Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Towards a Safe Climate - 14th April - A great event organised by the Climate Network

The Community Climate Network Queensland (CCNQ) has a great event coming up on the 14th of April. The Transition Towns network in Brisbane, including Transition Kenmore is part of the CCNQ and we encourage everyone to head down to this event.

Please join us for a great evening!

Towards a Safe Climate: A community forum and networking event
When: Wednesday 14 April 6.30 - 8.30pm
Venue: ETU Building, 41 Peel St, South Brisbane (MAP)

The night features speakers who will share their experiences at Copenhagen and the National Climate Summit; updates from Queensland on coal and sustainable jobs; and an open forum.
This event gives you a chance to learn about what is happening locally and around the world and how you and Transition Kenmore can contribute to the movement in Queensland to help reach a safe climate.

Free, Everyone is welcome.
Please RSVP online so we can cater light refreshments:

Here's the poster, click to enlarge


MC and speaker on the International scene post-Copenhagen:
David Hood, Adjunct Professor (QUT) and Climate Project Presenter

The National Scene: issues & actions from the National Climate Summit
Ewan Saunders, CCNQ

Coal, Climate and Queensland
Hava Mendelle, sixDegrees.org.au

Sustainable Jobs
Peter Simpson, Electrical Trades Union

Communities and the Climate Movement
Howard Nielsen, Pine Rivers CAN and Transition Towns.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hunger pains: Series of ABC articles on feeding Australia and Urban Agriculture

ABC news has published a interesting series of stories looking at difference aspects of food and food supply.
Topics include urban agriculture, community gardens, the "local food" movement, pressures on farmers, costs of unseasonal produce and the challenges of feeding a growing world population in a world affected by climate change and fertilizer supply shortages.

Stories can be found here.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Transition Kenmore in the news

Transition Kenmore's permablitz of Louise Orr's garden featured in this weeks Westside News. If you didn't get a copy you can view the story online here.

If you have come across our blog after reading about Transition Kenmore in the news, and want to know more about permablitzs and how you can have your lawn turned into a productive vege garden then have a read of this. More information about the blitz of Louise's garden can be seen in our before, during and after posts.

Transition Kenmore is a local community group who cover not just Kenmore but the whole of the Pullenvale BCC ward. Our permablitz campaign is just one of the things we are up to at the moment in trying to raise awareness of, and take action against, issues of climate change and resource depletion. So if you are interested in taking some small steps towards more sustainable suburbs then come along to our Earth Hour dinner this Saturday, one of our monthly meetings, or get in touch at transitionkenmore 'at' gmail.com

Lastly thanks to the Westside News for their positive report on the work we are doing.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Transition Kenmore community dinner this Saturday for Earth Hour

Earth Hour is this Saturday the 27th of March

To do our bit Transition Town Kenmore will be holding a public community dinner this Saturday during Earth Hour.
We will gather in the Wal Cocking park on Moggill Rd (just down from the Kenmore Village round-a-bout near the newsagent, or where Moggill Rd meets Princeton St) from 7:30pm.
Bring a plate of food to share and what ever you need in terms of drinks, chairs, cushions
AND a candle or torch for the vigil from 8:30 -9:30

you can't make it to the park please remember to switch off your lights at home, or at your friend's, as this movement is about showing solidarity of recognition for the need for a low carbon lifestyle.You can register your participation at http://www.earthhour.org.au/

"Since its inception in Sydney three years ago, Earth Hour’s non-partisan approach has captured the world’s imagination and became a global phenomenon.
Nearly one billion people turned out for Earth Hour 2009 – involving 4,100 cities in 87 countries on seven continents.
On Saturday, March 27, 2010 at 8:30 p.m. local time, Earth Hour will once again cascade around the globe, from New Zealand to Hawaii."

We're going to be part of it in as visible as way as possible. So come along. RSVP to transitionkenmore 'at' gmail.com if you want to let us know you're coming or just come along.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The assault on science and reason

"As the cacophony of voices attacking climate science grows, I have to wonder: where are the journalists? Have they forgotten their job description? In any other field, if such an obvious, misinformed lobby arose, would they rate any attention?

Well, maybe.

