- Dear Sir,
The importance of railways in a warming world – by far the most efficient form of transport and 4 to 5 times more efficient than road in terms of greenhouse gas emissions – is not generally realised. Bairnsdale needs the train.
The letter from Deputy Premier Peter Ryan (BA 10.5) is barely an adequate response or apology for the train being shut down for 6 months. The railways need forward planning, effective and continuing maintenance and investment so that stoppages such as these do not occur.
That these basic engineering principles are lacking in such an important public enterprise is obvious.
Our local member Mr. Bull has the balance of power in the current parliament. Even a threat to use that power may mean we get the train back a bit quicker.
Thank you for your letter detailing your (party’s) proposed ‘blue print’ on C(oal)S(eam)G(as). Although it was heart warming to realise that CSG has become an election issue for you, I am confused by the following statements at the House of Representatives debate (23/3/13):
Darren Chester, ‘CSG has the potential to secure Australia’s energy self sufficiency’
Darren Chester, ‘to turn (our) back on CSG would be fool hardy’
Where does the National Party stand on this issue (it’s all a bit confusing) and are you going to permit Mr Ryan to give Gippsland to Esso so that they can continue to sink Lakes Entrance and 90 Mile beach below Sea Level?
Please let me know if your office requires more scientific evidence on the issue.
There was a demonstration of Mallacoota residents and their supporters against the proposed development at Bastion Point in Bairnsdale today. They pointed out that “3b” proposal of the East Gippsland Shire was the worst option possible and that the development benefited few people and was a “white elephant”. To highlight this a large blow-up white elephant was erected in Main St Bairnsdale and the case against the development was clearly presented to TV, radio and the print media. The demonstration then proceeded to the Shire Offices where the message was then presented to the Mayor. From a climate change perspective all developments on the coast are threatened with long term sea level rise and thus in the medium to long term a waste of money.
- What is the newsletter for? To promote climate change as a major election issue, to offer solar and renewable energy alternatives as a partial solution to the problem and to spread the word of my candidature.
- Who it is being sent to? To people in the electorate, those with connections to people in Gippsland, sympathetic groups and the local media.
- Who am I? I have lived in Gippsland for 40 years and been politically active for most of that time. In the 1983 election I stood as a candidate for the Nuclear Disarmament Party on the threat of a nuclear winter. Since then I have written extensively on Gippsland regional history and other matters including climate change. I stood as a ‘climate emergency’ independent in the 2008 and 2012 local government elections and in 2010 in the state seat of Morwell.
- Why bother? Climate change is happening now and is getting progressively worse. Many of the current indicators are worse than previous predictions. (IPCC 2007) Climate scientists are now warning that developing and consuming a fraction of the earth’s fossil fuel reserves will make large parts of the planet uninhabitable.
- Broad details of my campaign can be accessed on my Global Warming Politics page and more detail will be released progressively through the year. A short essay the ‘Gippsland Coast in 2100’ can also be accessed as a pdf file from the ‘publications’ page of my website.
- The slogan is Vote Climate Vote Solar Vote Gardner for Gippsland
- Help is needed to construct a 15 second TV advert and/or a brief promotional video to load onto the website
- Help is also needed to build this mailing list. Please forward to friends and rellies, or distribute to your group members. All publicity welcome.
- Please pass the word on to facebook friends and/or twitter followers. Any suggestions on how to harness the social media welcome.
- I am willing to speak to any group large or small in the Gippsland electorate.
- The newsletter will be issued monthly until the official campaign starts in August and then press releases will be issued on a weekly basis.
I urge you to reconsider the proposed development at Bastion Point and opt for the least cost option.
Global warming will threaten all coastal developments possibly within twenty to forty years. A more realistic appraisal for the coast can be found on the publications page of my website.
It is incumbent on the shire to adopt both a prudent and cautious approach on this matter
(Also Published in the Bairnsdale Advertiser 28.3.13)
Climate Change bigger problem than fuel load (edited)
i read Ralph Barraclough’s letter with interest regarding recent fires. The letter began telling how there had been major fires within eight years and in some places had been burnt three times in that period…
For some perspective with areas burnt out three times in eight years clearly the biggest contributor to bushfires these days is the fact that our environment is becoming hotter and dryer. Fire scientists tell us that reducing fuel loads reduces the intensity of fires; they also tell us that dryness and high average temperatures contribute to the ferocity of fires…
As this year saw another record breaking summer, the hottest on record, Bureau of Meteorology figures show hot days have doubled since 1960…Global warming is sending us on atrajectory of exponentially hotter drier average weather, unless we cut greenhouse emissions…
Maybe we do need a carbon tax after all, to continue the good, cost effective work of bringing non-polluting renewable energies on stream…I wonder how many people realise it is already far cheaper to put solar panels on your roof than to buy coal or gas generated electricity. That leaves more money to spend on other stuff – great for our economy, especially if we buy Australian.
Ian Onley, Sale
Managing Director National Australia Bank
I wish to protest at your bank’s financing of the National Party of Victoria. The Australian Electoral Commission website indicates that the National Bank was the major donor of this party in 2012.
This political party has a strong record of denying the science of climate change, doing its best to create confusion on the issue and opposing all but the most token gestures to ameliorate or adapt to the threat.
