development Precinct: “Middle Arm will be a major manufacturing hub for gas, petrochemicals, hydrogen and minerals. Plans show the project would house new gas, blue and green hydrogen and minerals facilities, and carbon capture and storage”. The Beetaloo Basin will pollute up to 1.4 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas over its lifetime according to Reputex, equivalent to 2.5 times Australia’s total annual emissions. Read about the key players behind this vast fossil fuel expansion here.

Labor has confirmed it will support the $1.5 billion promised under Scott Morrison’s Government. It is feared gas production might be locked in for 50 years.

Ninety-six leading scientists and experts have called on the NT Government to respect climate science by halting fracking expansion in full page ads.

Write to the Federal Ministers involved: Local Member Ged Kearney ([email protected]) if you are in Cooper, Madeleine King, Minister for Resources and Minister for Northern Territory ([email protected]), and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. You can also join the Get Off Gas Network.


It's time to get offgas!

Households that are connected to gas can expect to pay hundreds extra this year for their energy bills when compared to all-electric homes. But not only is gas expensive, it's also detrimental to human health and a major polluter, damaging water, land, and our climate.

Join Renew for the first of their Getting Off Gas Toolkit sessions, where everything you need to know about ditching gas is discussed. From planning your new build to be all electric, knowing what gas appliance you should ditch first, understanding how electricity compares to gas, and whether getting off gas is cheaper for new builds or existing homes. All things about going all-electric will be covered.

Getting Off Gas: Planning Your Electrification Journey. Hosted Online, Wed 26th Jul 2023, 6:30pm - 8:00pm AEST. Tickets are free and only available here.

There are also some great local info sessions coming up to help you on your way to fully electrifying your home. Register for events at the Northcote and Preston libraries via the links below. These two events are part of the Electrify Darebin campaign and come with great guest speakers.

Electrify your home 101 with Richard Keech, Wednesday 19 July - Northcote Library at 6pm

Electrifying Communities with Claire O’Rourke, 1st August - Preston Library at 6.30pm


We're Getting Off Gas Pledge

The fossil fuel industry is gaslighting Victoria.

Gas pollutes our homes, our climate and it does so at ever increasing costs to our household budget.

Renewably powered electric appliances can do everything gas does in our homes without the unacceptable impacts.

Take the pledge today and tell our politicians that you want help to Get Off Gas for good!

 

 

 


Let’s turn up the heat on CommBank

CommBank is about to release their updated oil & gas lending policy. We need to turn up the heat to make sure they do the right thing and finally break up with climate wrecking corporations. While CommBank has been heading in the right direction, it's time for them to commit to this in writing: no more money for fossil gas.

Join us and other climate groups outside the CommBank offices on Wednesday July 19 at 12 noon for an eye-catching action to get the message out to the thousands of people passing through the city that CommBank is still funding climate chaos.


Writing to MPs to create a climate for change

The word from insiders in MPs’ offices is that emails and letters are taken very seriously – and counted! For everyone who takes the time to raise an issue with them, they know there are many more people who feel the same way. If they receive lots of correspondence on a particular issue, it will be discussed in policy meetings and can have an effect on decision-making.

You don’t have to be an expert. Keep it short (a page or less) and personal. Write what you feel. Explain why the issue matters to you and, most importantly, what you want your MP to do about it. For some tips and issues to get started click here.


Taking Action

On hearing some of the recent decisions made by the Albanese government some DCAN members decided to make their feelings better known in a couple of ways:

Firstly, by writing to our local MP, Ged Kearney, to protest Labor’s gifting of $1.5 billion to the Port of Darwin Middle Arm precinct, and then blocking an inquiry into this precinct, which they had previously backed. (See here for a copy of one email.)

Secondly, a group of locals plan to rally weekly outside our MPs’ offices to demand more government action, and fewer supports for fossil fuels. If you’d like to join please contact [email protected]

 

 

 

 


Mothers' Rebellion

From 11:00 to 12:00 on the second Saturday of each month Mothers’ Rebellion will gather beside the NGV, in front of the Arts Centre in St. Kilda Road, and sit in a circle peacefully facing the passers-by, playing music and helping ourselves and others to connect with our climate emotions. Signs with the names of loved children, or other messages of care, will make the gathering even more powerful. 

Mothers’ Rebellion invite DCAN members, along with all mothers and allies, to come and join us in a moment of rebellion and solidarity. The next one is August 12th.