During organized tobacco's war on science, many newspapers reported propaganda created by paid tobacco lobbyists as a legitimate alternative to mainstream science. Other industries took up the same strategy: producers of CFCs who paid ozone hole deniers, and asbestos vendors who refused to acknowledge guilt in killing their own workers in the most horrific way in the cause of making a quick buck. In South Africa, according to a Harvard study, over 300,000 people died unnecessarily because the Mbeki government chose to believe pseudo-science when reality did not suit the president's politics."

So starts an excellent post by "vocal local" Phil Machanick on how the climate change denial industry is recycling the same strategies used in previous science denial campaigns and the astounding habit of the media to be taken in every time.

Also of grave concern is the seeming elevation of unsubstantiated opinion to the same level as scientific evidence as part on an all out attack on any piece of science that doesn't fit ones particular ideology. As a scholar of science myself, I would humbly suggest that when one's political ideology comes into conflict with the fundamental physical and chemical processes that govern the universe, its probably time to reconsider your opinions.

Or as Phil says more elegantly than I can:

"Science is not a matter of opinion: a theory stands or falls by how well it fits the evidence, including how well its predictions stand up to measurement. By attempting to turn climate science, and indeed any science that offends a particular special interest, into a matter for debate where the evidence counts for less than personal preference, we risk reverting from a society of reason to a society of superstition."

This assault on reason is prominent in Australia as well, in response to the recent climate change report from CSIRO and the BOM (two of Australia leading and most respected scientific organizations) Liberal Senator Julian McGauran attacked CSIRO scientists as politically biased. It is of course difficult to accuse thermometers, rain gauges and satellites as having a political bias, hence the rise in attacks on the scientists themselves when their evidence unequivocally points to a warming world.

In our technologically advanced society, science and scientists provide us with explanations for much our forebears could not answer, what causes infectious disease?, is vaccination safe?, why is the average temperature of the earth warmer than that of the moon? Before he opens his mouth next time scientists report information he doesn't like, I hope Senator McGauran will consider the implications for a society who, due to repeated smear campaigns, no longer trust scientists and scientific knowledge and whether such a society is on a path to long term prosperity?

Meanwhile, NASA are reporting that it is almost certain a new 12 month global temperature record will be set this year (see a summary here or download their draft paper here), darn physics.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

New must read CSIRO and BOM report on climate change in Australia

"Two of Australia's leading climate science agencies – the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) - have produced a snapshot of the state of the climate to update Australians about how their climate has changed and what it means".

The report is just 6 pages long and written for a general audience but provides essential information to understand how the Australian climate has changed over the last 50 years and how it will likely change into the future.

Download the report here

Key conclusions include:

1) Temperatures over the whole Australian continent has risen over the last 50 year, with increases in the number of record hot days and decreases in the occurrence of record cold.

2) Rain fall has been variable but has decreased significantly in the south east and south west.

3) Sea level has risen over the last century, with the speed of sea level rise almost doubling by the late 20th century.

4) Concentrations of heat trapping greenhouse gasses, which are measured in Australia and in other locations around the world, are rising rapidly.

5) Climate change is already visible across Australia, caused by humans and will cause this country will become hotter, and in many places, drier as this century progresses.

None of these conclusions will be a surprise to people familiar with the science and effects of climate change, but if you want a short, easy to read primer on climate change in Oz, look no further.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Northey Street City Farm - Havest Festival, Sat 20th of March

Northey Street City Farm is having its annual Harvest Festival this Saturday the 20th of March. From 12 noon to 5 pm.
16 Victoria Street (Corner of Northey and Victoria Streets), Windsor, QLD

The event promises "Exquisite global cuisine, music, dance, art and craft, permaculture gardening workshops and children’s activities."

For those not familiar with Northey Street, here's some info from their website

Northey Street City Farm is a non-profit community organisation situated on the banks of Brisbane’s Breakfast Creek in Windsor.
More than 1500 exotic and native fruit trees, bushtucker plants, shrubs and ground covers have been planted on the four hectare farm site since its inception in April 1994.
The farm has been developed for people to enjoy and participate in using the principles of permaculture. It is also intended to be a demonstration site where people of all ages can learn through practical, hands on experience.

