October 2023 Newsletter

As at 1October 2023 CO2 reading was 418.3 parts per million. Source NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).  Safe level is 350 parts per million

Solar on the up and up Australia’s rooftop solar market has hit a new high for the year, after 295MW of total monthly installations delivered the best August on record and put the national trend back on the up – and within striking distance of the market’s best year ever, in 2021. The market for PV installations of up to 100kW increased by 13 per cent (34MW) in month-on-month volume, jumping from 261MW in July to 295MW in August. https://reneweconomy.com.au/rooftop-solar-market-closes-out-winter-at-a-new-high-as-households-keep-going-big/

Even in winter On the last day of winter, Australia reached a record with renewables providing 38% of the power for this year https://reneweconomy.com.au/on-the-last-day-of-winter-australia-reached-record-37-5-pct-renewables-share-for-the-year/

Going EV The NSW Government’s incentive package claims to be the most generous of all the states to reduce barriers for EV uptake. Strategies include; phasing out stamp duty on eligible EVs; transitioning the NSW Government car fleet to EVs by 2030; investing $171 million on a network of ultra-fast charging stations. Unfortunately, it is also axing subsidies for EVs from January 2024 (one of the major factors that boosted the uptake of EVs in Norway). For more info https://www.nsw.gov.au/driving-boating-and-transport/nsw-governments-electric-vehicle-strategy 

Doing something about coral Coral bleaching events have become way too common. Australian scientists are researching nutritional supplements which will help reefs recover from bleaching events https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-09-03/sydney-scientist-fat-balls-coral-reef-research/102802724

Farmers seeing reason for optimism Farmers have been bearing the brunt of climate-induced drought, fire and floods, but some are seeing reason for optimism with the opportunities brought by renewable installation https://www.re-alliance.org.au/future_of_regional_aus  New legislation is bringing more rights for transmission line installations on farmer’s land  https://farmersforclimateaction.org.au/blog/2023/08/10/farmers-welcome-draft-rule-changes-for-transmission-projects/

Australia signs High Seas Treaty allowing for the creation of international marine parks on the world’s high seas

Woodside’s approval for seismic blasting for the Scarborough Gas project has been deemed illegal by the Federal court

More than 200 scientists have signed an open letter in The New York Times, calling on Australia to stop allowing new fossil fuel projects https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-09-20/australia-called-to-ramp-up-climate-ambitions-nyt-ad/102876940

Tanya Plibersek has approved another coal mine, Gregory Crinum Coal mine, on 31 August – the 4th since federal Labor gained government
Australia still has the highest per capita emissions from coal in the G20, as well as being the second biggest coal exporter in the world
Limiting global heating to 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels is becoming more difficult, according to a new report by the Climate Council, because weak emissions targets and new fossil fuel developments are pushing the Earth perilously close to the tipping point.
20% of Australian coalmines are able to significantly increase their emissions under Labor’s revamped safeguard mechanism, with some to receive a financial benefit while doing so.

GET ACTIVE Move Beyond Coal is one of the powerhouses (hehe) of activist groups on the coal industry. They are looking for volunteers to help out in the Support Hub. Lots of interesting things to be part of https://www.movebeyondcoal.com/volunteer
RALLY opposing extending the life of Eraring Power Station on 18 October 9-10.30am. Meet NSW Parliament House (6 Macquarie St, Sydney), then marching to the Origin AGM (176 Cumberland St, The Rocks)
GRANNY SMITH FESTIVAL  Saturday 21 October 9am-8.30pm  Eastwood https://www.ryde.nsw.gov.au/Events/Granny-Smith-Festival
FESTIVAL OF MOSMAN  Saturday 21 October. Snorkel at Chowder Bay 9.30-11am or 12.30-2pm. Seaside Scavenge and Sustainability Fair Saturday 28th October 10-2pm https://www.festivalofmosman.net/2023/
FREE WEBINAR with new CEO of NSW EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) on 24 October 1-2pm. Register at https://events.humanitix.com/join-tony-chappel-nsw-epa-ceo-to-hear-about-nsw-epa-s-new-directions/tickets
COAL LOADER – LIVING FUTURES SUSTAINABILTY FESTIVAL Sunday 29th October 10-4pm at Waverton (with Costa!) https://www.northsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/event/208/living-futures-festival-day-at-the-coal-loader

This is why we need a water trigger Tamboran fracking company had contaminated water sprayed around its gas site. Workers are concerned about their health and the environment. Sign the petition asking Tanya Plibersek to extend the water trigger to fracking in NT. https://www.lockthegate.org.au/protect_nt_water
Sign this letter to Federal Environment Minister and your federal MP asking they protect the huge volume of water Tamboran wants to use for fracking. https://fossilfuelwatch.good.do/fixourclimatelaws/contact/

