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Mike Pulsford

  • How to write a letter to the editor

    Got an issue you'd love more people thinking and talking about? Letters to the editor of newspapers are a great way to make that happen.

    And sharing your experiences and concerns can generate community discussion and encourage editors to cover these issues more.

    Your local MP will keep an eye on the letters pages in newspapers in your area, so it's an effective way to get it on their radar, too.

    Read more

  • Book review: Active Hope, by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone

    This is a gem of a book, one of my very favourites. The subtitle says it all: How to face the mess we're in without going crazy.

    Active Hope By Joanna R. Macy

    Living and parenting in the era of climate change can feel like we're presented with an impossible choice. To avoid facing the ecological and political crises playing out feels like a betrayal of our children and our values. That's also true if we rely on passive hope, acting as though everything will be OK without our participation.

    But on the other hand, it can feel sometimes that to face the full weight of these crises will undo us, leave us unable to cope. How does one face something so huge, especially while we're still building the political will for change?

    This is what the authors so helpfully grapple with, laying out a simple four-step process we can use.

    Read more

  • Budget missed opportunity to ease cost of living with clean energy

    Parents for Climate welcome the funding commitments made in last night’s Budget to the clean energy transition, but say opportunities have been missed on cost of living and securing a safe climate for Australian children.

    “As parents navigating cost of living challenges who also want a safe climate for our kids to thrive, the Budget’s report card is mixed,” said Parents for Climate CEO Nic Seton.

    “Our budget report card shows that this government is committed to progress on clean economic development, but there are serious omissions and missed opportunities when it comes to long-term fixes for cost of living, and to the duty of care the government has for our kids’ climate. 

    “We welcome the investments made in the Future Made in Australia package, including the attention paid to resourcing skills training. These investments will help deliver the jobs our kids will do in the future economy.

    “We also welcome the investments to support consumers to benefit from the energy transition, and those in active transport, preparing rural communities for climate impacts and drought, and supporting communities to transition away from fossil fuels jobs.

    “While short-term energy bill relief is welcome, the opportunity was missed to lower power bills permanently by supporting more vulnerable families to access bill-busting rooftop solar and electric appliances.

    “The government has also overlooked the historic cost-saving potential of solar and batteries in schools and early childhood centres that could boost education budgets and help lower energy prices for consumers.

    “And while there’s no new funding for gas projects, support for climate-wrecking pollution remains dangerously high. There’s no reduction in subsidies for fossil fuels, no increase to relevant corporate taxes, and public money is still committed to the disastrous Middle Arm project. We expect better from our government and so do our kids.”



  • Tell your Labor MP or Senator: your gas strategy betrays our kids

    Today the Albanese government released a “Future Gas Strategy” that doubles down on drilling and fracking for more gas.

    After promising that voting for them would mean an end to years of federal inaction and obstruction on climate, and misguided ideas like the previous government’s “gas fired recovery”, the present government has rebadged the gas industry’s wishlist and given it another chance.

    It’s a betrayal, and we can’t let it pass quietly.

    It betrays our kids, who will pay the price for the rest of their lives for shortsighted decisions like this.

    And it betrays the parents who voted to trust this government with the duty of care to do the right thing by our kids.

    What can I do?

    I've never contacted an MP before, what do I do?

    Check out these great tips from the Climate Council.

    What should I say?

    If your MP is one of the few to speak out against the plan, thank them for speaking out and ask what they plan to do next.

    If your MP has remained quiet:

    • This is a betrayal of our kids and the parents who voted for you. In 2022, the Albanese Government promised that things would be different after a decade of Coalition inaction and obstruction on climate. But committing to expanding gas at this scale is a disaster for the climate our kids will grow up in.
    • It’s misleading to portray gas as a climate solution. Gas is a fossil fuel which makes climate change worse.
    • To be clear, this government has also made excellent announcements when it comes to big renewables projects.
    • But just as we wouldn’t let our kids use cleaning one room as an excuse to leave a mess in another, building new renewables is not an excuse for wrecking the climate with decades of new gas production.
    • Other ALP MPs have spoken out about this disastrous plan. Will you?

    What do we want instead of this plan?

    What happens next?

    We’ll keep pushing for our positive vision:

    • A safe climate for our kids to thrive.
    • Government’s duty of care to our kids enshrined in legislation.
    • Our kids educated in schools and early learning centres covered in solar panels, growing up knowing they have a bright future.

    But moments like these are a wake up call - that the people making money off the climate crisis can all too easily get the government’s ear. 

    The quieter we are, the easier that remains for them, and the harder our kids’ futures will be.

    So it’s at moments like these that we need to get much, much louder.


  • Solar Our Learning visibility challenge

    Can you help make the Solar Our Learning campaign massively more visible to other parents by putting up a poster at the schools and/or childcares your children attend?

