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Sisters of St Joseph letter on post-COVID recovery

ARRCC supporters in Newcastle supporting Student Strike for Climate, Sep 20, 2019

Dated 4 August, 2020

Dear Mr Morrison, Mr Albanese, Mr Bandt and Mr McCormack,

I write as the coordinator of the Josephite Justice Network.  The Sisters of St Joseph were founded by Mary MacKillop in 1866 to work with those at the edges of society. ......

At this very time, when scientists are establishing new possibilities to assist in our recovery, both environmentally and economically, it is of enormous concern to us to watch as the Government moves to support fossil fuels.

Slumdog takes on millionaire

In this article, reprinted from Anglican Focus, St Andrew’s, South Brisbane Youth Group leader, Oscar Delaney, reflects on growing up in Indian slums, how climate change will hit the worst-off first and hardest and why he is taking on mining tycoon Clive Palmer.

Oscar is part of a new group called Youth Verdict. "A diverse group of 25 young Queenslanders, we will argue in the Land Court of Queensland that Clive Palmer’s proposed Waratah Coal Mine, which would extract four times as much coal annually as the Adani mine, endangers our human rights to life and property by causing more frequent and severe extreme weather events. This landmark case is the first to link climate change to human rights in Australia, and a win could have profound ramifications for other carbon-intensive projects around the country."

Faith pledge to fight racism in Australia

Black Lives Matter here in the land we now call Australia. ARRCC grieves for the innumerable losses suffered by our First Nations brothers and sisters, whose loved ones continue to die in custody. We strive to stand in solidarity with them. If you are person of faith and would like to join us, please sign this pledge.

Those who consider themselves religious must stand with all fellow Australians of good conscience in confronting the reality of racism in our society and investigate how we can help to bring about much-needed systemic change, regardless of race or ethnicity. 

Crosses at Geraldton, 23 Oct., 2014. Photo credit: abc.net.au 

Our tax dollars for 'clean coal' is immoral

Using OUR tax dollars to produce ‘clean coal’: why it’s immoral!

You know I accept the science of global warming, but even if you are a science sceptic, using more taxpayer dollars to support coal companies is morally indefensible. Let me explain why.

The Australian Government subsidize fossil fuel companies to the turn of $12 billion a year[1] (though the IMF says closer to 29 billion).[2] BHP, ExxonMobil  Glencore are three of the largest coal and gas mining multinationals in Australia, share in that government subsidy but through various means pay little or no tax on their multi-billion dollar profits.[3] Our coal-fired power stations receive highly subsidized coal, and yet they are now more expensive than wind and solar.

Coal is our worst polluter[4], and coal mining companies have had 15 years to make the ‘clean coal’ technology viable through their research and development arms. But instead of paying for their pollution we, the taxpayers, are being told that we must give them further financial support.

Then Treasurer Scott Morrison MP in February, 2017. Image from gizmodo.com.au

Post-COVID Recovery, a letter to the Coalition Government

As the federal government makes preparations for stimulus spending to re-build the nation's economy, they are being influenced in directions which might bring profits to the few but would not benefit the many. ARRCC calls on our Coalition leaders to learn from this precious pause in business-as-usual, where science was found to be a life-saving guide. To also save Australians - and the world - from the threat of an out-of-control unstable climate, we must change our extractivist ways and embrace a culture of caring more for everyday people and the earth's capacity to support life.

The ARRCC Committee therefore wrote to each Minister about priorities that would work for people and a safer climate. We encourage readers to write their own letter by spending a few minutes on "option two" here. Here's what we said. .....

We will need this new solidarity

There are those moments in life when, after hearing it all before, a life-changing insight lights up and so much suddenly makes sense.  I had one of those moments in 2014, while reading a newspaper article about the long-term effects of climate change. By 2050, according to this article, for people over 70, heatstroke would be the most common cause of death.

Join the call: Logging Australia's forests must STOP now, after fires

As we observe socially responsible physical distancing, we know powerful lobby groups continue to do their dirty work. We, people of faith, remain called to join the courageous efforts of civil society to continue to fight for what is right. ARRCC is a member of the Australian Forests and Climate Alliance which is inviting as many people and organisations as possible to endorse their Statement, to be used for advocacy purposes with Australian governments. Please share this link widely: http://forestsandclimate.org.au/national-overview/stop-logging-native-forests/

Tragically, logging continues after the fires, even in unburnt remnant native forests which are known habitat for threatened species. The number of jobs the Australian logging industry generates is not worth the loss of habitat for species and carbon sequestration our precious forests provide. AFCA calls on governments to immediately halt logging native forests pending an informed scientific assessment of the reality we now face. 


Faith leaders urge PM to show moral leadership on climate

Senior leaders from faith communities with over 10 million members across Australia have urged Prime Minister Scott Morrison to show leadership after Australia’s devastating summer by committing to stronger climate action and urgently scaling up the adoption of alternatives to coal, oil and gas. 

In an open letter, leaders from Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim and other faiths urged the Prime Minister to heed climate science, which shows all countries have to achieve deep, rapid cuts to greenhouse gas emissions to avoid catastrophic climate change. 

Pictured from left: Thea Ormerod ( Chair, Australian Religious Response to Climate Change); Ghaith Krayem (CEO, Muslims Australia); The Most Venerable Sujato Bikkhu (Buddhist monk); and Wies Schuiringa (vice president, NSW Ecumenical Council & Co-Clerk, Quakers NSW)

Siemens' Dark History

The Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council has called on Siemens to suspend its railway signalling contract with Adani. Their elder Murrawah Johnson is in Munich right now seeking a meeting with Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser, and will try to address Siemens shareholders at the annual meeting this afternoon (5/02/2020).

Their current contract which enables the exploitation of a huge, new coal basin resonates with a dark past, which Rabbi Jonathan Keren-Black shares in this article.

Buddhist, Gillian Reffell (left), and Catholic, Thea Ormerod (right) were arrested peacefully protesting outside Siemens' office in Sydney

Beyond politics – a Jewish call for serious climate action

In the wake of this Summer's catastrophic bushfires, a group of Australian Jewish organisations are speaking out about the need for climate action.

Together with many other Australians, Jewish people are responding to a dreadful national disaster by contributing money and support to people who have lost loved family members, homes and other property and to volunteers fighting fires or rescuing injured wildlife. (1)

This is what Australians do at times like these. But we need to do much more.