By Anthony Gleeson, Colin Mockett & Mik Aidt: The Sustainable Hour is a weekly podcast from Geelong, Australia, out at 11am on Wednesdays - for a green, clean, sustainable Geelong. We talk about how we make our houses and apartments, gardens and streets, our city, neighbourhood or village greener, cleaner, more beautiful, nicer to live in, healthier, more economical, connected and resilient while having fun with it too. Edited by Jackie Matthews, Available in iTunes and Stitcher. More on https://www.podcast.climatesafety.info
Citizens’ vision: Let us walk together
The Sustainable Hour no 361
We are so pleased to have Kitty Walker, Carol Carney and Tuesday Browell in The Tunnel on 5 May 2021 – three community mobilisers in their own ways, getting good results by getting the people behind them. We hope that you will be as inspired by them as we are.
[11:40] Kitty Walker is founder of the very busy and effective Queenscliffe Climate Action Group. She tells the story of how her climate concerns forced her to call a public meeting in her town. Step by step she saw that concern solidify as a community, which she didn’t know the extent of which existed previously, formed around her. This led to a strong connection with their small local government borough and its recent declaration of a climate emergency.
All through this process Kitty surprised herself by what she was able to achieve by getting out of her comfort zone – the same happened to the committee that formed around her to take their concerns forward. They have worked hard with Council to develop a climate emergency response plan that spells out how they will act as a community to implement policies and practices consistent with a climate emergency. On 19 May 2021, Council meets to make a decision on this plan, and Kitty encourages all residents of the borough to show up in red clothes at that meeting in order to show councillors that the community stands together in its support of the proposed plan.
[32:00] Carol Carney and Tuesday Browell are two friends from Echuca who, when they heard about the sorry state of the Baarka (Darling) River, couldn’t just sit with that concern, they had to do something about it. Just like Kitty, they gathered people around them and with their support formed the Baarka River Convoy. What followed both saddened and enraged them as they navigated their boats along that river, often having to pull their boats out because of the lack of water. They observed first hand the devastation that mismanagement of water resources, bad land use practices and corruption has impacted, both on the river and the communities right along its length. With this knowledge came a responsibility and determination for them both to work with others to right this wrong, building a groundswell of love for the river.
Mik Aidt starts today’s show off with concerns he has about the lack of ambition in the Victorian government’s carbon reduction targets that came out over the weekend. Colin Mockett picks up on this and echoes that sentiment. His Global Outlook zooms us to France where the government there has released a report aimed at the financial sector. This clearly shows the comparison in bottom lines between the companies that adopt climate friendly policies and those that don’t. Even companies like Coca-Cola are getting onboard the renewable energy train, announcing that all their vehicles in Europe will be electric by 2030.
Then it’s over to England with an announcement from the government there that because of their policies, five major air pollutant levels are down and what the positive health consequences of that are. Then up to Scotland where we find out how much of their energy comes from renewable sources today.Finally we end up back in Oz with news that entrepreneurs have found a way of making money by using sea weed to reduce the amount of methane emissions coming from the cattle industry.
Until we return in a week’s time, find the revolutionary in yourself and be the change you want to see in the world. As we learn in The Sustainable Hour today, you don’t need to be confrontational to get a good result. You can get a good result by getting the people behind you, and then speaking reasonably to those in power.
Politics and activism on and off line
Guests and speakers in The Sustainable Hour no 360 on 28 April 2021: [08:00 – 16:00] Adrian Whitehead from the Climate Emergency Action Alliance and voteplanet.net.[17:25 – 35:45] and [42:50 – 45:18] Glenn Todd and Hayley Sestokis, founders of Action Skills. [37:27 – 42:45] Ian Dunlop, an Australian engineer, writer, energy expert and former coal executive, speaking at the Geelong community event last week about a proposed gas terminal.[45:25 – 49:20] New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern‘s speaking at Joe Biden’s Climate Leaders’ Summit.
In the tunnel this week we firstly have Adrian Whitehead, the founder of the political party Save the Planet which since has merged with the One Planet party and taken the new name Climate Emergency Action Alliance. We learn what they will campaign on – definitely no greenwashing with this determined party: telling it like it is, both in terms of the climate crisis we face plus the solutions we have to deal with it.
As a perfect complement to Adrian, we hear from Glenn Todd and Hayley Sestokas from the newly formed Action Skills team. Both Glenn and Hayley are very enthusiastic about the need for activists to engage with digital media to expand their reach, harnessing the power of technology with the aim of empowering people to create change.
Colin Mockett‘s Global Outlook this week is dominated by the outcome from last weekend’s Climate Leaders’ Summit, with Colin listing the countries which have pledged to increase their targets and efforts, starting with the US and Europe and including Japan, Brazil and Canada. Those significantly not pledging to advance were three – Russia, Australia and India – with India forgiven for its present precarious Covid situation. This was followed by the news that US president Biden is considering a ‘carbon border tariff’ – essentially a tax on high-emitting nations – a move similar to the EU. A very thinly veiled warning yet again to countries who aren’t pulling their weight.
