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climate change

YouTube removes Michael Moore's Planet of the Humans - why?

Did you know that YouTube has removed Michael Moore's massive environmental film, "Planet of the Humans"? The reason appears to be a purported infringement of copyright, which its producer vehemently denies. They didn't like the message, he argues in this rivetting and educational interview. Michael Moore joins Rolling Stone's "Useful Idiots" show to discuss the removal of Planet of the Humans from YouTube, and addresses criticism he and the film have received. This fascinating interview has nearly as much to offer on the environmental movement and its problems - notably with corporate interference - as the film itself.

Draft Yarra Strategic Plan - Submission from Ian Hundley

The draft Yarra Strategic Plan claims to deliver the first Victorian integrated river corridor strategy and to identify immediate actions for the river corridor, enabling long-term collaborative management between agencies and Traditional Owners. It is intended to guide local planning. We publish here a critical submission to this draft plan. Summary of submission by candobetter editor: Climate Change and human failure to interact safely with the natural world. Plan fails to adequately factor in transport interaction with Yarra. Lack of proper transport interconnectivity. Higher density depends on high quality public transport. Private car still dominates. Forecast population growth and new constructions will inevitably cause major environmental damage. North-East Link Freeway will comport massive land-fill problems, hardly referred to in Draft Plan. Likely potential for destabilisation of groundwater in the Yarra Valley in the Bulleen and Rosanna area as a consequence of the North-East Link Freeway project. Substantial areas of public open space is threatened by the project, together with about 25,000 mature canopy trees. Adverse human health effects of the project would include increased air pollution and heightened road noise. Lack of cycling provision on roads in cities of Boroondara, Banyule, Manningham and Maroondah and the Shires of Nillumbik and Yarra Ranges. Proposal in Plan to increase lanes capacity on the Eastern Freeway to cater for the North East Link project by over 40%, from 802,000 square metres to 1,127,000 square metres. Adverse environmental effects would include increased run-off of polluted stormwater into the Yarra River and elevated ambient temperatures as a consequence of the large increase in concrete and asphalt surfaces. Report of the Commissioner of Sustainability, State of the Yarra and its Parklands (2018), concluded that the status of the Yarra river was poor for 18 of its 25 environmental indicators. This can only deteriorate if planned stressors go ahead.

New Land Tax Act changes really a tax on Mother Nature

People should know about the state government’s amendments to the Land Tax Act. An interesting article was written about it by Michael Flynn QC in The Age of February 17th 2020. regarding the amendment to the Land Tax Act to restrict land tax exemptions on contiguously rated properties only to regional Victoria. See: https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/home-owners-could-be-slugged-with-an-unfair-tax-20200213-p540jq.html. These changes have resulted in charging land tax for anyone in metropolitan Melbourne with vacant land contiguous with their place of residence. Until now, land adjacent to your home was exempt from Land Tax if the property was rated by Council as contiguous (i.e. house and land rated as one parcel of land) The new amendment has changed this to now levy the tax on any properties in metropolitan Melbourne which have contiguous vacant land next to a place of residence. (For the purposes of this exercise, Mornington Peninsula also is considered to be metropolitan by the way). A paltry $43 million revenue is anticipated.

Paul Kelly Song: Sleep,Australia, Sleep - Ecological catastrophe

How can Australians unite against the corporate and government forces that are failing to avert ecological catastrophe on Australia? We are an increasingly dispersed and disorganised colonial people, without a talking stick of our own.

Australia alight on New Year's Eve

Our city was alight last night as was the countryside
the first, an exhibition the latter ecocide.

IPAN: Bushfires a National Security Threat

Bushfires in Australia a real national security issue in contrast to talked up threats of hostile nations in our region. Climate change a significant cause of the fires. [Illustrations by Sheila Newman.]

Bushfires in Australia are a real national security issue in contrast to talked up threats of an alleged hostile nations in our region, according to the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN).

Australians are heading into a Christmas day of smoke, fires, death and devastation, with no significant rain projected for weeks, anxiety is rising about when this catastrophe will end.

Emergency chiefs claim to step into leadership vacuum on bushfire emergency but mainly call for 'fuel reduction'

People in charge of emergency services in New South Wales have scheduled a call for a national bushfire summit, claiming that Australia's political leaders are failing to deal with the NSW bushfire crisis, which their press release ascribes entirely to climate change. Unfortunately, it does not note the services to climate that forests provide. Nor does it note the many other impacts on forests that are drying them out - but could be mitigated - aside from overall climate change. These causes of drying are land-clearing for population expansion, thinning of old-growth forest, and the predations of pyromaniacs or electrical equipment, which are the chief causes of bushfires. And, in the appendix to their press release, they prioritise 'fuel reduction', rather than protection of forests and ways of keeping them wet. Their press release does mention the danger to wildlife as well as to property.

3 billion birds lost in America - same trends in Australia

This short documentary shows the problems that birds face in the US, but they face the same problems in Australia. The current push by powerful property developers, niched in our government, will remove more habitat for the birds where most of us live. Birds Australia's report, The State of Australia's Birds 2015, showed shorebirds in steep decline, and that our familiar friends, magpies, kookaburras, and willy-wagtails, are now struggling.

