Political Actions

politics – the process by which groups make decisions. Although the term is generally applied to behaviour within governments, politics is observed in all human group interactions

While it is important for people to make changes in their own lives, it is also necessary to engage with the wider society to effect the rate of change currently necessary to protect life on earth.

365 people taking action on the same day can effect change at the rate of a year in a day.

The actions below are some of the political actions taken by participants in this blog over a 4 month period in 2007:

20/8/07  Researching and blogging on sites around the world

19/8/07  Met with someone from a Climate Action group in Mackay who talked to me about carbon farming and essential oils as an alternative to petroleum based medications

18/8/07 Wrote to Environment Editor of the SMH

17/8/07  Blogged daily on other sites about global warming

16/8/07  Lobbied for funding for more web based training in telecommuting and communications like teleconferencing

15/8/07  Gave an Inconvenient Truth presentation to the P&F of Blue Mountains Grammar

14/8/07  Wrote letters to the paper

13/8/07  Wrote to an American Filmmaker gathering information about actions people are taking

12/8/07  Contacted people in Bathurst about the Bathurst to Bartlett Campaign which is putting Climate Change no. 1 on the agenda for the election

11/8/07  Met with the Environment Minister Phil Koperberg to discuss methods of increasing local employment and reducing transport emissions

10/8/07  Started handing out leaflets on Palm Oil Acgtion

9/8/07  Screened A Hard Rain at our Climate Action Group meeting

8/8/07  Put comments about global warming on the new Home Page Daily site

7/8/07  Signed on to ACF’s new Who On Earth Cares website

6/8/07 Attended council meeting to help lobby for Council to sign on to Greenpower and emailed out information about Climate Action in the Macquarie Electorate

5/8/07  Contacted Dr. Mark Diesendorf to be the keynote speaker for the Summit

4/8/07  Attended another planning meeting for the Environment Summit

3/8/07 Attended a meeting at the Golf Course about a strategy for Greening the Course

2/8/07  Made video of our community market and spent time reading and commenting on The Big Switch website

1/8/07  Made videos of The East Timor Garage Sale in Leura and the Lorax at Blackheath Public School as examples of communities acting for change
31/7/07  Lobbied for the Blue Mountains to be included in the Wifi rollout (free wireless broadband) so that more people could telecommute

30/7/07 Posed for a publicity shot with other Big Switch and Get Up! activists at Echo Pt in Katoomba

29/7/07  Gave a presentation to a Sustainability Forum in Kingswood; have been incredibly active politically over the last week – wrote lots of letters

28/7/07   Spoke to a climate skeptic moving sand dunes at the Entrance after a recent storm surge that flooded all the houses between the sea and the lake … gave it my best shot to convince him that this climate change is man made; signed petitions

27/7/07  Gave a presentation to an Interagency Group in Lawson; talked to like-minded activists

26/7/07  Posed questions to the Federal Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull in a live Daily Telegraph blog; learnt about the structure of the Australian Government and where the power balances lie

25/7/07  Wrote letters to Sate and Federal Governments about low carbon emission heating for schools; learnt methods of effective advocacy and how to strategically campaign for an outcome

23/7/07  Attended a committee meeting for the Environment Summit

22/7/07 Filmed the excellent work that Greencorps is doing at the school to create our kitchen garden

21/7/07  Gave An Inconvenient Truth presentation at the Springwood Civic Centre

20/7/07  Clicked on a poll in the SMH to indicate how I’m going to vote

19/7/07  Took part in a Bike Trail/Multipurpose track meeting at Council

18/7/07  Gave An Inconvenient Truth Slide presentation to the Annual Dinner of the Ag Bureau in Grenfell

17/7/07 Got together with other creative people (filmmakers, writers …) to brainstorm ideas to strengthen community interaction and the communication networks that exist between groups

16/7/07  Helped promote independent voices in Australian media by promoting AustralianBlogs.com.au

15/7/07  Built an erupting volcano with the boys, filmed it and put it on YouTube – drawing attention to “real science” about global warming emissions and encouraging the boys to respect “real science” in a world where the ABC even thinks it’s OK to screen “The Great Global Warming Swindle”.

14/7/07  Talked to one of the people who came to the show last night and they wondered if they could offset their travel by donating money to the school for our solar panel. Liked the idea but will continue to research this as a possibility.

