Colin Mockett’s global outlook

The world is changing fast. If we don’t keep track of the changes, we lose out on the opportunities we have right in front of our nose to transform, transition, change and improve our city, our homes and our lives.

Knowing what is happening in the rest of the world helps us realise what can be achieved – it reminds us that real positive change is not just some distant dream. Out there, others are already proving that it is possible.

During the last month, Colin Mockett has been helping us with this – keeping track – as he generously shares his global outlook and knowledge with us and our listeners in the beginning of each Sustainable Hour on 94.7 The Pulse.

These are Mockett’s reports and commentaries so far:

6: Australian politics in a Chinese and Icelandic perspective

“Unfortunately we are living in a dinosaur country. I don’t think there is another nation that I can name that has turned the world’s problem of climate change into a political issue and has a government that uses the climate as a political football. If you look at the world governments as a class room, we have let the bullies take over the class.”

“We have two elections coming up within the next year, both state and federal. The simple thing to say to our politicians is: “Hey, where does the environment sit on your agenda?” And if they give you a political excuse, which means they will talk around corners and say nothing, then you will be saying to them: “I’m am not voting for you. I am only voting for people who put the environment – and the climate crisis which the world is going through – front, centre and at the top of the list.”
~ Colin Mockett in The Sustainable Hour no 223

» More below

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5: Plastic recycling

Plastic recycling in the United Kingdom, Philippines and Surf Coast Shire. Fixing our roads with plastic gravel. Building houses with plastic bottles. Kitchen bin without bin-liner. And: Mockett’s Sustainable House principle.

» More below

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4: Plastic bags – Global index part 2

» More about the index report and about plastic

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3: Global index

» More below

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2: Electric busses and societal transformation in Shanghai

» More below

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1: Electric vehicles in Shanghai, China

» More below

Colin Mockett is Geelong’s legendary history tour guide, he is an actor, a writer and a former journalist.

“We have brought in laws which are disincentives to healthy transport. To get people back on the bicycle, get rid of the helmet law.”
~ Colin Mockett

How Geelong lost its ‘cycle city’ reputation

13-minute excerpt of The Sustainable Hour’s live radio interview with Colin Mockett: About Joan Kirner, a report, helmet laws, civil disobedience, lobbying and the Northern Territory’s helmet freedom…

Mockett explains what a couple of economic scandals, a Premier in damage control mode and a cycling helmet report had to do with how Geelong – officially declared “Australia’s first cycle city” in 1981 – gradually transformed into an anti-cycle city.

» Read or download the three-page letter to Council which Mik talks about during the interview:
Geelong Sustainability’s Submission re: Building Better Bike Connections (PDF)

» Geelong Sustainability – 3 March 2018:
Better bike connections in Geelong

» Listen to the full one-hour podcast:

Changing the story one low-carbon lover at a time

Global Outlook #6

Information about topics Colin Mockett talked about in The Sustainable Hour on 4 July 2018:

“The Nationals’ party room has produced a two-page letter of pro-coal demands for Turnbull. The demands include a $5 billion fund to provide off-budget equity in three new baseload power stations as the price for the junior Coalition party’s support of the National Energy Guarantee.”
~ Paula Matthewson

» The Guardian – 8 July 2018:
Tony Abbott is trying to agitate the Nationals into a rebellion
“Energy is proving to be Abbott’s latest weapon in a bid to blow up Turnbull’s leadership. But will it succeed or backfire?”

“The Business Council of Australia, the country’s pre-eminent business lobby group, has effectively declared war on wind and solar technology, declaring that a target of 49 per cent renewables, as proposed by Labor, would “wreck the economy.”

In echoes of the Minerals Council of Australia’s extraordinary campaign against the mining tax under the Rudd government, BCA chief executive Jennifer Westacott vowed to campaign against Labor’s renewable energy target, which she said would “destroy” the Australian economy.”