 

 

 


Must-watch interview with Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek

Several DCAN supporters recently attended a national online interview with the National Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek. It was a very well organised event attended by thousands of people from around Australia who are gravely concerned about climate and the poor state of our environment.
The Minister heard clear demands on the need for a stronger Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, a call for stricter regulation of new fossil fuel projects, ending deforestation and restoration of the Murray Darling Basin.  We were deeply disappointed to hear the Minister state that her Department is not planning to stop all new fossil fuel projects on climate grounds – a clear sign of how much more pressure we need to bring to bear on the Minister and the Government. If you missed out on the event you can catch up here.


Winter is a good time for reading

With cold days and long nights, this is a good time of year for catching up on some reading. Many books on climate change are appearing these days. Here are three that we recommend:

 

“Earth For All: A Survival Guide for Humanity” is written for the Club of Rome by an eminent team of economists and scientists. It shows how 5 big ‘turn-arounds’ could steer humanity away from social and ecological catastrophe. For more information click here.

 

 

 

 

In “Crimes Against Nature: Capitalism and Global Heating”, Melbourne-based Jeff Sparrow shows how our economic system has led to the climate crisis and other ills, and presents stories of hope for transforming the system.

 

 

 

 

For those who prefer fiction, “The Ministry for the Future” by Kim Stanley Robinson is set in the near future. Besides being a fast-paced page-turner, it describes how society could be transformed, largely through plausible changes in economics and technology, by mid-century.

Please send us your favourite recent books on climate change with a brief review.


June 2023 Dispatch

DCAN meets with Darebin Council CEO

DCAN members Ann Sanson and Linda Bradburn recently met with Darebin Council CEO Mr Peter Smith, and Ms Vanessa Petrie, Manager of Council’s Climate Emergency and Environment Program. Besides informing Peter about DCAN’s long and active history and current concerns, we discussed ways in which Council could help householders reduce their emissions. We also discussed the potential for linking Council’s placemaking strategies for East Preston and East Reservoir with climate action. We shared this Scottish example which is being used in Glasgow for community engagement around mitigation and adaptation to the climate emergency. Peter is highly committed to placemaking as a way of creating healthy and inclusive communities and is chair of PlacemakingX - a global network. Peter invited us to meet again in a few months’ time. We will also meet with Vanessa and her team in the interim.

 

 

 

 

 


Coal companies are under-reporting emissions

A recent ABC study has shown that Whitehaven Coal, Adani, Anglo-American and, most likely, many other coal companies are dangerously under-reporting their emissions and levels of methane leaks.

Methane has been 85 times more potent than carbon dioxide over the last 20 years.

Just a few months ago DCAN supporters were involved in a successful national campaign to strengthen the Carbon Safeguard Mechanism, the main way the government gets companies to reduce their emissions. If, as the ABC study shows, coal companies are under-estimating and under-reporting their level of emissions, the whole Climate Safeguard Mechanism is put at risk.

We urgently need an overhaul of the emissions reporting measures, especially for super-polluting methane. For more information and to take action click here.


Invitation to free film screening - 15 June at 7pm - Thornbury

Come along to Span Community House in Thornbury for a FREE film screening of Regenerating Australia. This gem of a film presents a possible view of what Australia could look like in 2030. It provides an excellent example of the changes we need to make to ensure a liveable future for all of us. A tabletop discussion will follow the screening to generate ideas on the actions we can take. Brought to you by the Darebin Climate Alliance, City of Darebin and Span Community House. RSVP here.

 

 

 

 

 

Don't miss out on seeing The Giants!

A hot tip from several DCAN supporters is to get yourself along to this awe-inspiring portrait of Bob Brown. From a seedling to forest elder, The Giants interweaves Bob’s story with the life cycle of the ancient trees he is fighting for. Drawing on Bob’s lifetime of activism, from the Franklin to the Tarkine, The Giants ignites an urgent conversation about the right of the Forest to exist and challenges the audience to write the next chapter. Check here for film screenings.

 

 

 

 

 


Do you enjoy doing a bit of writing and feel like being an activist from home?

Want to join with others “going hard and honking” and helping one another to write to newspapers all over Australia?

The Lighter Footprints writing team monitor The Age, Australian, Financial Review, Herald Sun, West Australian and Weekly Times newspapers. Around breakfast-time they send subscribers interesting articles or letters, mostly related to climate matters. In the afternoon another eagerly-awaited email arrives with details of the group’s published letters for the day.

