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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.

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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

Labor's Climate Change Window Dressing

by Gary 8/25/2008 9:36:00 PM

The state Labor government has been spending a great deal of money on climate change advertising in recent months, asking you and I to act now to reduce our emissions. You might think that the Labor Party must be serious about addressing climate change.

You’d be wrong.

There are a range of excellent initiatives underway across Western Australia that are either reducing greenhouse gas emissions or sequestering carbon.

For example, Western Power is planting 240,000 trees this year, removing the equivalent of 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

The new rail cars for the metropolitan rail system feature regenerative brakes, similar to those on hybrid cars such as the Toyota Prius, which reduce the electricity required to run the trains, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions by an impressive 3 million tonnes per year.

The Five Star Plus building codes and the phase-out of incandescent lights in favour of low energy fluorescent and LED lamps are other initiatives that are helping to reduce our climate change impacts.

However, these efforts are all completely negated by just three months production of one new coal-fired power station. There are currently two such power stations under construction near Collie and there are plans for more in the pipeline.

Just think about it for a moment. If every single Western Australian were to change out all their old incandescent light bulbs and replace them with compact fluorescent light bulbs, the benefit from this effort would be wiped out with just four days production from just one of these new coal-fired power plants.

With abundant gas reserves, and ready access to renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, geothermal and wave, it is simply unacceptable for us to be building new coal-fired power stations.

Coal is the single dirtiest way of producing electricity. It produces twice the greenhouse emissions of gas. And yet Alan Carpenter has come out recently and said that coal is the future of electricity generation within Western Australia.

If you think that a vote for the Labor Party in the upcoming election is a vote for strong action on climate change then think again. Labor’s efforts on climate change amount to little more than window dressing.

Only The Greens are committed to weaning Western Australia off its addiction to coal and to transforming Australia’s economy into one that is based on clean, renewable energy. Make your vote count on election day September 6.

 

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Climate Change | 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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State Election 2008