Creating Climate wealth

Friday, 13 August 2010

Go Greener Australia

Why be green?

We're facing a time of great environmental change, and it will affect us all. But concerned people have been working out what to do, and know what the solutions are. It's just a case of making the solutions happen! The links below are to websites that explain various environmental problems and what can be done about them.

If you've found this site useful, you might like to read the Go Greener, Australia blog. It's a regularly updated look at environmental issues and green living in Australia.

Threats to the Australian environment

•Climate change: Find out what climate change is, and how it affects Australia. For more detail, there is also a technical report on the effects of climate change in Australia. Tim Flannery, a prominent Australian scientist (and Australian of the Year for 2007), has written a great book explaining climate change called "The Weather Makers". In it he explains how our climate works, what we've done to change the way it operates, and how that's affecting the world. The website Real Climate is great for keeping up to date with climate change news.

Biodiversity loss: Australia has many unique plants and animals that are threatened by habitat loss and climate change. Read an article about what biodiversity is, and why it's important. You can also see a map showing biodiversity hotspots around the world. An inspiring read is Douglas Adams' book "Last Chance to See", a funny account of his travels to see endangered animals before they become extinct.
Water pollution and overuse: Our waterways are becoming polluted with man-made products, while climate change is drying up our already dry country. Learn about water quality in Australia, then read about the threats to our water and what can be done to stop them.

Long-term solutions for Australia and the world

Sustainable living: this is what this website is all about, how to live sustainably in Australia. Ordinary Australians need to take responsibility for the things we consume in our everyday lives. Reduce, reuse, recycle — it sounds simple, but it can make a big difference to all of us.

•Renewable energy: energy produced from coal, oil and gas is one of the biggest contributors to pollution and climate change. Swapping to energy from renewable sources will greatly help our environment, but it needs support from industry, politicians and consumers. Big business supports nuclear power, which still faces problems with the time to start up, running costs and waste management. We already have hybrid cars, solar panels and wind farms, and these solutions are very well suited to the Australian lifestyle.

•Political action: it'd be nice if all we had to do was install a few low-flow showerheads to save the environment, but sometimes action is needed on a large scale. Politicians need to get informed so they can make it harder to pollute and easier to live greenly. Check your local politician's green policies, and let them know what you expect from them.

•Corporate responsibility: it's not enough for businesses to make a token effort, we want to see them actually make real changes. As consumers and shareholders we need to hold them to their promises, and ask them to make more effort to act responsibly.

•Technological innovation: if we keep doing what we've been doing, we'll keep getting what we've been getting. We need new ideas and new ways of doing things if we're going to change the world! Australia could be a world leader in new technology and methods, which would be great for jobs and the economy as well as the environment.

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Finding a balance between military necessity and humanity. These include: • the rule of distinction requiring that a distinction be made between civilians and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives; • the prohibition of indiscriminate attacks requiring that attacks must be directed at military objectives; • the rule of proportionality requiring that the effect of the attack on civilians and civilian objects not be out of proportion with the military advantage gained; • the rule on feasible precautions requiring that care be taken to spare civilians and civilian objects; • the rule on environmental protection prohibiting using means of warfare that cause damage to the environment; • and the rule on superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering.

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