13/7/07  Held our comedy fundraiser “Conference for sole traders” at the Golf Club to raise funds for solar panels for the school; also met with a Climate Action Now member to do some planning;

12/7/07  Joined the audience of the screening of the Great Global Warming Swindle in the ABC studios in Sydney; Met with local filmmakers to hatch ideas

11/7/07  Interviewed by a student from Lithgow High doing an assignment on Global Warming and What Young People Can Do; hosted first Get Up! Get together

10/7/07 Acted on Josephine’s tip about serviettes and said no to them wherever I could – they came with absolutely everything on the plane. Decided that actively saying no to each waiter and shop assistant all day was a form of political action; attended Climate Change Workshop run by Greenpeace

9/7/07  Polled on every global warming poll I could find on the web

8/7/07  Talked to another parent on the beach about global warming; Wrote letters to politicians about Gamba Grass and how it is just leading to more illegal landclearing as it is deliberately planted to catch fire and burn large areas

7/7/07  Promoted Climate Action Now Comedy Night and fundraiser for solar panels

6/7/07  Used a lot of crazy role playing games with the boys to teach them to think for themselves rather than just follow what others do

5/7/07  Organised first Get Together for Get Up!; helped find contacts for workshop on Climate Change

4/7/07  Wrote email to our Federal MP Kerry Bartlett drawing attention to the latest reports from James Hansen NASA

3/7/07  Commented on Dom Knight’s Blog about Al’s Inconvenient Spliff

2/7/07  Clicked on poll asking whether an ethical investment fund should invest in uranium stocks (I said no)

1/7/07 Spoke to as many people as possible about global warming at the Community Market

30/6/07 Gave a climate presentation to the Climate Change Forum in Lawson

29/6/07 Created a new powerpoint presentation on actions being taken to mitigate global warming in Blackheath – presented it to the BM Conservation Society

28/6/07 Gave a climate change slideshow in Blayney

27/6/07  Met with our local Federal MP Kerry Bartlett to express my concerns about government inaction on climate change & to ask for Federal support for our bike trail; researched the main political parties policies to properly inform myself on the best way to vote (rather than just following my usual routine)
26/6/07  Attended local council meeting to protest against their loosening of restrictions on their Open Burning Policy; had my first training session with

‘Get Up!’ as a Voluntary leader and arranged my first Get Together

25/6/07  Reviewed the responses I have received from various politicians and am in the process of replying

24/6/07  Went to the “Hypothetical- Advance Australia Where?’ and spoke to Kerry Nettle from the Greens about how to make effective political actions

23/6/07 Both sent e-mails to Morris Iemma, Phil Koperberg and Frank Sartor about the Anvil Hill mine through the Citizens Climate Campaign

22/6/07 Prepared background info to participate in Greenpeace’s Big Switch campaign; delivered Climate Action Kits and placards to student dance party in Wentworth Falls and opened Climate Change Exhibition in Canowindra

21/6/07 Registered my name on Get Up’s Climate Action Map; blogged at the Climate Movement Site

20/6/07 Blogged on Online Opinion and sent letter to media saying climate was the no. 1 election issue

19/6/07  Sent Senator Natasha Stott-Despoja an email expressing my concern about global warming and the government’s failure to act.

18/6/07  Put a comment on the Online Opionion blog and used the Greens Website site for sending letters to the media to say that the biggest election issue is not the economy (we’re in a giant resources boom) or workplaces it’s the Climate.

17/6/07  Wrote an ad about standing up to be counted and put it in the local paper; attended first training session as a Get Up Voluntary Leader

16/6/07  Sent emails to the Environment Reps of both parties, Malcolm Turnbull & Peter Garrett, re postponing National Carbon Emissions Trading until 2012; spoke up about Parliament’s next agenda – disbanding the Biodiversity Committee

15/6/07  Rang Independent MP Peter Andren about my concern over Labor not supporting the increase of Mandatory Renewable Energy Targets in the Senate; Peter is standing as an Independent for the Senate this election

14/6/07   Gave a Climate Change Presentation to Greencorps, Blackheath; registered Blackheath Climate Action Now with the Nature Conservation Council’s Climate Movement Website & sent letter to the ABC re the screening of The Great Global Warming Swindle

13/6/07  Gave a Climate Change Presentation to Blue Mountains Grammar School; sent off a Citizens’ Climate Change letter about Anvil Hill coal mine; wrote lesson plans on nurturing wildlife & wilderness revised extinction records from 125 species in 1788 to 296 species today; spoke out on the Emirates consortium’s DA for a Heliport in the Wollemi National Park

12/6/07  Sent off an email through the Citizens’ Climate Change Campaign about the Government better using its 23 million dollar advertising campaign money – a campaign that’s trying to shift responsibility from the Government to the individual

11/6/07  Continued to be very vocal on blogs, particularly in the SMH – important to make Global Warming the No. 1 election issue

Accepted as one of Get Up’s voluntary leaders

10/6/07  Worked on bike/rail trail lobbying strategy; blogged on other sites and went to our monthly Blackheath Climate Action Now meeting

9/6/07 Explored and linked up with new blogs

8/6/07  Rang SMH to tell them about our blog; researched Halliburton’s activities in Australia – they’re now under investigation by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission

