March News and Events from across our federation, the flood frontlines, Ukraine, WOTCH Court Case, School Strike 4 Climate and much more...
The news from south east Queensland and northern NSW is devastating. Flooding is now moving further south.
Among the harrowing stories of loss and destruction, there are many of mutual aid, solidarity, empathy and bravery. As author Rebecca Solnit explained so beautifully in her book ‘A Paradise Built in Hell’, during and after disasters, it is the self initiative and self organising of affected communities that does some of the best work at emergency relief and long term recovery.
NSW/QLD Floods. This is what climate change looks like.
We need to talk about climate change.
'This is what climate change looks like. Big weather, tumbling records, one extreme following another. And it's going to get worse.'
Australia needs to get serious about climate action. That starts with setting science based emission reduction targets.
Photo: Coraki, NSW in the recent climate floods
The IPCC WGII Sixth Assessment Report
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change (IPCC) WGII Sixth Assessment Report was released recently (and is available here).
The take home message is:Further climate change is inevitable, with the rate and magnitude of impact largely dependent on the emission reduction pathways that we choose. Time is running out if we want to act.
The report says: "the scientific evidence is unequivocal: climate change is a threat to human well-being and the health of the planet. Any further delay in concerted global action will miss a brief and rapidly closing window to secure a liveable future."
The Chapter on Australasia (available here) has a considerable amount of detail on likely impacts of continued global warming on fire regimes around Australia. Some of these are summarised below, as are ideas on how we should respond. The report looks at both observed impacts and predicted future impacts (applying a level of certainty to each of these).
Could the Ukraine conflict lead to one of the world's worst nuclear disasters?
Over the past week the Russian military has taken control of the Chernobyl nuclear site in Ukraine and there have been two near-misses with military attacks threatening radioactive waste sites.
But the greatest nuclear hazards lie ahead and concern Ukraine's operating nuclear power reactors. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said on March 2:
"The situation in Ukraine is unprecedented and I continue to be gravely concerned. It is the first time a military conflict is happening amidst the facilities of a large, established nuclear power program."
"I have called for restraint from all measures or actions that could jeopardise the security of nuclear and other radioactive material, and the safe operation of any nuclear facilities in Ukraine, because any such incident could have severe consequences, aggravating human suffering and causing environmental harm." (read Jim Green in RenewEconomy)
A nuclear war is closer than it has been in 30 years, billions of taxpayers money are destined for nuclear submarines as part of the AUKUS deal, the nuclear industry is lobbying hard to greenwash nuclear power as a misguided climate solution, a new uranium mine is preparing the Mulga Rock site in WA and a nuclear waste dump is proposed in SA, both without the consent of the traditional custodians. The work of the Nuclear Free Collective is as relevant as ever.
With the Russian attacks on Ukraine intensifying, we are about to learn what happens when nuclear-powered nations go to war, putting nuclear power plants at risk of deliberate or accidental military strikes and thus risking a Chernobyl scale catastrophe. The effects of such a nuclear risk and the consequences on the health care system are set out in the new ICAN Report- No place to hide: nuclear weapons and the collapse of health care systems. For more news on the threat of nuclear in the unfolding conflict check out Nuclear Free News
Watch the recording of our latest event as part of the Sustainable Living Festival: Is Nuclear Power a viable climate solution for Australia?
Related to the nuclear dump, the writing is on the wall ‒ Kimba radioactive concerns are expressed on posters put up all over Adelaide CBD (see pictures) in the lead up to the March 19 SA Election. The best way that you can support the Traditional Custodians' legal challenge is by contributing here.
WOTCH is in court this week!
Wildlife of the Central Highlands (WOTCH) is in the Victorian Supreme Court for three weeks seeking to protect threatened species affected by the Black Summer bushfires.
Represented by Environmental Justice Australia, WOTCH is arguing that VicForests is acting unlawfully by continuing to log their habitat.
The trial has begun.
Today Richard Knowles QC, counsel for WOTCH, delivered our opening submissions. He outlined the extent of the Black Summer fires and their devastating impact on the four key threatened species in our case, after they had already endured dramatic declines prior to the bushfires.
He also put forward WOTCH's allegations that VicForests has not applied timber harvesting prescriptions that avoid serious or irreversible damage to fire-affected species.
The court also heard that there is significant agreement between experts for both parties, including that 'current harvesting practices are not ecologically sustainable, cause severe declines in [Greater Glider] populations at coupes scales and require significant modification' and that 'there is great uncertainty about the effectiveness of the prescription measures [for the Sooty and Powerful Owl]'.
You can also read the ABC coverage of the first day: Trial begins for VicForests accused of unlawful logging activity threatening wildlife
A generous donor will be matching all donations from today until the end of the trial, up to $15,000!
Save The Date - Tour De Carmichael 2022!
We’re excited to announce that the Tour De Carmichael - Cycle for Country will be happening again this year!
Join Coedie on Wangan and Jagalingou Country from May 23-27 for the trip of a lifetime.
