Category Archives: Activism

June 8, 2005 Launch of Australian “Environment” Foundation

On this day in 2005 the Melbourne Age reported on the launch, by figures associated with the Institue of Public Affairs, of the “Australian Environment Foundation”, whose name was in no way cohosen to mimic the Australian Conservation Foundation, oh no…

“Australia’s newest environment group is ruffling feathers – but not where you would expect.”  it said –  Fyfe, M. 2005. Cool reception for new green group. The Age, 8 June.

Aka ‘corporate ventriloquism’ and “FACES of Coal.”

 

Also on this day-

Uren, D. 1990. Editor’s note. BRW, 8 June.

In the battle for hearts and minds, the environmentalists have it all over companies. The business sector’s difficulty in grappling with the environment issue will result, sooner or later, in a company director finding himself in the dock facing charges over pollution. Both NSW and Victoria now have legislation that can render executives and directors personally liable for environment protection offences. Many within the environment movement are looking for a test case of this legislation.

In this week’s cover story BRW writer Matthew Stevens examines the challenge that Greenpeace is throwing out to Australian companies. As Stevens reports, the local branch of the international Greenpeace organisation has thoroughly reorganised itself and is armed with the latest techniques developed in the US for direct action against companies. Greenpeace is out to achieve the greatest public humiliation of those it chooses to expose.

Greenpeace, 2006. Media Release: Greenpeace Denounces Moore. 8 June .

“Sydney, Thursday June 8, 2006: Greenpeace Australia Pacific CEO Steve Shallhorn dismisses Patrick Moore’s suggestions that nuclear fuel will have positive environmental impacts. John Howard is only using the likes of Patrick Moore, a hired gun for the nuclear lobby, precisely because he is not a genuine environmentalist,” said Mr Shallhorn.”

 

 

 

 

May 26, 1993 – Aussie politicians start to investigate green jobs opportunities…

One of the more irritating phenomena is people saying “shucks, if only the environmentalists would re-frame climate change as a jobs opportunity, there’d be so much less opposition.”  Yeah, because no greenie ever thought of that, ever.  And tried it. And got ignored. sigh.

On this day in 1993 (24 years ago)  the  “Working with the Environment: Opportunities for Job Growth” ball is set rolling

“This report arises from the growing recognition by governments, industry and the community that ecologically sustainable development offers many opportunities for profitable investment and therefore for employment growth, as well as being essential for ecological survival. The community is also faced with the pressing task of finding opportunities to create more jobs and the environment industry is an obvious place to look.

The inquiry was proposed to the then Minister for the Environment, Sport and Territories [Ros Kelly] by the [House of Representatives Standing Committee on Environment, Recreation and the Arts] and the Minister then formally referred the matter for inquiry to the Committee on 26 May 1993.”

 

Also on this day.

1994.

“The concern of industry groups that Australia might similarly be forced into a consensus on climate change was echoed yesterday by the Opposition spokesman on foreign affairs, Mr Andrew Peacock. He said there was a danger Australia’s stance that it would not implement measures that would damage its trade competitiveness unless other greenhouse gas producers did likewise could become increasingly devoid of substance.”

Gill, P. 1994 Industry voices greenhouse fears.  Australian Financial Review, 27 May,

2003

Albanese seconds Kyoto Protocol legislation in Parliament

MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 26 May 2003

Today, the Federal Member for Grayndler Anthony Albanese MP was pleased to second a Private Members Bill in Federal Parliament designed to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change.

Moved by the Shadow Minister for Sustainability & the Environment Kelvin Thomson MP, the Kyoto Protocol Ratification Bill 2003 will give legal effect to Australia’s Kyoto target and ensure Australian industry can take advantage of emerging new markets when the treaty comes into international force.

http://anthonyalbanese.com.au/albanese-seconds-kyoto-protocol-legislation-in-parliament

“Back at home, the Shadow Minister for the Environment, Kelvin Thomson, introduced a private member’s bill for the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol on 26 May 2003. As well as calling for the ratification of the Protocol, the Bill sets out requirements for the Commonwealth Environment Minister to prepare systems for involvement in international emissions trading schemes, a National Climate Change Action Plan, and imposes an obligation on the Government to ensure that Australia’s target of 108% of its 1990 emissions is not exceeded during the period 2008 to 2012.”

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/NatEnvLawRw/2003/2.pdf

2004

“The problem with the Kyoto protocol as presently cast is that developing countries such as Russia and China would not be subject to the same strictures as developed countries such as Australia.” Prime Minister John Howard, House of Representatives, 26 May 2004

May 21, 1998- Foreign Minister Downer extols emissions trading.

Australia had signed (but not ratified) the Kyoto Protocol in April 1998.  There was a push developing for some sort of emissions trading, if only to help rich countries look like they were doing something.    It is in that context that Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Alexander Downer, gave a speech to the ABARE International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading, Sydney, 21 May 1998

It was called “Emissions Trading: Harnessing the Power of the Market”

It began;

Ladies and gentlemen.

I am pleased to be here with you today to share with you my assessment of the opportunities and far-reaching role that international emissions trading will play in the successful implementation of the Kyoto Protocol. International emissions trading provides the means of harnessing the power of the market to provide cost effective solutions to emission abatement.

And you could read the rest here.  Your life, it’s short….

