Let’s Walk for Yes together this Sunday
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:
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.
Want to be part of a peaceful people powered blockade?
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.
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.
That's all for this month - thanks for reading! If you have any feedback on this newsletter, please let us know.
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
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.
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]
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.
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.
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]
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
Welcome to the March edition of the DCAN Dispatch. According to Environment Victoria, gas could be biggest source of climate pollution in Victoria by 2035. Read on to find out what we're working on in our mission to get off gas, community roadmaps, energy savings, and more.
DCAN joins with other groups to meet with Ms. Ged Kearney, Federal Member for Cooper, about the Safeguards Mechanism
Representatives of several groups including Climate for Change, Friends of the Earth, Neighbours United for Climate Action, Newlands Parents for Climate Action, as well as DCAN, met with Ms. Kearney on Monday February 27th. The focus of the meeting was on strengthening Labor’s Climate Safeguard Mechanism policy.
Ms. Kearney was responsive to our personal concerns and we were impressed that, before the meeting, she had consulted with Minister Chris Bowen about our four key ‘asks’. Their responses to these ‘asks’ were:
- ‘Polluters should not be able to purchase carbon credits unless they first invest in genuine emission cuts at their facilities’. They agreed that this was desirable, and Minister Bowen stated that modelling indicated that the Safeguard Mechanism would lead to emissions targets being met by 2030. He is also keen to use green hydrogen as an alternative to fossil fuels.
- ‘Polluters must prioritise the purchase of carbon credits created when other facilities in the Safeguard Mechanism reduce their emissions below their baselines (SMCs) before they are allowed to use Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs).’ Minister Bowen agrees in principle but is still unsure how to ensure this in practice.
- 'Polluters should be required to phase out their reliance on Australian Carbon Credit Units’. Minister Bowen agrees but believes that this may not be possible before 2030 and is ‘technology dependent’.
‘Ban new coal and gas facilities bringing their enormous pollution into the Safeguard Mechanism and purchasing carbon credits to cover it.’ It is difficult politically to commit to no new coal and gas projects but the government is 100% committed to targets and the
net zero pledge. Their focus will be on electrification.
Ms. Kearney also emphasised other initiatives such as Star of the South off-shore wind farm, community batteries and big plans for agriculture. She is eager to meet with us again, and for this group to meet with Minister Bowen.
Please join us in our campaign to push Labor to strengthen the Climate Safeguard Mechanism.
Actions to Safeguard Our Climate
Join Extinction Rebellion and other climate groups at a call party at the Extinction Rebellion headquarters in Richmond (and on Zoom) on Tuesday 14th March from 10am - noon, phoning politicians and journalists about the Safeguards Mechanism.
There's also a rally and march organised by the National Union of Students on Friday 17th March. Join the Extinction Rebellion contingent at 1pm at the eight-hour day memorial or come to the rally and march at 2pm at the State Library.
Gas submission welcomed
Over the last few years, DCAN member and environmental economist Jim Crosthwaite has developed a strong understanding of how the gas system works, from extraction through to sale to households and businesses, and has been writing a number of submissions on gas on behalf of DCAN. He hopes that, even if they do not lead directly to policy change, these submissions give courage to sympathetic government insiders, and also inform gas campaigners of options for applying pressure on the gas industry and government.
At a recent meeting, DCAN gave his latest submission to Ms. Ged Kearney’s adviser. Indicating the value of these submissions, Jim received an email from the adviser thanking him for the submission with an invitation to provide a briefing in the near future. Jim was also advised that the submission had been forwarded to Minister Bowen's office.
Community Gas Retirement Roadmap
In response to the Victorian Gas Substitution Roadmap which charts a slow and partial transition off gas, the No More Gas collective in Friends of the Earth Melbourne has written another ‘roadmap’ called the called Community Gas Retirement Roadmap. This crowd-sourced contribution to a clean energy future has lots of information about gas production and use, along with tips for the state Government - and householders – on how to switch off gas by 2035.
According to Environment Victoria, gas could be biggest source of climate pollution in Victoria by 2035. Click here to read their latest report.
The stories that gas companies tell us, or don't tell us
RenewEconomy is a fantastic source of information on the fossil fuel industry and the alternatives. Follow these links to learn more about how gas companies are misleading the public:
- On the role of gas in storing power in the electricity system
- What they have known for decades about indoor air pollution from gas.