This 5 day guided cultural cycle is your chance to learn about Wangan and Jagalingou culture, participate in the history making Waddananggu ceremony and see for yourself what is at risk from Adani’s destructive coal mine.
School Strike for Climate
School Strike 4 Climate is getting ready to mobilise thousands of young people again on the streets over the next few months as now, it is more important than ever for students to continue the fight for climate justice!
Despite the clear science our politicians continue to accept massive political donations from the Fossil Fuel Industry and ignore the policy needed to protect our futures, protect first nations lands and protect our environment. Young people should not feel that this upcoming election is our last chance to save our futures, yet we have come to that point and so we must take a stand!
That is why on March 25 we are striking and in the lead-up to the Election we are taking action across the country!
On March 25, we will be joining hundreds of thousands of students across the world in the Global #ClimateStrike to demand world leaders fight for #PeopleNotProfit! Many of our local groups are planning huge strikes for March 25 to show that young people are standing for their futures and to send our politicians a clear message demanding Climate Action! Will you join us on March 25?
Our Election Actions are a range of diverse climate actions that local groups across the country will be hosting such as climate forums, artistic expressions of climate protest, activities which help students register to vote, fossil fool fiestas and much more! We will be sending a clear message to voters as this election, we are asking people to stand up to our politicians and #VoteForOurFutures. Will you join us at our Election Actions?
We are demanding an end fossil fuel handouts & political donations as well as continuing to demand;
- Net Zero by 2030 which means no new coal, oil or gas projects.
- 100% renewable energy generation and exports by 2030
- Fund a Just Transition and Job Creation for all Fossil Fuel Workers and their communities
As we get closer to the Federal Election, it is now more important than ever for us to fight for climate justice and demand that our politicians stand for #PeopleNotProfit or be voted out because we deserve better than this!
How can you support us?
- Find your nearest Climate Strike or Election Action
- Sign-up to our emailing list
- Donate to our movement
HESTA! Dump Fossil Fuels
HESTA, the superannuation fund for the health and community sector, paints itself as ethical and sustainable.
HESTA even uses School Strike 4 Climate imagery in its advertising (without SS4C consent). But HESTA fails to mention it has $2 billion invested in fossil fuels including hundreds of millions invested in oil and gas giants Santos and Woodside.
Friends of the Earth Melbourne 2022 Info Night
For anyone in Narrm/Melbourne, we have an exciting in-person event coming up two weeks from today… Join us on Tuesday March 15 from 6-8pm at the Victorian Trades Hall for our Info Night to kick off 2022!
With both a state and federal election approaching, 2022 is going to be a crucial year for our climate, communities, wildlife, and the places we love. Come along to hear about what FoE Melbourne’s passionate community campaigns have planned for the year, and how you can get involved.
Aerial Photo: Race to Zero Emissions, Sat 19 March
Friends of the Earth and local environment groups are organising a creative action to send a strong signal to all political parties: When it comes to tackling the climate crisis, we’re in a race to zero emissions.
At 1pm on Saturday the 19th of March, community members will gather at the Box Hill Athletics Club for a choreographed aerial photo.
We will use the 100-metre-sprint track to mark where each political party stands in the race to zero emissions. The images will be used in posters and flyers, and hopefully featured on the nightly news.
It will be a great afternoon with the family too, with some fun activities for kids, food and coffee carts. The event will be an opportunity to meet other people who support greater leadership on climate.
'Good Grief' Series In Support Of Our Work
War, floods, devastating IPCC reports... It can be hard to know where to turn. That is why we run Good Grief groups to create communities where we can hold space together to share our feelings about what is going on in the world.
Climate grief, eco-anxiety, despair, dread, overwhelm, paralysis, guilt, frustration, anger... These are just some of the heavy feelings that can be evoked by the systemic predicaments we find ourselves caught up in.
The Good Grief Network program, "10 Steps to Personal Resilience & Empowerment in a Chaotic Climate," creates a space for us to lean into and move through painful feelings about the state of the world together so that we may continue our work for a better future.
Trained Good Grief FLOW facilitator, No More Gas Collective Member and Gas Free Vic Network Organiser Liz Wade will be running an affiliate online Good Grief program, along with insightful Act on Climate Collective member Ingrid Jolley, Tuesday evenings, 6:30-8:30pm, 10 weekly step sessions, beginning 22 March.
Join the sessions to share, be heard, and listen, to deconstruct cultural narratives, build skills and knowledge, and reorient towards meaningful efforts while growing resilient communities.
Running in support of our No More Gas Collective and our Gas Free Vic work.
Pacific Regional Solidarity in Chain Reaction
The next edition of Chain Reaction will feature the theme, "Pacific Regional Solidarity" in the face of the climate emergency. A number of the contributions are based on a series of webinars with presentations by well known Pacific leaders and community activists organised by Climate Frontlines towards the end of 2020 and in July 2021. Keep a lookout for information about a special event to launch the edition.
Published since 1975, Chain Reaction has built up a loyal audience and earned a reputation as a progressive magazine at the forefront of environmental and social debates in Australia. You can read a short history of Chain Reaction here.
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