Our Mission:

To create a working model of a cooperative, community based urban permaculture farm which demonstrates, promotes, educates and advocates for environmental and economic sustainability in a healthy, diverse and supportive community.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Transition Kenmore March Meeting - Climate Friendly Food

Transition Kenmore's next meeting is on Wednesday the 17th of March. Our main topic will be:

"Climate Friendly Food" - presented by Louise Orr

We are delighted to have Louise share this presentation with us which was very well received at Woodford

Louise lives and works as a committed environmentalist. Graduating from the University of Queensland with an honours degree in environmental science, she has spent 15 years working within the environment and related industries. Louise spent a number of years consulting within the area of sustainable agriculture, and has also delivered natural resource management and land management programs at both local and state government level. Louise currently works providing research and advice on sustainability issues for the Queensland Government. She is passionate about food and the challenges and risks presented in feeding the earths people. She is a committed local food advocate, who understands how cultural, ecological and economically healthy food systems create resilient, inclusive communities.

Wed March 17th 7:30pm
Uniting Church Hall
982 Moggill Rd, Kenmore

Come and be inspired about local food solutions!

Considering that Transition Kenmore just carried out its second permablitz, Louise's talk will be very topical.

Also if there are questions you want answered about your electricity bill Sustainable Jamboree are putting on an excellent forum.
Check it out:

Electricity bill Myth-busters
- Question & Answer Forum
Mt Ommaney Library Meeting Room, Dandenong Road
2 – 4pm, Wed 24 Mar, & repeated 1 – 3pm, Sat 27 Mar, 2010

Ask about
· Mysteries of your bill and your kWh / day usage
· Cheaper ways to run air-conditioning
· Booster switches
· Tariffs pros and cons – getting the most from your electrician
· Earning cash on your electricity bill
· Smart grids and demand for large scale renewables
· Peak demand myths
· Energy saving products and replacing your hot water system
· Temperature settings for water and fridges – health and safety

Panel includes Anne Armansin, Origin Retail Energy Adviser and Energy Insitute guru as well as Ed Parker, local resident and net energy generator who is earning money from solar. Ed won the Lord Mayor's Australia Day Greenheart Award in 2009.

Register early. Limited seating - phone 3375 7268

Thursday, March 11, 2010

From 350.org- Getting to work in 2010: Our new plans...

Last year Transition Kenmore got behind 350.org's campaign for a safe climate future. Their global day of action on Oct 24, according to CNN, was "the most widespread day of political action in the planet's history," with 5200 actions in 181 countries. This year 350.org is back with a theme of getting to work in our own neighbourhoods to send a simple message to our leaders: "We're working--what about you?

Transition Kenmore is already getting to work in our neighbourhood, so if you want to get involved in moving towards a safe climate future, come along to one of our meetings or community events or contact us at transitionkenmore 'at' gmail.com

Click on the link below to see the details at 350.org

Getting to work in 2010: Our new plans...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Green Earth Festival - this Saturday 13th of March

This Saturday the Green Earth Festival is on in the city botanic gardens. There will be stalls from "green" businesses, NGO's and community groups (including Transition Brisbane), food, speakers, music and hopefully fine weather.

Some of the speakers look quite interesting including Tim Lang from Northey St city farm talking permaculture and Dr Sarah Lantz from the University of Queensland talking about her book Chemical Free Kids, as well as people talking on a variety of topics from animal rights to climate refugees.

The event runs from 10am to 6pm so plenty of time to go after the permablitz for people who have the energy. Here's the flyer, click on it to enlarge.

From the site:

"Green Earth Festival is a free, family orientated, community event which aims to stimulate awareness by bringing environmental, green, health and lifestyle, cruelty-free, recycling and sustainable issues into the public eye; encourage people to make simple changes in their everyday lives to help our environment and the world we leave for generations to come.

The festival will comprise live bands/performers, a second stage for demonstrations and speakers, a food zone, kids' zone, video zone, art and fashion displays, roving entertainment and many stalls to create a full-filled festival atmosphere strongly supporting the promotion of local grassroots communities, multiculturalism and the Indigenous people and their culture."