Also on this day-
“On 21 May 2009, 14 Greenpeace members illegally entered the site and thought they had temporarily shut down coal production after chaining themselves to an excavator. That ‘excavator’ was out for routine maintenance and again, no production from either mine or station was lost. All seven were later charged by Victoria Police.[9]   Source: Hazelwood wikpedia

April 9, 1990 – The BCA gets into the green game…

Business was taken aback with the speed of greenery in 1988/89. The fightback(!) began properly just after the Hawke government won a fourth term, with the launch of a BCA documnet that bemoaned the lack of ‘balance’ (a theme they returned to again and again).
“Launching its first policy on the environment in Sydney yesterday, the Business Council of Australia lamented the standard of the green debate.”
Lane, B. 1990. Business hitches a ride with green bandwagon.  Australian Financial Review, 10 April.

Also on this day- 
2011 Rally in for climate action in Brisbane .
Things to remember.  Some people get very rich from Queensland’s coal exports. The police in Queensland have a habit of surveillance that extends to clipping complain-y letters to the newspaper….

March 28, 2010 – Protest flotilla aims to block coal ships in Newcastle port

On this day in 2010,  “A flotilla of 60 rafts, kayaks and a yacht try to blockade coal ship movement into the port of Newcastle. Newcastle is the port through which the rapidly expanding coal mines in the Hunter Valley are being exported. “We’re not willing to accept the massive expansion of the coal industry in New South Wales and coal is Australia’s major contributor to climate change and it’s also the fastest growing,” said Rising Tide spokesperson, Naomi Hodgson.”

Source:  sourcewatch

Here’s the ABC take – Protesters trying to block Newcastle’s coal port

Also on this day-

In 1994, with the carbon tax/levy battle still ahead, the Australian Conservation Foundation tried to salvage something from the wreckage, urging “substantial rises in taxation and a jobs levy, to fund environmental and conservation measures and to reduce next year’s Budget deficit by between $1 billion and $1.5 billion.”

Ellis, S. 1994. Consensus emerges among lobbyists. The Australian Financial Review, 29 March, p.4.

In 2015 the “Setting Australia’s post-2020 target for greenhouse gas emissions” Issues Paper was released: The paper raised questions about what Australia’s post-  2020 emission reduction target should be, and how that target would affect the nation.

March 25, 1995 Women and the Environment conference and the red-green problem

Environmentalists and ‘extraction’ workers (miners, forestry workers) are not ‘natural’ enemies.  And those in charge fear a coalition forming, to the extent that they’re willing to kill to prevent those links forming (think Chico Mendes, or Judi Bari, among thousands -see ‘The War on the Greens’).  In 1995 a conference in Melbourne saw yet another attempt to build/mend bridges…

Bad blood flows between the green movement and the union movement. The controversy over logging recently has led to ugly incidents between timber workers and conservationists. Ms George said she had agreed to speak at a conference on women and the environment this weekend to try to ease some of the hostility between the two groups…. The Australian Conservation Foundation’s executive director, Ms Tricia Caswell, said the ACF, Greenpeace and women’s groups had decided to host the conference at the World Congress Centre because women were often the backbone of community environment groups and were the main environmental educators to children but received little recognition.

Milburn, C. 1995. ACTU’s George Plays Peacemaker To Greens, Unions.  The Age, 24 March.

Also on this day- 

In 1997 there was a Greenhouse Challenge signing ceremony, Parliament House. The Greenhouse Challenge was the purely voluntary programme response that was used to block attempts at legislative/regulatory efforts to reduce emissions.

On this day in 2013, with the Gillard government trying to survive attacks by Rudd, attacks by the media and get itself in shape for an impending Federal election, the Australian Department of Climate Change, created with fanfare in the early days of the Rudd Government, was disbanded.   Most of its “functions were moved to the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education, with responsibility for energy efficiency transferred to the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism.”  (sorry, can

March 19, 1990- Politicians engage with #climate scientists! #notsomuchanymore

As Maria Taylor notes on page 37 of her excellent book  “Global Warming and Climate Change: What Australia knew and buried…then framed a new reality for the public”

“In the late 1980s, political leaders (Jones, Hawke and Richardson) publicly interacted with the CSIRO scientists and division advisory boards. From that advisory board, Bob Chynoweth personally briefed the prime minister, according to a Hawke speech to the division on 19 March 1990 (Hawke 1990).”

Also on this day-

On this day in 1998 the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) released a report which argues that a domestic emissions trading scheme could help Australia reduce greenhouse gas emissions to levels set down in the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change agreed last December. According to the Financial  Review, the proposal, which was part of a report to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on the Environment inquiry into trading in greenhouse gases.was “greeted cautiously by industry yesterday, with some concern about whether the scheme was premature.”

 

2001 Department of Defense says it is cutting emissions

e.g. “Continue the development and implementation of a standardised Defence-wide
approach to environmental management, consistent with Commonwealth
environmental legislation, including by reducing Defence’s annual energy
consumption by at least 200 terajoules by June 30 2001, in accordance with the
Government’s greenhouse emissions strategy.”

Stevens, M. 2014. Anti-coal protests gather steam. Australian Financial Review,19 March, p.34.

“One September Sunday morning last year Lance Hockridge woke to find a group of strangers forming an angry protest outside his family home”