Mundaring Divests!

Wonderful news !!! (and MiT & our mates at 350.org helped make it happen). There’s been lots to celebrate this week and this one is just the icing on the cake. Changes to the Investment Policy (that will facilitate fossil fuel divestment) were approved at the Council Meeting last night. Here’s the media statement:

“A change to the Investment Policy, including fossil fuel divestment, is on the agenda at an ordinary council meeting at Shire of Mundaring on Tuesday 12 September.
Eleven councils in WA have already divested, including the Cities of Bayswater and Swan. WA’s biggest council, City of Stirling, formally endorsed divestment in May 2016 after a decade of successfully investing 70% of its funds in fossil fuel free banks.
Community group Mundaring in Transition, in conjunction with 350.org, has been working with councillors and staff to achieve this change at the shire.
Local resident and member Jenny Currell said fossil fuel divestment takes the fossil fuel industry to task for its role in the climate crisis. “Divestment sends a strong message that councils are committed to the health and security of current and future ratepayers and residents,” she said.
If Shire of Mundaring passes the new Investment Policy – by divesting – it will be among more than 500 institutions globally, representing funds of US$5.2 trillion, who are committed to making sure money is not invested in fossil fuels.
Jenny said the matter was also about environmental and financial sustainability. “Not only will it cost the council nothing, we hope that the fossil fuel divestment movement can help break the hold that the fossil fuel industry has on our economy and government.”
Last year was the hottest year on record globally. Prior to that, the hottest year was 2015. The bushfire season has increased by 20% in the last 35 years.
Michael Fabiankovits, a 350.org volunteer, said securing a safe climate means that 80% of all existing fossil fuel reserves must remain in the ground, yet many institutions continue to invest in these reserves.
“Although there are major environmental impacts it is also an ethical issue due the lasting effects of a warming climate on future generations, people in other parts of the world and other species,” Michael said.
For more information, contact Jenny Currell at Mundaring in Transition on 0418 899 391 or Michael Fabiankovits (350.org volunteer) 0414 802 998.”

“The Future of Energy” – our fabulous Sept movie

If you weren’t able to make it to our featured movie on Wed, Sept 23, don’t worry: you can rent it online https://vimeo.com/ondemand/futureofenergy

It’s a very vibrant, positive doco about renewable energy. The community-driven projects – especially one involving students, retraining long term unemployed people and home owners – were really interesting. There are also whole cities going 100% renewable (sometimes rebuilding after natural disasters) and showing the rest of the world it’s totally possible!

 

foe no laurels

 

The Future of Energy: Lateral Power to the People (65) from Future of Energy on Vimeo.

The Future of Energy is a powerful documentary that captures the movement across the United States to transition to renewable energy and what everyday people are doing to help foster that shift. It’s a positive film about the renewable energy revolution, and a love story about the countless individuals and communities that are re-imagining their relationships with the planet and with each other.

Featuring:

Bill McKibben, Jamie Henn, Danny Kennedy, Jeremy Rifkin, Joanna Macy, Pandora Thomas, CA Governor Jerry Brown, Mark Jacobson, Mayors Bob Dixon and R. Rex Parris who have transitioned their cities to 100% renewable energy, and more.

Climate Change and Health – summary

 

lancet

Summary of Jim Thom’s August presentation

At our movie night in August we reviewed the Lancet’s recently published report on Climate Change and Health.

It’s a comprehensive document with over 60 contributors mostly from Europe and China and covers most aspects of climate change and health. The direct effects are caused by:

  • Heat Waves
  • Droughts
  • Floods
  • Extreme weather events
  • Fire

and the indirect effects:

  • Air pollution – heart and lung diseases
  • Water Quality – cholera, diarrhoea
  • Land use change – no longer suitable for agriculture, famine
  • Ecological change – spread of diseases such as malaria and dengue fever

These direct and indirect features interact and are also affected by social conditions such as poverty, general health status and the availability of health services.

These health effects are already upon us (eg an estimated 7 million die from air pollution every year) and if we continue on our current trajectory they will become progressive more pronounced and “may become incompatible with organised global community.”

If we are to avoid this two actions are essential in the short term. Firstly we must stop burning coal and secondly we need to put a real price on CO2 emissions. The good news is that we already have the technology to move to renewable energy for the generation of electricity.

Barriers to change include national and commercial vested interests, the inertia of our current systems and public opinion. Because climate change is a complex issue which is perceived to be in the future people tend not to connect with it and are distracted by more immediate and easy to grasp issues.

Throughout the article mention is made of the power of smaller groups to create local change and to be more locally resilient.  This is very much aligned with the principles of the international transition movement. It will be necessary for both bottom-up as well as top-down change if we are to avoid catastrophic warming of the planet.

The full report can be read at:
http://www.thelancet.com/commissions/climate-change-2015