Tuesday, December 31, 2013

US emissions are down

Emissions in the US are down 3.7% last year, for a total of 16% reduction since 2007. Back home, South Australia has reduced it's emissions from electricity by more than a third, and Australia's reduced by 8.6% after the carbon price came in.

emissions from electricity in South Australia down by more than a third

With all these emission reductions, perhaps it's time for Australia to have a more meaningful target, instead of the paltry 5% by 2020. After all, the USA achieved nearly that in just this year alone. Our government's previous excuse was that they wouldn't do anything until the USA did. Clearly that time is now.

Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year's Resolution - Move Your Money

As we come up to December 31, we think about things we might do better in the new year. SBS did a news story about people withdrawing their money from banks that invest in fossil fuels.

One mum closed an account she'd had since childhood. For the sake of her kids, she decided to close it. Felix Riebl, lead singer of Cat Empire, was also one of the people choosing a more ethical place to put their money.

Check out the comparison from Market Forces to see if there's a better place you could put your money.

PS. In other news, ANZ is being sued for charging customers illegitimate fees.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Ideas For Christmas

I love Christmas time. But it's sad that it can generate so much waste.

Australian Ethical have 10 tips to make less Christmas waste. Apparently the average person spend about $1000 each Christmas. It'd be great if that is creating things and memories that will stick with us - rather than items that will be landfill by the new year.

Planet Ark also have their 12 Do's of Christmas, which I wrote about last year. If you're interested, yes the last pair of those rechargeable batteries are still going. 1 camera. 8 years. Haven't had to buy a battery for it yet.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Hottest Australian Spring

2013 was the hottest spring in Australia. September was the hottest ever September, and the other two months were also well above average.

Austalia's hottest spring ever

No part of the country was colder than average, and only a tiny bit was at average temperature. Almost the entire nation experience temperature well above average. And it wasn't just the areas that had the bushfire.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

The Human Cost of Power

"The biggest threat to public health this century". That's how climate change has been described.

16-minute documentary Human Cost of Power looks at how coal and gas power are damaging our health. If you're short on time there's also a 5-minute and 2-minute version.

So is the fossil fuel industry worth our health? According to the documentary, more people die from air pollution than from car accidents. Mining is one of the largest causes of occupational injury and death. People who live within half a mile (800m) of a gas well have a greater risk of neurological, respiratory problems and cancer.

In America the health costs were calculated to be greater than the value of the industry to the economy. In Australia, health costs are estimated at 2.6 billion dollars per year. The federal government also provides 10 billion per year in subsidies. With mining companies 83% foreign owned, we pay the price but don't see the benefit.

It's easy to see how the health experts in the documentary reach their conclusion. "If a proper cost-benefit analysis was done on this industry - of the true cost of the waste, the cost to agriculture and to community health - it would never be allowed go ahead."

Related Posts:
Climate Change and Health
Addicted? Time to Quit
Carbon Emissions Make Us Sick
Who's Naughty and Nice