    Here’s the steps

    1. Download a poster to colour in here (Or want a pre-coloured one instead?)
    2. Print it out; colour if you want
    3. Get permission to put it up at a school and/or childcare you're connected to
    4. Take a selfie with it
    5. Post the selfie to social media and tag us, so we know you've done it! Or if you despise social media with every fibre of your being, just email the pic to us instead at [email protected]
    6. For each school or childcare you send us a pic from by Budget night, we'll send you a Parents for Climate sticker!

  • published Emma gets a sticker too! in Smashing it! 2024-03-26 14:57:23 +1100

    Emma gets a sticker too!

    Emma! Thanks so much for being involved in the Solar Our Learning signup challenge! Can I ask you a few questions about how and why you got involved, and how you've managed to sign up 13 people?

    First, why did you originally get involved with Parents for Climate?

    I always look for opportunities to get involved in doable and meaningful ways with grassroots climate organisations. I've got a small child and a love for the natural world and I also quite like having a liveable habitat, as I am a human. I think it's smart to engage parents with a group like this as we all share this concern for the world we will pass on to our kids. 

    Second, why did you want to get involved in signing up others to the Solar Our Learning campaign?

    This campaign strikes me as well chosen and well targeted; meaningful for both kids and parents in that it will have a real, significant and visible impact, and tangible. I also think it's realistic and likely to be attractive to the federal government as an easy win for all those reasons.

    Third, how have you gone about getting others to sign up?

    I just followed the suggestions (and some of the wording!) in the previous emails – I messaged my friends, family and mother's group on WhatsApp and Signal with a slightly personalised version of the pitch. I posted it on my own Facebook and LinkedIn accounts and I also emailed my son's daycare centre with a little explanation of what it was all about asking them to share the link.

    It was probably 15-20 minutes' work in total – so probably got me a signature for each minute of work, think of how that kind of impact could be scaled if all of us do it!


  • published Julia gets a sticker! in Smashing it! 2024-03-26 14:12:02 +1100

    Julia gets a sticker!

    Friends: pray join me for a moment to pay homage to Julia Parkin!

    She's signed up 19 people in the Solar Our Learning signup challenge so far, so is sitting right on the cusp of a second sticker.

    She looks happy to be involved, doesn't she?

    Anyway of course I had some questions for her.

    Read more

  • published Rob smashes it in Smashing it! 2024-03-26 13:32:26 +1100

    Can anyone catch Rob?!

    If you read our emails -- and please do! We strive to inform and delight -- you'll know we’re giving away Parents for Climate swag to anyone who helps get other parents involved in our Solar Our Learning campaign before May's federal Budget.

    Every ten signatures you get on our open letter by that date gets you a sticker; if you get a hundred you get a t-shirt!

    More details about the Solar Our Learning signup challenege are here if you want them, but right now the question now is: Can anyone beat Rob?!

    Read more

  • Melanie leapfrogs Rob! How did she do it?!

    If you've been reading my recent emails -- and I do hope you have, they're quality gear -- you'll know three things:

    1. We’re giving away Parents for Climate swag to anyone who helps get other parents involved in our Solar Our Learning campaign before May's federal Budget.
    2. Every ten signatures you get on our open letter by that date gets you a sticker; if you get a hundred you get a t-shirt!
    3. The early lead was taken by one Rob Chan, and I was questioning whether his lead was capable of being surpassed. Here he is smiling the smile of victory at 17 signatures:

    Anyway we're all shocked to discover that said smile was premature, because Rob has been leapfrogged -- or leapROBbed, if I may be so bold -- by new member Melanie Cooke, who only signed up a fortnight ago!

    Read more

  • published Smashing it! 2024-03-26 13:10:07 +1100

  • Solar Our Learning resources

    Solar Our Learning campaign page

    Posters and images

    #SolarOurLearning printable posters for schools and childcares

    A printable poster designed to be put up at schools and childcares to raise awareness of the #SolarOurLearning campaign. Includes a QR code for the open letter, for those who see it and want to get more involved.

    Colouring-in versions

    A great rainy-day activity - designed to be coloured in and then stuck up at a school or childcare. Space for kids to write their name and age too!

    • Schools and childcares

    PDF

    PNG 


    •  School-focused

    PDF

    PNG


    •  Childcare-focused

    PDF

    PNG


    Pre-coloured poster

    PDF poster

    PNG poster

    Want to download a higher-resolution copy, or a different file format? Use the Canva link here!


    Templates


    Other colouring-in pages

    Individual images are below, or find a pdf of all images here


    Reports and briefing documents

    Solar Our Learning report

    Solar Our Learning: Saving millions for the early learning sector presents the benefits of clean energy upgrades for the early learning sector, the barriers the sector faces in taking advantage of them, and the ways governments can help.