Michael West Media also takes a deep dive into fossil fuels.
Improve the energy efficiency of your home
Friday 17 March, 4–5pm @ Preston Library, 266 Gower St Preston
Are you looking for ways to save $$ by lowering your energy bills? Whether you rent or own, there are plenty of things you can do to reduce your energy use – and the library is here to help! Did you know that household energy efficiency toolkits and thermal imaging camera kits are available to borrow from the library?
Join subject matter experts Elizabeth Wheeler and Katy Daily as they step you through how to improve energy efficiency in your home. There’ll also be plenty of time for all your questions. Click here to register.
$250 Power Savings Bonus - new round March 24
Have you claimed your $250 Power Saving Bonus from the Victorian government yet? Get in before 23 March – and then take advantage of the new round to apply for another $250 from 24 March.
All Victorian households are eligible to claim this government rebate designed to help you manage rising gas and electricity bills and make sure you’re getting the best energy deal. The application process will take five to ten minutes of your time, and you will need to have a recent electricity bill with you. You can apply directly here.
Unlocking Sustainable Strata
Join the Yarra City Council from 6:30pm - 8pm on Tuesday 28 March at the Fitzroy Town Hall Reading Room for an evening of inspiration, practical advice, and community, to learn about Unlocking Sustainable Strata. They've teamed up as a community partner of Sustainable House Day to bring you this event.
Hear practical advice from the new guides for Unlocking Sustainable Strata and Electrifying Apartments developed by Yarra City Council, Merri-bek City Council, and environmentally sustainable design experts at Hip v Hype. Get inspired by local residents who’ve made their apartments more sustainable. Meet other apartment owners and residents making their buildings more sustainable, over nibbles.
Click here to register for this free event.
Listen: ABC's Democracy & Dissent: The future of environmental protest in Australia
In case you missed it, here's ABC Radio National's Big Ideas Festival broadcast of Democracy & Dissent: The future of environmental protest in Australia. Featuring Jacqui Katona, Clive Hamilton, Violet CoCo, and David Mejia-Canales.
Click here to listen.
That's all for this month - thanks for reading! If you have any feedback on this newsletter, please let us know.
For more information on events across Victoria, visit the Victorian Climate Action Network events page here.
Welcome to the February edition of the DCAN Dispatch. This month may be short, but we're certainly not short on climate events and actions! Don't forget you can also follow the action on our Facebook page.
DCAN Planning Group re-energised and ready to go!
The DCAN planning group recently got together at the Northcote Library to re-energise and agree on our goals for 2023. One of our key goals is to build the capacity of our group so that we are better positioned to meet the challenges and take up the opportunities that lie ahead in 2023 and beyond.
While the election of a new Federal Parliament was a game changer (and huge relief), there is so much more to do given the urgency and size of the climate problem. We are looking forward to working with our supporters, local community, business, and political leaders in taking stronger action to safeguard our climate.
If you can help with any tasks, either big or small, we would love to have a chat with you. In particular, we are looking for help with admin tasks to support our monthly meetings, help with social media, and organising or participating in campaigns (see below for a special opportunity to join a DCAN Gas Group).
But if there are other projects you’d like to work on, just let us know! Drop us a line at [email protected] or call Karen on 0425 753 266 or Ann on 0408 948 811 for a chat.
Multiple ways you can help to shift us all away from gas use
You can help DCAN to make 2023 the year for getting off fossil gas.
- Take smart personal action to reduce your use of gas.
- Join DCAN actions in support of renewable energy.
- Join a revitalised DCAN gas group, working for change at local, state, and national levels.
Did you know that 47% of the solution to using less fossil fuels is by increasing energy efficiency? Getting smarter in our energy use means we'll need fewer wind turbines! In 2021, DCAN supporters leafletted every residence in the Cooper electorate with a brochure on how to 'get off gas' (see image).
Can you offer a few hours a month to be part of this great initiative? We'll start by identifying priority actions, such as:
- Finding out more about local gas use.
- Writing submissions.
- Talking to local businesses and organisations.
- Promoting retrofits for vulnerable and low-income people so they are climate safe in summer and winter.
- Reviewing Darebin Council's draft Climate Emergency Plan on how Council proposes to reduce community and business gas use.