7/6/07  Passed on a letter from Santa to Premier Morris Iemma and Frank Sartor; did research for Blue Mountains Conservation Society

6/6/07  Gave a Climate Change presentation to the Probus Club in Orange

5/6/07  Signed every poll I could find in the media highlighting Global Warming as major election concern and sent emails to my list asking everyone else to do the polls too; talked to everyone I met about politics and global warming

4/6/07  Blogged on lots of other people’s blogs about global warming; registered my name on polls about global warming

3/6/07  Ran a Food Co-Op at our Community Market – part of relocalizing Blackheath; the market celebrated World Environment Day

2/6/07  Went to a party and talked to every new person I met about global warming; wrote to John Howard and Kevin Rudd about open-cut coalmining at Anvil Hill in the Hunter Valley; wrote letter to the Blue Mountains Gazette about Global Warming

1/6/07 Sent emails to Get-Up, SMH, BMCC and mailing list; wrote to John Howard; protested against Anvil Hill mine

31/5/07  Attended a Council-run Community Consultation Day and lobbied for bike/multi-purpose tracks; attended the first meeting of the Katoomba/Leura Climate Action Group; applied to Get-Up to be a voluntary leader for the upcoming election

30/5/07  Gave Climate Change Presentation to Design Conference at Nepean TAFE; spending 10% of monthly income on charitable/environmental causes (imagine if corporations did that!)
29/5/07 Posted our blog on The Australian Index; wrote letters to lots of news sites on the web, including a response to “Coal Mining will outlast Green hysterics” in Online Opinion

28/5/07 Contacted lots of American blogs to let them know about A Year In A Day trying to connect bloggers in the only two developed nations that haven’t signed Kyoto; sent an email to Premier Morris Iemma about Anvil Hill mine & went to a meeting at the Katoomba Neighbourhood Centre

27/5/07  Sent letter against the Anvil Hill Coal Mine going ahead via the Citizens’ Climate Change Campaign

26/5/07 Submitted a comment in response to an article about eco-snobs and people’s rights to fly without a carbon tax in the Daily Telegraph

25/5/07 Met with some Blackheath Climate Action Now members to develop strategies for connecting Climate Action Groups in the mountains

24/5/07 Voted in Sun Herald poll about whether we are or aren’t worried about climate change – guess what I voted? Put up as much info as I could to show that scientists have debunked “The Great Global Warming Swindle”; am lobbying the ALP to develop a carbon trading scheme which includes ALL emitters including mining, electricity generation, cement, aluminium and international airlines

23/5/07  Rang MP’s office AGAIN and managed to get an appointment; emailed Greenpeace letter to Premier stating opposition to proposed Anvil Hill Coalmine in Hunter Valley; subscribed to www.climatecampaign.info and via them wrote to John Howard

22/5/07  Made a phonecall to our Federal MP’s office (Kerry Bartlett, BM) to make an appointment to discuss global warming concerns – followed this up with another letter to him; attended a talk on Climate Change and Biodiversity in the Blue Mountains and discussed the issues with locals, the information in this talk was specific to my environment so was quite a different experience then the general climate models I have seen

21/5/07  Spoke to Blue Mountains City Council about the necessity to make Bike Trails a top priority because of their role in reducing carbon emissions, gaining carbon credits, & safety; posted a number of blogs about our site on Sydney Morning Herald blogs – one with our address got up! Spoke to Chamber of Commerce about bike tracks, golf course & school solar panels

Attended a forum on human rights regarding the need for NSW and Australia to have a charter that specifically protects our human rights; since Sept 11 Australia has introduced 44 anti-terrorism laws, most people are not aware of this, or how it might effect their freedom of speech. Although not strictly related to climate change as expressed above I correlate the topics.

20/5/07 Emailed Federal Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull asking for reassurance that he was doing all he could possibly do for the future of our children; wrote to the local paper about the nature and importance of protest

19/5/07  Researched driving slowly as an option for carbon emission reduction in order to send letters to both State & Local Government

18/5/07  Gave a Presentation to Blackheath Golf Club Staff about Global Warming and planned with them how to become the Cleanest, Greenest Golf Course in Australia – organic, sustainable and growing food for Blackheath; posted comments on Grist & Envirowoman’s websites and thrilled when Envirowoman subscribed and joined us!!!!!!
17/5/07  Gave Climate Presentation to the Australian Institute of Landscape Designers & Managers & attended first get-together of the Al Gore Trainees in Sydney …. started driving 20km below speed limit (this is a personal & a political act!); donated to Get Up and participated in their survey

