Call for a mature discussion about climate change and vested interests

While Lismore City Council aims to go 100 per cent renewables in just ten years, the City of Greater Geelong Council has recently approved a draft budget with sustainability initiatives receiving little or no funding.

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“We need to have a mature discussion about what is happening to our environment,” wrote Diversitat CEO Michael Martinez in an opinion piece in Geelong Advertiser, and that is the starting point for our discussion about climate change in The Sustainable Hour on 28 May 2014 – about the role of the media, CEOs and what it involves to engage everone in such a ‘mature discussion’ about the issues.

“The reality is coming. Climate change is inevitable. What are we going to do about it? Unfortunately in Australia, I think, we are very captured by certain vested interests who are controlling too much of the political debate,” said Michael Martinez.

Guests in the studio:
Denis Scanlan, media expert and radio journalist, 94.7 The Pulse
Michael Martinez, CEO, Diversitat


Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 27:

» To open or download this programme in mp3-format, right-click here (Mac: CTRL + click)


» Subscribe to ‘The Sustainable Hour’ podcast — via iTunes or via your own podcast/RSS software


Why the Murdoch media hates renewable energy

news“The position of the Murdoch media towards renewable energy has become a major issue: It appears designed to bring a multi-billion dollar industry to a halt, and apart from ideological reasons, or sympathy with vested interests, it is not clear why. Certainly, it is not based on the facts.

Some of the reporting on renewables from the Murdoch global network has been laughable, such as the assertion by one Fox News reporter that solar could never work in the US because it didn’t have as much sun as Germany.

Most of it, though, has simply been unbalanced, and ill-informed, such as its numerous stories about the supposed costs of wind energy, its supposed health impacts, and the repetition of the myth that it serves no useful purpose and does not reduce emissions – claims I had debunked in one of my last Greenchip columns.”
Giles Parkinson

» Continue reading:
Why the Murdoch media hates renewable energy so much




“According to The Australia Institute, the fossil fuel industry receives more than $10 billion per year in government subsidies, with the mining industry hogging most of it. The diesel fuel rebate or Fuel Tax Credit Scheme, is worth $4 billion per year. It might have been designed originally for farmers, but the lion’s share goes to the mining industry.

In 2012, nine out of ten people polled voted for the money to be redirected to health and education. But, unless you are one of the powerful business elites, you – sadly – have very little sway with this Government.

Because miners and moguls run Australia.”

» Independent Australia – 6 May 2014:
The fossil fuel industry and who really runs Australia
“The age of entitlement is over in Australia — except for the dominant fossil fuel industry and those rich enough to be able to buy political patronage. Deputy editor Sandi Keane reports.”



“I’m trying to be conservative

“There is enourmous amount of capacity in this city, but there is a lack of discussion. We seem to be locked into our positions. If you look to some of the ideas of consensus: is it possible that we can try and work together and collaborate? My concern is, as I read those NASA-reports… – and it is not about being an alarmist, I am just trying to be a realist and I think I am trying to be conservative. Don’t call me radical, when I am trying to be conservative about the future of our towns and cities, countries and our globe, because all you have to do is read and look at what is happening.
We are very much an island nation, still. Although we have got access to foreign media and knowledge, we still are so inward looking, and fundamentally conservative. And that is what we have to work within.”
Michael Martinez


“If you read The Guardian, the London Observer, if you read Fairfax papers, it is out there: climate change is well and truly on. If you read the Australian, it is not happening.”
Denis Scanlan



Audio excerpt from the hour

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Christiana Figueres: “Climate Change: Building the Will for Action”

[Download audiofile]

[Transcript: Speech in full]

In May 2014 a meeting in London brought together the United Nations, churches, investors, security experts and environmentalists under the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral to highlight the importance of collective action on climate change. The meeting featured Christiana Figueres as key note speaker and was chaired by Bishop James Jones, former Bishop of Liverpool and BBC Radio 4 presenter. It was organised by St Paul’s Institute in partnership with CCLA, the Church Investors Group and Shrinking the Footprint – the Church of England’s national environment campaign.

