Ethical investing – using our money for good

Ethical investing is currently in our news because of a court case brought against a large superannuation fund, REST Super, by one of its members for failing to adequately consider financial risks arising from climate change.

Also, as it happens, a member of one of the more civilised online forums asked very recently about ethical investing and received some good answers. That synchronicity encouraged me to turn the forum posts into something more readable for Green Path by combining and rewriting the replies of several members; that means it is not all my own work although it appears under my name as usual.

We will begin with the online Q & A, and then return to the court case. Continue reading “Ethical investing – using our money for good”

Townsville’s weather in 2019 – what happened?

The last few days have brought us some genuine early-Wet weather: heat, humidity and thunderstorms. We have recorded our first double-digit rainfall totals in months, so it feels like a good time to see what really happened last year.

The BoM released its Annual Climate Statement for 2019 a fortnight ago. It named last year as Australia’s warmest and driest on record but there were notable local exceptions: Townsville (1761 mm) and the middle of Western Queensland scored their wettest year on record. (So did the tip of Cape York, one spot on the WA coast and one spot on the Tasmanian coast, which reinforces the feeling that our weather is getting ever crazier but is not otherwise relevant here.)

Continue reading “Townsville’s weather in 2019 – what happened?”

Moving towards a plant-based diet

In Eating for the Planet (two years ago) I argued that the ideal diet is “one which minimises harm to the environment and to animals while maximising benefits to our health. There is no logically necessary connection between the three objectives but there is a ‘sweet spot’ where all three happen to coincide: a plant-based diet emphasising fresh, local, seasonal food.”

carbon footprint of meats and other protein
Environmental footprints of various proteins, from the Environmental Working Group, UK.

Since then, calls for all of us to adopt a plant-based diet for the sake of the environment have become ever more frequent and more urgent. Not entirely coincidentally, I have been moving towards such a diet myself, and thinking about how to do so as easily as possible. After all, if a change seems worthwhile and isn’t too hard, then more of us will try it.

Changing the lifetime habits of a household all at once may be impossible but what if we can gently move in the right direction – one dish at a time, one meal at a time, and maybe have some fun doing so? Continue reading “Moving towards a plant-based diet”

School Strike for Climate – Townsville

The School Strike movement – SS4C – is a remarkable phenomenon, having grown from one lone teenager’s action 15 months ago to a global action which brought millions onto the streets and parks of major cities and small towns alike on Friday 20th September. Media coverage has been good enough that I don’t feel I need to say more about that here.

We attended the Townsville rally, at Strand Park. I haven’t seen official figures but my estimate was around 500 people, which is encouraging for a community of 200 000 even though it can’t compare with the thousands in Melbourne and Sydney.

School Strike 4 Climate Townsville
The crowd at Strand Park

I was struck by how happy, peaceful and positive the whole event was, and by how inclusive. Continue reading “School Strike for Climate – Townsville”

Jourama Falls in the Dry

jourama falls walking track
The walking track to Jourama Falls

On the way home from the trip which took me to the Dalrymple Track and elsewhere I stopped off at Jourama Falls. I didn’t walk up to the falls themselves because I saw from the creek – still flowing, but only just over the camping ground causeways – that the effort would not be well rewarded.

This photo, however, confirms just how dry the country is now.

Townsville is the same, but we know Townsville is in the Dry Tropics; Jourama is not far from Townsville, so we shouldn’t be too surprised that it’s dry; but both are drier than usual, and Cardwell, definitely in the Wet Tropics, was nearly as bad.