Find links and video recordings in the notes below on this page.
We wish both the digital activist team and Adrian’s political party all the best as we tackle the climate emergency head on. We all share the same atmosphere, so we all need to protect it together. Until we return next, we hope you all find a way to join us in the quest for a safer, more just, inclusive and healthy world: Viva la revolución climática!
“Is it enough? No. But it is the best we can do, and it is something we can work on.”~ John Kerry, new climate czar of the United States
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Earth Day on the cusp
One-third of the world’s plant and animal species could be extinct by 2070 if humans don’t change course. Over the past five years, the big banks have enabled $2 billion per day – that’s $1.4 million per minute – of funding to fossil fuel companies, bringing us ever closer to planetary catastrophe. The message of Earth Day this year is that now is the time to restore our Earth.
Restore our Earth. Thursday 22 April, Earth Day, calls on humanity to change its ways.
This week marks the 51st Earth Day on Thursday 22 April 2021. In The Sustainable Hour, we find there is no better week to listen to and focus on a way of living that has allowed Australia’s indigenous people to thrive on this planet for at least 100,000 years. So in The Tunnel today, we have invited professor Yin Paradies, who teaches race relations and indigenous studies at Deakin University. He gives us all much food for thought, introducing us to ancient wisdom in the First Nations’ approach to life and to each other, lessons and inspiration for us that we – humanity – need more than ever right now as we face face up to the climate and ecological emergency.
In the lead up to Earth Day, this week has also been declared a global Climate Emergency Week by a range of media outlets and scientific journals around the world. You can find links and information about this and the other topics we talked about during the hour in the notes below on this page.
Colin Mockett‘s Global Outlook has zooming all over the world with lots of positive news today. He starts us off in the United States where the huge climate news this week is President Biden’s Virtual Climate Summit which starts tomorrow and goes for two days. Here, leaders from 40 countries will be taking the signs that the time for real action on climate is now. An agreement that the leaders of two of the most powerful countries in the world have signed augers well.
We then zoom to Iceland where young successful women have been voted in to represent their constituents – this continues a trend where countries with the most progressive and realistic responses to the climate emergency are being led by women.
The next positive news is that Apple, one of the biggest companies in the world, has announced ambitious plans that it will invest $200 million to decarbonise its entire supply chain. Finally, yet another grim warning for the world. This time from the World Bank’s CEO Kristalina Georgieva about the huge number of people who will have to relocate in just three regions of the world.
We hope you all enjoy listening to our podcasts as much as...
THE REGENERATIVE HOUR: Wine, vets and climate disruption
28TH EPISODE OF THE REGENERATIVE HOUR: Can we turn the 2020s into ‘The Regenerative Decade’? In this series of interviews about what that would imply, we talk ecology, deep adaptation, grief, compassion and passion, connecting with nature, resilience, revitalisation, restoration, revolution… – the bigger picture, in other words.
In The Regenerative Hour no 28, we look at the changing climate affect on vineyards and wine, insects and the broader view on our animals.
[At 1:10] Kate McIntyre became a Master of Wine in 2010. Her family started Moorooduc Estate in Victoria when she was 10 years old and after studying language and theatre – and doing some travel – she came back to the wine industry, first through retail, then with an importer wholesaler. She returned to the family business on the Mornington Peninsula in 2004 from where she writes, teaches and talks about wine, apart from being the marketing and business development manager of Moorooduc Estate.
“Natural is best for Mornington’s Moorooduc Estate.” ~ Kate McIntyre, Master of Wine
[At 25:00] Dr Gundi Rhoades is co-founder of Veterinarians for Climate Action. As a vet based in Inverell Northern New South Wales, she sees the effect of climate change on the rural community. Veterinarians for Climate Action want to see sustainable outcomes that benefit animals, the profession and the wider community. Their mission is to advocate and achieve climate action within the profession and beyond. The organisation is scientific and non-political, open to vets, veterinary support staff and members of the animal care industries. It was started in November 2019 and already boasts a healthy membership.
“The science is clear. Humanity has about 10 years to substantially lessen emissions before changes in climate, with cascading impacts and escalating feedback loops, reach a tipping point with little chance of return.” ~ Dr Jeannet Kessels, co-founder, Veterinarians for Climate Action
[At 44:45] In the last year, Rusty has been staying on two vineyards. One of them was a tiny central tablelands NSW vineyard, Winooka Park, owned by Tony Marsh. In this kitchen table conversation Tony comments on his winemaking journey over many decades. He talks about his central tablelands property and how he enjoys making two varieties in this cool climate area. Small scale production is all he wants to do – it is about quality of life not just about money, he says. Tony also comments on the effect of climate change on wine.
Podcast duration in total: 60:00 minutes
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Renewables not gas make a country lucky
The Sustainable Hour no 358
In The Tunnel on 14 April 2021 we focus on the sold out Geelong Energy Future Forum that is coming up next Wednesday at the West Geelong Town Hall, starting at 7pm. We have two of the speakers who will be giving their five-minute presentations there.