We must ensure “that communities of faith are more vocal about what IS a theological and moral issue,” said Mark Oakley, Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, in his introduction to the meeting.

» Continue reading:
www.agreenerlifeagreenerworld.net


“Time to take climate change talk seriously”

“We need to have a mature discussion about what is happening to our environment. (…) Is it just my imagination or are we breaking weather records left right and centre almost on a monthly basis? (…) If the sea rises as predicted the future movements of tens of millions of climate refugees will make our current boat people situation look like an afternoon tea party.”
Michael Martinez, chief executive officer of Diversitat, in Geelong Advertiser on 22 May 2014:  ‘Time to take climate change talk seriously’





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Ten-year challenge to go 100% renewable begins

Lismore City Council is embarking on the development of a 10-year Renewable Energy Master Plan with the ultimate goal to become 100% self-sufficient in electricity through renewable sources by 2023.

It is significant to note that they are taking their community with them by making it an investment opportunity. Last year the Council completed the largest community consultation in its 134-year history and the community made it very clear they want their Council to show environmental leadership.

Continue reading:

» RenewEconomy – 27 May 2014:
Lismore pushes new business models in pursuit of 100% renewables

» Lismore City Council – 21 May 2014:
Ten-year challenge to go 100% renewable begins

» RenewEconomy – 21 May 2014:
Lismore City Council aims for 100 per cent renewables by 2023


More climate talk

» The previous Sustainable Hour was also about climate change:
How we dance with that elephant in the room

Topics we also talked about this week

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Letter to the Editor in Geelong Advertiser 29 May 2014
Letter to the Editor in Geelong Advertiser 29 May 2014

HIGH PRIORITY ACTION IN GEELONG:

CALL FOR SENDING AN EMAIL TO COUNCIL

Geelong Sustainability Group encourages you to send an email to Geelong Council opposing the City of Greater Geelong’s 2014-2015 Proposed Budget.
In an email, Geelong Sustainability Group writes:

“The draft budget has left us very disappointed with a number of sustainability initiatives receiving little or no funding.
In fact, portfolio holder for Environment and Sustainability, Cr Andy Richards chose not to support the budget on these grounds.
It seems that sustainability and the environment are not high on Council priorities – instead they propose to spend $85millon on new capital works including two million dollars on Christmas lights and decorations!

• Decrease in funding for Future Proofing Geelong.
• No additional funding to implement the Principle Bicycle Network (PBN).
• No funding allocated to implement the Environmental Management Strategy

We have a chance to have these funding proposals reconsidered but in order to do that we need to get as many submissions to Council as possible.
And we don’t have much time, the deadline for submissions is 5pm, Tuesday, 10 June.

We need you to send a quick email suggesting that the funding for sustainability is not adequate. And ask Council to;
• Increase funding to Future Proofing Geelong.
• Fully fund the Principle Bicycle Network.
• Allocate funding to implement the Environmental Management Strategy.

Further background information on sustainability funding can be found here: CoGG_Proposed_Budget_2014-2015.pdf

Any person wishing to make a submission on any proposal contained in the Budget, including Differential Rates must do so in writing by 5pm, Tuesday, 10 June 2014.

Submissions can be emailed to contactus@geelongcity.vic.gov.au and addressed
Att: Manager Financial Services – Budget Submission.

Submissions can also be posted to:

“Budget Submission”
Manager Financial Services
City of Greater Geelong
PO Box 104
Geelong VIC 3220.”



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Anglesea residents extremely disappointed

The Essential Services Commission’s decision to grant Alcoa’s Anglesea brown coal mine and power station a license to pollute has left Anglesea residents extremely disappointed. The decision potentially paves the way for the sale of the coal mine and power plant, which was previously only permitted to power the Point Henry smelter, due to close in August 2014.

This has outraged Anglesea residents who will continue to fight this insane decision. Significantly duringthe same week, energy company AGL said that they aren’t interested in buying the brown coal mine and power station because of concerns they have about the health impacts of local residents.