Monday, March 8, 2010

Clive Hamilton - Requiem for a Species. Public seminar at UQ 24th of March

Prof Clive Hamilton - author, public intellectual, AM and (recently) federal Greens bi-election candidate - will be giving the inaugural seminar at the University of Queenslands' new Global Change Institute on Wed 24th of March to talk about his new book Requiem for a Species.

The Global Change Institute (GCI) is a new institute at the University of Queensland, set up to promote and facilitate teaching and research in the area of sustainability. This sounds like a really interesting although not particularly uplifting seminar.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010
Abel Smith Lecture Theatre

Here are the details

"In the inaugural seminar of the Global Change Institute “Insights Seminar Series” Clive Hamilton talks about his new book which examines why the human species finds facing up to climate change “just too hard”.

There have been any number of urgent scientific reports in recent years emphasising just how dire the future looks and how little time we have left to act.

Around the world only a few have truly faced up to the facts about global warming; others prefer to believe denialist claims in an effort to continue business as usual and maintain current lifestyles.

In the preface to Requiem for a Species Clive Hamilton describes the book as follows:

“It is a book about the frailties of the human species: our strange obsessions, our hubris, and our penchant for avoiding the facts. A story of a battle within us, between the forces that should have caused us to protect the earth, like our capacity to reason and our connection to nature, and our greed, materialism and alienation from nature, which, in the end, have won out.”

This is a free event, open to the public.
Book sales, signing and light refreshments will follow the lecture.

Please RSVP - www.gci.uq.edu.au/lecture"

Clive Hamilton AM is author and co-author of the bestselling Affluenza, Growth Fetish, Scorcher, Silencing Dissent and Freedom Paradox.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Permablitz time! - Come along and help out at our next garden blitz on the 13th of March

Transition Kenmore is performing our next permablitz on Saturday March 13th in Chapel Hill.
Start time 7:30am.

Helping out at one of our permablitzes is open to all, not just our regular members. As in Melbourne, we are using the system that once you have attended 3 blitzes you can add your own place to the list of upcoming blitzes.
For a background on permablitzes and the results of our first blitz last year see here and here. If you want to come along email us at transitionkenmore 'at' gmail.com so we can let you know the address and get an idea of numbers for morning tea.

Blitz details

We will be chopping down some shrubbery, creating 4 garden beds, composting,mulching and planting and also finishing a chook house!

Needed on the day: wheelbarrows, cardboard, pruners, shovels, trowels. For those helping with the chook house, drill, screwdriver.

AND .....Plants. Any seedlings you might have popping up in your garden and would like to share would be welcome or any other vegie or herb seedlings or plants you might like to contribute.

Don't forget: hat, sunscreen,water bottle and gloves.

If you don't want to miss out on the fun let us know you are coming at transitionkenmore 'at' gmail.com just so we have some idea of the number of bodies for morning tea!

Come for a little or a longer time, we'd love to have you along.

Ps: Louise (whose yard was the subject of our first blitz last year) has been happily eating from her garden all summer and sharing with her neighbours. Its a great way to spread the word!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Transition Kenmore now on GreenStreets and the return of the monthly sustainability prize

The social networking / monthly carbon calculate website Greenstreets now has the Groups function allowing Transition Kenmore members to see how each other are going and hopefully inspire a little friendly rivalry to see "who's the greenest of them all".

Last year I proposed a prize for the Transition Kenmore member who got the lowest (ie: most sustainable) monthly GreenStreet score.
Unfortunately there was no easy way to collate the results before our monthly meeting, this, combined with the fact I kept winning, didn't seem to inspire people very much to publise how their own efforts towards greater sustainability were going.

Well Greenstreets has solved problem number one by creating a Groups function on the website so anyone who lives in the postcodes covered by TTKD becomes a member (though one can opt out). This makes it dead easy to see how you're going compared to other TTKD households. I also promise to help spread the winning around by instituting a rule that no household can win two months in a row. Although it might take a couple of minutes for you to calculate your GreenStreet score the first time, it soon becomes a very quick process.

Also, the workings of the Groups function means households who join GreenStreets from our area, but who aren't involved with Transition Towns are initially added to the group automatically. This provides us with an opportunity to engage other environmentally minded households in the Pullenvale/ Kenmore / Moggill area and lift the profile of Transition Towns. Another good reason to join GreenStreets and engage others by competing for the monthly prize.