For anyone new to our show, this forum came about in response to Viva’s proposal to continue to build a floating gas hub in Corio Bay. The proposal caused a great amount of concern in Geelong and district residents who knew that the science is screaming out that we need to stop exploring for, extracting, transporting and burning fossil fuels. They turned this concern into action by coming up with a forum which aims at giving an alternative view to Viva’s of energy sources that won’t cost us the world literally.
First we have Colin Long who is the Victorian Trades Hall Just Transition Officer. Colin speaks of the importance of including the workers in any talks about how to do this transition correctly. The workers have to be actively involved in this decision making process and shown the benefits for them in making the necessary changes. This must involve retraining when and where necessary. Workers can’t just be left of the “scrap heap” like many other workers have been as a result of changes in the past. Colin optimistically predicts that this can result in a better, healthier world not only for these workers but also for their communities as a whole.
Simon Holmes à Court, Smart Energy Council board member and a senior advisor to the Climate and Energy College at Melbourne University, then continues to paint an alternative picture to the one Viva Energy has presented so far in the local media of Geelong. He optimistically outlines how we can transition all of our current major carbon emitting processes into the decarbonised world that the science demands of us in a way that, rather than destroying our economy, will only enhance it and allow us to lead the world because of the abundance of renewable energy sources that Australia is blessed with. Indeed, there are much better alternatives to the energy future that Viva is currently proposing.
Will the Geelong community decide to embrace these alternatives? It would appears so, as tickets for the Geelong Energy Future Forum on in Geelong West Town Hall, where these and other alternatives will be presented, are already sold out. Fortunately the event is going to be streamed live on Facebook and will be recorded and made freely available after this important night.
Hamburg is where Colin Mockett‘s Global Outlook start out this week. We hear what their Philharmonic Orchestra has done to honour the 200 anniversary of Vivaldi’s masterpiece ‘Four Seasons’. They have used the latest scientific climate modelling and high powered computers to compose a piece that reflects the change in weather patterns over those 200 years. In addition to this they have sent the score to all the major international philharmonic orchestras.
Colin then zooms us to Sweden, with news of a major car company’s plans for true climate neutral electric vehicles. They are aiming to achieve this without relying on offset programs like so many other companies are.
Next we go to the United Kingdom with news from a prestigious report that their net zero target won’t be achieved without big changes at all levels. Staying in the UK, Colin next reveals Prince Charles’ a href="https://climatesafety.
Renewables, rebellion and revolution in one
The Sustainable Hour no 357
To start us off in The Tunnel on 7 April 2021, we have Suzie Brown – the National Director of Australian Parents for Climate Action. Suzie joins us with news of AP4CA’s rapid growth and plans for how they’ll use their now considerable numbers to push for the political changes we need on climate.
She tells us about their ‘Solar Our Schools’ project. This pushes strongly for solar and battery arrays in all schools and child care facilities. These virtual power stations will result in considerable savings for schools of all sizes. They are focusing on both the State and Federal governments.
Suzie also talks of their plans on how they’ll use their numbers, especially in marginal electorates, during the lead up to the next Federal election. Finally, we hear of their campaign pushing for parents and grandparents to give their votes to their kids – #GiveTheKidsYourVote. See more info and links further below on this page.
Following Suzie, we have Akira Ellis, a 17-year-old gender queer climate activist with Extinction Rebellion Youth who last week took non-violent direct action against governments for their lack of meaningful action against the climate and ecological emergency. In our chat with Akira, we get a strong sense of what XR Youth is all about, why they did what they did, what the consequences were for them and why they just refuse to go away.
[At 47:08 min] Geelong Sustainability’s head of community campaigns, Sal Fisher brings news of the Geelong Energy Futures Forum on Wednesday 21 April. This forum came about when Viva Energy announced their plans for a floating gas hub in Corio Bay, which led to a group of concerned Geelong and district residents getting together to oppose their plans. This group just couldn’t accept that Geelong should continued to be powered by fossil fuels and are exercising their democratic rights to show there are 21st century energy options that won’t cost us the Earth – literally. More info below.
The Sustainable Hour is an active participant in this group and the energy revolution it is proposing. We’ll be there front and centre, in the lead up to April, on the night itself and after it as well.
Colin Mockett‘s Global Outlook begins with us zooming to England where British Airways have announced they’ll be investing 24 million pounds into a new company which has huge plans to develop zero-emission aircraft running on hydrogen and electric power. Their very ambitious game-changer phased-in plan starts with a 20-seater aircraft with a range of 500 miles (925 km) by 2024, a 50-seater by 2026 and a 100-seater by 2030.
Then to Germany where two State elections that occurred in the wake of Angela Merkel’s leaving politics saw her ruling Christian Democratic Union party well beaten by the Greens, who are their coalition partners. The pundits now forecast that a Green win is highly possible in the forthcoming national election held later this year.
In London, US head of the American climate response, John Kerry, told a conference of energy providers that coal must be immediately ab...