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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.

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

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