Your donations make you complicit with these actions which are against the interests of your customers, your employees and your shareholders.
I also note that the financing of the fossil fuel industry is coming under greater scrutiny. It is becoming clear that only a small fraction of fossil fuel reserves can be developed without making large areas of the planet uninhabitable.
It follows that if a company’s value (and support from the finance industry) is based on reserves of coal, coal seam, gas, shale oil etc. then this value is illusory and is likely to become a ‘stranded asset’. On this matter I have enclosed a news article “Bursting the Carbon Bubble” by Michael Green (The Age 15.2.13) which you may have missed.
I am sure that you are closely considering investments of this kind and note that this is a further incentive not to donate to a political party that denies the current science.
PS I have been a customer of your bank for more than 50 years
The proposals of the planned Esso plant to vent CO2 waste direct to the atmosphere – along with other proposals for the development of coal seam gas, shale oil and brown coal – are most alarming.
Recent comments by both Robert F. Kennedy Jnr. and James Hansen of NASA have implied that to embark on any proposal of this kind that exacerbates an already critical position of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is a criminal activity.
Late last year Steven Sherwood of the University of NSW stated “if we fully develop all the world’s coal, tar sands, shales and other fossil fuels we run a high risk of ending up in a few generations with a largely uninhabitable planet.” (New Scientist 17.11.12)
Unfortunately the mining giants, along with their bankers, insurers and political acolytes, seem hell bent on development regardless of all the warnings given by climate scientists.
At the very least these investments will eventually become stranded assets. It is likely the companies and their employees at some future date will face class actions in the courts similar to that faced by tobacco and asbestos companies today. And possibly they may someday appear in the same location facing charges of a criminal kind.
May I comment on your article about the appointment of former parliamentarian Alexander Downer to the Board of Lakes Oil? (B A 4/2) Mr. Downer is an appointment of Gina Rinehart – Australia’s richest person and the world’s richest woman. Ms Rinehart denies the science of climate change. Her other appointment to the Lakes Oil board is geologist Ian Plimer the principal Australian climate change denier.
Lakes Oil is a company exploring for coal seam gas, unconventional gas and shale oil in Gippsland. Recently Steven Sherwood of the University of NSW stated “if we fully develop all the world’s coal, tar sands, shales and other fossil fuels we run a high risk of ending up in a few generations with a largely uninhabitable planet.” (New Scientist 17.11.12)
We are in a ‘David and Goliath” struggle of epic proportions. The latter represented by a hugely wealthy mining industry with enough power to change prime ministers and with most of the mass media and the major political parties doing their bidding. The former represented by ordinary, mostly unaware, citizens – humanity itself.
Australia has a huge undeveloped resource of solar energy but persists with spoiling productive farmland and adding harmful greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. The proposals of Lakes Oil and other fossil fuel developers in Gippsland and elsewhere are insane.
Longford Residents Against Gas
Longford residents last night voted unanimously against Onshore Gas in Longford. Two issues were discussed. One, the introduction of CSG in Longford and two, the Longford Conditioning plant approval process.
“So many people are concerned about what’s happening to our environment and communities are starting to stand up for their rights and protect their properties and their health.” Mr. Knoesen of the CSG Wellington Awareness Group said. “When you threaten to dig up peoples properties, surround them by gas wells, introduce heavy vehicle traffic, affect their health and well being and devalue their investments – they’re going to fight” said Longford resident Hayley Kennedy.
“With more and more people putting the yellow triangle ‘Lock the Gate’ signs up on their front gates, it is a clear indication that people are starting to understand the threat that mining poses to our region. Giving our properties and natural resources to overseas companies, Gina Rinehart and overseas companies is not on! It doesn’t matter who you work for- it’s wrong” said Dr. Jo McCubbin.
Several Exploration Licences for Onshore Gas Mining have been allocated by the Department of Primary Industries covering most of Gippsland. With investment by mining Giants like Gina Rinehart, and ExxonMobil(Esso) it indicates that there is potential for mass expansion of the industry in Victoria. We live over 65 Billion Tons of Coal between Morwell and Longford which contains vast quantities of gas- the Chinese want it, ExxonMobil want it and Gina Rinehart wants it. Gippsland produces 23% of Australia’s milk and is the food bowl for Victoria. This type of mining is proven in QLD, NSW and the U.S.A. to be incompatible with farming. Gippslanders will lose out. If Gippslanders don’t want to give away our agriculture industry, natural resources and real estate then they must say so.
Esso’s new conditioning plant is expected to vent 1 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year and consume 72 million litres of aquifer water. Esso’s average water consumption is 973 million liters per year. “Gippslanders are in drought just after the floods, ask any farmer, and Esso is using 2.6 million litres per day?” commented Mr. Knoesen. To Longford residents, the expansion of the Longford Gas plant means that they will continue to live next door to an industrial facility and expect to have their environment polluted for many more years to come.
Gippslanders have an opportunity to object to the expansion of the gas plant by entering submissions to the EPA Works Approval Process of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Guidelines for submissions may be found at www.communityovermining.org and a printed copy may be viewed at the Wellington Shire Council reception desk.
Longford residents who are concerned about the introduction of CSG in their neighbourhood and the expansion of the Esso processing plant are to contact firstname.lastname@example.org to show their support to the community.
CSG WAG Sale, Victoria