Planet Claire

some say she's from Mars

Dare we trust him?

by Claire 12/14/2007 7:22:00 AM

If Clive Hamilton is right, it's all looking good for Australia at the Climate Change Conference in Bali after Kevin Rudd gave his big speech yesterday.  According to an article just published on Crikey's website...

Rudd chose a lot of strong language which he knows will be used against him in the future if he fails to deliver.

"Australia now stands ready to assume its responsibility … Climate change is the defining challenge of our generation … one of the greatest moral, economic and environmental challenges of our age."

And he promised the assembled delegates that his Government is "prepared to take on the challenge, to do the hard work now and to deliver a sustainable future."

This is despite Kevin Rudd's much publicised and slightly worrying refusal to endorse a 25 to 40 per cent cut in 1990 greenhouse gases levels by 2020 until the Garnaut Report is delivered next year.

I want to trust him, I really do.... 

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Ramp up the pressure in Bali

by Claire 12/11/2007 12:36:00 AM

Please consider supporting these 2 Getup campaigns.

The first is a petition that Al Gore will present to the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali in a few days calling for "a visionary treaty to be completed, ratified and brought into effect everywhere in the world by 2010".

The second is Getup's "Climate Action Now" campaign.  This new government is showing signs of resisting short term action on climate change, as they have overruled the official Australian delegation's endorsement of a 25 to 40 per cent cut in 1990 greenhouse gases levels by 2020.  Instead they will wait until the release of the Climate Change Review Committee's Garnaut report in 6 months time.  Resistance is to be expected from the government of course, which is why we need to keep the pressure on.

Despite any misgivings you may have about Al Gore & Getup, they are out there in the public domain, and we are not, so I believe we must support them.


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Kevin07 - Happy?

by Claire 11/29/2007 5:00:00 AM

Well I'm glad that's over with!

What a result, Australia finally decided to vote little johnnie out.  Very lucky for this family, because had the result been different, we were ready to pack up & move to the UK, NZ, Canada(??), the Maldives, wherever!  (Not joking)

The question remains:  Did we vote John out, or Kevin in? 

Was it just "time for a change" (I can do without hearing that expression again), or is Phillip Adams onto it? (Worth a read!).   Very interesting that Howard was, right up till the last minute, the favourite on economic management, yet he still lost everything.  Does that mean that we Australians have a heart after all?  That we care about the environment too?

Also very interesting that here in WA we still favoured the Liberals.  Apparently that's cos we're all doing so darned well over here at the moment.

Personally, I'm just so very relieved at the result, but I'm not expecting miracles.  Kevin might be a great guy but I'm almost sure he's going to have trouble implementing all those wonderful policies he sold us on.  I imagine he'll be under a fair bit of pressure from all sides, particularly the union movement & the Greens.   Speaking of the Green issue, here's an article from Dr Guy Pearse on how to tell if & when Kevin sells out.

On another personal note, I'd like to thank everyone who supported Gary Warden in his bid for the Senate.  Needless to say he didn't make it, but that's no surprise.  Atleast we had a bash at it, & I don't think we've seen the last of him yet.

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Ah Hah! So he IS asleep on the job!!

by Claire 11/17/2007 6:28:00 AM

Just as I thought!!

(photo courtesy Crikey & Guy Pearce)

But what's not funny is the comparison between the Liberal Party's climate change policy from 1990 and it's lack of policy now.

Former Liberal Party speech writer and advisor Guy Pearce, who wrote the article above, gives a very interesting presentation on Australia's response to climate change starting here.

The sound quality DOES improve by the way.  Very entertaining "reality TV"!  The other 6 instalments are available on youtube:

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Another plug for a political party who cares.

by Claire 11/13/2007 8:57:00 AM

Gary Warden & Sarah Bishop on Wake up WA last Friday.