 

 

 

 

If this type of home-based activism appeals, go to the Lighter Footprints website, click through to actions, choose the letter writing group, fill in the form etc.

If you use Facebook, you might like to join one or two other climate letter-writing groups: Paper Pixies (aka PP National) post prompts from Sydney Morning Herald, the Oz, AFR, Sydney Daily Telegraph and the Canberra Times. PP Community posts from smaller regional papers. Both these Facebook groups are “Closed” but easy to join by answering a couple of questions.


Get off gas: Email your state MP

Currently 61 per cent of Victorian fossil gas use is in homes and small businesses. Environment Victoria are running a campaign to push for stronger action from the Andrews government to support these users to get off gas.
Environment Victoria have asked us to email our local MP, Kat Theophanous, to let her know the community shares their concern about fossil gas.

 

 


We are in the climate endgame - emissions reductions alone are not enough

While it’s easy to feel comforted by the increasing action that governments and corporations are now taking on the climate emergency, climate scientists continue to remind us of how dire and complex the situation is and how much faster we must act.

Scientists are warning that we are in the climate endgame whereby very soon we must take unprecedented action or accept it is too late and live with the consequences. As we head into a warmer El Nino year with tipping points tipping, the +1.5C limit now likely out of reach, and little time left to prevent runaway warming, it is now too late for emissions reductions alone to preserve a liveable planet: large-scale greenhouse gas drawdown and temporary cooling measures are also required – and soon. Read more here.

 

Sir David King, former Chief Science Adviser to the UK government and founder of the Centre for Climate Repair at Cambridge, says we must urgently pursue ‘3Rs’: (i) reduce emissions (ii) redraw (draw down) the excess greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere till pre-industrial concentrations are reached) and (iii) repair the damage we have done. This is in line with what DCAN and the climate emergency movement have been advocating for many years. (See, for example, the mission of the National Centre for Climate Restoration, Breakthrough.)

 

 

 

Fortunately there are technologies available, or under development, that can be used for the large-scale drawdown and cooling measures that are urgently needed to prevent runaway warming. Several groups of scientists are looking into measures to refreeze the Arctic. Sir David King and the Centre for Climate Repair propose to whiten marine clouds (and reflect more sunlight) by creating fine spray of seawater with pumps and nozzles on a flotilla of boats. Similar methods are being explored to help protect the Great Barrier Reef. There are also many exciting proposals for large-scale and permanent drawdown. [You may need to click on ‘Browse' in YouTube to get past the initial screen to watch these videos.]

However, unless our governments acknowledge the potentially catastrophic risks we face, these measures will not be deployed in time to prevent runaway warming.

Take action

DCAN continues to try to build the momentum for emergency action, and each one of us can play a part. One of the most powerful actions you can take is to help sound the alarm. A number of climate emergency groups around Australia, including Extinction Rebellion, are reaching out to politicians and journalists with this science and solutions update and an offer of a briefing by David Spratt, Research Director from Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration. Want to help? Join the Tell the Truth group chat on Signal or contact us via email.

 

 

 

 

 


Sitting in a circle, and singing, for climate justice

Mothers Rebellion is a peaceful gathering of concerned mothers, grandmothers, aunties, sisters and caregivers who sit together in a circle to share their concerns for the uncertain environment we are entering.

 

 

 

 

The next gathering will be at 11:00 am, Saturday 8th July, in front of the Arts Centre, St. Kilda Rd. Everyone is welcome. Maybe bring a placard with an image or name of your family members if you can.

 

 

 


The Chalking Collective

Thursday 10am to 11am finds 4-8 people on the St George’s Road bikepath talking to passers-by to promote DCAN, picking up litter, occasionally weeding, and chalking climate action messages (in washable chalk!). At 11am we go to a local café for a drink and catch up; it changes depending on which tram stop we are at. For more information contact Linda Bradburn (email [email protected]). You are welcome to come for chalking or just for a drink!


May 2023 Dispatch

Federal Budget - some great initiatives but much more needed

It was great to see some very solid investments announced in the Budget for the clean energy revolution - investments for building transmission infrastructure, helping workers through the energy transition, Australia's first National Climate Risk Assessment and a National Adaptation Plan. Other important initiatives include the establishment of a Net Zero Authority, reducing transport emissions and investment in hydrogen. The investment in home energy efficiency upgrades was also very welcome. Overall, however, the budget measures do not meet the scale of the climate emergency we are facing. The continued subsidies to the fossil fuel industry of more than $9 billion per year is diverting much needed capital away from much needed investment in renewables. DCAN will continue to fight these unfair subsidies to the fossil fuel industry as well as supporting the positive initiatives that speed up our race to reduce emissions. Read more about the budget and how it affects climate and biodiversity here.