- Coordinating with other groups, locally and more broadly.
- Helping to promote the Community Gas Retirement Roadmap in your local community.
- Organising events and activities.
To discuss this or find out more, please email Jim Crosthwaite at [email protected]
Safeguard our climate, not polluter profits!
We have a rapidly-closing window of time (about six weeks) to push for a strengthened Climate Safeguard Mechanism from the Federal Government that will crack down on the Dirty Dozen polluters and force them to make real emissions cuts this decade. Last month, the Government announced its proposed reforms to the Climate Safeguard Mechanism. But there's a big problem... the reforms would allow fossil fuel companies to continue emitting huge amounts of carbon emissions and get away with writing them off with unfettered offsets.
DCAN has joined with other climate groups to do weekly flyering at BHP and support other creative events led by Friends of the Earth. We would love you to join us! Here is the calendar of events, including:
Tuesdays 7th Feb - 14th Mar (12-2pm): Weekly flyering at BHP
Tuesday 14th Feb: Crafternoon: The true history of the Dirty Dozen
Tuesday 28th Feb: What's the Dirt on BHP?
Friday 3rd Mar: Street Rally: The Legacy of Shell
Photo credit: Julian Meehan
The outreach team has updated the Merri Pde mural from 'Vote Climate' to the more timely 'ACT NOW - while we still can'. We are still gathering at 10am on Thursdays on the St George’s Rd bike path to pick up litter, (which is then analysed and logged), chalk climate messages, and chat with and offer our resources flyer to passersby. We “recover” from our efforts at a local cafe after. New members are always welcome to join this friendly group. Get in touch and we’ll let you know the changing meeting points.
Events from other climate groups
Extinction Rebellion Northside is still doing lots of events, both disruptive and community-building. At 11am on Sunday 26th February, they will be part of a peaceful demonstration on the Maribyrnong River in solidarity with locals and the still suffering victims of the Lismore floods, one year after so many people’s lives were changed for the worse. Click here for event details.
XRNorthside are also running a stall at the Sydney Rd Festival on Sunday 5th March. They’d be delighted if you stopped for a chat.
Write for Climate Action with CCL
Citizens' Climate Lobby is hosting their inaugural Climate Action Writing Workshop on Wednesday 15th February at 7:30pm AEDT. In this small group workshop, you can choose to either write a letter to your newspaper, to your MP, or a post on social media. Others will be there to lend a hand and offer feedback.
Click here to register your interest.
National Sustainable Living Festival 1 - 28 February
It’s not too late to catch some amazing events at the National Sustainable Living Festival. This is the largest and longest-running sustainability event in Australia, and it all takes place in the heart of Melbourne. Expand your mind with the latest in sustainable living innovations, connect with like-minded people in the community and hear from thought leaders in sustainable practices. Check out the full program here.
Thanks for reading!
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!
Welcome to the last DCAN Dispatch of 2022, with updates on the Victorian election, supporting climate activists, our annual report, and more! Settle in with a cup of tea to reflect on our bumper year of climate action.
A huge thank you to all our volunteers who helped make climate and forests central issues in the Victorian election
We ran a well-attended climate forum, letter-boxed 20,000 climate scorecards, handed out scorecards at railway stations, distributed hundreds of climate emergency and forests house signs and were an active presence during some of the days of early voting. Our climate voting guides included important information on the mysterious preferencing deals that dictate the end result for Victorian voters who opt to vote one above the line in the upper house.
The outcome has been a positive in many ways: Labor has been returned with a large and comfortable majority and will have little to fear from a weakened and directionless opposition. They have a strong mandate to implement their climate and energy commitments including the re-establishment of the State Electricity Commission to develop publicly owned renewable energy facilities. The Greens have held onto their three lower house seats and added Richmond. However, they narrowly missed out in Northcote and the three ‘teal’ independents who were seen as having the best chance, also lost in close contests.
The upper house results will not be available till next week, but it looks as though Labor may need to negotiate with the Greens to pass legislation and that would be a very good thing for speeding the transition away from fossil fuels and hastening the end of native forest logging.
