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IS S U E

29 J u ly 2015

BCCAN Bulletin

BIMONTHLY JOURNAL OF THE BATHURST COMMUNITY CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK

this issue 200 Plants and animals P.1 Upcoming Events P.2 BCCAN MISSION A community based network of organisations and individuals that work together to promote action on climate change & equitable & sustainable development. BCCAN AIMS To involve the Bathurst Community & liaise & communicate on their behalf with Council. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions Achieve sustainable & equitable development in the Bathurst Region Adoption of renewable energy technologies throughout the Bathurst region Bio-sequestration of CO2 Raise public awareness of associated problems

Solar and wind could power the world P.2 Papal encyclical: a stand on the Environment P.3 Phasing out fossil fuels by end of century P.3 When Pres. Obama met Sir. Attenborough P.4 Pedal Power movies at Rahamim P.4

BCCAN Bathurst Bicentennial - 200 Plants and Animals Exhibition

Photos by Chris Marshall and Tim Bergen

As mentioned in the previous newsletter, one of BCCAN's main community awareness projects this year is "200 Plants and Animals" - a response to Bathurst's 200th year celebrations. There'll be an exhibition in the Coles Arcade in October of photographs, paintings, pressings, bones, feathers, nests ... all sorts of things relating to our local flora and fauna. If you have something you'd like included in the exhibition, email the event organiser Tracy Sorensen on tsoren@tpg.com.au. Tracy herself explains the exhibition: Have you ever seen an ant lion? It's an insect that feeds on ants. To trap them, it builds a depression in the ground with crumbly walls. As the ant slides down the wall, the ant lion flicks sand in its face, pounces, eats, and licks its lips. Sorry, it probably doesn't have lips. What, exactly, does an ant lion look like? Come along to our exhibition later this year and find out! The ant lion is one of the smaller creatures that will feature in BCCAN's 200 Plants and Animals exhibition in an empty shop in the Coles arcade opposite the Post Office in Howick Street October 16-25. The exhibition is BCCAN's response to the Bathurst bicentennial. We wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate the non-human life that has sustained everything we have done in this region over the past 200 years - and for millennia before that. It's also a way of making the issue of climate change "approachable" for ordinary Bathurstians. We're holding it in the CBD where people do their shopping – taking the message to people as they go about their daily lives. The forces of colonialism, industry, mining, agriculture and growing human populations all powered by fossil fuels - have had their impact right here, for good and for ill. Our western society has made outstanding achievements, but these have come at a cost.


UPCOMING EVENTS Next BCCAN steering committee MeetingRoom C7 106 15 July 2015 Bathurst Information and Neighbourhood Centre, (BINC) Russell Street at 12:30

Next Building & Energy APT meeting Tuesday 4 August 2015 at the School of Teacher Education building, Charles Sturt Uni, Bathurst at 5pm

Community APT meeting (200 plants and animals) Tuesday 21 July 2015 at 17 Torch Street Bathurst at 5pm

Pedal Power Movie Sunday 9th August 2015 2:30pm At Rahamim Busby St Bathurst

(cont.) We need to face and understand these costs and think about how we'd like to proceed into the future. But these can seem like large, overwhelming ideas, especially for busy people, and especially when our political leaders are sending mixed messages. But the ant lion can capture the imagination, and then a conversation can start... According to local historian Robin McLachlan, Charles Darwin observed our local ant lion during his visit to Bathurst in 1836. Noting its similarity to the ant lions back home, he pondered over the Invisible Hand (evolution) at work in shaping living things. Dr McLachlan's comments about the ant lion appeared on the Facebook group that we have set up ahead of the exhibition (search for "200 Plants and Animals"). The Facebook group has attracted keen photographers, not all of them members of BCCAN, who have been uploading shots of all sorts of local animals and plants. These include Tim Bergen, who has photographed the iconic white wallaroo of Mt Panorama. The exhibition will include paintings and other art works, photography and biological specimens like feathers and bones. It will include both native and introduced species to create a rounded picture of the non-human living beings of the Bathurst region in the past, present and imagined future. Award-winning artist Nic Mason is painting the white wallaroo for the exhibition (it will be available for sale) in portrait style, presented in a gilt frame like so many other local worthies. Get involved!

