Australian news, and some related international items

Scientific women get together in plan for marine protected area for Antarctica Peninsula

October 20, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment, women | Leave a comment

What the planet needs from men 

Brisbane Times, by Elizabeth Farrelly, 15 Feb 19…………women aren’t the only victims. Nature too bears the brunt. The world is being shoved off a cliff not by masculinity’s strength but by its terrifying fragility.Fragile masculinity is fear pressurised into rage; fear of losing control – of liberated femininity, of mysterious nature, of a world bucking its traces, of chaos. The anger is a desperate attempt to reinstate that control, illusory as it may always have been.

We’ve just endured a series of 40-plus days across much of the country, last month was the hottest on record. We joke. Thirty-six is the new normal, haha. I gaze with cold-envy at Antarctica, minus 29. But see this for what it is. This is the will-to-dominance: fragile masculinity in action.

Tasmania incineratesRiver systems shrink to nothingFish die in their millions. In Queensland up to half a million head of cattle lie rotting in the mud. In the Northern Territory, the soil itself has begun to ignite and thermometers melt in bare ground. On Tuesday, ploughing-induced dust storms obscured Parliament House. Globally, we’re witnessing catastrophic insect extinction, the start of the sixth mass extinction in the planet’s history. The evidence is insurmountable.

Yet we continue to beat nature into submission, as if striving to make the world hotter and weather events more extreme. Other countries reduce emissions. Germany pledges to close its remaining coal-fired power plants in 30 years. Australia could match that. Both UNSW and the CSIRO with Energy Networks Australia argue that renewables could easily supply most or all of our future energy needs. Instead, we become the developed world’s only deforestation hotspot, expected to clear-fell a further 3 million hectares in 15 years.

The Darling Basin Royal Commission finds “gross maladministration” and “negligence” in our governments’ wilful ignorance of climate change. Even the courts, bless them, have started to disallow coal mines for their climate impact. Yet the government response is, well, nothing, actually. Minister Littleproud mentions “learnings” from the Darling but still our noble leaders favour irrigators, build motorways, approve new mines, deny climate science and ease the path to public subsidies for one the biggest coal mines on earth as though it’s all fine.

It’s not fine. This is domestic violence. This planet is our home and they thrash around in it yelling, intimidating, wrecking the joint. Like violent husbands they get all remorseful and beg forgiveness only to do it all again. Why? Because we’ve always thrashed nature, and nature has always coped. As a bloke once said to me: “You don’t want me to shout and get possessive? But I’ve always treated women like this.”

Stoically, the planet has housed and nourished us, tolerated us. But it can’t last. A dominance relationship is never sustainable, human-to-human or human-to-nature. Winning? To win this battle is to lose. The era of collaboration is here………….

It’s when people “stitch their self-worth to being all-powerful” that things go bad. An equal-status relationship – with a partner or with nature – requires listening, empathy, the antidote to shame.

We talk as though “traditional masculinity” were the enemy, as though we want men to evolve into something more like women. But that’s wrong.

What we need is not faux-women but nobler, more confident men. The man-heroes of the future, if we’re to have one, won’t be the brutes and sociopaths. They won’t be the cruel and the thoughtless, the boat-stoppers and coal-brandishers. They’ll be those who hold power but refuse to exploit it, renowned as much for their kindness as their exploits. Literally, gentlemen.

Male anger is leading us over a cliff. If men can find the strength to be truly vulnerable, they deserve to lead. If not, if they persist in this fragile rage, it’ll be up to Rosie the Riveter to save the day. Why? Because there is no spare room to sleep in.

February 16, 2019 Posted by | art and culture, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, women | Leave a comment

Sydney to host international climate conference for women in 2020

Sydney wins bid to host major climate conference for women in 2020, Brisbane Times, By Peter Hannam 3 February 2019 Hundreds of climate leaders are expected to flock to Sydney next year after the City of Sydney won its bid to host a global conference for women.

The C40 group, representing 94 cities home to more than 700 million people, has selected Sydney to host its Women4Climate Conference in April 2020.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said cities are responsible for a “staggering 75 to 80
per cent” of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, making action in cities to cut carbon pollution crucial.

