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Climate concession

Action: Groundswell Bass Coast will work with Bass Coast Shire Council to draw attention to the seriousness of climate change. Groundswell members are from left, Richard Kentwell (president) Aileen Vening, Jessica Harrison, Velia Congreave, Neil Rankine and Lauren Millar. In front are Nicky Miller holding Adeng.

ACTIVIST group Groundswell Bass Coast will work with Bass Coast Shire Council to drive home the message about the seriousness of climate change.
Groundswell president Richard Kentwell and colleagues Neil Rankine and Aileen Vening spoke with councillors and officers last week.
The latter agreed to waive the fee for Wonthaggi Town Hall hire for the group to stage two public forums next month. One, on May 9, will give a local perspective on the science of climate change and a second on May 23, will present solutions such as a zero carbon plan.
Shire CEO Allan Bawden said council would be happy to be part of the second event.
“We do have a sustainability plan and we are doing carbon counting.”
Councillors also agreed to nominate one of their number to meet regularly with representatives of Groundswell.
And Cr Jane Daly said one of council’s budget considerations was the employment of a climate change officer.
Neil told the council briefing session Groundswell did not believe all levels of government were doing enough on climate change.
“Our State Government looks like it’s saying it’s someone else’s job. Local government and the Federal Government will be the way to move things forward.”
Richard added, “My sense is we’re still not really seeing the seriousness. The world is in peril. There’s danger on our doorstep.
“What we’re wanting to do is find a way to (reach) sections of the community that are not wanting to hear about climate change.”
Showing a film made by construction company Laing O’Rourke to educate its employees about climate change, Neil warned the science was saying things were a lot worse than the film depicted.
He pointed out that the council was planning for a sea level rise of .8 of a metre, but rises could be 1.9 metres, in which case “what you’re doing is likely to be different from the actual scenario”.
“We think the most important thing to do is mitigation.”
Aileen said opportunities for mitigation “are not being given enough air” such as different power systems and ways of fossil fuel reduction.
“We’d like to know more about what the shire has in mind and how we can help you make it more visible,” said Richard.
Shire planning and environment director Hannah Duncan-Jones said council was looking at what the real impact of climate change would be.
“It’s not uniform, it is important to do locational specific.”
“What you’re doing is terrific,” Cr John Duscher told the group.
“The (national) Sea Change Task Force is looking at climate change very seriously. We’ve had terrible destruction on our coast and fires that have been attributable to climate change.”
Mayor Cr Veronica Dowman suggested council might sponsor a member of Groundswell to attend a Sea Change Task Force meeting.
“If we can work with your group in any way we would welcome that.”
Cr Phil Wright suggested Bass Coast could be established as a “green room of the planet” with coastal and farm land managed in a very green way.
“A green image would have economic benefits.”
The film said climate change is real and caused by humans. It will cause our days to be hotter, nights warmer and won’t progress in linear form. Storms, hurricanes, drought and flooding will be bigger and more damaging. Ice will melt, glaciers are retreating and for a large part of the world’s population, snow melt provides their water supply. Water stress will also lead to crop failures and loss of
species.
As the sea becomes hotter, it will expand, possibly by 12 metres, threatening the 23 per cent of the world’s population living within 100kms of the sea.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=3224

Posted by on Apr 19 2012. Filed under Community, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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