16/5/07 Lobbied for Martin Sheen to be invited to Australia – he’s a staunch anti-nuclear campaigner; demanded that the ACF acknowledge that it is not 10 years to the tipping point with global warming it is 8 1/2 … James Hansen made his comments about this in Dec 2005 … this is one of the most crucial pieces of information that mustn’t be ignored; created a jokingly political blog title

15/5/07 Made a comment on Peter Hartcher’s first blog on the Sydney Morning Herald (he’s the political journalist and was writing about the news polls) – brought climate change into the debate that saw Workplace Agreements as the main driver of the polls; blog, blog, blog, blog, blog

14/5/07  Researched and rang Greenhouse Office about solar rebate programme; signed up parents at our Education Day event to raise funds for our “Give Our School A Solar Panel Project”; wrote to Kevin Rudd about my disappointment at the expansion of the uranium mining policy

13/5/07  We both attended our Blackheath Climate Action Now monthly meeting to get action happening in the community; wrote to our local supermarket re getting in biodegradable garbage bags & hassled friends & family to read this blog & pass it on
12/5/07  Cruised the Blogosphere making comments about Global Warming on blogs around the world; wrote to the University re our campus going Carbon Neutral

11/5/07 Wrote to the Queen about her visit to George Bush and her possible support for the Guiding Movement in tackling Global Warming Issues; wrote to Federal Treasurer Peter Costello questioning the amount of spending on defence rather than the environment

10/5/07  Met with Council to lobby for biketracks linking towns & villages of the Blue Mountains; gave Climate Change Presentations to AGM of the Trefoil Guild of the Girl Guides in Katoomba & to the Staff of Country Energy in Bathurst; sent letter to Alexander Downer the Federal Minister about my concern for Climate Refugees

9/5/07 Wrote to Federal Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull

8/5/07 Wrote to our Federal MP Kerry Bartlett about my global warming concerns; signed up for Climate Prediction Experiment

7/5/07  Got Neighbourhood Centre to be involved with Community Market for World Environment Day; wrote a letter to John Howard and put up “I Love Clean Energy and I Vote” on my house

6/5/07  Ran Co-op vege stall at Community Market to make a stand for a different source of relocalized food production; ran Blackheath Climate Action Now Op-Shop for recycled goods at the Community Market and talked to people in the community

5/5/07 Met with Manager of Golf Club to work out steps to becoming organic and sustainable; wrote Letter to Editor of SBS World News

4/5/07  Did an interview with the local paper about how the school is working towards becoming a “Model of Urban Sustainability” and about our new “Give Your School A Solar Panel Project”; went public with this blog by email

3/5/07 Met with Green Alliance, a carbon credit company, & suggested a “Give Your School A Solar Panel Project”; lined up BM Gazette to do article

2/5/07 Gave two Inconvenient Truth presentations to Leura Public School; attended National Day of Action Rally for students – Climate Change Action, Education and Fair Rights at Work for Students

1/5/07  Wrote a letter to Prime Minister John Howard re “fuzzy ideas about renewables”, nuclear power stations and not ratifying Kyoto; signed up for Uni Day of Action & posted comment on SBS “Your Say”

30/4/07 Gathering in Springwood to ask Mr Bartlett (MP for Macquarie) to help us stop global warming

29/4/07  Rang more parents about Monday’s event in Springwood

28/4/07 Asked other parents to come along to “parents’ event” outside Kerry Bartlett’s office (Federal Member); wrote to SBS opinion poll about ALP uranium policy

27/4/07 Attended Labor Environment Action Network Meeting at National Conference & lobbied for biketrack; picked up flyers for Green Alliance to install free lightbulbs and showerheads into every house in Blackheath

26/4/07  Rang & emailed Kevin Rudd’s office re No New Nuclear Mines; lobbied LEAN about biketracks; became Secretary of Blackheath Climate Action Now at first official committee meeting

25/4/07  Sent letter to Editor of Sydney Morning Herald about Howard’s “fuzzy ideas about renewables” comment; wrote to local member Phil Koperberg (State) about incentives & rebates for water tanks

24/4/07  Signed Online Get Up Campaign petition about voting; rang Opposition leader Kevin Rudd re Labor’s No New Uranium Mines Policy

23/4/07 Talked to Councillor Terri Hamilton & Council Staff about Bike Track for mountains; signed Sydney Morning Herald poll in response to Prime Minister’s comments on renewable energy

22/4/07  Participated in Climate Change, Despair & Empowerment Roadshow & found 5 more to join blog

21/4/07  Met with Golf Club re a “Greening Strategy” & gave a Climate Change talk to Rhodo Society

20/4/07 Rang John Howard’s office re Australia not signing Kyoto

19/4/07  Talked to 2 people on the train, the sonographer & the girl at the Hemp Shop & got emails for blog

18/4/07  Rang Federal MP Kerry Bartlett re Australia not signing Kyoto

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