Climate activist receives long jail sentence
Climate activist, Violet Coco has been given a 15 month jail sentence with a minimum of 8 months for a number of charges including blocking a lane of the Sydney Harbour Bridge for 25 minutes with Fireproof Australia. She is the first climate activist to receive a long sentence under the draconian anti-protest laws recently introduced in New South Wales. Harsh penalties for forest protests are coming in Victoria and Tasmania soon too, so let’s give Violet as much support as we can by:
- liking, commenting on and sharing social media coverage (#FreeVioletCoco),
- donating to and sharing the fundraiser for her legal expenses, and
- writing to Violet in prison to help keep her spirits up.
DCAN Annual Report for 2022 is out now!
2022 was another very busy year for DCAN, packed with creative actions and events including working on two election campaigns. You can read all about our work in DCAN’s Annual Report which was tabled at the Annual General Meeting last week.
A standout highlight for the year was the Cultural Awareness training day with Uncle Bill Nicholson from the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation. The training was a positive step along our path to working alongside First Nations People towards a safe climate future.
Speaking to the report, Convenor Ann Sanson gave special thanks to members of the Planning Group who led and participated in the local council, outreach, and election campaign working groups. Ann also referred to the very positive outcomes from our work with the Metro Community Power Hub, the Good Car Company and the Darebin Climate Alliance.
Ann concluded by thanking all the volunteers who participated in the election campaigns by letterboxing, handing out the climate scorecards, and distributing fence signs. She also expressed deep thanks to our many supporters who dipped into their pockets to help cover the cost of election scorecards and fence signs.
Electric Vehicle bulk buy project extended due to high community demand!
The success of the Darebin/Northern Melbourne EV community bulk buy project has led to an extension in the program to the 16th of December! So if you are interested in what's on offer it's not too late! Check out the details of the Bulk Buy opportunity here.
To date, more than 600 people have registered to participate in the program with 200 people turning out for the information-packed Show and Shine event in Bundoora. 65 people have taken test drives and 20 cars are currently in the process of being purchased - removing 50 tonnes of carbon emissions from local roads. If you missed the Show and Shine event you can watch it here.
The Good Car Company’s efforts to bring more affordable electric vehicles to Australia received a very welcome boost in October when Boundless Earth, a philanthropic venture, announced it was going to invest in the Company. With this investment, the Good Car Company is able to increase the number of EVs they import from around 200 per year to 2,000! This has already led to a greater variety of cars on offer which you can view on the Good Car Company website.
DCAN would like to whole-heartedly thank Kay Wennagel who worked tirelessly on behalf of DCAN to help coordinate and promote the EV program locally. We would also like to thank Darebin Council for the Community Grant which enabled us to partner with the Good Car Company in this exciting program.
We are also grateful to Yarra and Merri-bek Councils for their support.
Who are the Dirty Dozen and what can we do about them?
The Dirty Dozen polluters are the usual suspects of big coal, oil, and gas companies. Together, these fossil fuel companies are responsible for nearly half of the emissions covered by Australia’s Climate Safeguard Mechanism – the mechanism whereby the Federal Government puts a cap on industry emissions and drives these down over time. While the Mechanism did not make polluters cut emissions under the previous Coalition government, Labor has been elected with a mandate to strengthen the mechanism and plans to have updated regulations up and running by July 2023.
The big polluters have wasted no time in mounting a campaign to derail the Government’s intentions and dodge their responsibilities. They have put forward loopholes big enough to drive a coal truck through. It’s time for the Dirty Dozen polluters to pull their weight when it comes to tackling the climate crisis.
DCAN has signed on to the national campaign to draw attention to the Dirty Dozen’s terrible track record on emissions and to provide strong support for the Government in strengthening the mechanism to protect the climate. If you are interested in helping out with this campaign by writing emails to politicians and/or using social media please let us know.
Coming events targeting the banks financing new coal and gas projects
Are you available to attend the Westpac AGM on Wednesday 14 December from 10am at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre? Our friends at Move Beyond Coal will be in attendance and we all know crowds make these events more effective.
Or there’s an online rally targeting the NAB on Thursday December 15th, 1pm- 2pm. But it’s not a meeting! It’s a rally!
'Tis the season...
Some DCAN members also attended the Extinction Rebellion protest to End Fast Fashion, held in the Bourke Street Mall on Black Friday, just in time for some Christmas not-shopping!
Thanks for reading and for supporting DCAN in 2022. We look forward to another year of action after a restful break.