Sunday, October 23, 2011

California approves carbon price to start in 2013

Some good news on the international climate change front, California has approved a plan for a state wide carbon price beginning in 2013. With a unanimous vote the California Air Resources Board adopted a cap and trade system that will put a price on carbon pollution.

Why is this important? Well for lots of reasons:

1. It helps demonstrate how other countries (and states) around the world are acting on climate change.

2. California has a huge economy, which, at $1.9 trillion dollars is the largest of any US state. So large in fact, that if California was a country, its economy would be one of the 10 biggest in the world. That economy is about to get less polluting.

3. California is generally ahead of the rest of the US when it comes to things like clean energy, energy efficiency etc. If it is successfully implemented, the California cap and trade scheme will have a positive influence, promoting climate action in other US states and potentially by the US federal government as well.

Although the Californian scheme is designed somewhat differently from the carbon price here in Oz, the basic idea is the same. Polluters will now have to pay to pollute, instead of taxpayers effectively subsidising polluters by picking up the tab for all the damage their pollution does.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sustainability and Environmental Engineering Conference

Escaping Silos

The Society for Sustainability and Environmental Engineering (SSEE) brings you the SSEE 2011 International Conference in Brisbane on the 24-26 October 2011 at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.

'Escaping Silos' will showcase pragmatic examples of actions that have overcome change resistance and the elements that contributed to the breakthroughs; engaging business leaders, scientists, politicians and educators that are influencing sustainability within engineering. Local and global integrated solutions across professions, industry sectors and communities will be highlighted, addressing the impact of economic policy and social directions.

The conference will deliver a dynamic and thought provoking combination of renowned international and national speakers, including:
Annie Leonard author of the Story of Stuff
Paul Gilding author of The Great Disruption
Amanda McKenzie AYCC founder
Krista Milne City Design
Carol Boyle University of Auckland

1.5 hour Q&A panel sessions from $25* - Discussion forums with industry leaders in Sustainability

These Question & Answer sessions are designed to engage you directly with the innovative viewpoints of world renowned sustainability leaders, aiming for new thinking outside the box in cross-sector integration and delivery of organisational value. The sessions will adopt an interactive format, where attendees can post questions before hand, the moderator will launch the discussion and guide it through some of the more challenging terrain posed by the audience.
Day 1 – 24th October - Silo? What Silos? With Annie Leonard
Day 2 – 25th October - Which Way out? With Paul Gilding

*Q&A Session Cost:
Conference delegate................. included
Student/Unemployed/Retired....... $25.00
SSEE & EA Member...................... $35.00
Non-Members.............................. $40.00
Conference non-delegates may register through the Engineers Australia Qld Division website:

Q&A session: Silos? What Silos?
Time: 3:15 for 3:25 Start
Venue: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
To create a sustainable future we need to understand the silos that limit us, so we can escape them. This session explores why and how we build them in the first place. Engage with Annie Leonard (Author of The Story of Stuff), Professor Ian Lowe (Australian Conservation Forum President), Richard Sanders (Centre for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy), Bruce Mitchell (Mitchell Builders), Nadga Kunz, among others.

Annie Leonard - Author of The Story of Stuff
Annie Leonard, brings her international perspective on sustainability across industries, materials life cycle and emissions trading approaches, providing practical tools to ‘escape silos’: seeing the big picture, understanding connections across systems, and embracing new sustainable approaches to transform our societies. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It'll teach you something, it'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.

Q&A session: Which way out?
Time: 2:45 for 2:55 Start
Venue: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
To meet the challenges we need clear answers to some big questions. This session explores the mechanics of creating the changes defined during the conference. The challenge of creating a sustainable future is so large and the nature of the problems so fundamental, it is critical that we break out of our current thinking to design new solutions. Engage with Paul Gilding (Author of The Great Disruption), Matthew Wright (Executive Director of Beyond Zero Emissions), Cath Bremner (Chief Operating Officer, Low Carbon Australia), David Hood - National President Elect Engineers Australia & Chair of Australian Green Infrastructure Council).

Paul Gilding - Author of The Great Disruption
Paul Gilding, brings compelling insights to the ‘very important engineering sector audience’, from his entrepreneur experiences as the founder and director of a successful world leading organisation in corporate sustainability strategy. Also, as a sustainability advocate, Paul outlines steady-state economy impacts on enhanced business productivity and communities’ connectedness. “It’s time to stop just worrying about climate change” says Paul Gilding. We need instead to brace for impact because global crisis is no longer avoidable. This Great Disruption started in 2008, with spiking food and oil prices and dramatic ecological changes, such as the melting ice caps. It is not simply about fossil fuels and carbon footprints. We have come to the end of Economic Growth, Version 1.0, a world economy based on consumption and waste, where we lived beyond the means of our planet’s ecosystems and resources.

AngliGreen Meeting and Old Friary Open House

Sunday 23 October 2011, 10am to 4pm

The next AngliGreen meeting will be held in conjuction with an Open House at the Brookfield Centre to remember the Old Friary. The day commences at 10am and will have a festival feel with folk singing, Taize music, a harp recital, story telling, art work and much more. AngliGreen will have their office open and will also be selling plants. The meeting will commence at 2pm with Dick Jones speaking on weed control.

Location : Brookfield Centre for Spirituality, 139 Brookfield Rd, Kenmore Hills
Contact : or Ann Ellis 3312 0207

Vera Street Community Garden Workshop: Building the Soil, Preventing Pests

Sunday 23 October 2011, 1.30 to 3.30pm

You are invited to the final of Vera Street Community Garden’s three-part series of permaculture-based workshops. This month’s workshop will cover improving the soil in your garden to promote healthy plants, prevent pest and predator problems and control weeds. There will be guidance on composting and recycling in your garden.

Cost: Free for members, $10 for non-members (includes membership if desired).
RSVP: by email, or call Gillian on 3871 3139 (after hours).

Hands-on workshop! Please wear covered shoes and a hat.
Proudly Supported by The Lord Mayors Suburban Initiative Fund and The Councillor for Toowong Ward

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

TTKD October meeting: Carbon Nation Film Screening

At the Transition Town Kenmore October meeting will be showing Carbon Nation, a film that is ideal for people who are new to the area of climate action.

Carbon Nation is a climate change solutions movie that doesn’t even care if you believe in climate change! Join us for Carbon Nation (84 mins) followed by a short film about Australia’s Beyond Zero Emissions Zero Carbon Australia Project.

Watch the trailer here

Cliff Etheredge, West Texas Wind Farmer Photo Credit: Peter Byck

About the Film: Tired of the doom-and-gloom news about climate change? Carbon Nation is an inspirational, upbeat, non-preachy, non-partisan film that illustrates how solutions to climate change make great business sense, among other things. You’ll meet a host of entertaining and endearing characters along the way.

Thursday October 20, 7.30pm
Kenmore Library Meeting Room

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ride to work day - This Wednesday 12th Oct

It's not too late to be part of this years Ride to Work day on October the 12th (Wednesday).

Be part of Australia’s biggest active workplace event with tens of thousands riding into work.

It doesn’t matter if you ride to work, school or uni everyday, or haven’t been in on two wheels since high school, the important thing is to get involved and make your ride count.

Meet other cyclists; share routes, tips and stories;and if you are lucky enough to work at UQ, score a free breakfast.

You can register along with 10s of thousands of others at