If Waleed Ali wants to be part of the solution, he cannot be part of the problem.

Waleed Aly ("A Rhetorical State of Emergency," Sydney Morning Herald, 12 September 2019,) has dressed up banality as insight and has been very long-winded about it. His focus is climate change and he laments the fact that we have so "engineered a lack of [political] consensus" that Australia is never likely to successfully address it.

Climate Change Leaves Koalas Facing an Uncertain Future

Koala populations would once have stretched across the Australian continent, but have now shrunk to the point where we could lose them forever, according to new research that has tracked the impact of diminishing forest cover.

Melbourne School Children Climate Change march - time to go local

The marches yesterday were really impressive, but there is a way that school children could be many more times effective in carving out their future on these issues. Australian and State governments are pretty resistant against democratic protests, and anyhow, our governments at all levels don't have much of a clue about what to do about providing energy to our increasing populations. Schools and schoolchildren could exert much more pressure and constructive effort at a local level and we hope they will.

Queensland land-clearing responsible for 80% Australia's Greenhouse Gas emissions

Land-clearing policy in Queensland has had a significant impact on rates of vegetation clearing. Over recent decades changes in land-clearing regulations in Queensland have led first to a
decrease in vegetation clearing (when strong laws were enforced) and then to an increase in vegetation clearing (when laws were relaxed). Relaxation of land-clearing regulations in 2013
in Queensland led to a significant increase in the vegetation clearing rate. More than one million hectares of woody vegetation, of which 41% was remnant vegetation, were cleared in Queensland
between 2012-13 and 2015-16.

French Riots prove that Permaculture is the only viable future

We like to blame politicians for the lack of action on climate change. But how prepared are people to really pay the price of change? We like to imagine that all politicians need to do is cleverly tax carbon and magically renewable energies will arise to take their place. The situation in France shows the fault in this thinking. Renewables cannot possibly replace fossil fuel - not on the scale needed to avert environmental disaster. Someone must pay the price - and it is the poor who get hurt most.

In Praise of climate deniers (not)

Well not really praise as such but, bear with me, while I justify wandering into this absurdity. I know it's difficult to say nice things about MP Craig Kelly, who claimed that people would die because renewables were raising electricity prices. He was perhaps unaware that the World Health Organisation in 2008 calculated that coal particulate pollution caused one million deaths across the world. And Tony Abbott who, between mouthfuls of onion, told us that coal was good for humanity - which was in opposition to both the Pope and the British Royal family's position - the two institutes he holds dear to his heart. Those are just two of 34 confirmed deniers in the LNP, although the Institute of Public Affairs claims half of the LNP members are supporters of their position.

Immigration hype and immigration reality - enforced by the bulldozer

St Kilda Road and Hoddle Street widening to accommodate larger volumes of road traffic in Melbourne means bulldozing hundreds of beautiful, mature trees, cultivated in a time when people appreciated the importance of natural shade and beauty. This vandalism is caused by willful promotion of overpopulation by the Victorian State government. Furtively supported by an equally venal Opposition, invited economic mass immigration-caused population growth marches on like an invasion preceded by bulldozers, jack hammers and all manner of violence towards our environment and display of might by state governments. Australia grew by over half a million people between July 2016 and July 2017, although natural increase actually declined, almost certainly due to rising costs affecting Australia's fertility opportunity.[1]

VicRoads mulch wildlife on Mornington Peninsula -AWPC intervention

VicRoads doesn't really respect wildlife corridors and rarely includes wildlife crossings in its vast expensive highways, despite its Fauna Sensitive Road Design Guidelines (on what page here to find link to pdf document is unclear). The excuse seems to be that they are too expensive. However VicRoads is costing us all more than money. And last week it sent a giant mulcher to mow down forests of trees which had been planted along the Mornington Peninsula median strips as a climate change mitigation measure by previous regimes.

PPCC Speakers on threats to Port Phillip Bay and strategic LNG projects

On 30 October 2017, Port Phillip Bay Keeper, Mr Neil Blake and Mr Jay Gleeson, AGL Community Relations Manager, Strategic Projects, will be speakers at the Annual General Meeting of Port Phillip Conservation Council, Inc. Mr Neil Blake’s talk 'From the back blocks to the Bay' discusses likely threats to the Bay from population growth, urban consolidation and climate change. He will also give an update on his Bay Keeper citizen science initiatives promoting community stewardship of our waterways – including his project recording recent changes to beach profiles and erosion around the Bay. Mr Jay Gleeson's talk will involve a presentation on AGL’s assessment of options for shipping Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from interstate and overseas, receiving it at an import jetty and injecting it into the pipeline transportation system for supply to south-eastern Australia. After assessing sites around Australia, Crib Point in Westernport Bay has been identified as AGL’s preferred option. Mr. Gleeson will give an outline of AGL’S Import Jetty Project and implications for Westernport Bay and Crib Point, and will take questions from the audience. For background to the LNG project see: www.engageagl.com.au. Time: 7pm 30 October 2017 Venue: Longbeach Place - Chelsea Community Centre, 15 Chelsea Rd., Chelsea.