Solar and wind energy can power the world: Nuclear power is NO alternative – Stephen Pirie Last night I listened to a (seemingly) well-reasoned presentation by Rob Parker, President of the Australian Nuclear Association, as to why we need nuclear power in Australia. On the surface he made a solid presentation, arguing that nuclear was the only viable option for mitigating the increasing negative consequences of climate change. His presentation was so good, in fact, that some who define themselves as 'green' commented that they were now convinced nuclear needed to be part of the energy mix going forward. What I found to be astonishing, and to put it bluntly, disturbing, was the ease with which the audience was won over, without a modicum of creative thought to the alternatives. There are many articles online which clearly argue for solar being entirely sufficient to power the world. An article in The Ecologist explains that enough sunlight falls on the earth's landmass around every 40 minutes to power the planet for a year. To put this another way, if we covered a fraction of the Sahara desert in solar panels we could power the world many times over. So why the easy push-over? I asked one audience member, "what do you want, a clean renewable-energy future, or one that poses various risks?" To which they replied, "it doesn't have to be either one or the other, but a mix of both", which was almost verbatim what Mr Parker presented to the audience. Mention was made that we need a "Snowy Mountains scheme for nuclear power" in Australia. A Snowy Mountains scheme for Solar would produce the desired 'renewable energy future' and in far less time than any nuclear program, without the attendant risks. Mention was made that solar (both PV and thermal) has a higher carbon footprint (resources, energy to manufacture) than nuclear. Like the Snowy Mountain scheme? Here’s an idea: build a couple of your "clean", "reliable" nuclear power stations, and focus their output solely for churning out gazillions of PV panels, or thermal arrays sufficient to power the whole of Australia. Then shut the things down ... well, okay, we might then need to pour a few million tons of concrete over the top of them, to stop them from ever leaking. If they melt down to the core and out the other side, that's China's problem. Have we lost the innate human ability to dream, innovate and create a better world, one that we genuinely want, instead of accepting second-best, potentially dangerous sources of energy? Are we too lazy to marshal the creativity and determination to create a clean renewableenergy future?


Pope Francis’ Encyclical on Climate Change …. take swift and unified global action On 18 June this year Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato si' - On the care of our common home” was officially released by the Vatican. In it, the Pope critiques consumerism and irresponsible development, laments environmental degradation and anthropogenic climate change, and calls all people of the world to take ‘swift and unified global action’. Whilst Pope Francis acknowledges that it is not easy to achieve consensus, he calls for discussion and dialogue on environmental issues and for humanity to shoulder its responsibility. The title of the encyclical calls on 13th-century St Francis of Assisi’s Canticle of the Sun, a poem and prayer in which God is praised for the creation of the different creatures and aspects of the Earth. Pope Francis reportedly has said that the encyclical was not really an environmental document at all. The warming of the planet is a symptom of a greater problem: that the developed world's indifference to the destruction of the planet as they pursue shortterm economic gains. This has resulted in a “throwaway culture" in which unwanted items and unwanted people. The real problem, according to Francis, lies in the fact that we see "other living beings as mere objects subjected to arbitrary human domination" and do not realize that "the ultimate purpose of other creatures is not found in us." Francis "describe[s] a relentless exploitation and destruction of the environment, for which he blamed apathy, the reckless pursuit of profits, excessive faith in technology and political shortsightedness". It "unambiguously accepts the scientific consensus that changes in the climate are largely man-made" and states that "climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day" and warns of "unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with serious consequence for all of us" if prompt climate change mitigation efforts are not undertaken. The encyclical highlights the role of fossil fuels in causing climate change. "We know that technology based on the use of highly polluting fossil fuels – especially coal, but also oil and, to a lesser degree, gas – needs to be progressively replaced without delay", Francis says. "Until greater progress is made in developing widely accessible sources of renewable energy, it is legitimate to choose the less harmful alternative or to find short-term solutions." The encyclical's comments on climate change are consistent with the scientific consensus on climate change. The encyclical states that developed nations are morally obligated to assist developing nations in combating the climate-change crisis. Poor nations, the pontiff says, are illprepared to adapt to the effects of Climate Change and will bear the brunt of its effects. Linking the issues of poverty, which has been a major issue in his papacy, and the environment, he insists that the world must "hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor".

