Why on Earth should I involve myself in this?

Open letter to all citizens of Geelong:

Your city could use a hand from you now. Here is why

We have a choice. We can keep digging and drilling for coal, oil and gas to provide us with energy that pollutes. Or we can directly tap energy from the sun, wind, rivers and oceans which – once we have the equipment in place to harness it – will provide us with an abundance of free and clean energy, year after year after year.

Obviously the coal, oil and gas industry doesn’t think this is such a good idea, as they view action on climate change a threat to their profits. The industry even receives a hand-out from the government of more than $10 billion a year in subsidies. But to the rest of us, transitioning to renewable energy sources is not only economically beneficial, it also is healthier for our bodies and it will have a positive effect on the climate.

The global cost of continuing to rely on fossil fuels is more than five times the cost to abandon it, according to a study from University of Lethbridge.


Claims that investing in renewable energy is “a terrible expense” and that “climate change is not a problem” remind me of how the record industry back in the 1990s was desperately trying to protect their production of CDs, and how the tobacco companies were trying to make everyone believe that “there is no proven connection between smoking and cancer”.

We have moved on, because digital music distribution was a smarter option, and because we understand that cigarettes are unhealthy. Similarly, we can now embrace the renewable technologies because we know the old fossil fuels are getting more expensive, and at the same time destroying the very environment that we depend on.


There are lots of good developments to celebrate and opportunities to revive Geelong’s industry in the field of cleantech and renewable energy. Those who would like to exchange ideas and experiences in that direction are organising a ‘Renew Geelong Picnic’ in Eastern Park on Sunday 27th of April.

» More about that initiative on thesolution.org.au/picnic


Initiatives that will ‘renew Geelong’
We can provide you with more information and are ready for questions and interviews if you are interested in joining or reporting about this. The event is, for instance, promoting the Sea Dragon icon to create a wind-powered sculpture in the sea at the Waterfront, and Earthworkers – a project to start a new factory producing cleantech hardware in Geelong.

» See list of Solution Partners


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“Behavior change and community engagement is the next frontier in addressing climate change”
David Gershon, author and CEO of Empowerment Institute, USA. June 2013


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Robert Redford: “Demand clean energy right now!”


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Respectable institutions screaming an alarm

We hope you will agree with us that creating employment and addressing climate change is an important topic for Geelong.

It is time to confront the reality of climate change and take bold steps to transition to renewable energy – along with the guidelines of, among others, the World Bank and the United Nations, and their global government-supported initiative Sustainable Energy for All.

Institutions of science and bodies of the United Nations, even the World Bank, are as close as such influencial and respected institutions can be to screaming an alarm out to all of us.

On Monday 31 March 2014, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will publish the second part of its Fifth Assessment Report – the most comprehensive investigation into impact of climate change ever undertaken – and according to the British newspaper The Independent which has seen a leaked draft report from the UN panel, it is not good news.

“Official prophecy of doom: Global warming will cause widespread conflict, displace millions of people and devastate the global economy”, wrote the paper on Tuesday 18 March 2014.


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“I don’t want to be on that side where in 20 years time I’ll will be saying: “You know, I had a chance – and I didn’t do anything”.

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Science need a hand – could it be from you?

Have you ever considered what would happen if you stood up for the scientists who are warning us about the consequences of our CO2-emissions?

For a start, we could all make a decision to stop asserting factual inaccuracies by providing space and voice for confused individuals who claim that they know better than the United Nations’ climate panel, the Australian Climate Council, and numerous other scientific bodies.

It really does not take much research to understand the current conflicts of interest between the fossil fuel industry on one side and groups who are trying to come up with solutions to the carbon emission problem with investments in renewable energy on the other.


Continuously spreading confusion and doubt about the science of climate change obviously benefits those who have a vested interest in selling just a bit more oil.

The climate change issue is lacking leadership, and there is recognition as well as new, young readers to be won by showing some leadership on this. Anyone with an audience – publishers and newspapers, radio and tv broadcasters, writers, artists, football players – all have a bit of impact on the future of this city, and on how citizens of Geelong think about an issue. This gives anyone with an audience a responsibility to begin to speak up and show the way with taking concrete steps to address the issue of carbon air pollution.

One way of getting started with this could be to actively involve yourself or your organisation / business / media in the Renew Geelong event on 27 April which we would hereby like to invite you to do.

You can help distribute information about the event, and you can take active part on the day.

Poster for the event: earthday-poster_A4.pdf

» More info on  www.thesolution.org.au/picnic


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Recent press clippings


“Let’s make the right choice”

“We face great peril if we do nothing to avert the climate change crisis. Any sober assessment of the problem demonstrates that the costs of inaction will greatly outweigh the cost of action, and the sooner we start, the easier it will be to transition to a clean energy economy. Precisely what policy measures we should pursue to encourage that transition is a worthy matter of debate. But we cannot, and should not, continue to pretend that inaction is a viable strategy.

Since we know that climate change poses a real threat to us, what are we going to do about it? Do we want to be a leader in the transition to a clean energy economy, much as it was a leader in fossil fuel energy revolution of the 1800s? Or do we want to take the “wait and see” approach, knowing that doing so not only risks our climate, but also our country’s economic position in the race to a future powered by clean energy? It really is that stark a decision that we face. Let’s make the right choice.

Michael Mann, ‘How Scientists Are Moving Climate Change Conversation Forward, 27 March 2014




The Independent – 18 March 2014:
Official prophecy of doom: Global warming will cause widespread conflict, displace millions of people and devastate the global economy

“Leaked draft report from UN panel seen by The Independent is most comprehensive investigation into impact of climate change ever undertaken – and it’s not good news”

» www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/official-prophecy-of-doom-global-warming-will-cause-widespread-conflict-displace-millions-of-people-and-devastate-the-global-economy-9198171.html


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The New York Times – 18 March 2014:
Scientists Sound Alarm on Climate

“The new report is a recognition among scientists that they bear some responsibility for the confusion — that their well-meaning attempts to convey all the nuances and uncertainties of a complex field have obscured the core message about risks. The report reflects their resolve to try again, by clearing the clutter.”

» www.nytimes.com/2014/03/18/science/scientists-sound-alarm-on-climate.html


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“Australia’s multibillion-dollar mining, farming and tourism industries all face significant threats as worsening global warming causes more dangerous and extreme weather, the world’s leading climate science body will warn.

A final draft of a five-year assessment by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, seen by Fairfax Media, details the global impacts of intensifying climate change, including the displacement of hundreds of millions of people, reduced crop yields and the loss of trillions of dollars from the global economy.”

Sydney Morning Herald – 23 March 2014:
IPCC warns climate chaos will worsen, harming Australia’s economy

“The draft Australasia chapter outlines significant local threats if human-caused climate change is allowed to get worse, in particular that fire seasons, especially in southern Australia, will extend in high-risk areas. There is significant risk of increased damage and death from heatwaves caused by more frequent extreme high temperatures. Flood risks would be worse, with the draft report warning of increasing damage from inundation.”
Article by Tom Arup, Environment editor, The Age

» www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/ipcc-warns-climate-chaos-will-worsen-harming-australias-economy-20140322-35a4g.html


More information about  the problem with our collective air pollution


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So, next step: get involved!

» How you can help promote this event

» What we all can do to curb climate change

 


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