4Corners climate change propaganda against Syria by pre-Trump military establishment

Don't mention the role of war in climate change and economic devastation. Why we shouldn't believe that the US military establishment is sincere on its warning to Trump (and the rest of us) on climate change. I would once have swallowed this whole. A bunch of military men from prior US administration proselytise about climate change on this 4Corners program. Of course they totally ignore the role of war in carbon emissions which is probably the greatest contributor to carbon emissions. This is my reaction to the Australian 4Corners program of 20 March 2017.

Aging is a transition, not a crisis - Canadians for a Sustainable Society

Canadians for a Sustainable Society is a research and activist NGO focused on changing our society’s pursuit of endless growth and ever higher levels of consumption. Simple growth is neither sustainable nor conducive to reducing inequality, debt, fiscal imbalance or achieving environmental sustainability.

More about shipping emissions

The cruise industry is just as shameless as the rest of the shipping industry.

The US EPA concludes one cruise ship can emit the same amount of SO2 as 13 million cars and as much soot as 1 million cars1[1]. But, despite this, the cruise industry is delaying introduction of new health regulations, trotting out scare tactics such as maritime jobs will be lost, astronomical fare increases etc. The cruise industry even sued US EPA so it could keep burning dirty fuel [2]2 – and it won as far as I can ascertain.

Lionfish invadiing the Mediteranean - linked to Suez widening, climate change

Rising sea temperatures in the Mediterranean are encouraging alien lionfish species to invade and colonise new territories with potentially serious ecological and socioeconomic impacts.

Evidence collated from divers and fishermen reveals that in the space of a year, the venomous predators have colonised Cyprus – and these may be at the vanguard of a pan-Atlantic Ocean invasion following the widening and deepening of the Suez Canal.

Russian-Chinese strategic water pipeline: A counter to color revolutions and water wars? Article by Andrew Korybko

The Russian-Chinese Strategic Partnership is about to take on an ecological angle with Moscow's suggestion of piping Altai mountain river water to the drought-stricken deserts of Xinjiang. Aside from obviously being used to unburden the Chinese from dealing with the catastrophic effects of climate change, the proposed fresh water pipeline will also have a premier strategic purpose as well. The research begins by examining the strategic vision at play with this initiative and then explaining how it relates to Color Revolutions. Finally, the insight that's revealed from investigating the prior two topics will be linked to the forthcoming global struggle for reliable freshwater supplies in forecasting how the US will try to disrupt Russian-Chinese water cooperation in the coming decades.

The 2015 Canadian Federal Election: One Parting Shot

"Harper gutted environmental regulations!" my NDP neighbour shouted. That was his parting shot in what turned out to be an acrimonious exchange.

So what? NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, like NDP Premier Rachel Notley, says that he favours the expansion and development of the oil sands project, and is "committed to getting it (the oil) to market". So what then is the benefit of restoring environmental regulations?

Chelsea tonight: 19 October 2015: Researcher speaks on Coastal Vegetation as best carbon sinks

7 pm, Longbeach Place, 15 Chelsea Road, Chelsea. Monday, 19th October 2015. Recent research has found that vegetated coastal habitats –seagrasses, salt marshes and mangroves are amongst the most effective carbon sinks on the planet – up to 40 times terrestrial habitats.

Pope Francis disingenuous on climate change


Pope Francis needs to be praised for calling for an "ecological conversion" for the faithful in his sweeping new encyclical on the environment. "Each year sees the disappearance of thousands of plant and animal species which we will never know, which our children will never see, because they have been lost forever," he writes.

Climate change & car commercials: Our planetary ship of fools

So I'm down here in Van Nuys right now -- at an Islamic trance-dancing convention of all things. So this morning I go into a Sufi-like trance and what is the first thing that crosses my mind? How much I hate all those hundreds and hundreds of new-car commercials we always see on TV. What a waste of a good trance dance!

New European retrofit kits cut energy use in buildings by 80%

We get a lot of commercial press releases at candobetter.net and we don't use many. However this project which markets renovation for energy use reduction, rather than tearing buildings down and constructing new ones, is very interesting. The iNSPiRe project is a four year FP7 project that brings together 24 partners from the combined fields of research and development, industry, small business and not-for-profit organisations, to tackle the problem of high-energy consumption. The research will produce systemic renovation packages that can be applied to existing buildings to reduce primary energy consumption to lower than 50 kWh/m2/year.

ACF and ABC need to promote open public policy debate on population growth

I recently attended an ACF meeting. As the oldest environmental NGO in Australia they are doing a road tour seeking support. These people are fighting against the inevitable destruction of the Australian environment, which the ABC, our public broadcaster, on whom so many Australians rely for serious information, fully sanctions using pro population growth extremism. Unfortunately the argument put forth is akin to one where a driver, because he is wearing a seat-belt, believes that he now no longer needs to worry about travelling at high speed without brakes.

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