Talking about gas & climate with our local pollies

Regular meetings with our State & Federal pollies are a high priority for us at DCAN. In April we were pleased to meet with newly elected Nathan Lambert, MP for Preston and Kat Theophanous, MP for Northcote to talk about state policies on gas. It was a good level of discussion where we presented the Community Gas Retirement Road Map - how and why to get off gas in Victoria prepared by Friends of the Earth after extensive community consultation. The Road Map is packed with information about gas production and use, along with tips for the state Government and householders to switch off gas by 2035. We also attended a meeting with Ged Kearney MP for Cooper along with other community representatives where we heard reports on the climate and environment protection actions already taken by Ministers Bowen and Plibersek. We look forward to continuing our dialogue and exploring opportunities to strengthen polices at all levels of government.

 

 

 

 


Let’s go electric in Darebin!

Darebin Council has launched a campaign to support households to switch to all-electric homes.
As energy prices continue to rise, all-electric homes are not only cleaner and safer, but are cheaper to run. Council wants to support all Darebin residents to make the switch - whether you’re a homeowner or renter; nearing retirement or have a young family; replacing a dead appliance or doing a full-blown renovation!
Step one is making a plan so that when your appliances and vehicles need replacing, you’re ready to go. To find out more, make your plan, and sign up for in-person and online events throughout May. Visit the Council’s Go Electric website.


Upskilling plumbers for a renewable future

Solar Victoria are supporting free training for plumbers to design and install energy efficient heat pumps and solar hot water systems.

This is such a great initiative as many plumbers simply replace old gas hot water systems with new ones, without considering these alternatives, which reduce both emissions and energy bills.

Find out more at www.solar.vic.gov.au/upskilling-plumbers


Play the Adaptation Game at CERES June 18 based on Merri-bek LGA

A community climate drill for your local area

The Adaptation Game (TAG) is an engagement tool for local governments to inspire community climate resilient action.
TAG uses gameful simulation adapted to specific local areas, so players can experience what climate adaptation and mitigation means for them. It is designed for people who accept climate change, but may feel uncertain about what they can meaningfully do about it.
In the game, players craft their own stories about how they can best prepare and respond to the climate-related crises in their homes and neighbourhoods.

Local resilience resources, information, initiatives and organisations are embedded in the game. This enables players to access tangible pathways to action, without imposing top-down solutions.

Read more at https://www.tagclimatedrill.org/


Wonderful Worms competition for school students

Did you know that each year Soil Week Australia runs a competition for primary and secondary students on healthy soil? The aim of the competition is to create awareness about the importance of healthy soil for us and the environment. By entering the competition students learn about the role of nature in carbon cycling, storage, and in healthy soil and thus food. 

Last year 60 schools from all over Australia, both rural and urban, entered the competition. Over $7000 was given out in prizes! The topic for 2023 is "Wonderful Worms." Find out more here.

 

 

 


Chalking Collective

Come out for a social action on St George’s Road bike path.

We meet 10am-11am each Thursday at a designated tram stop on St George’s Road bike path to chalk signs about the climate emergency, pick up litter (which is logged on the FOE website), do a bit of weeding and talk to passers-by.

There is always plenty of friendly chatter. At 11am we go to a local café for a drink and more chatter.

You can join us for any part of this - just come for a drink if you are free.

If you want to be on the mailing list for this please contact Linda Bradburn [email protected]


Sport and Climate Emergency

There has been a Net Zero Sport Summit (April 27 in Melbourne) part of the Climate Action in Sport community. One of the organisers wrote, “We all know that athletes are amongst the most influential people in the world - that’s one of the reasons the UN have identified sport as a critical sector to target for climate action (alongside fashion). Sport is going to be hugely impacted by climate change - heat, drought, flooding, air pollution from bush fires all reducing playing days as well as loss and damage to infrastructure.” Two groups involved are Let Me Be Frank and Green Planet Sport which are trying to build a community of practice around Climate Action in sport.

For more information see www.greenplanetsport.com.au

 


Climate Carnival a huge success!