    Briefing documents

    These are two-page campaign summaries for people or organisations in the early childhood or education sectors who want more detail about the campaign than the open letter provides, but don't need the full report

     


  • Join the Solar Our Learning signup challenge!

    Can you help us show the government there’s growing public demand for clean energy upgrades for schools and early childhood centres?

    Our past campaigning has led to $71 million in funding across multiple states for clean energy upgrades for state schools. However, most schools still lack rooftop solar, and even those that have it don’t have enough to meet their energy needs.

    And there is still no targeted support at any level of government for clean energy upgrades for the early childhood sector - for preschools, kindergartens and long day care services.

    Can you help get more parents to sign our open letter to state and federal governments?

    Parents like you have always been the powerhouse of our organisation's achievements. And with your help we can show the government there’s unstoppable demand for these reforms.

    To help supercharge the Solar our Learning campaign (and get some sweet swag)

    1. Click on the open letter link to get your personalised sharing links! (If you can’t see them, you’ll need to sign the open letter yourself first.)



    2. Use those links to share the open letter on the platform of your choice, and our leaderboard will track how many people you’ve gotten to sign up

    3. For every ten signatures you get by Budget night, we’ll send you a Parents for Climate sticker. Or if you’re more ambitious, for every hundred, we’ll send you a t-shirt!

    The stickers will be high-quality vinyl prints, tough enough to use a bumper sticker on a car or bike, but equally attractive elsewhere. 

    And Parents for Climate t-shirts in particular are highly prized. Look how excited these two young people are to have one!

    Seriously though, too many schools and early childhood centres are missing out on the benefits of bill-busting clean energy installations.

    We know that solar and batteries for all schools and childcare centres can save money, employ thousands of people, and cut climate pollution - it’s a win-win-win.

    If the federal government steps up and makes a sufficient commitment to this project, it will be a step towards Australia’s largest clean energy proposal, benefiting every community in the country.

    But they need to hear demand loud and clear from the community, and that that demand is growing and can't be ignored.

    Click here if you can help! 

    Thanks for all that you do,

    Mike

    Michael Pulsford
    Parents for Climate Campaigns Manager

    * Solar Our Learning: Saving millions for the early learning sector


  • published Report: Solar Our Learning in Resources 2024-03-14 16:09:29 +1100

  • Let's get clean energy for every school and childcare in the country!

     

    We’re calling on state and federal governments to fund solar panels and batteries for every school and early childhood centre in Australia that doesn’t yet have solar - or needs more.

     

    It's a no brainer: creating clean local jobs Australia-wide, slashing school and centre electricity costs, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions to protect our climate. We're asking state and federal governments to make this a reality.

    Solar and batteries significantly cut power bills for schools and early childhood centres by using and storing free energy from the sun. 

    • Save $114,000 in annual energy bills per large school*
    • Save $12,700 in small schools*
    • Saving $12,400 - $14,600 per annum for the average early childhood centre**

    To achieve these savings, schools and centres need grant funding for their solar and battery system, and to become part of a "virtual power plant" where they can sell their excess solar power to the community.

     

    Help make this a reality: take action now!

     

    1. Help grow public support

    2. Help demonstrate organisational support

    3. Share these resources

     


    Sources:

    * Beyond Zero Emissions ‘Million Jobs Plan’ 2020 - This plan, developed in conjunction with Tesla, provides for large schools to utilise 250kW of solar plus a medium battery and small schools to use 25kW of solar panels plus a small battery.  

    ** Based on a analysis of a random selection of 500 childcare provider energy consumptions figures, conducted for Parents for Climate by Utilizer Energy Consultants


  • Rooftop solar for early learning

    Parents for Climate (formerly Australian Parents for Climate Action) welcomes today’s recommendation by the Productivity Commission that all Australian children be entitled to three days a week of high-quality early education and care.

    “Along with this week’s announcement of the largest single investment in large-scale renewables in Australia’s history by the Albanese government, this has been a good week for every parent concerned for their kids’ futures,” said Parents for Climate CEO, Nic Seton.

    “More clean energy keeps our kids safer, now and into the future. And the benefits of high-quality early education are huge, both for kids and parents.

    Barry Beckett Children's Centre, Coburg VIC

    Read more

  • published Sign our letter to Australian power companies 2023-08-09 12:56:52 +1000

    Sign the Letter: tell power companies to come clean on greenwashing

    Too many power companies are marketing electricity from fossil fuels as ‘carbon neutral’, claiming they can ‘offset’ that pollution with carbon credits - by paying other people not to pollute, or to plant trees somewhere.

    But using so-called ‘offsets’ as a licence to pollute cheats our kids out of a safe future, and misleads parents who are trying to do buy clean energy.

    We need all power companies to understand we've had enough of their greenwashing. Can you sign our open letter to let them know we won't stand for it?

    To the power companies of Australia,

    We, the undersigned, are parents and other caregivers who care about our kids’ climate.