We all care about our planet earth.  The survival of our species depends on us staying on this planet long enough to develop the technology to go out to other worlds.  This isn't going to happen any time soon, and it wont happen at all if we cook our planet before we've got the means to escape from it!  Think about it - we're not that special in the great universal scheme of things.

The UN Secretary General has declared climate change a global "emergency"

You care.  We all do if we put aside our selfish ways for a moment.  But, because of government's unhealthy relationship with polluting industries, the major parties simply cannot be trusted to do anything useful about reducing greenhouse emissions.  They will not do what is necessary until the crisis has become too overwhelming to ignore.  This is why we need the influence of people like Gary Warden in our senate.

On November 24th: 

Vote for the Climate Change Coaliton.

Vote below the line to specify your own preferences. 

The major parties cannot be trusted to do anything substantial on this issue - we are fools to think otherwise.

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Walk against Warming

by Claire 11/13/2007 8:00:00 AM

100,000 people took to the streets Australia-wide yesterday in the Walk against Warming, demanding immediate action from our politicians on carbon reduction.  Here's the ABC news report about it.  Not surprisingly Western Australia doesn't get a mention, but we were there in Fremantle, and so were thousands of others (about 5000). It was hot, really hot.

The Liberal party didn't bother to show up to say their piece, but then that's not surprising either given their complete denial of the issue - you weren't really fooled by the "Climate Clever" ads were you?  What did disappoint me was the ABC radio news reports this morning giving plenty of air time to Steve Thomas, the State shadow minister for Transport & the Environment, criticising Transperth for putting on free transport for the day and accusing the Labor state govt of politicising the Climate Change issue.

How depressing. Our politicians really have got a very long way to go before climate change is seen as a bipartisan issue, and there's no time left for inaction. 



Life | Politics

Vote below the line and bypass dirty preference deals

by Claire 11/9/2007 4:39:00 AM

The Senate Group Voting tickets (preference flows) for the various candidates in this coming Federal Election has been released and some of the preference orderings are creating quite a stir amongst those who know and care about these things.

I wasn't one of those people until recently.  I used to be one of the 95% of voters who vote "above the line", trusting the flow of preferences to the party who I voted for.  But I've since found out that blind trust isn't such a good thing in this case, because the preference deals that the party you vote for has made may conflict badly with your own ideals, and even the policies of the party you're voting for.  Especially if it's a fledgling party faced with the choice of using the system to get a boost, or wasting time & effort on a campaign that has almost no hope of succeeding.  It's a corrupt system, one that obviously needs to be changed.  

So my advice to anyone who'll listen is:  Wake up!  Stop trusting the system, vote below the line, numbering every box in your order of preference, and then go home and watch the election on TV knowing that your vote really counted for something.



So what exactly is "Clean Coal" anyway?

by Claire 11/2/2007 7:00:00 AM

The libs are really pushing this "Clean Coal" thing at the moment in the runup to the election.  It all sounds very nice, like they're acknowledging that global warming is a problem, and that they're doing something about it while at the same time protecting the workers in the coal industry. 

But what exactly is Clean Coal anyway?

I'm not one for watching commercial TV so I might have missed out on the detailed explanation that I'm sure we've all been given so that we can make a truly informed choice when we go to vote.

So I looked it up, and apparently it's about capturing the nasty CO2 emissions as the coal is burnt to boil water to run the machines that make this country go, and then storing the stuff in the ground somewhere, or maybe underwater. 

But the trouble is that there's so much of it!  My understanding is that for every tonne of coal burnt, 3 tonnes of CO2 are produced, and an ever increasing quantity of coal is dug up and burnt every day.  So the quantity of CO2 to bury must be extraordinary.

Here's Doctor Karl Kruszelnicki take on it.

It's not the magic bullet the major parties are trying to sell us.  We can't go on squandering electricity in the happy knowledge that it'll all be ok now cos clean coal's come to the rescue. 

The reasons why we should embrace non-polluting power generation are very compelling, and it's all very, very possible.

Vote 1 the Climate Change Coalition on November 24th! 

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