The weekend of the May 6th and 7th saw the inaugural Climate Carnival, a joint effort of dozens of climate and environment groups, including DCAN.
There were stimulating talks, yoga, tango, comedy, music and information stalls. It was a fabulous event and our sincere thanks go to the too-numerous-to-mention individuals and groups who made it happen, including Mycelium Studios and the wonderful catering teams at Nohadra’s Kitchen and La Guerilla coffee vans.

 

 

 

Speakers included many well known local climate activists talking about the climate emergency such as Jane Morton, Bryony Edwards and Adrian Whitehead. Other fascinating speakers included Sonia Randhawa from the Coalition of Everyone as well as the Tomorrow Movement and Friends of the Earth. Julian O’Shea, an “influencer” with more than 200,000 followers ran a very useful workshop giving us lots of tips. DCAN’s convenor, Ann Sanson, spoke on how to talk with children about global heating and introduced us to young activists who will make the world a better place. Sue McKinnon from Kinglake Friends of the Forest spoke on why it's so vital to protect our forests. The presentation from Dr Elizabeth (Liz) G. Boulton on Climate and Environmental Change: time to reframe threat? was confronting but essential listening. One of her suggestions was that we use the term 'hyperthreat', rather than the benign 'global warming', or even 'global heating'. Fortunately the audience included Tony Gleeson, part of the team behind The Sustainable Hour podcast and Liz has agreed to be a speaker on the show.

Jeff Sparrow & Robyn Davidson at the carnival

Walkley Award winning writer Jeff Sparrow in conversation with Dr Catherine Strong attracted a large audience. We invited Jeff to be a guest speaker because of his conviction for the critical role of grassroots activism and because, “We don’t need to end the climate wars, we need to win them.” His latest book, Crimes Against Nature, is a must read. Also see this Guardian article by Jeff.

 

 

 

 

Robyn Davidson, well known author of Tracks, provided the opportunity to hear more about how global warming is part of the destruction of the nomadic way of life. We were inspired by her determination to live a life of significance in spite of some trepidation. Hopefully we will have a recording available soon but, in the meantime, you might enjoy this short article.

 

 

 


Upcoming actions

Saturday 13 May. Mothers Circle for Climate Justice (part of a global day of action)

Saturday 20 May. Mass wildlife surveys in several locations to challenge the draconian new forest protest penalties that come into effect on this day

Thursday 25 - Sunday 28 May. Occupy for Climate

Friday 26 May. Critical Mass - climate edition bike ride

Saturday 27 May. Slow march for Climate


April Dispatch

Welcome to the April edition of the DCAN Dispatch, packed with information, events and ways for you to get involved in your local climate movement!


Safeguard Mechanism legislation is a step forward, but so much further to go

In late March, after months of hard campaigning by many climate groups including DCAN, the government passed legislation to strengthen the Safeguard Mechanism which limits the emissions of the 215 most polluting facilities in Australia. The legislation was significantly improved through negotiations between Labor and the Greens.

A day after the legislation was passed, a group of DCAN members visited our local MP Ged Kearney to thank her for her advocacy in lobbying for a stronger policy, and to say how pleased we were to see effective collaboration with the Greens.

However, while acknowledging that the new legislation is a big step forwards, we pointed out that it still allows companies to use offsets and leaves room for new fossil fuel developments - see this analysis by the Australia Institute.

We also used the opportunity to provide a copy of the latest Synthesis Report from the IPCC to Ged’s advisor, Jason. Even though IPCC reports are always compromise documents that tend to underplay the severity of the climate crisis (see example here), it nevertheless spells out the urgent need for real and substantial cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and makes it clear that there is no room for new coal and gas developments.

The fight to protect our future continues!


Help get this important report released!

The biggest national security threat we face is climate collapse. Labor agreed before the election to do a climate risk assessment. We understand it was completed by the Office of National Intelligence and went to part of Cabinet late last year, but it has not even gone to the rest of the Labor caucus. This briefing note provides some background.

We need Labor to use this report to pivot to a stronger position on climate before the United Nations Climate Ambition Summit in September. We are risking food and water shortages, conflict and mass migration, not just a few more hot days.

Join activists from climate groups around Australia in reaching out to Labor, independents and Greens to get this climate-risk assessment released. Email us if you can join us in visiting MPs with an information pack.