    Many of us are time-poor, so when we’re trying to choose the best products for our families we rely on companies representing their products honestly.

    And we don’t appreciate being misled.

    If we’re in the supermarket we expect the label to match what’s in the box. And when we buy power we expect the same.

    If your products generate pollution that harms the climate our kids are growing up in, don’t market them to us as ‘green’ or ‘carbon neutral’.

    If you’re misleading us into buying polluting products when we’re trying to buy clean energy, you’re misleading us into harming our kids when we’re trying to protect them.

    It's our job to protect our kids. And it’s our job to teach them there are consequences for misleading behaviour, so we’re taking a stand.

    Advertise the climate impact of your products honestly, so we can make real choices about what we buy.

    And change your business from polluting to clean renewable energy.

    Sincerely, 

    Australian parents, grandparents, carers and family members.




    1,796 signatures

    We need all power companies to know we've had enough of greenwashing. Can you sign now? 

    We'll keep you updated with our campaigns privacy policy

    Add signature

  • published Help stop greenwashing in Get Involved 2023-08-09 13:00:05 +1000

    Support our campaign to stop greenwashing

    Enough is enough: we’re suing EnergyAustralia for greenwashing


    As parents who want a safe climate for our kids, we try our hardest to buy clean renewable energy.

    But too many companies are incorrectly marketing polluting products as ‘green’ or ‘carbon neutral’, making it even harder for us to do the right thing by our kids.

    Energy giant EnergyAustralia has been marketing electricity and gas from fossil fuels as ‘carbon neutral’, claiming they can ‘offset’ that pollution. But so-called ‘offsets’ are a type of marketing spin that enables companies to continue polluting, without making genuine cuts to their pollution.

    It’s our job as parents to stand up for our kids, and to teach them there are consequences for misleading behaviour.

    So we’re taking EnergyAustralia to court, where we’ll argue that they have engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct. If our case succeeds it will set a new legal precedent in Australia, preventing this kind of marketing spin. 

     


     

    Take action to stop greenwashing now

    We need to change the way all power companies do business to create a fair playing field for clean renewable energy.

    That’s why we need you - and the people you can connect with - to sign our open letter calling on all power companies to stop greenwashing.

    Sign the open letter now and be a part of Parents for Climate holding these companies to account.

     

    SPLIT

     


     Parents for Climate CEO, Nic Seton, and supporters, outside the Law Courts in Sydney

    Why we are taking this legal action

    As Australia's leading climate advocacy charity for parents, carers, families and all who care about a safe future for kids, we're taking EnergyAustralia to court for making false and misleading climate claims, while continuing to pollute our kids' climate.

    Our case challenges EnergyAustralia - Australia’s third largest polluter - to stop misleading families over their ‘Go Neutral’ electricity and gas products. EnergyAustralia claims these products are “carbon neutral”, when they’re in fact not. These two products sell households energy that’s sourced from fossil fuels - including Yallourn coal-fired power station.

    This case is an Australian first, targeting the marketing of consumer products as “carbon neutral”. And if we’re successful, it will force EnergyAustralia to improve while setting a precedent for other companies to follow - further reducing greenwashing faced by consumers.

    As parents who care deeply about the climate we’re leaving our kids, we want EnergyAustralia to tell the truth about the impact of burning fossil fuels, and to empower consumers to choose genuine clean and renewable energy.

     

    What is greenwashing?

    Greenwashing is a form of marketing spin deceptively used to persuade the public that a company and its products are environmentally friendly.

    An especially pernicious form of greenwashing occurs when fossil fuel companies seek to shift public perception to view their business activities as part of the solution to - rather than the cause of - climate change. This has the dual effect of distorting the market for consumers and investors genuinely seeking climate-friendly products and businesses, while increasing climate harm through ongoing carbon pollution.

    Governments around the world are responding with tougher requirements and regulations - including a new EU directive on greenwashing in March. Australian regulation is yet to address the widening gap between greenwashing and reality.

    In our case, we're challenging EnergyAustralia - Australia's third largest energy retailer - for making claims that some of its electricity and gas products are somehow "carbon neutral" simply by buying carbon credits to somehow "offset" its pollution.

    Unfortunately, burning fossil fuels can never truly be "carbon neutral". So-called "offsets" are an exercise in marketing spin and creative accounting, without a solid basis in science. So we're calling EnergyAustralia out about misleading and deceptive marketing that amounts to greenwashing. 

     


    2,394 signatures

    We need all power companies to know we've had enough of greenwashing. Can you sign now? 

    We'll keep you updated with our campaigns

    Add signature

Parents for Climate meet and work on the lands of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people and respect that sovereignty of those lands was never ceded. We pay respect to Elders, past and present and emerging, and acknowledge the pivotal role that Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people continue to play within the Australian community.