Federal government
Government is refusing to release the report it commissioned on how climate change will affect our national security.https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/aug/30/office-of-national-intelligence-climate-crisis-security-threats-report-anthony-albanese-labor-government-refuses-to-release
Australian government must, following a court case, acknowledge that climate change is a “systemic risk” that may affect the value of its bonds. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-08-30/australian-government-climate-change-risks-to-bonds-court-case/102791964
Strong nature laws needed Sign this petition by Birdlife Australia for stronger laws to protect our amazing birdlife https://www.actforbirds.org/stopextinctions/petition
Stop approving coal mines, minister! Sign this letter to the federal minister and your MP asking they take climate change seriously and stop approving coal and gas mines. https://www.movebeyondcoal.com/whattheheckplibersek
Australia has not put forward a new substantial plan to act on climate change. Australian engineers and technology scientists are asking the government to act so our carbon footprint can be wiped out by 2035, not 2050. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/sep/20/australia-should-wipe-out-climate-footprint-by-2035-instead-of-2050-scientists-urge

NSW government wants to extend the life of the Eraring power station which will cost taxpayers $3 billion and which will make achieving carbon emissions targets impossible. Send an email asking it not go ahead.  https://www.suehigginson.org/stop_eraring

Australia’s emissions continue to rise, up 4.1m tonnes since last year, meaning we can’t meet the target set only a year ago. https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/economy/2023/09/02/australias-greenhouse-emissions-are-still-rising

How do environmental scientists cope with what they know about climate change? Read this sobering article by Joëlle Gergis, an Australian scientist who was a contributor to the last IPCC report. https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2023/september/jo-lle-gergis/summer-ahead

Gas lobby pushing back as momentum grows for houses to get off gas https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-08-29/push-to-ban-new-household-gas-730/102783164

Carbon credit speculators could find they have stranded assets. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/aug/24/carbon-credit-speculators-could-lose-billions-as-offsets-deemed-worthless-aoe

No agriculture, no future why our agriculture needs to be protected from fossil fuel mining. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/aug/28/no-civilisation-without-agriculture-david-pocock-says-gas-fields-show-environmental-laws-are-broken According to the latest Treasury modelling, climate change could cost Australia $1.8b in crop yields by 2063 if further action is not taken.

Traditional fire management a better technique to avoid wildfires.https://theconversation.com/indigenous-rangers-are-burning-the-desert-the-right-way-to-stop-the-wrong-kind-of-intense-fires-from-raging-211900

Adani the extent of its corrupt business continues to be revealed https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/aug/31/modi-linked-adani-family-secretly-invested-in-own-shares-documents-suggest-india
MSCI’s index rankings are hugely influential. Trillions of dollars in investments are tied to these indexes including your superannuation funds. Sign the petition asking MSCI not to include Adani in any of it indexes. https://actions.eko.org/a/msci-adani/

$100b over 10 years that’s how much is needed to re-industrialise Australia and fast track us to renewables and enable us to compete in future world markets. And that’s less than what federal governments have contributed in fossil fuel subsidies each decade.
Read these two articles by Saul Griffiths, the architect of the plan now put in place by the US government to tackle climate change. https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2023/09/09/lessons-the-us-energy-transition and https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/economy/2023/09/16/how-build-green-economic-boom

Micro-grids in remote locations ARENA will fund micro-grids for remote and regional Aboriginal communities. https://arena.gov.au/blog/microgrids-cheaper-cleaner-reliable-energy-for-remote-communities/

Tandem solar cells are the next step in PVs and can convert a much greater portion of sunlight into electricity than conventional solar cells. But there are some challenges. https://theconversation.com/solar-panel-technology-is-set-to-be-turbo-charged-but-first-a-few-big-roadblocks-have-to-be-cleared-210723

Life cycle of polyester clothes a big carbon emitter in its production and transport https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-08-29/polyester-t-shirt-lifecycle-carbon-emissions-environment/102726502

Stronger concrete using coffee grounds  Australian engineers have found a way of making concrete 30% stronger by including coffee grounds https://www.sustainabilitymatters.net.au/content/waste/article/research-from-coffee-to-concrete-701701802

Fossil fuel generators can they be re-purposed to help stabilise the grid as we move to more renewables? https://arena.gov.au/blog/born-again-can-fossil-fuel-generators-gain-a-second-life/

What mix of EV chargers is best for Australia? https://arena.gov.au/blog/op-ed-when-it-comes-to-charging-your-ev-how-fast-is-fast-enough/

A circular Li-ion battery industry is the focus of a number of groups. https://www.sustainabilitymatters.net.au/content/energy/article/the-drive-for-a-more-circular-li-ion-battery-industry-1513425506

Lithium-ion batteries what causes them to catch fire? https://theconversation.com/what-causes-lithium-ion-battery-fires-why-are-they-so-intense-and-how-should-they-be-fought-an-expert-explains-214470