DCAN urges Energy Ministers to focus on reducing demand for gas

DCAN recently wrote to Federal and State Energy Ministers about measures to help householders to significantly reduce gas use. We presented the experiences of one DCAN member (‘Angela’) to illustrate the lack of information and support available to householders to significantly reduce gas use. Here is an abbreviated version:

Angela already has solar panels but wants to reduce her energy use further. She recently replaced her gas hot water when it broke down with a new gas one. If only she’d known a reputable installer of heat pumps!
Angela has gas-fired hydronic heating. She’d like to do more draught-proofing, upgrade insulation, and install reverse cycle air conditioners for summer cool and winter warmth. Who should she ask for advice?
Angela has only recently learnt that Darebin Library lends out an infrared camera to detect points of heat loss (but there’s a long waiting list). 
She’d like to replace her gas cooktop, but through DCAN she has recently learnt that it uses only 2-3% of the gas in a typical house. She may buy and trial a cheap portable induction cooktop instead. 
Again through DCAN, Angela now also knows about seeking advice on the Facebook group My Efficient Electric Home.

Click here to read the letter in full, including DCAN’s recommendations to the Ministers.


Volunteer with DCAN at the Climate Carnival!

Saturday 6th May - Sunday 7th May, 10am - 4pm at Mycelium Studios in East Brunswick

Darebin Climate Action Now, Northside Extinction Rebellion, Friends of the Earth, Climate for Change, and many other climate/bike/gardening/church groups are organising a Climate Carnival at the Mycelium Studios in May.

This special festival will showcase different approaches to protecting our climate and hopefully let everyone find their “best” place in the movement. It will also be an excellent opportunity to mix with friends.

The line-up already includes:

  • Robyn Davidson (author of Tracks)
  • Writer and academic Jeff Sparrow, author of several books including Crimes Against Nature, “in conversation” with XR member Professor Cath Strong
  • Julian O’Shea, influencer, YouTuber and social entrepreneur
  • Professor Ann Sanson’s session for parents on “How to talk to children about climate change”
  • Coalition of Everything’s Sonia Randhawa explaining Citizens Assemblies
  • Indie/blues/roots/funk/folk singer-guitarist Peter Vadiveloo
  • Guerrilla gardening and badge making

There will be much more, including a children’s area, music and singing, stalls and other activities!

We are looking for volunteers to staff the DCAN stall with shifts from 10am-12pm, 12pm-2pm and 2pm-4pm both days. Just email us with your preferred time(s)!


Join the Darebin Chalk Collective!

Join us on Thursday mornings 10am to 11am on the St George's Road Bike Path. We collect litter (and log it on the FOE web site), talk to passers-by, chalk Climate Action slogans and sometimes weed a little. It is great fun! At 11am we go for coffee at a local café. Please come and join us for either chalking or just for coffee! Contact Linda Bradburn for more details. 


If you're not sure what the Safeguard Mechanism really is, and how effective it will be in reducing emissions, here are two useful sessions being held by some of our fellow Climate Action groups:

Australia's Climate Policy - Effective or Greenwashing? Forum

Tuesday 18th April, 6:30pm at Phoenix Theatre in Elwood

Port Phillip Emergency Climate Action (PECAN), Bayside Climate Crisis Action Group (BCCAG) and Glen Eira Emergency Climate Action Network (GECAN) are teaming up to hold a forum on Australia's Climate Policy, known as the Safeguard Mechanism. The forum will delve into the Safeguard Mechanism, climate integrity, carbon credits and whether this policy can be the real deal when it comes to the critical work of reducing emissions. 

Click here to register for this free event.


Understanding the Safeguard Mechanism 

Wednesday 26th April, 7:30pm at Kew Seniors Centre, Kew

PM Albanese successfully negotiated with the Greens to get this flagship climate policy through Parliament. Now we ask, was it worth the effort? What will this policy achieve and where does it fall short? How will the "hard cap" work in practice? What coal or gas projects will be prevented?

It's early days but if anyone can answer these questions, it's these experts:

  • Dr Jennifer Rayner, Climate Council's Head of Advocacy
  • Leigh Ewbank, Climate Action Network Australia Senior Climate Outreach Manager

Join these speakers at Lighter Footprints' free forum on 26 April - register here!


Climate for Change’s Fellowship Applications due 1 May

Applications are now open for Climate for Change’s Fundraising and Communications Fellowship. The six week program involves weekly online training sessions and two weekend intensives, in which fellows learn essential skills for entering the not-for-profit sector. In the last month of the program, they put these skills to immediate effect as ambassadors in the organisation’s peer-to-peer fundraising campaign – raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for climate action.

Applications close 11pm May 1, 2023. Click here to apply. 


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