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FFF News

FFF NEWS

The TAKE2 program initiated the Victoria’s Climate Change Pledge. This is an Australian state government led voluntary climate change pledging initiative.Targeting business, local government, communities, universities, schools and individual to work towards a net zero emissions by 2050. Member organisations advocates for climate change all with demonstrable leadership in sustainability. This program aims to provide organisation with opportunities to take action on climate change. Help protect the future of our communities and environment.

To participate, sign up on the TAKE2 website and make the universal pledge. On there create a profile page for your organisation, displaying actions you plan to do as well as the actions you have already taken. Share and promote your profile page with employees, customers, suppliers and others. Being a TAKE2 member provides a great opportunity to demonstrate to your networks the dedication and action you are taking towards combating climate change and achieving Victoria’s goal of net zero emissions.

Frank Fenner Foundation Submission to the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government Housing Choices Engagement Project, providing feedback on the Housing Choices Discussion paper, November 2017

By international standards, the city of Canberra and the ACT more broadly, are examples of mostly well planned development. The initial Garden City concept understandably has changed over time; although there has been much well-considered planning and implementation, there has been some development which is not well supported by many citizens and apparently out of step with the initial vision.It is important to recognise that Canberra has some of the most far-sighted strategies for the future, including 100% electricity obtained from renewable sources, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the encouragement of innovative design and businesses, a longer term waste management goal and, generally, maintenance of a verdant and healthy local environment.

Frank Fenner Foundation (FFF) has submitted some thoughts around integrating an urban framework based on biosensitivity principles into future planning for the ACT. This involves the transition to a society that  prosperous, cohesive, just and in tune with and respectful of nature and other living beings, and where human activities are ecologically and economically sustainable and socially equitable, based on a deep understanding and acceptance of the human place in nature and within safe planetary boundaries.

Open Society Fellowship
Are you interested in  new and radical forms of ownership, governance, entrepreneurship and financialization used  to fight pervasive economic inequality. Do you like to provoke productive controversy and debate. Are you an 'out of the  box' thinker.  Consider applying for a 2018 Open Society Fellowship applications at http://www.opportunitydesk.org/2018/02/15/open-society-fellowship-2018/FFF is interested in supporting any successful candidate who wants to focus in our space.


Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES - the biodiversity equivalent to the IPCC) warns "biodiversity – the essential variety of life forms on Earth – continues to decline in every region of the world, significantly reducing nature’s capacity to contribute to people’s well-being. This alarming trend endangers economies, livelihoods, food security and the quality of life of people everywhere, according to four landmark science reports released today, written by more than 550 leading experts, from over 100 countries.". More at https://www.ipbes.net/news/media-release-biodiversity-nature%E2%80%99s-contributions-continue-%C2%A0dangerous-decline-scientists-warn


Jeremy Leggett's latest missive

Jeremy Leggett is a British social entrepreneur, scientist, historian futurist and author with a vision for a  renaissance in civilisation triggered by renewable energy and its intrinsic social benefits. He founded the  Solarcentury, an international solar solutions company (1997–present), and is founder and Chair of SolarAid, a charity funded with 5% of Solarcentury’s annual profits that builds solar lighting markets in Africa (2006 – present).  He was a winner of the first Hillary Laureate for International Leadership in Climate Change (2009),  has authored four books on the climate-and-energy nexus.

The history and future of the global energy transition available on video
March 1 2018

The video of Jeremy's presentations to the recent conferences on 'Making Solar Bankable' can be seen here. Powerpoint versions of this presentation and 'How can investors help oil majors to commit to Paris' are available on his website, including source URLs to maximise the usefulness to people who might wish to use them in some way to get the message/s out.


The latest bulletin from Dr Jeremy Leggett

BBC Radio airs an unprecedented critique of the UK government’s undermining of renewables other than offshore wind, contrary to Paris commitments.

File on 4 used a wide range of interviewees across the full span of renewables industries devastated by the preference for nuclear & shale gas, and this made a powerful programme. I do recommend a listen, even though it is 37 minutes. The solar part is at the end. (But as we know, this drama is about much more than solar) Click Here.


Jeremy Leggett reports on the History of oil and gas production from US shale

Fracking has restarted in the UK after a 7-year abeyance. Dr Jeremy Leggett thought an update of August presentation, suggesting that this is a very bad idea, might be useful. Click here for more information.


Real colour of money: business wants profit and green cred

A strange alliance of corporates and environmental groups thinks profits and green credentials can be aligned. But there's some angry pushback.

Review of Peter Dauvergne’s caustic and highly readable critique of ethical corporate behaviour in Will Big Business Destroy our Planet?

https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23731710-800-real-colour-of-money-business-wants-profit-and-green-cred/


It's only natural: the push to give rivers, mountains and forests legal rights
It seems logical to grant protection to nature by treating it as a living entity. And the law might be catching up:
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/apr/01/its-only-natural-the-push-to-give-rivers-mountains-and-forests-legal-rights


Activating the Urban Commons: How do we make Canberra a Sharing City? 

