Impacts of unconventional gas extraction

On 16 April 2014, The Sustainable Hour heads off for a seminar on unconventional gas mining to hear what the experts have to say about this controversial topic also known as ‘fracking’.

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The seminar ‘Unconventional gas extraction and the social, economic and environmental impacts’ took place in Melbourne on 26 March 2014, and it was transmitted via video conference to 11 different locations in Victoria – one of them at Deakin in Geelong.

Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 21:



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We listen to excerpts of the presentations by Dr Jeremy Moss from from the Social Justice Initiative at Melbourne University who is co-author of the report ‘Is fracking good for your health’ and by Glen Martin who spoke over skype from Queensland. He is a lawyer and works in Toowoomba with landholders in South East Queensland who feel invaded by the gas mining industry.

We also hear a range of questions asked from the 11 different locations, answered by the panel which also feature professor Samantha Hepburn from School of Law at Deakin University, and Felicity Millner from the Environment Defenders Office.


Audio excerpts from the programme

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Dr Jeremy Moss 
Dr Jeremy Moss is co-author of the recent report ‘Is Fracking Good for Your Health?’ and speaks on the health impacts of unconventional gas extraction. Jeremy Moss is director of the Social Justice Initiative at the University of Melbourne


» To open or download the mp3-file, right-click here and use dropdown menu to download.



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Chat about the Renew Geelong initiative 
In Scanlan’s Front Page during the hour leading up to 11 o’clock, Denis Scanlan and friends were having a chat about the Renew Geelong initiative on 16 April. This is an excerpt of it, plus an excerpt of the news, which often features stories about the coal mine fire which devastated Morwell with smoke for over a month.



» To open or download the mp3-file, right-click here and use dropdown menu to download.



Mentioned in the programme

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Lower electricity prices with renewables

“Analysts at French based energy components company Schneider Electric have concluded that extending or expanding Australia’s renewable energy target would lead to lower electricity prices, lower carbon emissions and increased competition.”

Article in RenewEconomy by Giles Parkinson on 14 April 2014: ‘Schneider study finds boosting renewables will cut energy costs’



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News from the United Nations
The new IPCC report confirmed what many of us have known for sometime. Catastrophic climate change can be avoided without sacrificing living standards. And, the transformation to a clean energy future is easily affordable.

COST: 0.06 per cent
According to the United Nations’ climate panel, IPCC, the “cost” of avoiding a climate change catastrophe – which would lead to a “breakdown of food systems,” more violent conflicts, and ultimately threaten to make habited and arable land virtually unlivable – is to reduce the median annual growth of consumption over this century by a mere 0.06 per cent.

You read that right, the annual growth loss to preserve a livable climate is 0.06 per cent — and that’s “relative to annualized consumption growth in the baseline that is between 1.6 and 3 per cent per year.”

So we’re talking annual growth of, say 2.24 per cent rather than 2.30 per cent to save millions and billions of people from needless suffering for decades if not centuries.

Article by Joe Romm on 13 April 2014:
Climate Panel Stunner: Avoiding Climate Catastrophe Is Super Cheap — But Only If We Act Now


“Mitigation of Climate Change, by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a panel of 200 scientists, will make it clear that by far the most realistic option for the future is to triple or even quadruple the use of renewable power plants.”


» The Guardian – 13 April 2014:
UN urges huge increase in green energy to avert climate disaster
‘Triple or quadruple renewables’, say experts, as pressure grows for UK to deliver on eco priorities. By Robin McKie and Toby Helm



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China cuts on coal
“Pollution and growing concerns about water availability have forced a fundamental turnaround in China’s coal policy,” reported Greenpeace. As well as slashing emissions and supporting the global battle to keep temperature rise below 2°C, this move signals to coal-exporting economies like Australia that the game is up for dirty energy.

» See the report:  ‘The End of Chinas Coal Boom’ (PDF)

» Read more:  www.pewtrusts.org

» Data: How China’s coal control measures could help avoid catastrophic climate change in five charts



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Municipality meeting:

Proposal to ban unconventional gas mining

Recently the Moyne Shire Council put forward a motion to be addressed at the next Municipalities Association of Victoria meeting on 16 May 2014, for all municipalities to oppose the exploration and extraction of unconventional gas mining within the state.

Unconventional gas mining has proven to be detrimental to the environment, health and local industry. Areas of the City of Greater Geelong (Highton and Waurn Ponds) is currently under a gas exploration licence, and there is public opposition to the practice in the area. The Surf Coast Shire has already written to the State Government to reaffirm its backing of the moratorium on unconventional gas exploration and to request a comprehensive investigation into the likely effects of the industry.

“As Councillor Andy Richards hold the portfolio for Environment and Sustainability, we would like to call upon him to encourage his fellow Councillors and MAV delegate to support the Moyne Shire Council’s motion at the next MAV state council meeting in May,” wrote Frack Frack Geelong.



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70 companies sign the ‘Trillion Tonne Communiqué’
Leading global companies including Royal Dutch Shell, Unilever, BT and Adidas have called on governments to cap cumulative carbon emissions below one trillion metric tonnes, in a bid to contain rising temperatures. 

Over 70 companies from across five continents – accounting for a combined turnover of $90 billion – have signed the Trillion Tonne Communiqué, representing a growing call from businesses for governments to tackle climate change. They are demanding a “rapid and focused response” to the threat of rising carbon emissions and the “disruptive climate impacts” associated with their growth.

The Communiqué coincides with negotiations on the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The Panel’s scientists have previously warned the world needs to limit its cumulative carbon emissions to a trillion tonnes to stay below governments’ internationally agreed threshold of a 2ºC temperature rise.

Over half of this has already been emitted and, at current rates, the world is on course to pass the trillion tonne mark in less than 30 years, with potentially devastating climate impacts. The Communiqué wants governments to set a timeline for achieving net zero emissions before the end of the century and to ensure the UN climate conference in Paris in 2015 does not end up a missed opportunity in realising this goal.

Talking in London, Unilever CEO, Paul Polman insisted that tackling climate change will deliver a better future for us all.

» Read more about the Trillion Tonne Communiqué on:  www.climatecommuniques.com

» Source:  www.treealerts.org

» Bloomberg – 8 April 2014:
Shell, Unilever Seek 1 Trillion-Ton Limit on CO2 Output

» Infographic – The Global Carbon Budget:
www.wri.org/ipcc-infographics



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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.

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

» Also check out www.earthday.org/greencities

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Music

Music played in the Sustainable Hour on 16 April 2014:

►  David Holmes, Andrew Bean and Niel Bekker: ‘My Water’s On Fire Tonight’ (The Fracking Song)
Published on youtube.com on 12 May 2011.





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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 21No 20No 19No 18No 17No 16No 15No 14No 13No 12No 11No 10No 9No 8No 7No 6No 5No 4No 3No 2No 1 |




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