From doom to joy

The Sustainable Hour on 19 March 2014 looks into our choice between free and clean energy along with a safer climate on one hand, and expensive, polluting burning of carbon combined with catastrophic climate-doom with economic collapse on the other. We also launch a new Renewable Energy Declaration for Geelong, and play a couple of inspiring Climatedesk interview audio clips with the American actor Mark Ruffalo.

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Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 17:
[Warning: this podcast contains language which could be experienced as offending.]


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The choice between free and clean energy along with a safer climate on one hand, and expensive, polluting burning of carbon combined with catastrophic climate-doom with economic collapse on the other would seem like a no-brainer. Even so, something is holding our elected leaders back when it comes to kick-starting the necessary transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and hydro-power.

That ‘something’ is not just conservatism or doubt. It is a – in the dual meaning of the word – ‘powerful’ group of stake holders who refuse to let go of their source of immense profits.

However, with climate scientists’ “official prophecy of doom” – as Tuesday’s headline in The Independent stated: “Official prophecy of doom: Global warming will cause widespread conflict, displace millions of people and devastate the global economy” – it really doesn’t seem like we have much a choice. At least not if we would like to proudly and with a clean conscience to be able to look our children and grandchildren in their eyes some in 2035 if they by that time should be asking us, “Why didn’t you act while there still was time?”

Youtube.com: ‘Australian Coal Mining Policy Update 2014’


As the three actors – Anne Wilson, Peter McAllum and Will Young – say it out loud in the video ‘Australian Coal Mining Policy Update 2014’, stake holders of the fossil fuel industry are fundamentally saying ‘fuck you’ to our future generations.

The rest of us – or at least those of us who are responsible parents wanting the best for our kids – need to begin figuring out how we can do our bit to change our behaviour and energy consumption, which for a start could mean investing some of our time and money in renewable energy and the issues around it.

To that end there is another much more fun and optimistic story to be told – the story which is about all the exciting possibilities that follows once we have managed to liberate ourselves from our fossil fuel addiction.

The Sustainble Hour circles around visualising this kind of fossil fuel free future.


Optimism – we need that. Let’s spread that vibe. Let’s hear something positive about the future. Let’s talk about solutions…

“If you think Mark Ruffalo is just another celeb with an anti-corporate tilt, you’re missing the story. His true passion is promoting a clean energy solution to our climate and water problems, and demonstrating how feasible it is. Today. Like, now.”


» Inquiring Minds – Climatedesk.org’s podcast on soundcloud.com:
Mark Ruffalo – Our 100 Percent Clean Energy Future
In this podcast, Mark Ruffalo talks about his vision for a clean energy future, what he’s doing about it, and how you can help. If you don’t have an hour to listen to this podcast, then start with listening to the three-and-a-half minutes from 31:15 to 34:45, and again from 45:00 and four minutes onwards.




Mark Ruffalo (born 1967) is an American actor, director, producer and screenwriter. He is known for portraying the Marvel Comics character, Bruce Banner / The Hulk in films taking place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For his role in The Kids Are All Right (2010), he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Since 2010, he has become a supporter of creating 100% clean energy – including a campaign to ‘Put Solar On It’ – after believing that fracking was destroying his community in upstate New York.

» Mark Ruffalo’s wiki-profile:
wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Ruffalo

» Put Solar On It – Pledge and Toolbox – an exemplary toolbox concept:
joinmosaic.com/putsolaronit

» Mother Jones – 3 January 2013:
Mark Ruffalo Wants You to Imagine a 100 Percent Clean Energy Future
The celebrity activist isn’t just against fracking; he wants to turn the conversation to green solutions.



Mentioned in the programme

Links to some of the various topics we talked about:

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The Independent – 18 March 2014:
Official prophecy of doom: Global warming will cause widespread conflict, displace millions of people and devastate the global economy
Leaked draft report from UN panel seen by The Independent is most comprehensive investigation into impact of climate change ever undertaken – and it’s not good news


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Renew Geelong Picnic
Take part in an open air ‘renewables day’ in the shape of a public and free picnic in Eastern Park on Sunday 27 April.

An event which is about unifying the city and saying: “we know climate change is real, and we also know what we are going to do about it.”

It will be a good day for families, schools, businesses, organisations and decision makers in Geelong to meet each other and mark this year’s Earth Day and its Green City theme with exploring and exchanging sustainable experiences, ideas and visions, and in particular: solutions to the carbon emissions problem.

» Read more on www.thesolution.org.au/picnic

and also:
» Check out www.earthday.org/greencities



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Call for a total permanent on fracking
Petitioning the City of Greater Geelong council. On 19 March 2014, over 150 people had signed and commented.

» Read more: www.change.org

Fracking the future: busting industry myths
Former Independent Member of Parliament Tony Windsor launched The Australia Institute’s new research paper on coal seam gas (CSG) at Parliament House in Canberra on 18 March 2014. The paper aims to bust many of the myths used by the gas industry to justify the expansion of CSG in Australia.

Listen to Tony Windsor speak to Fran Kelly from ABC Radio National about the paper.


Claim: We need more gas to keep down prices

Fact: Despite some in the gas industry claiming we’re facing a gas ‘crisis’, the truth is, there is plenty of conventional gas available for the domestic market. The industry wants to extract more gas so that it can export it. Once Australia’s eastern gas market is linked to the world market, via three large LNG facilities in Qld, the prices we pay will jump to match the world price. This is expected to double or triple the wholesale price of gas.

Claim: The natural gas industry was responsible for an estimated 100,000 Australian jobs last year (APPEA)

Fact: In August 2013 the entire gas and oil industry employed only 0.2% of Australian workers – less than hardware retailer Bunnings. The gas industry commissions its own economic modelling, and includes indirect jobs. For example, Santos has claimed that a CSG project in NSW that would employ 30 people would create 570 public sector jobs. They haven’t managed to explain how.

Claim: Coal seam gas is cleaner than coal

Fact: Gas is cleaner than other fossil fuels, but it is still a fossil fuel. ‘Unconventional gas’, like CSG, is extracted from many small reservoirs, making them more difficult to monitor, and providing many more sites for methane to leak from than conventional gas. Methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

Claim: CSG is good for the economy

Fact: CSG doesn’t stack up economically either. A skills shortage caused by gas construction will poach workers from other industries; the mining and construction boom is keeping interest rates high, and the high exchange rate is hurting industries which are exposed to international competition such as tourism and manufacturing.

» You can download your copy of Fracking the Future here , read more here – or download a two-page “fact sheet” here



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Figment Festival
On Friday and Saturday in Johnstone Park, Geelong
» www.facebook.com/FigmentGeelong
» geelong.figmentproject.org


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Music

Music played in the Sustainable Hour on 19 March 2014:

Michael Jackson: ‘Man in the Mirror’

From 1987 with 22 million views on youtube
Published on youtube.com on 2 October 2009




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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 17No 16No 15No 14No 13No 12No 11No 10No 9No 8No 7No 6No 5No 4No 3No 2No 1 |




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