An email to donors – sent 13/11/2013

It’s with mixed emotions that I send this email.  Firstly I’m filled with joy and appreciation.  Thanks to your support and financial contribution we have raised enough money to fund my work for the next couple of months.  That means that here in Perth I can dedicate my time to campaigning for the climate and strengthening our movement.  And that’s exactly what I’ve been up to for the last couple of weeks.
So far I’ve been working on a range of campaigns – I’ll comment on some highlights here and if you want to know more feel free to get in touch.
Late October along with various groups including (I’m one of the co-ordinators here in WA), Australian Ethical, the Community and Public Sector Union and the Conservation Council of WA we ran an excellent Divestment Forum.  Because it was so successful we’ve been asked to facilitate another event which we will be doing on the 6th December.  For more info and to book in you can click here.  Divestment is going to be a major thread in my work.  Divestment looks at taking our $’s away from funding climate change through fossil fuels and where possible placing that money in solutions.  As Bill McKibben states:
“If it’s wrong to wreck the planet, it’s surely wrong to profit from that wreckage”
Many of us have no idea that almost every Super-Annuation Fund invests in fossil fuels, and if you’re banking with the big four banks, they are the ones lending your money to the fossil fuel companies to expand their extraction projects.  Divestment has been highly successful as a campaign in shifting awareness of Apartheid in South Africa, in Tobacco and Gambling and the latest research from Oxford on Divestment suggests this campaign is progressing well.. 
National Day of Climate Action
This Sunday the 17th November we have the National Day of Climate Action hosted by a wide variety of Environment and Social Justice groups.  Having thousands of people turn out for such an event is always a challenge – however it’s critical these events are successful so working with others we’ve been getting the word out and planning to ensure the day is great.  The day will have a festival feel and is designed to reinvigorate the movement and challenge the constant bleatings of the government that they have a ‘mandate’ to repeal our clean energy laws.  We want to be clear that they do not have that mandate and we actually want more action on Climate, not less.
Climate and Health
I’ve been involved in numerous conversations exploring Climate Change and Health.  The health impacts of Climate Change are vast, and often unknown by many.  The health benefits from a low carbon society are also vast, so there’s lots of good news in this area too.  Last week I attended a Health forum looking at planning for our health system in 2030.  It was sad to say that Climate Change didn’t crack a mention as they spoke about the demographics and influencing factors in 2030.  If I hadn’t have been at that specific forum nobody would have been speaking about these issues.  So more meetings have been set up and whilst it’s going to take time and patience I’ll be endevouring to educate health folk about the risks they will be facing and the opportunities available from acting now.
I also played a small and yet significant role in ensuring we have a Public Health Delegate attending the UNFCCC talks in Warsaw Poland.  Until a few weeks ago we didn’t have an Australian delegate but through the amazing work of Fiona Armstrong at Climate and Health Alliance and her networks we secured a spot and some funding to have a member of their Board attend. 
Networking and Collaboration
I’ve been involved in many conversations with various individuals and groups who work in this area looking at how we can collaborate and increase our collective effectiveness.  There is much to do and it’s imperative that we are collaborating.  From roundtable discussions to cups of tea we’ve been planning events and training, sharing resources and looking to the future.  My intention is to ensure that within a few months we have some excellent structures in place to support our continued collaboration.
But why did I mention at the beginning of this email the mixed emotions.  I’m sure most of you are aware of the Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) which ripped through the Philippines and caused so much devastation.  It seems appalling to me that at such a time we are currently passing legislation in our lower house to repeal the Clean Energy Act and have refused to send a Minister to the Climate talks in Warsaw.  I posted a blog post about this earlier today which you can read here.
So for now – Abbott is right. We do need Direct Action. We need Peaceful Direct Action that resists the power of the vested interests and the fossil fuel companies, that resists and slows down the destruction of our pristine places. We need to show up, to stand up and to let those in power know that we want to protect our futures.  We have Peaceful Direct Action Training happening in coming weeks.
In the words of Yeb Sano:
“We cannot sit and stay helpless staring at this international climate stalemate.  It is now time to take action.  We need an emergency climate pathway.”
If you haven’t yet read Yeb Sano’s speech – I recommend you do.  It’s here.
So thank you for being someone who understands the urgency of this work.  We have much to do – again as Yeb Sano said – “If not us then who? if not now then when?”  It really is up 2 us.

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