G7 leaders agree to phase out fossil fuel use by the end of the century The G7 leading industrial nations have agreed to cut greenhouse gases by phasing out the use of fossil fuels by the end of the century, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has announced, in a move hailed as historic by some environmental campaigners. Persuading climate recalcitrants such as Japan and Canada to sign up for phasing out fossil fuels by 2100 is a significant achievement by Angela Merkel.


(cont.)

On the final day of talks, Merkel said the leaders had committed themselves to the need to “decarbonise the global economy in the course of this century”. They also agreed on a global target for limiting the rise in average global temperatures to a maximum of 2C over pre-industrial levels. Environmental lobbyists described the announcement as a hopeful sign that plans for complete decarbonisation could be decided on in Paris climate talks later this year. But they criticised the fact that leaders had baulked at Merkel’s proposal that they should have agreed to immediate binding emission targets. In a 17-page communique issued after the summit at Schloss Elmau under the slogan “Think Ahead, Act Together”, the G7 leaders agreed to back the recommendations of the IPCC, the United Nations’ climate change panel, to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions at the upper end of a range of 40% to 70% by 2050, using 2010 as the baseline.

President Obama interviews Sir David Attenborough on the future of the planet

President Obama meets Sir David Attenborough at the White House to discuss Climate Change and other Environmental issues

The world's most powerful man, US President Barack Obama, interviews the world's most acclaimed naturalist, Sir David Attenborough, about the world's most critical environmental issue: Climate Change. "I don't have much patience for anyone who denies that this challenge is real," said President Obama during the discussion. "We don't have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society” he added. You can watch the interview in full on ABC i-view (http://iview.abc.net.au/programs/when-attenborough-metobama/ZW0395A001S00)

Contact BCCAN Website: www.bccan.org.au e-mail address: bxclimateaction@gmail.com Facebook: Bathurst Community Climate Action Network Twitter: @bccan

BCCAN President Name: Tracey Carpenter Email: havannah@bigpond.net.au Phone: 0408228946

BCCAN Vice President Name: Keith Hungerford Email: keith.hungerford@gmail.com

BCCAN Secretary Name: Bob Hill Email: bxclimateaction@gmail.com

Pedal Power Films The Rahamim Ecology Centre in Busby Street South Bathurst, holds a movie matinee every second Sunday of the Month at 2:30pm, screening movies and documentaries with an Environmental or Community theme. BCCAN is now working together with Rahamim in organising these movies and is inviting BCCAN members to attend the movie screening, a donation is sought to cover lighting, heating and movie royalty expenses. August Movie - The Moo Man Modern British dairy farms must get bigger and bigger or go under but Farmer Stephen Hook decides to buck the trend. Instead he chooses to have a great relationship with his small herd of cows and ignore the big supermarkets and dairies. The result is a laugh-out-loud emotional roller-coaster of a film, a heart warming tearjerker about the incredible bonds between man, animal and countryside in a fast disappearing England Sunday 9th August 2:30pm Rahamim St, Josephs Mount, Busby Street

BCCAN Treasurer Name: Maria Liu Email: meilinl@hotmail.com

BCCAN Public Officer Name: Jock Roxborough Email: jro02437@bigpond.net.au

BCCAN Newsletter Editor Name: Laurana Smith Email: davidlaurana@gmail.com

BCCAN Newsletter July 2015  

Newsletter of Bathurst Community Climate Action Network. Published in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia.