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Ward off Climate Change

About the author


Gary Warden was raised in the Perth Hills. After graduating from the University of Western Australia with a degree in Geology, Gary joined BHP Billiton where he spent 18 years working in a variety of roles in a number of locations around the world. Prior to leaving BHP Billiton in December 2006, Gary was Global Manager for the company's US$1Billion business improvement program.

While he was originally sceptical about the claims relating to climate change, he became convinced of the urgency of the issue in early 2006. He left BHP Billiton primarily to spend more time with his young family, but also to dedicate himself to creating a more sustainable life for himself and his family and to support others in making that change.

In September 2007 he was trained by Al Gore and has delivered the "Inconvenient Truth" lectures to thousands of west australians since then. In November 2007 Gary ran for the senate in the Federal Election representing the Climate Change Coalition.

In addition to his climate change lectures, he has facilitated Living Smart workshops across Perth. Between 2008 and 2009 he was on the Executive Committee of the Conservation Council of Western Australia including one year as Vice President.

Gary co-founded and is Executive Director of the very exciting Days of Change program, one of the largest sustainability programs in Australia and is now General Manager WA for Eco-Kinetics, one of the largest Solar PV companies in Australia and subsidiary of ASX-listed CBD Energy.

Liberal and Labor Not Serious About Climate Change

by Gary 9/4/2008 3:23:00 PM

Toni and I both attended a forum run by the Conservation Council of WA and co-sponsored by the Australian Conservation Foundation, the World Wildlife Fund and the Wilderness Society.

To kick things off, representatives from the peak environmental groups had an opportunity to talk about what they saw as being the most critical environmental issues in this election campaign.

It was then the turn of representatives from each of the major political parties to talk about the approach of their respective parties to these issues and to answer questions from the almost 100 people in the audience.

Sadly, the Liberal Party did not deem the event important enough to send along the shadow environment minister and sent along Ray Halligan, MLC for the North Metropolitan region. Mr Halligan admitted to not being fully briefed on the environmental policy of his party, and drew gasps from the audience when he admitted that he thought that the jury was still out on the cause of climate change.

Minister for the Environment, David Templeman did a considerably better job and showed that he was well informed on most of the issues. He was unable however to justify the continued construction of new coal-fired power stations.

The Labor party has made a number of significant environmental announcements during this election campaign, which appear to be impressive at face value.

For example, discounts on the third party insurance for low emissions vehicles, free insulation for 20,000 low income households and a gross feed-in tariff of $0.60/kWH for households installing solar panels on their roofs. These are all excellent initiatives, and I support them whole-heartedly. Combined, they will have the impact of removing more than 50,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere each year.

However it is worth putting them into perspective. One coal-fired power station produces almost 3,000,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases per year. There are two new coal-fired power stations under construction, and more in the pipeline.

So, just one of these new power stations will completely offset the benefits of three of Labor’s biggest green election announcements with less than one weeks worth of production!!

And don’t think that the Liberal Party is any different. It isn’t.

Both Liberal and Labor are committed to continuing our reliance on coal as a source of electricity. This is simply unacceptable.  

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Climate Change | State Election 2008

September 6 is Independence Day

by Gary 9/4/2008 3:21:00 PM

Well—that should really read “Independent’s Day”, or more correctly “Minor Parties’ Day”, but I couldn’t resist a good headline.

On September 6, your vote in the lower house for one of the minor parties will effectively give you two votes rather than one.

If you vote for one of the minor parties as your first preference then you will be making a statement to both of the major parties about what you stand for—for example stronger environmental protection and social justice (The Greens), Christian values (CDP), family values (FFP) etc. This is effectively your first vote (the statement you want to make).

None of the minor parties are likely to win a lower house seat (although we hope that Toni will put up a good showing in Kalamunda), so inevitably your vote will then get distributed to one of the major parties according to your preferences. This is effectively your second vote (who you want to form government).

So, don’t waste your vote by placing Liberal or Labor number 1 on your ticket. Place a minor party number 1.

With your vote in the Upper House, bear in mind that minor parties do stand a good chance of getting elected there, particularly the Green’s. I believe that having an Upper House with a range of representation from different parties is a very good thing for democracy.So, consider giving your first preference to one of the minor parties in the upper house also.

If, like me, you are concerned about inaction on climate change, then you’ll give your first preference to The Greens in both houses. 

Click here to check out Toni's election website.

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State Election 2008

Toni Running for the Greens in Kalamunda

by Gary 8/25/2008 8:51:00 PM

Well—we’re at it again—or at least Toni is. This time Toni has agreed to throw her hat into the ring and run for The Greens for the district of Kalamunda in the upcoming state election.

Toni will provide a strong voice for hills residents on issues such as protection of our natural environment, improvements to facilities and services for youth, families and seniors, improved access to health services and improved public transport services and infrastructure.

It will be a very tough ask. The Greens have never won a lower house seat in Western Australia, however we are hopeful of a strong showing with many residents becoming increasingly concerned about the inaction of the Labor party and the proposed policies of the Liberal Party.

If you are interested in more information about what Toni is standing for, then check out her website here.

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Scientists Establish 350ppm as Target for Atmospheric CO2

by Gary 6/30/2008 9:28:00 PM

The planet's most important number stars in a new two-minute cartoon.

Leading scientists, including NASA's James Hansen, have issued a report stating that "if humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350 ppm".

We have already overshot the 350ppm target, and atmospheric CO2 continues to increase. The report goes on to say that "if the present overshoot of this target CO2 is not brief, there is a possibility of seeding irreversible catastrophic effects".

A new organisation, www.350.org, is now promoting the 350ppm target using the new cartoon. It is intended to work cross-culturally, without the use of any one language, so the entire world can understand it.

Send it to anyone who doesn't know that the world's most important number is 350.

 

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State Election 2008