» RenewEconomy – 27 June 2018:
Big business lobby declares war on wind and solar

» RenewEconomy – 27 June 2018:
How Australia will get to 33% renewable electricity by 2020
“Despite best efforts by Coalition government to stop it, Australia will end up with 33% renewables by 2020, will likely get to 40% by 2030, and has enough in pipeline to reach 85%.”

» Chatham House | Walt Patterson:
The Geopolitics of Renewable Energy
“Which countries are best placed to become the ‘Saudi Arabia of renewable energy’ and what impact would this have on global energy geopolitics?”


Malcolm Turnbull delusional turnaround on climate

Does Malcolm Turnbull think he can get away with telling us “coal will be a part of Australia’s energy future forever”, when he – the very same person – told us back in 2010 that,

“Climate change is real, it is affecting us now, and it is having a particularly severe impact on Australia. And yet, right now, we have every resource available to us to meet the challenge of climate change except for one: and that is leadership. Our efforts to deal with climate change have been betrayed by a lack of leadership, a political cowardice the like of which I have never seen in my lifetime before.”

Malcolm Turnbull said this in a speech at the Deakins on the Politics of Climate Change in 2010. In the same year, he also stated that we have “zero carbon budget left” – meaning: we cannot allow ourselves to burn any more fossil fuels:

“Our response to climate change must be guided by science. The science tells us that we have already exceeded the safe upper limit for atmospheric carbon dioxide. We are as humans conducting a massive science experiment with this planet. It’s the only planet we’ve got.”

Well, science is telling us to stop burning coal. For instance, scientists from University of Oxford said last year that to avoid dangerous global warming, 2017 is the last year energy companies can build new coal power plants.

“For policy makers who think of climate change as a long-term future issue this should be a wake-up call,” said Cameron Hepburn, co-author of the study, back then. “Research published last year by four Oxford economists and scientists concluded that to keep climate change to below 2°C, no new coal plants can be built after 2017 unless they have zero emissions.”

“Climate models give a glimpse of the Australia we are creating. They show the nation’s wheatbelts, from Esperance to the Wimmera, dried to a crisp. They show the Queensland coast being thrashed more relentlessly by fiercer storms. They show a rash of summer bushfires that make Black Saturday look like candles on a cake. But they do not show the reef. By the end of the century, we will have boiled it to death. This is the Australia we are creating. Even more, it is the Australia we will have to accept if the Adani mine is approved.”

Cyclones, cyclists, zero carbon and a coal baron

» For links to sources, see

» Sydney Morning Herald – 17 September 2017:
How Malcolm Turnbull has trashed the Liberal Party record and betrayed our oceans

“The earth is already too hot. Back in 2010, when he was launching the first Beyond Zero Emissions report on a ten year transition to zero emissions energy, Malcolm Turnbull said that we had no carbon budget left. What a hypocrite! How can he live with himself? It’s time to declare a climate emergency and Malcolm knows it.”
~ Jane Morton

23 countries sign ‘Declaration for Ambition’

23 countries recently signed a joint statement – New Zealand, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Holland and the Scandinavian countries among them, even Canada! – where they say they will step up their own efforts to reduce carbon emissions:

» Climate Action – 22 June 2018:
23 nations sign pledge to step up action on climate change
Leading nations have pledged to set more stringent goals and “lead from the front” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions before 2020. The joint statement, called a ‘Declaration for Ambition’ was signed by 23 nations.

Why on earth hasn’t a modern, civilised and educated country like Australia signed this declaration?

Well of course, when you know the decade-long history and the influence the coal and gas lobby has on politics, it is obvious why it hasn’t happened – but the question we should be asking ourselves is then: Why are we, the Australian people, passively accepting this?

Or to put the question in a more constructive way: What will it take to make Australia join this ‘Declaration for Ambition’?

The bottom-line answer is public pressure.

Before that, it would help a lot if the Australian climate action movement was able to agree on turning something like that into a common goal to campaign for. And if the nation’s public broadcasters would step in and assist with the education and coverage that is largely missing in Australian mainstream media at the moment.