Activating the Urban Commons Poster 2


20,000 Scientists Have Now Signed 'Warning to Humanity'
'World Scientists' Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice' has now become one of the most talked about research papers in history. It is an update to the 1992 paper which urged policy-makers and society alike to change their behaviour for fear of pushing the earth beyond its planetary boundaries. Last year, 25 years after the initial paper, an update was published, stating that we had failed to progress on most of the measures and warning humanity that "time is running out." The paper predicts that anthropogenic climate change and the activities which contribute to it may be detrimental to our ecosystem, adding that "time is running out" and immediate action is vital. To date, the article has received 20,000 endorsements and signatories, inspiring pleas from researchers and political leaders worldwide

https://www.ecowatch.com/warning-to-humanity-scientists-2544973158.html


Should we let Mother Nature fix the ecosystem?
New research indicates that, when it comes to the speed and completeness of ecosystem restoration, no difference exists between active restoration and simply ending the environmental disturbances.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-met-ecosystems-restored-does-it-work-20180227-story.htm


Commotion in the ocean: What’s happening to our seas?

In 2011, underwater temperatures shot up by two degrees Celsius in Western Australian waters — and stayed that way, well above normal, for a staggering 10 weeks. This punishing heatwave changed the ecosystem for good. Returning five years later, scientists found that 100 kilometres of kelp forests had been wiped out — replaced by tropical and subtropical fish, seaweed, and coral. They don’t expect the help to return.


DEEP THREAT

It’s now clear: Climate change is happening as much below the waves as above. A new study in Nature Communications finds that marine heatwaves have been increasing sharply over the last century. Comparing data from two periods — 1925-1954 and 1987-2016 — the study found heatwaves jumped by 34 per cent in frequency. And the duration of heatwaves (number of days per year where underwater temperatures reached high extremes) more than doubled. Finally, the studied showed that intense heating had spread geographically, extending across 65 per cent of the ocean’s surface.


NEW NORMAL?

Less than a hundred years ago, it was common for regions of the sea to go a full year without experiencing a heatwave. Now, the opposite is true: at any particular place, marine heatwaves happen each year more often than not. This isn’t just bad news for kelp forests, but also for many other ecosystems and species, and for people who depend on the oceans for their livelihoods. Perhaps of greatest concern is the world’s coral reefs—bastions of biodiversity, the tropical rainforests of the ocean. Reefs have evolved to survive within certain temperature ranges.  But now, we’re blowing right past them.


CORAL BLEACHING

When the waters around coral reefs become too warm, the coral expels their symbiotic algae (called “zooxanthellae”), which normally feed the coral via photosynthesis. With their algae gone, the coral turns ghostly white—a phenomenon known as “coral bleaching”. If the heat wave lingers over weeks or months, the corals and their algae can’t recover, and the corals and the reefs perish. Hit with a double dose of hot temperatures in 2016 and 2017, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef experienced its worst coral bleaching to date. These heat waves were linked directly to global warming, based on an exhaustive battery of statistical analyses. The upshot: Nearly a third (29 per cent) of the Great Barrier Reef has been decimated by overheating in just the past two years.


BIG FAIL FOR POLITICAL CONSERVATIVES

Although the calamity on the iconic Great Barrier Reef was global news, the Australian government is failing to protect its seas at every turn. Australia is, on a per-capita basis, among the worst carbon polluters in the world—and also sells huge amounts of coal to China, India, and other big-polluting nations.  Hence, when it comes to global warming, Australia is part of the problem, not part of the solution. The political conservatives currently running Australia get their marching orders and most of their donations from the country’s massive coal, gas, and mining industries. And if being one of the world’s worst polluters isn’t bad enough, the Australian government has also recommended cutting its marine sanctuaries by half. Indeed, if the current rightwing government has its way, 76 per cent of the Coral Sea, home to the Great Barrier Reef, would be opened up to commercial fishing and trawling, practices that are notoriously damaging to marine life.

How much more wrong-headed can things be?


A MESSAGE TO REMEMBER

Many people in the world, including ALERT scientists, see things like this: Australians, remember these shocking trends and dire warnings the next time you go to the voting booth. Australians are famous for their heartfelt saying: “Do the right thing.” The world is watching, Australia. It’s time to do the right thing.


UNDESA Voice - SDGs

Feb 2018

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Monthly Newsletter, VOL 22, NO. 2 – FEBRUARY 2018 , focusing on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To read more, follow this link:
https://www.un.org/development/desa/undesavoice/2018/02


2017 Future State of the Territory Event

7 Dec 2017

As the year draws to a close, the young people of Canberra headed en masse to the 2017 Future State of the Territory Event, organised by FutureNet, on December 5th. FFF Volunteers Zenia, Morgan, Kat, and Song were among them, and enjoyed a night of music, food, debate and talks centered around the theme 'changes'. Click here to read an article on the evening by Zenia Xie!


Volunteers Head to CCAMLR

7 Dec 2017

FFF Volunteers Kat Vincent and Eav Brennan accompanied our Executive Director Lyn Goldsworthy to the 2017 meeting on the Convention for Conservation of Antarctic Marine and Living Resources (CCAMLR), in Hobart. Click here to read about Kat's thoughts and experiences!


FFF Collaborates with Puppeteer Marianne Mettes on Education Project

5 Dec 2017
The FFF supported puppeteer Marianne in a successful grant application for 2018, and will continue working with her on our education projects next year. Here she is with some of her puppets. Exciting stuff!

 


Peter Tait Awarded Sidney Sax Medal

18 Sept 2017
FFF Chair Peter Tait was awarded the prestigious public health award, the Sidney Sax Medal, for efforts to promote and protect the public's health, including promoting planetary health. "By which I mean, living respectfully in tune with Nature", Peter said. "This really is a team award; totally unlocked for and unexpected. I stand on the shoulders, of Giants. Tony McMichael, Stephen Boyden, and many others, who have shaped my thinking for decades."