» Continue reading:
www.surfcoast.airaction.org/?p=392

If you share their concerns, (‘people power’ has had some major wins in Australia recently and as we all know, it comes down to numbers!) click ‘like’ on this page:

» Surf Coast Air Action’s Facebook page:
www.facebook.com/SurfCoastAirAction

» Bay FM radio report with a short audio clip with Nicholas Aberle, Environment Victoria:
Green fury over Anglesea power plant reprieve

Repeating mistakes

In his submission to the Hazelwood mine fire inquiry, senior town planner and former senior public servant David Langmore wrote that appropriate buffer spaces are needed between coalmines and towns to ensure residents are ”adequately protected” from adverse events at the mine and to protect residents from poor air quality, dust levels, noise and fires (The Age, 26/5).
We who live in Anglesea wholeheartedly agree. Unfortunately, we are all too familiar with all these hazards. However, only last week the Essential Services Commission granted Alcoa a licence to continue to generate electricity for the already oversupplied Victorian energy market after it closes the Point Henry aluminium smelter.
In the face of increasing evidence that living near coalmines is dangerous, it is time for Energy Minister Russell Northe to work with Alcoa towards a responsible shutdown and rehabilitation of its out-of-date, redundant coalmine and power station.
Dr Jacinta Morahan, Anglesea

Letter to the Editor in  The Age, 28 May 2014




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Deloitte: “Sustainability a Key Driver for Hospitality in 2015”

For those in the hotel and hospitality business who thought – or secretly hoped – that the “green” wave and concerns about sustainability would disappear quietly, the Hospitality 2015 report by global strategic consulting firm Deloitte will be an eye opener. The report identifies the sustainability agenda among the key trends that will define success in the market place in 2015.

» Continue reading:
www.sustainability-leaders.com



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Technology reducing cost of solar panels by half

Pioneering work by an Australian world expert on solar panels is set to significantly improve the performance of solar panels whilst simultaneously contributing to their cost being reduced by half. The technology will be commercialized within the next five years.

» Continue reading:
www.enn.com



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Big banks see bleak future for coal

Australian governments are essentially powerless as a series of major global changes unfold that will curtail demand for coal and mean there is little need for any new coal mines for the next decade.

» Continue reading:
www.businessspectator.com.au



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Unions demand ambitious Paris climate deal: “No jobs on a dead planet”

More than 50 unions representing millions of workers worldwide have added their voice to the growing chorus calling for strong climate action, as they joined an initiative aimed at mobilising support for an ambitious climate deal in Paris in 2015.

The Unions4Climate action, launched at the World Congress of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) in Berlin this week, calls for a deal that is good for the climate and that drives an industrial transformation and creates jobs.

» Continue reading:
www.treealerts.org



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Event on 28 May 2014 in Geelong:

Sustainability in Schools – Preparing the next generation

• Key note speaker: Thea Nicholas, Cool Australia
Cool Australia is a small not-for-profit doing big things for Australian schools. Their innovative teaching resources are accessed by thousands of students each week across Australia. They are inspired to ensure our children have a bright future. Come and see how you can help!
Supporting speakers:
• Anthony Mangelsdorf, Project Manager, Barwon South West ResourceSmart Schools
• David Pace, Torquay Primary School
• Dave Campbell, Sacred Heart Secondary College

Pop-up talks:
• Sustainable House Day 2014 – Vicki Perrett, SHD Coordinator
• Eight Months to Make a Difference – Dan Cowdell, Geelong Campaign Coordinator



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Climate Conference on 21-22 June: Breakthrough

National Climate Restoration Forum 2014 -> Emergency response level!
One of the keynote speakers will be Jamila Raqib on How to start a climate revolution

» Find out more:
www.breakthrough2014.org



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Over 24 sustainable hours of listening online

You can listen to all of the radio shows in full length as well as in selected excerpts. Use the links below. You will also find links to more information about the topics and sites that have been mentioned during the hour.

| Social streamHour no 27No 26No 25No 24No 23No 22No 21No 20No 19No 18No 17No 16No 15No 14No 13No 12No 11No 10No 9No 8No 7No 6No 5No 4No 3No 2No 1 |

» Facebook:  Overview of all the programs




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» 947thepulse.comGeelong’s Premier Community Radio Station



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