» Read more about the Australian climate policy procrastination which now can celebrate its 30 year anniversary

» Listen to the full one-hour podcast:

Take it from The Terminator

Global Outlook #5

Information about topics Colin Mockett talked about in The Sustainable Hour on 28 June 2018:

» World Economic Forum – 28 June 2018:
These Indian fishermen take plastic out of the sea and use it to build roads

» Listen to the full one-hour podcast:

When an airborne catastrophe hangs over our heads, here’s what we do

Global Outlook #3 and #4

Information about topics Colin Mockett talked about in The Sustainable Hour in June 2018:

The Climate Change Performance Index
In this year’s index, Sweden is leading the list, while Saudi Arabia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Republic of Korea, Australia and the United States form the bottom five of this classification.

A shameful, global ‘booo’ to Australians

For the past 13 years, the Climate Change Performance Index has been keeping track of countries’ efforts in combating climate change, monitoring the development of all greenhouse gas emissions of 56 countries and the EU.

Climate Change Performance Index is a review charts the efforts that have been made to avoid dangerous climate change, and also evaluates the various countries’ current efforts regarding the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement from 2015, where all countries of the world – apart from the United States, which later on opted out – adopted the goal to limit global warming to “well below” 2°C and promised to pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C.

» Read more on the home page:

» Download the 2018 index:
Climate Change Performance Index 2018 – A4 PDF [6,2 MB]

» Financial Review – 27 June 2018:
Australia deemed a world laggard in energy efficiency
Australia has slipped in international rankings of energy efficiency, according to a survey. We’ve actually gone backwards.

Sunny thumbs up to Indians

» Climate Action – 22 June 2018:
India to bring forward 100,000 megawatts of new solar power
“The Indian Government has signalled its intention to launch the largest tender for new solar power capacity in the world.”

» Listen to the full one-hour podcasts:

Groundswell of zero waste living

Green cleaning in a bubbling uprising

Global Outlook #1 and #2

Information about topics Colin Mockett talked about in The Sustainable Hour in May and June 2018:

The electric vehicles are here

Electric vehicles on the world’s roads will grow to 125 million by 2030, according to a new report, with China and Europe leading the way. As more and more utilities turn to wind and solar, fossil fuel plants and equipment providers are feeling the pain. Volkswagen is confident it can meet and even exceed its goal of selling 1 million electric vehicles a year by 2025.

» CNBC – 30 May 2018:
Electric vehicles will grow from 3 million to 125 million by 2030, International Energy Agency forecasts
“The number of electric vehicles on the road around the world will hit 125 million by 2030, the International Energy Agency forecasts. The world’s fleet of electric vehicles grew 54 percent to about 3.1 million in 2017.”

» Reuters – 29 May 2018:
Volkswagen expects to beat electric car sales goal on China, Europe demand

Lighter, cheaper, electric car to be built… in Geelong?

“We are looking at many investments in Victoria, especially in power. Two ideas, one is the fact that it is of course electric and we want to combine that with our solar and battery initiatives. One of the concepts is that household rooftops become the generator and the car battery becomes the battery for the house not just for the car and combine the two things for a composite solution.”

There are also plans for a lighter, cheaper, electric car to be built in “Australia absolutely and Victoria very possible” to begin production in 2021.

Neil asked if Mr Gupta would look at revitalising the old Ford Geelong or Holden Broadmeadows factories.

“Yes that is definitely consideration, the likelihood is we’ll go into one of those ex-car locations,” he said.

» 3AW News Talk – 1 June 2018:
‘The Man of Steel’: British billionaire looks at Victoria for future investments

» Listen to the full one-hour podcasts:

The Regenerative Hour: Bring soils into the conversation

Upcycling, downshifting and climatically having a go


You know the story is changing when you begin to see wind turbines in the background on photos in Geelong Indy.

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