“Many of the world’s biggest cities are setting ambitious targets and policies to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions, proving effective action on climate change and strong
economic growth are compatible,” Cr Moore said.

“Shamefully, our own national government has a history of wilful negligence and Australian
politicians, both state and federal, are presiding over a climate disaster.”

Polling, including by the Lowy Institute, suggest concern about climate change is at the highest level since the end of the Millennium Drought.

Those numbers may well rise after a summer of extremes, from mass fish kills on the Darling River, raging fires in Tasmania, extensive flooding in Queensland and record heat for Australia in December and January.

The Women4Climate aims to empower young female leaders to take action to protect the environment, with a focus on mentoring, research and technology.

Lord mayor Moore, City of Sydney chief executive Monica Barone and the mayor’s chief of staff Shehana Teixeira will travel to Paris later this month to attend this year’s Women4Climate Summit.

Sydney Council is expected to endorse the proposal to host next year’s conference when it votes on the city’s budget on February 11, with Cr Moore’s Independent Team set to use its majority to support the plan.

February 3, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, women | Leave a comment

Australian women – no say in nuclear decisions. Time for “ME TOO in NUCLEAR” – theme for February 18

Historically, women have been excluded from Australia’s nuclear discussions and decision-making.

Today they still are. (but the “cool trendy” new nukes lobby is bending over backwards in the pretense that women are involved, and are part of the toxic nuclear industry machine)

Oh dear – I did forget quite a few. For example:  

Now that Brewarrina Council in NSW is encouraging land-owners to nominate for hosting nuclear wastes, the council has engaged Robert Parker as their ‘consultant’ spin doctor! No facts, just spin.


January 31, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, women | Leave a comment

Women take the lead in Australia’s energy revolution

Changing the face of energy, The Age, Cole Latimer , 7 Jan 18 Australia’s energy sector and National Electricity Market is undergoing the largest transition in its history, both in the makeup of the grid and the face of this change.

Leading the char7bringing their experience in the utilities space and beyond to the fore as the energy sector sees industry-wide disruption.

  • Unlike many industries in Australia, energy has a strong representation of women at the top levels.

    Kerry Schott and Clare Savage at the Energy Security Board; Audrey Zibelman at the Australian Energy Market Operator; Paula Conboy at the Australian Energy Regulator, and Catherine Tanna at the helm of EnergyAustralia are just some of the women making an impact at the heights of Australia’s energy sector………

  • Australian Energy Market Operator chief executive Audrey Zibelman said while she didn’t start in energy, she cut her teeth in renewables and soon expanded that experience to revolutionise New York’s public service utilities and bring reform to the industry.

    Ms Zibelman said she finds the space one where she can make a difference on a grand scale.

    “Our job is providing public benefit, and the people who work in this space have a real public spirit, they love the challenge, what they do, and how it can have a huge impact,” she said.

    “There are few opportunities – in other careers – to say you can impact so many people every day, all day. It’s hard to find any industry where you can find both [that public benefit and impact].”

    Ms Zibelman believes that the current energy landscape is one in which women can thrive, as it faces its greatest challenge in its history.

    “We’re seeing women increasingly taking roles in energy leadership,” she said.

    “For myself, in general, we’re seeing an industry undergoing a massive change transition.

  • “What I feel is that when it comes to women in energy leadership roles, we’re risk takers, and willing to challenge traditional thinking,” she said.

    “Also, we’re collaborators, and women are able to create these social networks.”

    Much like Audrey Zibelman, Energy Security chairman Board Kerry Schott didn’t start in the utility industry, but similar to Ms Zibelman, she has become one of Australia’s leading lights in this industry……….

  • The one thing they all agreed on is the need to work towards greater efficiency in the energy space, both in terms of evolving the National Electricity Market and the way in which more renewables are introduced into Australia’s energy generation mix.

    Ms Zibelman said Australia’s real focus ahead should be on how to create a more reliable system with variable generation, such as wind and solar, as well as hydro and demand response……..

  • As these women helm the energy sector during its great transition, it sets a benchmark other Australian industries can follow.

January 31, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy, TOPICS, women | Leave a comment