Two weeks ago, the Perth Diocese announced it would divest its fossil fuel investments, and last week its Canberra counterparts did the same. This week the Melbourne Diocese has followed suit, resolving to take “all reasonable steps” to divest its stake in corporations whose revenues from fossil fuel extraction or production exceed 20 per cent of their total revenue.
At their annual 800 person strong General Synod (akin to an AGM), Professor Kate Rigby, Chair of Monash University’s Environmental & Humanities Department spoke about the changes to the energy paradigm in the present day. “While coal might have been cheaper [than renewable energy], this is only because its environmental impacts have not been factored into costing and because coal and other fossil fuel industries receive massive government subsidies.”
According to Environment Victoria, the Australian Federal Government spends approximately $10 billion per year on handouts (subsidies, tax breaks, infrastructure and cash) to the larger fossil fuel polluters. Continue reading The real cost of fossil fuel subsidies
It’s hard to stay positive in this day and age. With all the ills of the world slapping us in the face from the comfort of our armchairs we can get disillusioned that we can make a difference, and build a brighter and more sustainable future for our children.
Below are six websites/blogs that provide inspiration, and evidence that there are people out there that are questioning the status quo, and making small improvements to their lives – and the lives of those around them. Have a read of these fountains of inspiration, and see how you can develop your world for the better. Continue reading 6 websites to inspire & innovate
Saturday 4th October at the Perth Concert Hall played host to the TEDXPerth 2014 event, which Sustaining People discussed a short while ago. Hamish Jolly (pictured above) was a crowd favourite for the day, with a particularly relevant talk about biomimicry and his shark-repellant wetsuit. The clear stand out for us, however, was Ernesto Sirolli, although Peter Newman and Adam Johnson presented some thought provoking ideas. Continue reading TEDXPerth 2014 in review
Twice in two days, Joe Hockey has made some weird and wonderful comments. First, his comments to Bill Shorten about the Opposition’s ‘questionable’ support of the ISIL defence efforts:
‘…if Bill Shorten truly is honest about his commitment to deliver bipartisan support in relation to our defence efforts in the Middle East, he will provide bipartisan support to pay for it…’
And now this, regarding ANU’s decision to diminish resources industry investment from their portfolio:
‘…I would suggest they’re removed from the reality of what is helping to drive the Australian economy and create more employment…Sometimes the view looks different from the lofty rooms of a university…’
Oooh look at those nails…Kitty can SCRATCH!!!
Continue reading Why Joe Hockey should think before he speaks
If you haven’t been following the global summit in New York this week, here are ten things that happened at the UN Headquarters on Continue reading 10 important things that happened at the UN Climate Change Summit 2014
The UN Climate Summit is happening today in New York. Yesterday more than 30,000 people attended the Climate March in Melbourne. People all over the world marched in protest over government inaction on climate change ahead of the Summit, creating a bigger global awareness of the issues we all face. Unfortunately our Prime Minister Tony Abbot is “not able” to attend, due to ‘scheduling conflicts’. Given that the majority of world leaders are meeting today to focus on the future of a sustainable planet, Sustaining People hopes Tony Abbot’s inaction doesn’t leave Australia flailing in the dust.
Check out the official UN Climate Summit 2014 page for news as it happens. Watch this space over the next few days for news on the Summit’s progress.
Four years ago, architect Michael Pawlyn recorded a TED Talk at the TEDSalon London 2010, where he spoke about the benefits of biomimicry and how it can be used to change the way society approaches sustainable design. Watch his presentation above, and you will be excited about the wonder and simplicity of natural systems that are guiding the way that our cutting edge developers and dreamers are creating a sustainable future.
The second half of his talk Using Nature’s Genius in Architecture, focused on the potential of the Sahara Forest Project (SF Project). Put simply, the project is ‘…a combination of environmental technologies to enable restorative growth, defined as revegetation and creation of green jobs through profitable production of food, freshwater, biofuels and electricity…’. Essentially this project aims to revegetate large areas of arid desert, whilst simultaneously using a closed loop system to create food, energy, freshwater and natural building products on the same land.
Four years on, the Sahara Forest Project has strong backing by many nations, and Qatar has hosted the pilot facility to asses and nurture the viability of the project since its completion in December 2012. In June of this year, Jordan signed an agreement to build a Test & Demonstration Centre, which will act as a hub for innovation and capability to showcase the economic viability of the project.
So what can we learn from this amazing experiment and its successes to date? Here are five lessons that will have a profound impact on the future of this project, and other projects that are in the pipeline around the world. Continue reading Lessons from the Sahara Forest Project
Just over a week ago, Australia celebrated EnviroWeek 2014, a fantastic community initiative that works with Australian schools to promote sustainable practices. The project was run by Cool Australia, and its CEO Jason Kimberley has a built a real future-focused movement for sustainability education in schools. Since starting the organisation in 2008, Jason and his team have engaged more than 15,000 teachers and 500,000 students across Australia, with 172,732 students from 2137 schools this year taking part in 314,495 local and community projects to promote sustainability and help the environment. Continue reading Australia’s Green Labour Force: The Next Generation
Since the repeal of the Carbon Tax and the debate around the Renewables Energy Target the future of Australia’s energy seems more and more uncertain every day. With this in mind, and given that it is friday, Sustaining People would like to lighten your load with some good old fashioned satire from our friends at The Shovel.
The Shovel has an alternative to our future energy problems and it’s hilarious. Read the article after the jump and enjoy the rest of your friday!
Renewable Target: 20% Of Australia’s Electricity To Be Powered By Burning Scientific Reports – The Shovel.